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Javier Marías: Your Face Tomorrow, Vol. 2: Dance and Dream

Earlier this year I reviewed Your Face Tomorrow, Volume One: Fever and Spear, and I didn’t quite know how to go about that task.  I’m afraid it’s no easier trying to review the second volume, Dance and Dream (Tu rostro mañana, 2, Baile y sueño; tr. from the Spanish by…

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Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar

Last year Harper Perrenial inaugurated their wonderful limited Olive Editions with three titles: Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated, and Michael Chabon’s Mysteries of Pittsburgh.  I wasn’t much interested in the latter two titles, but the Olive Editions got me to finally read The Unbearable Lightness of…

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B.S. Johnson: The Unfortunates

I’ve been looking forward to this book all year but not because I knew what it was about.  No, I admit that in this case my anticipation was built up by something that could very well have been a mere gimmick.  B.S. Johnson, who committed suicide in 1973, was an…

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2009 National Book Award Winners

Young People’s Literature – Phillip Hoose: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice Poetry – Keith Waldrop: Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy Nonfiction — T. J. Stiles: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt Fiction — Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin

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David Small: Stitches

Today the National Book Awards will be announced.  Since the shortlist was announced the only finalist I’ve read was a particularly compelling YA finalist called Stitches (2009) (which also made the controversial all-male Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2009 List).  I was drawn to Stitches because it is one of those rare…

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Cormac McCarthy: Child of God

I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book as disturbing as Cormac McCarthy’s third novel, Child of God (1973).  It is my first venture to McCarthy pre-Blood Meridian (which I couldn’t finish at the time) when he was still writing about Tennessee.  What surprised me most about this book, however,…

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Winner of the 2009 Giller Prize

In a decision I and the rest of the Shadow Jury wholeheartedly agree with, the 2009 Giller Prize winner is Linden MacIntyre for The Bishop’s Man.  Congratulations!

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Mercé Rodoreda: Death in Spring

I’ve seen Mercé Rodoreda’s The Time of the Doves on several respected lists of favorite books.  That said, I have never read it, despite its being on my periphery for some time.  This past summer Open Letter Books published the first English translation of Rodoreda’s last work, published in Catalan after her death, Death in…

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Philip Roth: The Humbling

I wasn’t planning on taking a break from my reading the Giller Prize shortlist, but then Roth’s latest, The Humbling (2009), came out.  And it’s so incredibly short — only 140 pages of large typeset — that I knew this minor diversion wouldn’t disturb me too much.  Plus, Philip Roth…

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2009 Shadow Giller Winner

Alright, the Shadow Giller Jury deliberated and we have come up with our winner.  It was a unanimous choice, though all of us enjoyed the shortlist.  Please click here to be transported to KevinfromCanada’s blog where the winner is announced.  It also contains details about when the real Giller winner…