Archive for July, 2010

The English Patient

Added on July 31, 2010

The English Patient Michael Ondaatje McClelland and Stewart, Canada, 1992 The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje’s most famous novel, won the 1992 Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Canada Australia Award, and the 1992 Booker Prize. The 1996 film, on which Ondaatje worked closely, won nine Academy Awards, including best picture. This novel can be considered a [...]

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Martin Chuzzlewit

Added on July 30, 2010

Martin Chuzzlewit Charles Dickens New Century Library, London, 1904 This edition is part of a seventeen volume complete set of Dickens’ work which came out between 1900 and 1912. They are very unusual in that they are leather-bound paperbacks. The pages are printed on India paper, also known as bible paper, a very thin, almost [...]

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A Boy in France

Added on July 27, 2010

A Boy in France J.D. Salinger Saturday Evening Post, U.S.A. March 31, 1945 This is the only legal appearance of this short story. It was never re-issued, except in a couple of quickly shut-down pirate collections that came out in the 1970′s. This Saturday Evening Post, with its Norman Rockwell cover art, is in unbelievable [...]

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Middlesex

Added on July 26, 2010

Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, 2002 HBO recently announced that Middlesex would be made into a mini-series. About the trials of growing up a hermaphrodite, it came out to mixed reviews and slow initial sales. Perhaps the subject matter was too liberal for some. It was to become a bestseller, however, [...]

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The Satanic Verses

Added on July 24, 2010

The Satanic Verses Salman Rushdie Viking, U.K. 1988 The Satanic Verses came out in Britain to mixed reviews, but ended up a finalist for the Booker Prize and won the Whitbread Award for novel of the year. In the Muslim community, The Satanic Verses started a major controversy. Ultimately, it was judged as blasphemous, and [...]

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What is the What

Added on July 21, 2010

What is the What Dave Eggers McSweeney’s, U.S.A. 2006 What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng is a fictionalized biography about one of the ‘lost boys of Sudan’. This novel won Eggers the 2009 Prix Medicis Etranger, an annual French award for a writer whose “fame does not yet match their talent.” This is [...]

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Three Day Road

Added on July 19, 2010

Three Day Road Joseph Boyden Viking, Canada, 2005 This incredible First World War novel was inspired by the life of Canada’s most decorated Native soldier, Francis Pegahmagabow. It won the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Rogers Writer’s Trust Fiction Award in 2006, and was nominated for the 2005 Governor General’s Award for [...]

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Mister Pip

Added on July 17, 2010

Mister Pip Lloyd Jones Penguin, New Zealand, 2006 At the height of civil war on the small copper mining island of Bougainville, the last remaining white teacher reads Great Expectations to the indigenous children. Mister Pip is, of course, named after the main character from the Charles Dickens classic. This sixth printing is, in reality, the first hardcover [...]

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Adventures in the Skin Trade

Added on July 15, 2010

Adventures in the Skin Trade Dylan Thomas Signet, U.S.A. 1956 In my craft or sullen art Exercised in the still night When only the moon rages And the lovers lie abed With all their griefs in their arms, I labour by singing light Not for ambition or bread Or the strut and trade of charms [...]

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Mother’s Milk

Added on July 14, 2010

Mother’s Milk Edward St. Aubyn Picador, U.K. 2006 St. Aubyn loosely continues the story of Patrick Melrose from his trilogy best known as Some Hope. In Mother’s Milk St. Aubyn tackles the issues of shifting family loyalties and assisted suicide. According to their copyright pages, the U.S. Open City publication (which I featured in a [...]

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