fiction Archive

Book Review: Claire of the Sea Light

Claire Limye Lanme is all her father has. After her mother died giving birth to her, her fisherman father, Nozias, raised her in a tiny shack near the sea in Ville Rose, Haiti. Every year on her birthday, they go together to visit her mother’s grave. And every year, Nozias worries about how his

Book Review: Cinnamon and Gunpowder

Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown FSG, 2013 318  pages (hardcover) Source: Own Available IndieBound Amazon Powell’s Owen Wedgewood, chef to Lord Ramsey, spends his waking hours perfecting sauce recipes and testing the temperature of his ovens. Until the day pirates burst into the dining room right after the soup course, topple the platters

Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son: A Roundup

I don’t know about you, but I spent all of last week glued to Twitter, following the manhunt in Boston, the explosion in West Texas and the earthquake in China. I knew the Pulitzers had been announced (and that this year’s board had avoided last year’s misstep in the Fiction category) but until this

An Interview with Author Harriet Lane

The protagonist of Harriet Lane’s debut novel Alys, Always (I reviewed it here last year) was remarkably good at putting me on my guard. She raised all sorts of fascinating questions about what motivates us when it comes to the narratives we tell ourselves and others about ourselves and others. So I was thrilled

Review in the Wild: The Testament of Mary

Mary Gordon is probably the first who comes to mind when I think of women writers writing fiction about women self-identifying in relation to their children, mothers, and lovers. See her haunting Pearl, for example, or the three novellas published together as The Rest of Life, which I’m currently reading. So it’s not surprising

3 for Thursday: 3 Fictional Re-imaginings of the Lives of Scientists

When it comes to science, most publications are either research-oriented or biographical. But to put the reader in the mind of the scientist as he or she is making the greatest discoveries of history takes a fiction writer. These three re-imaginings of the lives of scientists humanize their subjects outside of and in light

Book Review: Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles Penguin, 2011 352 Pages (Paperback) Available Amazon Powell’s Take a quick-thinking, ambitious Bronte heroine, put a chilled cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and set her in a dusky Manhattan jazz bar on the eve of 1938. That’s Katey Kontent, and she’s

3 for Thursday: 3 Friend-maker Novels

Nancy Pearl describes “friend-maker” novels as “books that are so idiosyncratic that when you stumble across someone who has not only read but loved the book as much as you have, you know you’ve made a friend for life.” I’d be hard pressed to come up with an exhaustive list of my friend-makers, but
In search of belief changing ideas