Which fiction title should we read for April?

17Mar10

Thanks to everyone who came out last night to Full Kee restaurant to discuss Beijing Coma!  I had a great time with the book and really enjoyed our discussion.  It is now time to choose the book that we will read for our next meeting in April.  Each of the candidates this time has been not only a “Notable Book,” but also one of 10 New York Times “Best Books of the Year.”

This poll will close at 11:00 pm, tomorrow, Thursday, March 18.  Please vote only once!  I have scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, April 14.

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Out Stealing Horses, by Per Patterson, translated by Anne Born.  258 pages.  In this short yet spacious Norwegian novel, an Oslo professional hopes to cure his loneliness with a plunge into solitude.  The novel offers “a gripping account of such originality as to expand the reader’s own experience of life.”

Out Stealing Horses was one of New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2007.  Per Petterson is a Norwegian novelist who has won numerous awards for his novels in Scandinavia.  The New York Times review of his book is here.  The Amazon page for the book is here.

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Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill. 256 pages.  In the wittiest, angriest, most exacting and most desolate work of fiction yet about post-9/11 New York and London, the game of cricket provides solace to a man whose family disintegrates after the attacks.

Netherland was one of New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2008.   O’Neill, who was born in Ireland, raised in Holland and now lives in New York, “seems incapable of composing a boring sentence or thinking an uninteresting thought.”  The NYT review of the book is here.  The amazon page for the book is here.

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A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore.  322 pages.  Moore’s captivating novel, her first in more than a decade, is set in 2001 and narrated by a Wisconsin college student who hungers for worldly experience and finds it when she takes a job baby-sitting for a bohemian couple who are trying to adopt a mixed-race child. Meanwhile, she drifts into a love affair with an enigmatic classmate and feels the pressing claims of her own family, above all her affectless younger brother, who enlists in the military after 9/11.

A Gate at the Stairs was one of New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2009.  Lorrie Moore is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  She has won numerous awards for her short stories and novels.  The NYT review for the book is here.  The Amazon page for the book is here.

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