What a wonderful novel! Some 25 years after his masterpiece ‘The English Patient’ Ondaatjes new novel asks how we become what we are, when we don’t even know who (and where) our parents actually are. Nathaniel and his sister Rachel grow up under the guardianship of two caring but dubious men. Their parents left them, as we get to know later, to fight in a war that supposedly ended in 1945. When Nathaniel gets older he tries to figure out the life of his mother, having only pieces of his memory and some unofficially obtained documents from the agency he is now working at.
Es gibt Romane, die mag man kaum beschreiben, weil klar ist, dass so viel dabei auf der Strecke bleiben wird. The Water Dancer (die deutsche Ausgabe Der Wassertänzer erscheint im März 2020 im Blessing Verlag) ist so ein Buch. Es geht um den Underground Railroad, das geheime Unterstützungsnetzwerk, das vielen versklavten Menschen die Flucht aus den Südstaaten ermöglichte.
A new work by Andre Aciman, now his fourth novel, who is best known for Call me by your name, which we could also enjoy in the cinemas. Enigma Variations isn’t quite a novel, it rather contains 5 only loosely connected episodes, all focused on an erotic fixation of the narrator Paul. The first and longest section is set in Italy, Paul falls helplessly in love with a cabinet maker, who works for his parents. The setting picks us up, right where Call me by your name left and is as beautifully written.
The Overstory is the story of nine strangers, each having their own extraordinary and specific relationship with trees, who are summoned to save the States decreasing acres of old-growth forest. A great variety of background stories enfolds, when Powers brilliantly circles from the outgoing 19th century to the Timber Wars of the late 1990’s and back. Powers is precise in his language and takes a clear stance against the ecological destruction of our planet without ever being moralistic. ‘A redwood of a novel’ as The Guardian put it!
“Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less and suffer the less?” That is the question with which Julian Barnes is opening his latest novel ‘The only story’, which was published in february this year. In this he is returning to the themes of his very first novel ‘Metroland’, published some 40 years ago. Contradicting the title, we get to hear the story of Paul from three different versions of that now middle-aged man and his quest for a meaningful and fulfilled life.
Following her last great novel ‚Swing Time‘, which is focused on two girls from the north of London and their shared love for music and dancing, Smith is back with an essay collection that is worth reading. ‘Feel Free’ is an intellectual stimulating and exceptionally well-written journey through pop-culture, literature, politics and more. The first chapter ‘In the world’ answers the question whether the Brexit is “a total disaster” or merely “a disaster”; how it must feel to be Justin Bieber in the last one (‘Feel Free’).
The new collection of essays of the author of “Between the World and Me” has – in its title alone – hidden depths that are worth exploring. “We were eight years in power” does not as it may seem, refer to the Obama era only – it was the Title of a speech held in 1885 by South Carolina congressman Thomas Miller. During Reconstruction after the Civil War there were eight years, in which black men dominated the congress of South Carolina and thereby the legislature. They made significant progress in rebuilding the states institutions and fighting poverty and social devastation.
There was an incredible debate about the book, even before it’s publication. After the Oval Office tried to stop it altogether, the publishers instead even pre-dated the release referring to the high demand. It was announced as spectacularly revealing about Trumps first nine month as president.