Archive for June, 2010

The Spell

Added on June 30, 2010

The Spell Alan Hollinghurst Chatto and Windus, U.K. 1998 Hollinghurst’s prose here is eloquent and musical, easily weaving between the debauchery of London’s gay nightclubs and the seclusion of a Dorchester cottage. It was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. The Spell is Hollinghurst’s third novel after The Swimming Pool Library and The Folding Star. [...]

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The Magician’s Assistant

Added on June 29, 2010

The Magician’s Assistant Ann Patchett Harcourt Brace and Company, U.S.A. 1997 This excellent novel about a gay magician and the female assistant who loved him was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Patchett has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other prestigious awards. There are a number of copies available for sale right now on-line. They range [...]

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The Bridegroom

Added on June 26, 2010

The Bridegroom Ha Jin Pantheon, New York, 2000 Ha Jin uses his stark prose to haunting effect in these twelve short stories set in post cultural revolution China. I especially liked the title story, wherein a percieved model husband joins a secret men’s literary society and ultimately gets arrested for homosexuality. He is sentenced to [...]

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A Clue to the Exit

Added on June 25, 2010

A Clue to the Exit Edward St. Aubyn Chatto and Windus, U.K. 2000 Alan Hollinghurst calls St. Aubyn, “Perhaps the most brilliant English novelist of his generation.” According to the Guardian newspaper, the authentic ground of being is what Henry James called a clue to the exit from the human maze. St. Aubyn is a [...]

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The Crazed

Added on June 24, 2010

The Crazed Ha Jin William Heinemann, London, 2002 The Crazed is perhaps one of Ha Jin’s more challenging novels. But stick with it. It is well worth it. Set during the Tiananmen Square massacre, Jin employs his spare prose to tell the story of a ranting old professor who has recently suffered a stroke. Much [...]

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Mercy Among the Children

Added on June 19, 2010

Mercy Among the Children David Adams Richards Doubleday, Canada, 2000 Mercy Among the Children co-won the 2000 Giller Prize. Richards shared the honour with Michael Ondaatje, who won for Anil’s Ghost. The Giller Prize was only six years old at the time this book was published, but it was the first and only time they [...]

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Added on June 18, 2010

Shroud John Banville Alfred A. Knopf, U.S.A. 2002 John Banville has been quoted as saying that he is “trying to blend poetry and fiction into some new form”. His writing does have a lyrical quality to it. He can be very self-deprecative about his work, too, going as far as to say that he loathes [...]

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Cereus Blooms at Night

Added on June 16, 2010

Cereus Blooms at Night Shani Mootoo Press Gang Publishers, Vancouver, Canada, 1996 Cereus Blooms at Night was a finalist for the 1997 Giller Prize, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Mootoo’s own art appears on the cover and the title page. I bought this copy at a yard [...]

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The Friends of Meager Fortune

Added on June 14, 2010

The Friends of Meager Fortune David Adams Richards Doubleday, Canada, 2006 David Adams Richards is a well known Canadian literary figure. He has won many awards, and in 2009 was made a Member of the Order of Canada, ”for his contributions to the Canadian literary scene as an essayist, screenwriter and writer of fiction and non-fiction”. [...]

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Fall On Your Knees

Added on June 12, 2010

Fall On Your Knees Anne-Marie MacDonald Alfred A. Knopf, Canada, 1996 Anne-Marie MacDonald won the Commonwealth Prize for this wonderful Canadian novel. It also became an Oprah’s Pick in 2002. Also a playwright, journalist and actor, MacDonald is a well-known and multi-faceted artist here in Canada. She won three major prizes for her play Good [...]

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