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Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

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You may never have heard of Nam Le, but with the publication of his first collection of short stories, “The Boat,” you can expect to hear much more about him in the future. Nam Le was born in Vietnam, grew up in Australia and worked as a corporate lawyer before coming to the United States to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Not yet 30, he is already an extraordinarily accomplished and sophisticated writer.” – The San Francisco Chronicle

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La suma de los días por Isabel Allende.

Una obra al tiempo emotiva y escrita en el tono irónico y apasionado que caracteriza a la autora, en la que nos entrega la suma de sus días como mujer y como escritora

En las páginas de este libro, Isabel Allende narra con franqueza la historia reciente de su vida y la de su peculiar familia en California, en una casa abierta, llena de gente y de personajes literarios, y protegida por un espíritu: hijas perdidas, nietos y libros que nacen, éxitos y dolores, un viaje al mundo de las adicciones y otros a lugares remotos del mundo en busca de inspiración, junto a divorcios, encuentros, amores, separaciones, crisis de pareja y reconciliaciones.

También es una historia de amor entre un hombre y una mujer maduros, que han salvado juntos muchos escollos sin perder ni la pasión ni el humor, y de una familia moderna, desgarrada por conflictos y unida, a pesar de todo, por el cariño y la decisión de salir adelante. Esta es la familia que descubrimos en Paula y que desciende de los personajes de La casa de los espíritus. – barnsandnoble.com

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Lord John and…   Diana Gabaldon    books published 2003-2007

Lord John Grey is a secondary character in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander  series who the author has made the principle character of a series of mysteries set the eighteenth century. Lord John made his first appearance as a teen-aged adjutant to his elder brother Lord Melton in Dragonfly in Amber part of the Outlander series, and has been in each of the following books in that series.  Gabaldon has written the Lord John is “a very interesting character…and he appears only intermittently in the Outlander novels, no reason why he couldn’t be having interesting adventures off stage, on his own time”.
Beginning with the short story Lord John and the Hellfire Club, now included in last year’s novella collection, the first complete novel, Lord John and the Private Matter, then Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and Lord John and the Hand of Devils, a novella collection both published last year. Gabaldon takes us to the one eighteenth century place the Frasers have never been, London itself. Peopled with her usual mix of astutely rendered fictional characters, and a sprinkling of actual people of the era ranging from Diderot to Horace Walpole and Sir Frances Dashwood, the novels follow Lord John Grey in investigating everything from murder to political intrigue.
Lord John is a  Major in his brother’s regiment, a loyal son to both his deceased father and lively mother, and the brother who must be both head of the family and commander of the family supported regiment.  He is well acquainted with the many layers and possibilities of both 1750s London and the German battlefields of the Seven Years War, indeed, he reflects in several places on the difficulties and stern honor required of a being a soldier. Those who have read the Outlander series know that Lord John is a homosexual, and this strand of his personality and its reflection in the plot is handled with sensitivity and an awareness of both the social mores of the period and the wishes of the human heart.

Diana Gabaldon’s ability to pull characters out of the background of her previous books and have them seamlessly take on additional roles is a talent that her readers can only wonder at. This series with Lord John Grey is a digression from the major Outlander series, but one that readers will welcome for the chance to spend time in her wonderfully well rendered world of the eighteenth century, and the chance to see the exuberance of London through her, and Lord John’s, eyes.

– M. Spore-Alhadef

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Originally published in 1938, Miss Pettigrew has been rediscovered and reprinted in a beautiful paperback edition by Persephone, including gorgeous line drawings.  A fantasy screwball comedy a little like a Thin Man movie crossed with with an episode of Upstairs Downstairs gone mad, Miss Pettigrew has now been adapted as a major motion picture starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. “Miss Pettigrew, an approaching-middle-age governess, was accustomed to a household of unruly English children. When her employment agency sends her to the wrong address, her life takes an unexpected turn. The alluring nightclub singer, Delysia LaFosse, becomes her new employer, and Miss Pettigrew encounters a kind of glamour that she had only met before at the movies. Over the course of a single day, both women are changed forever.  [The author] Winifred Watson (1907 – 2002) grew up in Newcastle, and was a secretary until, in 1935, she married Leslie Pickering, the manager of a timber firm. She wrote six novels in all, but after the birth of her son in 1941 she stopped writing and lived quietly in Newcastle for the rest of her life.  The Times interviewed her at age 94 when Persephone Books reissued the book in 2000. The headline was ‘Bodice-Ripping Fame at 94.'” – Publisher’s Description

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“Having won a wide following for her first crime novel…Case Histories, Atkinson sends Det. Jackson Brodie to Edinburgh while girlfriend Julia performs in a Fringe Festival play. When incognito thug “Paul Bradley” is rear-ended by a Honda driver who gets out and bashes Bradley unconscious with a baseball bat, the now-retired Jackson is a reluctant witness. Other bystanders include crime novelist Martin Canning, a valiant milquetoast who saves Bradley’s life, and tart-tongued Gloria Hatter, who’s plotting to end her 39-year marriage to a shady real estate developer. Jackson walks away from the incident, but keeps running into trouble, including a corpse, the Honda man and sexy, tight-lipped inspector Louise Monroe. Everyone’s burdened by a secret infidelity, unprofessional behavior, murder adding depth and many diversions…crackling one-liners, spot-on set pieces and full-blooded cameos help make this another absorbing character study.” – Publishers Weekly

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“…Sayers fans will rejoice at the release of this new Lord Peter Wimsey novel 61 years after the publication of Busman’s Honeymoon….While perhaps not vintage Sayers, this novel fragment, completed by English novelist Walsh from Sayers’s outline, takes up where the honeymoon left off:  Now murder intrudes on the newly domesticated Lord Peter and Harriet Vane as one of their acquaintance, also newly married, is murdered. This has all the requisite stock characters, witty dialog, social satire, and red herrings of a classic Sayers, though perhaps marriage has mellowed the characters a bit too much. Highly recommended…” – Library Journal

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“Set in rural India, this quietly moving tale of doomed passion, scandal and betrayal sensitively probes one family’s problems. Chchanda, the sarcastic, precocious teenage narrator, burns with resentment and insecurity when Aunt Madhulika, who raised her, brings home a fiance, selfish lawyer Pretap Singh…In sharp, shining prose Indian first novelist Aikath-Gyaltsen dissects domestic life with the gimlet precision of Jane Austen.”
– Publishers Weekly

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