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« Friday Cat Blogging | Main | Things that are best left in poems »

April 07, 2006

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Josh

I'd like to recommend Brown Girl, Brownstones, not just for its rich depiction of mid-century West Indian life in NYC but because it's one of those rarities, a major 1950's U.S. novel that affirms female agency. It's like the anti-Shirley Jackson in that way, I guess.

Steve

Err. Why on earth is Hillary Rodham Clinton on that list? Especially when neither Mary McCarthy nor Lillian Hellman made the cut. Sharon Rocha is Laci Peterson's... mother, I think? Her inclusion on this list is boggling.

Rachel Ray is a cookbook author who has a show on the Food Network, L.P. Kamala Markandaya is an Anglo-Indian writer who I think wrote in the '50s and '60s; I've read A Handful of Rice, but it didn't make much of an impression.

And they're waaaay outside your period and areas of professional interest, but Patricia Highsmith's thrillers, particularly The Talented Mr. Ripley, are excellent, fun reading (even ignoring the rather tangled view of male gender roles that Highsmith presents). I haven't read any of Highsmith's her lesbian novel, The Price of Salt (her thrillers are pretty much exclusively focussed on men), but I know at least one person who thinks highly of it.

bob

Elizabeth Strout's Amy and Isabelle, about a mother and daughter in Maine, is a very good book. Her new novel Abide with Me, just released to excellent reviews, concerns a Protestant minister, also in Maine, whose hero is Bonhoeffer but who himself is feeling lost after the death of his wife. I was impressed by how Strout handles a man not in control of his situation. Strout herself, married to a New York Jew, is not religious but an interested observer.

guile

the lovely bones.. i love that book :)..

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