The Known World - Edward P Jones - Pulitzer Prize Winner - I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It is not my usual choice for reading material. I am very glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and selected this book.
On the eve of his 35th birthday, the unnamed black narrator of 'Man Gone Down' finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife & three children, & living in the bedroom of a friend's child. He has just four days to come up with the money to keep his kids in school & make a down payment on an apartment for them to live in.
In the late 1590s, the Sultan secretly commissions a great book: a celebration of his life and his empire, to be illuminated by the best artists of the day - in the European manner. At a time of violent fundamentalism, however, this is a dangerous proposition. Even the illustrious circle of artists are not allowed to know for whom they are working. But when one of the miniaturists is murdered, their Master has to seek outside help.
Atomised (Les Particules elementaires) tells the stories of the two brothers, but the real subject of the novel is the dismantling of contemporary society and its assumptions, its political incorrectness, and its caustic and penetrating asides on everything from anthropology to the problem pages of girls' magazines. A dissection of modern lives and loves. By turns funny, acid, infuriating, didactic, touching and visceral.
In driven out of his home, Calum MacDonald set sail from the Scottish Highlands with his extensive family. After a long, terrible journey he settled in Canada and the family became in time a separate Nova Scotian clan.
Wide Open is about stripping off layers of prejudice and lies, about the possibility of redemption, about laying bare the truth. It is also about coming to terms with the past, and the fantasies people construct to protect their inner selves.
Born in the mid century, James Dyer is unable to feel pain and becomes, in adulthood, a brilliant but heartless surgeon. On the way to St Petersburg he meets a woman with magical powers who enables him to feel pain and his whole life is changed.
Set in Romania at the height of Ceausescu's reign of terror, this autobiographical novel tells the story of a group of young students, each of whom has left the impoverished provinces in search of better prospects in the city