Thursday, June 4, 2009

No Place Like Home

The Orange Prize for Fiction was announced last night and the winner is:

Marilynne Robinson
Hardcover, 325 pages
2.92 cms H x 21.64 cms L x 16.41 cms W
EAN 9780374299101
September 2008
Farrar Straus Giroux
Available to order – 2 weeks

Jack is one of the great characters in recent literature. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold a job, he is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton's most beloved child. Brilliant, lovable, and wayward, Jack forges an intense bond with Glory and engages painfully with Ames, his godfather and namesake. "Home" is a moving and healing book about families, family secrets, and the passing of the generations, about love and death and faith. It is Robinson's greatest work, an unforgettable embodiment of the deepest and most universal emotions.

'Robinson makes us understand home isn’t just a place—it’s something we carry with us.'

The Shortlist:

The Invention Of Everything Else
Samantha Hunt
Paperback, 257 pages
1.65 cms H x 20.32 cms L x 13.56 cms W
EAN 9780547085777
March 2009
Mariner Books
Available to order – 2 weeks

Hunt's novel is a wondrous imagining of an unlikely friendship between the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla and a young chambermaid in the Hotel New Yorker, where Tesla lived out his last days.

Ellen Feldman
Paperback, 363 pages
2.79 cms H x 20.57 cms L x 13.72 cms W
EAN 9780393333527
May 2009
W. W. Norton & Company
Available to order – 2 weeks

Alabama, 1931. A posse stops a freight train and arrests nine black youths. Their crime: fighting with white boys. When two white girls emerge from another freight car, the cry of rape goes up. One of the girls sticks to her story. The other changes her tune, again and again. Told through the eyes of a young journalist who fights to save the nine youths from the electric chair, Scottsboro is a novel of a shocking injustice that convulsed the nation and reverberated around the world.

Burnt Shadows
Kamila Shamsie
Paperback, 370 pages
3.05 cms H x 20.57 cms L x 13.46 cms W
EAN 9780312551872
April 2009
Picador USA
Available to order – 2 weeks

Sweeping in scope and mesmerizing in its evocation of time and place, "Burnt Shadows" is an epic narrative of disasters eluded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and betrayed.

The Wilderness
Samantha Harvey
Hardcover, 371 pages
3.23 cms H x 21.59 cms L x 15.60 cms W
EAN 9780385527637
February 2009
Nan A. Talese
Available to order – 2 weeks

It's Jake's birthday. He is sitting in a small plane, being flown over the landscape that has been the backdrop to his life - his childhood, his marriage, his work, his passions. Now he is in his mid-sixties, and he isn't quite the man he used to be. He has lost his wife, his son is in prison, and he is about to lose his past. Jake has Alzheimer's.
As the disease takes hold of him, Jake struggles to hold on to his personal story, to his memories and identity, but they become increasingly elusive and unreliable. What happened to his daughter? Is she alive, or long dead? And why exactly is his son in prison? What went so wrong in his life? There was a cherry tree once, and a yellow dress, but what exactly do they mean? As Jake fights the inevitable dying of the light, the key events of his life keep changing as he tries to grasp them, and what until recently seemed solid fact is melting into surreal dreams or nightmarish imaginings. Is there anything he'll be able to salvage from the wreckage? Beauty, perhaps, the memory of love, or nothing at all?

Molly Fox's Birthday
Deirdre Madden
Paperback, 240 pages
EAN 9780571239665
July 2009
Faber and Faber
Available to order – 3 weeks

Dublin. Midsummer. While absent in New York, the celebrated actor Molly Fox has loaned her house to a playwright friend, who is struggling to write a new work. Over the course of this, the longest day of the year, the playwright reflects upon her own life, Molly's, and that of their mutual friend Andrew, whom she has known since university. Why does Molly never celebrate her own birthday, which falls upon this day? What does it mean to be a playwright or an actor? How have their relationships evolved over the course of many years? "Molly Fox's Birthday" calls into question the ideas that we hold about who we are; and shows how the past informs the present in ways we might never have imagined.

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