CRITIC’S CHOICE FINAL BOOK SELECTIONS 2012/13
This season’s authors are American, Canadian, British and South African. Two are debut novelists, four are multi-award winning, acclaimed writers and one is a Noble Laureate. Their novels take us to London, the Amazon, New York City, Ceylon, Johannesburg and Amsterdam.
November 15 & 17: AMY WALDMAN, THE SUBMISSION
Written by a NY Times journalist, this darkly comic, resonant novel imagines the uproar and escalating ramifications over the announced winner of a competition to design a memorial for the 9/11 site. Issues of grief, the ambiguities of art, the meaning of Islam…more socio-political than aesthetic, arouse public furor.
December 6 & 8: NADINE GORDIMER, NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT
A wisely observed novel set in post-apartheid South Africa. Steve and Jabulile, who had married when their inter-racial love was illegal, now find they must navigate the complexities of differing cultures, demanding jobs, raising children and maintaining their ongoing principles of social justice, as their newly free “rainbow” nation struggles to define itself and its priorities. This is Nobel Laureate Gordimer’s 15th novel.
January 10 & 12: ANN PATCHETT, STATE OF WONDER
In the lush, but forbidding jungles of Brazil, an American research scientist searches for her former mentor, who disappeared while working on a valuable new fertility drug. Surrendering to the Amazon, she struggles with the moral and societal implications of the new discovery.
February 7 & 9: KATIE WARD, GIRL READING
A virtuosic debut novel that spins seven stories, each set in a different century and locale, all connected to images of girls and women reading. Yet each speaks to contemporary concerns. Intricately crafted, evocative and extraordinarily researched.
NOTE: Katie Ward will be our guest at an on-stage interview with Elaine Newton on both Thursday and Saturday mornings.
March 14 & 16: MICHAEL ONDAATJE, THE CAT’S
Three feisty, unsupervised schoolboys spend 21 life-changing days aboard an ocean liner headed from Sri Lanka to London; privy to the adult gossip, intrigue and mayhem. One of the boys, now a world-famous author, muses over the meaning of these memories.
April 11 & 13: CHRIS CLEAVE, GOLD
After the enormous success of Little Bee, Cleave explores the world and personal lives of Olympic speed cyclists. Themes of ambition, unwavering commitment, love and sacrifice are interwoven through this timely, nimbly-plotted and captivating narrative.