Archive for August, 2010

The Boys in the Trees

Added on August 30, 2010

The Boys in the Trees Mary Swan Henry Holt, New York, 2008 It says something, I think, about the state of the publishing industry in Canada that Mary Swan had to go to the States to get her Giller Prize shortlisted novel The Boys in the Trees published. Swan won an O. Henry Prize in [...]

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Of Human Bondage

Added on August 28, 2010

Of Human Bondage Somerset Maugham Doubleday, U.S.A. 1936 The true first edition of this semi-autobiographical classic is the American George H. Doran publication of 1915. The British William Heinemann edition came out slightly later that same year. Three film versions of this novel have been made. The first movie version from 1934 is the film [...]

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The Magician’s Assistant — copy # 2

Added on August 27, 2010

The Magician’s Assistant — copy # 2 Ann Patchett Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1997 I have already listed another copy of this excellent and touching gay story in a previous post. The only difference between the two is that Patchett has drawn a rabbit coming out of a hat beside her signature and [...]

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Summer of My Amazing Luck

Added on August 25, 2010

Summer of My Amazing Luck Miriam Toews Turnstone Press, Winnipeg, 1996 The first print run of  this debut novel by Miriam Toews would have been small, and is therefore quite rare. This copy is a fourth printing, and although it is is not quite so rare, there are still very few copies available. Summer of [...]

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Life of Pi

Added on August 23, 2010

Life of Pi Yann Martel Canongate, U.K. 2002 Life of Pi was the surprise winner of the 2002 Booker Prize. It also won the 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for fiction, 2003 South African Boeke Prize and the 2004 Asian/Pacific American Award for literature. It was shortlisted for the Chapters/Books in Canada Award as well as [...]

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The Penitent

Added on August 21, 2010

The Penitent Isaac Bashevis-Singer Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, U.S.A. 1983 This novel is written in the form of a one-sided rant about the corruption and sinfulness of modern (1960′s) America. For Bashevis-Singer, the 1960′s was a decade of questioning human morals. Many U.S. critics at the time saw it as America bashing. They wrote scathing [...]

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Cinnamon Gardens

Added on August 20, 2010

Cinnamon Gardens Shyam Selvadurai McClelland and Stewart, Canada, 1998 Shyam Selvadurai is an openly gay Canadian writer of Sri Lankan origin. He is probably better known for his previous novel, Funny Boy, which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, as well as the Lambda Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. In a [...]

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A Fable

Added on August 13, 2010

A Fable William Faulkner Random House, U.S.A. 1954 A Fable was the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. According to Wikipedia, Faulkner worked for over ten years on this book and considered it his masterpiece. Even after winning the two biggest American literary awards, however, reviews were mixed, [...]

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Walt Whitman’s Secret

Added on August 12, 2010

Walt Whitman’s Secret George Fetherling Random House, Canada, 2010 It is said of this book, by more than one reviewer, that it will have readers running for their copies of Leaves of Grass to bask in Whitman’s genius. And no, while Whitman’s homosexuality is a big part of this story, that is not the ‘secret’ [...]

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Family Matters

Added on August 11, 2010

Family Matters Rohinton Mistry McClelland and Stewart, Canada, 2002 Family Matters is the third novel by Indian-Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry. He is probably better known for his two previous novels, Such a Long Journey and A Fine Balance, which both won major literary awards. Family Matters was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Award [...]

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