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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize New York Times Bestseller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2019 Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, delivers her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are. At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures. Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
An unforgettably powerful new novel of the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go - from the Number One New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and Bel Canto'The book of the autumn. The American author of Commonwealth (brilliant) and Bel Canto (even better) releases perhaps her finest novel yet' - Sunday Times 'The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something' - John Boyne"'Do you think it's possible to ever see the past as it actually was?' I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer."Danny Conroy grows up in the Dutch House, a lavish mansion. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her wit, her brilliance. Life is coherent, played out under the watchful eyes of the house's former owners in the frames of their oil paintings.Then one day their father brings Andrea home. Though they cannot know it, her arrival to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve's lives. The siblings are drawn back time and again to the place they can never enter, knocking in vain on the locked door of the past. For behind the mystery of their own exile is that of their mother's: an absence more powerful than any presence they have known.Told with Ann Patchett's inimitable blend of humour, rage and heartbreak, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale and story of a paradise lost; of the powerful bonds of place and time that magnetize and repel us for our whole lives.
Lose yourself in the story of a lifetime – the unforgettable Sunday Times bestseller 'Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature' Guardian Longlisted for the Women's Prize 2020 A STORY OF TWO SIBLINGS, THEIR CHILDHOOD HOME, AND A PAST THAT THEY CAN'T LET GO. Like swallows, like salmon, we were the helpless captives of our migratory patterns. We pretended that what we had lost was the house, not our mother, not our father. We pretended that what we had lost had been taken from us by the person who still lived inside. 'The best book I've read in years' Rosamund Lupton 'Her finest novel yet' Sunday Times 'The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something' John Boyne 'A masterpiece' Cathy Rentzenbrink 'Bliss' Nigella Lawson
Book This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Description/Summary:
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is an irresistible blend of literature and memoir revealing the big experiences and little moments that shaped Ann Patchett as a daughter, wife, friend and writer. Here, Ann Patchett shares entertaining and moving stories about her tumultuous childhood, her painful early divorce, the excitement of selling her first book, driving a Winnebago from Montana to Yellowstone Park, her joyous discovery of opera, scaling a six-foot wall in order to join the Los Angeles Police Department, the gradual loss of her beloved grandmother, starting her own bookshop in Nashville, her love for her very special dog and, of course, her eventual happy marriage. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a memoir both wide ranging and deeply personal, overflowing with close observation and emotional wisdom, told with wit, honesty and irresistible warmth.
Book The Patron Saint of Liars Description/Summary:
In 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett launched her remarkable career with the publication of her debut novel, The Patron Saint of Liars. On this 25th anniversary, read the best-selling book that is “beautifully written . . . a first novel that second- and third-time novelists would envy for its grace, insight, and compassion” (Boston Herald). St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while. Not so Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, and stays. She plans to give up her child, thinking she cannot be the mother it needs. But when Cecilia is born, Rose makes a place for herself and her daughter amid St. Elizabeth's extended family of nuns and an ever-changing collection of pregnant teenage girls. Rose's past won't be kept away, though, even by St. Elizabeth's; she cannot remain untouched by what she has left behind, even as she cannot change who she has become in the leaving.
Since their mother's death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive, and ambitious father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his children—all his children—safe. Set over a period of twenty-four hours, Run takes us from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard to a home for retired Catholic priests in downtown Boston. It shows us how worlds of privilege and poverty can coexist only blocks apart from each other, and how family can include people you've never even met. As in her bestselling novel Bel Canto, Ann Patchett illustrates the humanity that connects disparate lives, weaving several stories into one surprising and endlessly moving narrative. Suspenseful and stunningly executed, Run is ultimately a novel about secrets, duty, responsibility, and the lengths we will go to protect our children.
Book The Magician's Assistant Description/Summary:
Sabine—twenty years a magician's assistant to her handsome, charming husband—is suddenly a widow. In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick; a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well. Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine's life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Nebraska, that will work its own sort of magic on her.
An ex-jazz drummer wants nothing more than to be a good father in this moving family novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Dutch House. When his lover takes away his son, he's left only with his Beale Street, Memphis bar. He hires a young waitress named Fay Taft who brings with her a desperate, dangerous brother, Carl, and the possibility of new intimacy. Nickel finds himself consumed with Fay and Carl's dead father—Taft—obsessing over and reconstructing the life of a man he never met. A stunning artistic achievement, Taft confirms Ann Pathcett's standing as one of the most gifted writers of her generation and reminds us of our deepest instincts to protect the people we love. “What could be merely a literary parlor trick—keeping three stories in the air at once—becomes…as resonant as a blues song, each story harmonizing with and answering others…. Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett’s fiction.”—New York Times “A moving emblem of fatherhood’s rarely explored passion.”—Los Angeles Times "Patchett writes with remarkable conviction and attention to telling detail…. [She] is excellent at portraying the steady love and interest that holds the family members together, even though that love and interest isn't always successful in preserving the members from danger.”—Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Golden Age “Strikingly original.”—Kirkus Reviews
The award-winning author of A Dog Like Daisy returns with a moving middle grade novel from the point of view of Luna, a Labrador therapy dog who accompanies her group therapy kids when they set off on an adventure across Austin, Texas. Luna has always wanted to be a therapy dog at Therapy Dogs Worldwide. Now she’s a whisker away from reaching her fifty-visit pin that will make it official. But when her “clients”—the children who visit her—are put into a therapy group, Luna’s routine is upended. Like the moon, Luna shows different faces at different times. And her clients each have different needs—Beatrice is tangled in knots of anger, Caleb rushes like a waterfall, Amelia carries fear heavy like a shadow, and Hector is quiet as a rock. To comfort the kids, Luna can be what they need her to be, but can she be everything to them all at once? When Hector doesn’t show up to a session one day, the kids set off on an unexpected quest to find him. Luna joins to keep them safe, and they must work together to almost learn the truth.
#1 New York Times Bestseller The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives. One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another. Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.
Helen Garner is one of Australia’s greatest writers. Her short non-fiction has enormous range. Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour. It takes us from backstage at the ballet to the trial of a woman for the murder of her newborn baby. It moves effortlessly from the significance of moving house to the pleasure of re-reading Pride and Prejudice. Everywhere I Look includes Garner’s famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries, which have been part of her working life for as long as she has been a writer. Everywhere I Look glows with insight. It is filled with the wisdom of life. Helen Garner is an award-winning author of novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature. Her novel The Spare Room, published in 2008, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Queensland Premier’s Award for Fiction and the Barbara Jefferis Award, and has been translated into many languages. ‘Garner is a charming and courageous writer whose distinctive voice exemplifies the range of what is possible in personal writing.’ Publishers Weekly ‘There’s not a word wasted or out of place. Garner observes, intuits, shares and cares about the lives she writes about like no-one else. Readers will laugh, cry, squirm and gasp and wonder. It’s Garner’s unique gift as a writer, and it’s beautifully realised in Everywhere I Look.’ Books&Publishing ‘[Garner] has a way of describing the world with such wisdom and candour and, sometimes, delight, that it takes one’s breath away...at least, it does mine. Her observations about life are refreshing in their honesty...This is a fine collection that offers many delights to the reader.’ Readings ‘Similar to a hike, the book is best enjoyed without straining to finish it. It’s full of moments to pause and reflect. More importantly, it stirs up that addictive, expansive feeling only the best books can achieve: that you have reached the final page changed, perhaps even a better and more thoughtful person from having travelled alongside Garner’s observations for a time.’ Daily Review ‘Garner’s prose is so very pleasant to read—dry, relaxed sentences that calmly reach out towards loveliness...[Her] willingness to look at and truly see the failures of human behaviour, in herself no less than in others, that lends her work its power.’ Guardian ‘It is a rich, beautiful book by a poet of the everyday, a sheer master of prose. Give it to your grandmother, give it to your tweeting girlfriend. Give it to any man or woman who understands the magic of language. It will hurl them into great gulfs of pleasure, of turmoil and understanding and joy.’ Australian ‘Garner’s style celebrates and enacts containment and minimalism...Its tenderness and brutality cultivate fruitful and interesting kitchen table conversations spanning the grace and indignity of being “all too human.”’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald ‘[Garner’s] writing expresses a hard-won grace. It brings you closer to the world, and shows you how to love it...She has laid the groundwork for a generation of writers; she has repeatedly shown us the glory and the power of an English sentence.’ Monthly ‘Garner approaches core questions about leading a meaningful life, providing baby boomers in particular with examples of how to live thoughtfully and observantly.’ Library Journal ‘A mesmerising collection of essays and diary entries, this is a book to savour and re-read. No one else writes with as much insight, clarity and humour. The diary entries in particular are a treat: tiny fragments of life brilliantly observed and beautifully crafted by one of Australia’s greatest writers.’ Best Non-Fiction Books of 2016, Readings ‘There are very few writers whose personal essays seem to depend and widen on a second or even a third or fourth read, but Helen Garner is one of them. Her style is inimitable, for while its elegance is undeniable, its essence is pre-verbal, grounded in her intense and unique ways of looking and seeing.’ Kerryn Goldsworthy, Australian Book Review, 2016 Books of the Year ‘Everywhere I Look was a pure delight...Her view on things is unpredictable, distinctive, and original.’ Mark Rubbo, Australian Book Review, 2016 Books of the Year ‘A generous collection of pitch-perfect sketches and reviews, each one taking us with her as she looks, really looks, at the world around her and registers her response to it.’ Susan Sheridan, Australian Book Review, 2016 Books of the Year ‘Garner is a wonderful appreciator: she invites us into the work under review by leading us along the path of discovery she has followed...Her strongest essays evoke emotion through reticence and suggestiveness. They hint at depth of thought and feeling but never become ponderous. And they reveal both the writer and the world by inviting us into her thoughts so that we can see what she sees. Her successes and her failures show just how hard it for an essayist to answer the question of why we should care – why are personal essays something we might want to spend time on anyway? Her best pieces answer this question: we read them because of the richness of perspective they offer. In them, we see not only a small piece of the world, but also the writer looking at the world and looking back at us, asking us to spend some time gazing at it all right there with her.’ Open Letters Monthly ‘The light of Helen Garner’s piercing observation shines on parents, friends, books, time, the weather, and herself. It’s impossible not to trust these engrossing dispatches in their passion and honesty. A lifetime of looking and taking note, and the hard work of examining the significance of what is seen and felt, make this a masterly collection of essays by our greatest non-fiction writer.’ Joan London, The Books We Loved 2016, Sydney Morning Herald ‘Everywhere I Look, like everything in Garner’s oeuvre, brims with clear-eyed insights and crystalline prose. No other writer distils quite like she does.’ Jacinta Halloran, The Books We Loved 2016, Sydney Morning Herald ‘There are times when Helen Garner is the only author I want to read. Restlessly honest, with a sharp eye for detail, her style is by some rare art at once crystalline and conversational. Everywhere I Look is a memorable essay collection.’ Lisa Gorton, The Books We Loved 2016, Sydney Morning Herald ‘Reading this collection of essays is like having a long conversation with a clever, funny, big-hearted, magnificently acerbic friend. It left me astonished all over again by Garner’s deft handling of whatever subject she chooses. There are pieces here that crackle and fizz with the pleasure she takes in her grandchildren, reading, a good martini, and playing the ukulele...Everywhere I Look made me laugh, cry, and think. It is a book to return to again and again with gratitude.’ Best Books of 2016, Radio National ‘The no-bullshit-preamble rule is sparklingly employed...Garner is a natural storyteller: her unillusioned eye makes her clarity compulsive...What gives the memoir its power, as so often in Garner’s writing, is that she is unsparing, in equal measure, of her subject and of herself, and that she so relishes complicated feelings...[Everywhere I Look] is made singular by Garner’s almost reckless honesty, and brought alive by her mortal details.’ James Wood, New Yorker ‘It’s no wonder Garner won a major international award, the $US150,000 Yale-based Wyndham-Campbell Prize, for her non-fiction writing this year. You just have to read this collection of essays, diary entries and true stories spanning the past 20 years to recognise her immense talent.’ Best Books of 2016, Australian Financial Review ‘Her writing is elegant and spare, the kind of writing that leaves you wrecked at the end. It’s what makes me feel like I’m peeking in her diary when I read the most personal entries in this collection.’ Pop.Edit.Lit. ‘Spanning 15 years, this varied collection of short non-fiction pieces presents some of Helen Garner’s best work. Whether it’s a dig into her own life or a broader look into societal whims and ills, Helen Garner is one of our most skilled essayists.’ Best Books of 2016, Sydney Morning Herald ‘Helen Garner’s Everywhere I Look is not quite a memoir, but there is a keen personal element to this collection of short nonfiction pieces. Garner has just received an outstanding general review from James Wood in the New Yorker. It’s long overdue.’ Australian ‘Whenever I see Garner I try to act normal but inside, some part of me is always squealing IT'S HELEN GARNER!!! Her new book, Everywhere I Look, is masterful, like everything she writes.’ Leigh Sales, ABC News ‘This book brims with Garner’s wit and wisdom.’ Best Books of 2016, Sunday Life ‘Helen Garner’s Everywhere I Look is like having a backstage pass into the mind, notebooks and creative process of one of Australia’s very best writers.’ Andy Griffiths, Best Books of 2016, Guardian ‘For years, Garner has offered me a model for journalism: a careful observer, she also tells us how those observations change her as well as the subjects of her gaze. Garner reveals her nervous system—but also the dubious games and improvisations of journalism. Everywhere I Look is a collection of Garner’s essays and diary entries from the past 15 years. She writes on friendship, ageing, film and literature. In ‘The Journey of the Stamp Animals’, she writes of rediscovering a children’s book that—many years earlier—had seemed so stuffed with illicit magic. Now an adult, this long dreamt-of book in her hands again, she finds the pleasure of having her memory—so often fickle and corruptible—vindicated. The book is as she remembered. It’s a measure of Garner’s talent that this small, obscure triumph carries the feeling of profundity.’ Martine McKenzie-Murray, Best Books of 2016, Guardian ‘If you are looking for a voice to speak to you frankly and with humour and warmth about important things, here is the writer for you. Well-known in Australia as a novelist and screenwriter and reporter, Garner is also one of the world’s best essayists. Here she is thinking about the indignities of how people treat the ageing, the pleasures of a ukulele, grandfathering, and some of her best friends, who she sketches with a master’s economy of gesture. Once you start reading Garner you will wonder what the huge space inside your head she occupies used to be there for.’ John Freeman, Best Books of 2016, Literary Hub ‘A collection of essays and journal entries which include everything from a carefully observed portrait of Rosie Batty to ‘The Insults of Age’, where she details the ways in which older women are disregarded and disrespected but with a confessional twist. For me, the best parts are the snippets from her diary and particularly her observations of being an irritated but besotted grandmother. Garner is one of those generous women writers who is prepared to share with you her less redeeming moments in an act of intimacy and empathy with the reader. You won't always agree with Garner's conclusions but how she approaches a question is always interesting.’ Feminist Reading Picks of 2016, Age ‘She covers topics that others are really afraid of, that really penetrate the human condition, which is something I admire and that has inspired me in my own work.’ Virginia Haussegger, Sydney Morning Herald ‘There are very few writers whose personal essays seem to deepen and widen on a second or even a third or fourth read, but Helen Garner is one of them. Her style is inimitable, for while its elegance is undeniable, its essence is pre-verbal, grounded in her intense and unique ways of looking and seeing. Everywhere I Look seems the ideal title for her 2016 essay collection.’ Kerryn Goldsworthy, Best Books of 2016, Australian Book Review ‘Pure delight. It showcases Garner’s distinctive voice and her take on the world around her. Her view on things is unpredictable, distinctive, and original.’ Mark Rubbo, Best Books of 2016, Australian Book Review ‘Garner’s Everywhere I Look is a generous collection of pitch-perfect sketches and reviews, each one taking us with her as she looks, really looks, at the world around her and registers her response to it.’ Susan Sheridan, Best Books of 2016, Australian Book Review ‘It made me cry and laugh and think. Garner always reminds me of the power of noticing and the impact of sparse writing.’ Leigh Sales ‘This collection of essays by one of Australia’s best known authors has the sharp steel edge characteristic of all of Garner’s work. Observations are cobbled together in an almost conversational way, stopping and starting, dealing in trivialities and family moments. Woven amongst the everyday, there are recollections of grief; a father’s death, a friend’s funeral, the heartbreak of being in love with a married man. Garner’s gimlet eye is as revealing and clear as ever.’ Sydney Scoop ‘Garner shows us something precious and endangered...the nexus of neighbourhoods and neighbourliness, the simple weatherboard houses and the plain local shops in the suburbs of Fitzroy and Moonee Ponds. In the most ordinary suburb, as in the most extraordinary marine wilderness, what lies beneath is as fascinating as life on the surface.’ Times Literary Supplement ‘Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour.’ Perth Writers Festival, Summer Reading Guide
Nashville: Scenes from the New American South beautifully captures my home city of Nashville in this exciting moment of change and growth.— AL GORE This book is excruciatingly gorgeous. Every page makes me homesick. —CONNIE BRITTON A great book about a great city.— JOHN PRINE This has been a time of such great change for Nashville that I think we are all very curious to see who we are now.— GILLIAN WELCH This book reminds me, in the sweetest way possible, that I probably should have never left Nashville.— CHRIS THILE Introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Jon Meacham A dynamic, experiential, and intimate portrait that explores the many sides of the legendary Southern city and country music capital, from award-winning writers Ann Patchett, Jon Meacham, and acclaimed photographer Heidi Ross. Nashville is a creative collaboration that awakens the senses, providing a virtual immersion in this unique American city hailed as the Athens of the South. Patchett, Ross, and Meacham in his introduction, at once capture both the city’s iconic historical side—its deep, rich Southern roots, from its food and festivals to its famous venues, recording studios, and style—and its edgier, highly vibrant creative side, which has made it a modern cultural mecca increasingly populated by established and upcoming artists in art, film, and music. Nashville celebrates Nashvillians’ beloved locales and events, both established and new, that are the heart of the city’s character including: Bobbie’s Dairy Dip Broadway Cumberland River Buchanan Arts District Bolton’s Chicken and Fish Dino’s East Nashville Tomato Arts Festival Germantown The Gulch Grand Ole Opry Pie Town (SoBro) Pride Festival Prince’s Hot Chicken Schermerhorn Symphony Center Stanley Cup Playoffs Tennessee Performing Arts Center Tennessee State Fair Third Man Records WXNA Independent Radio Here, too, are engaging vignettes spotlighting the diverse talent that makes the Tennessee city a significant cultural incubator and influencer, including singer-songwriters Marty Stuart, Gillian Welsh, and Dave Rawlings; film director Harmony Korine, textile designer Andra Eggleston, country music fashion designer to the stars Manuel, chef Margot McCormack, acclaimed pastry chef Lisa Donovan, and model and musician Karen Elson. Blending exceptional narrative, evocative photography—including 175 black-and-white and color photographs—and a bold graphic design, Nashville is an intimate, textured panorama that brilliantly illuminates one of America’s most remarkable treasures.
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award • Winner of the Orange Prize • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist "Bel Canto is its own universe. A marvel of a book." —Washington Post Book World New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett’s spellbinding novel about love and opera, and the unifying ways people learn to communicate across cultural barriers in times of crisis Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening—until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers. Patchett's lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.
"Exquisite. . . . Anchoring the story is a pair of Cairo-born sisters whose fates spin in radically different directions in the wake of the Egyptian revolution. . . . A lovely novel that does a remarkable job of bringing troubling realities to light, and life." --Vanity Fair A powerful novel about two Egyptian sisters--their divergent fates and the secrets of one family Sisters Rose and Gameela Gubran could not have been more different. Rose, an Egyptologist, married an American journalist and immigrated to New York City, where she works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gameela, a devout Muslim since her teenage years, stayed in Cairo. During the aftermath of Egypt's revolution, Gameela is killed in a suicide bombing. When Rose returns to Egypt after the bombing, she sifts through the artifacts Gameela left behind, desperate to understand how her sister came to die, and who she truly was. Soon, Rose realizes that Gameela has left many questions unanswered. Why had she quit her job just a few months before her death and not told her family? Who was she romantically involved with? And how did the religious Gameela manage to keep so many secrets? Rich in depth and feeling, A Pure Heart is a brilliant portrait of two Muslim women in the twenty-first century and the decisions they make in work and love that determine their destinies. As Rose is struggling to reconcile her identities as an Egyptian and as a new American, she investigates Gameela's devotion to her religion and her country. The more Rose uncovers about her sister's life, the more she must reconcile their two fates, their inextricable bond as sisters, and who should and should not be held responsible for Gameela's death. Rajia Hassib's A Pure Heart is a stirring and deeply textured novel that asks what it means to forgive, and considers how faith, family, and love can unite and divide us.
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 WOMEN’S PRIZE A LIBRARY JOURNAL EMERGING STARS PICK A mesmerizing novel of World War II Singapore, “a story about memory, trauma, and ultimately love” (New York Times)—for fans of Pachinko and We Were the Lucky Ones Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only two survivors and one tiny child. In a neighboring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is strapped into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel where she is forced into sexual slavery as a “comfort woman.” After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced still haunts her. In the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is sitting beside his ailing grandmother when he overhears a mumbled confession. He sets out to discover the truth, wherever it might lead, setting in motion a chain of events he never could have foreseen. Weaving together two timelines and two very big secrets, this stunning debut opens a window on a little-known period of history, revealing the strength and bravery shown by numerous women in the face of terrible cruelty. Drawing in part on her family’s experiences, Jing-Jing Lee has crafted a profoundly moving, unforgettable novel about human resilience, the bonds of family and the courage it takes to confront the past.
Book A Lady's Guide to Selling Out Description/Summary:
With “elements of The Bold Type, Mad Men, and The Devil Wears Prada” (Entetainment Weekly), a young woman navigates a tricky twenty-first-century career—and the trickier question of who she wants to be—in this savagely wise debut novel Casey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best friend thinks she’s a sellout, but Casey tells herself that she’s just paying the bills—and she can’t help that she has champagne taste. When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is both excited and skeptical. But as she crisscrosses America, wooing her former idols, she’s shocked at how quickly they compromise their integrity: A short-story writer leaves academia to craft campaigns for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life’s work to a manufacturer of granola bars. When she falls in love with one of her authors, Casey can no longer ignore her own nagging doubts about the human cost of her success. By the time the year’s biggest book festival rolls around in Las Vegas, it will take every ounce of Casey’s moxie to undo the damage—and, hopefully, save her own soul. Told in an unforgettable voice, with razor-sharp observations about everything from feminism to pop culture to social media, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our era and trying to escape the rat race—by any means necessary. Praise for A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out “Bitingly funny . . . [Sally] Franson’s snappy debut nimbly skewers the high-flying world of advertising and romance in the age of social media. . . . Franson’s irresistibly flawed heroine holds her own as she strives to find honesty, meaning, and even love in a demanding world, resulting in an addictive, escapist novel.”—Publishers Weekly “A high-spirited heroine loses herself in a vortex of modern striving in this debut novel. . . . Come for the hilarious narration, stay for the whirlwind plot, luxuriate in the satirical gleam.”—Kirkus Reviews “A wry, observant take on career success and ambition.”—New York Post “A book lover is torn between a cushy gig and . . . well, her soul, basically.”—Cosmopolitan
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