A brilliant psychological thriller and one of the best crime novels of the 20th Century. Highsmith is a masterful storyteller and has written an insanely readable book. A supremely stylish page turner with one of the most wonderfully amoral protagonists of all time.
Born in Illinois in 1908 and Fiction Editor at the New Yorker for almost 40 years William Maxwell was one of the true greats of American literature. This is not a happy story by any stretch of the imagination but this is a heartbreaking book of great beauty and subtlety. A meditation on memory, grief, loss, guilt and regret, all human emotion is here (just not the happy ones!). At a mere 153 pages this is a small, flawless gem of a novel.
A richly layered multi-generational tale talking about race in America, this is a big book talking about big themes. Despite its size and scope Powers has written an intensely beautiful and intimate story, heartbreaking too. If Jonathan Franzen deserves the accolades here in the UK then Richard Powers most certainly does. He is in my opinion one of the very best writers in America today and deserves a wider audience here.
This account of what happened to a Syrian-American man and his family after Hurricane Katrina is a powerful indictment of Bush-era policies. Good Samaritan Abdulrahman Zeitoun has stayed on the city using his canoe to navigate the deeply flooded streets, rescuing survivors and feeding trapped dogs. When the National Guard arrive and arrest Zeitoun the nightmare that ensues is both devastating and brutal. The story will make you angry and leave you in disbelief but you will be inspired by Zeitoun’s dignity and selflessness in the face on such a terrible turn of events.
A tragic comic novel and the funniest account of a nervous breakdown I’ve ever read. In a mock heroic quest for life, successful, dynamic Rosa packs in her job and leaves her settled life but her bid for freedom from the chains of everyday life turns into a blackly funny fall from grace. Kavanna has a truly original voice, a sharp, funny commentary on modern day life.