Equal parts creepy ghost tale, social commentary, grief study, and pure poetry. Man Evie Wyld does not disappoint. She is the master of eerie and bone chilling. In Bass Rock, it's not the suggestion of ghosts that frightens but the specter of generations of violence against women that truly terrifies. I appreciate her ability to write all types of women. The honesty her characters exude is something I find very rarely in fiction. Evie Wyld is not writing to please anyone but herself and ultimately, you.
I picked up this slender but powerful book on the last day of the year and read into the night, into the new year. Days later, I find it unfurling like a banner in my mind as 2021 lurches forward. The story of Kazu, a deceased laborer whose ghost haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations, is as much social commentary as it is character study with its examination of poverty, homelessness, grief, and regret. Miri deftly weaves events of Kazu's life that led to his homelessness with Japanese history with conversations from station passengers who float into view and then bob away, unaware, on their own streams. Miri's writing feels almost painterly at times: repetition feels like brushwork, vivid colors flash behind the lids, texture shapes the geography of loss. A beautiful ache of a book.
Michael Cunningham has daringly woven together the stories of three women in a reworking of Virginia Woolf's book Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf's life and novel echo through Cunningham's interpretation as much as they explicitly occur through chapters from Mrs. Woolf's own perspective. He even employs her writing style in ways I find impressive and respectful. Mrs. Dalloway is not required reading before sitting down with The Hours, though you may find yourself aching to read it afterwards. This book is a masterful examination of converging lives coping with illness, loss, and suicide. It is a beautiful and thought-provoking triptych of stories to engage with.
Girl, Woman, Other earned the 2019 Booker Prize for a reason: this book is fantastic. Bernardine Evaristo put together an ensemble cast of British women and nonbinary people of color spanning generations, countries, and circumstance. As you read, you slowly come to understand how each of their lives are connected, whether the characters themselves are aware of it or not. In addition to the compelling stories, Evaristo turns the conventions and expectations of writing upside down. The lack of punctuation was tricky for me for the first few pages, but after I got used to it I found her queering of writing itself to be absolutely brilliant. Its complex storylines and writing make this an amazing book for discussion with friends - I highly recommend it for your book club.
This novel is both the stories of twelve women and a sweeping history of the Black British experience. With poetic prose, dazzling characters, and intricate details, it is impossible not to get lost in Evaristo's work.
In a time when being queer meant (at best) imprisonment under a brutal dictatorship, five women band together in the beginnings of friendship. They create a safe haven in a beach hut along the coast, where they are free to be who they are and love who they want. A triumph, a celebration, and a mourning all in one.
Dark without being broody, poignant without being trite, and delightfully snappy in all the right places, this novel is about a small-time Brooklyn crime family grappling with the costs of their actions - and their loyalties - is a sharp and satisfying read.
The title will hopefully make you pick this up but I promise this collection is so satisfying, especially the very last short story in this book. Wild!
Once a year a book comes out that truly makes bookselling easy. This is that book. A beautifully written interconnecting family drama that checks all the boxes.
Ever wonder what happens when a bunch of renowned international writers gather for a weekend? No ego is left un-bruised in this novel. But I promise it's much more than the drama that unfolds between the writers. Mona is a character that will stay with you for a long time.