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Douglas Coupland: Player One

Probably the best known name (internationally) on this year’s Giller Prize, that Douglas Coupland’s novel made the Giller list was still, to me, a surprise.  It is a novel, but actually it is Coupland’s contribution to the Massey Lectures, an annual event in Canada, directed at “enable distinguished authorities to…

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Cordelia Strube: Lemon

I try to avoid comparisons to Holden Caulfield as much as possible.  Such is the abundance of potential heirs to the great first person narrator of The Catcher in the Rye that it is practically a cliché to label them as such, and it usually leads to disappointment anyway.  Comparisons seem to come every time a…

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John Williams: Stoner

Earlier this year I read and reviewed John Williams’s other well known works, each a masterpiece: Butcher’s Crossing and Augustus.  The first John Williams book I bought, though — and the first I’d heard of, and the first I heard great things about, indeed, the book that made me go…

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2010 Giller Prize Longlist

This morning the 2010 Giller Prize longlist was announced: David Bergen: The Matter with Morris Douglas Coupland: Player One Michael Helm: Cities of Refuge Alexander MacLeod: Light Lifting Avner Mandelman: The Debba Tom Rachman: The Imperfectionists Sarah Selecky: This Cake Is for the Party Johanna Skibsrud: The Sentimentalist Cordelia Strube:…

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Jennifer Egan: The Keep

You may remember that I read and loved Jennifer Egan’s new book A Visit from the Goon Squad.  While looking up various discussions about that book, I found quite a bit of esteem for her past books and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one.  Look at Me was…

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Jenny Erpenbeck: Visitation

Jenny Erpenbeck is one of those names that I frequently catch glimpses of in my peripheral vision.  She was longlisted for the 2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Book of Words, but I didn’t read it or even read much about it.  Other than that, I knew New Directions had…

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The Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

Today the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced. Peter Carey: Parrot and Olivier in America Emma Donoghue: Room Damon Galgut: In a Strange Room Howard Jacobson: The Finkler Question Andrea Levy: The Long Song Tom McCarthy: C I’m glad to see Galgut and McCarthy on the list, as…

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David Grann: The Lost City of Z

I lived in the Brazilian Amazon for two years.  I spent a lot of that time in the city of Belém, which is at the mouth of the Amazon river, just where it shoots for miles and miles into the Atlantic Ocean, and in the city of Santarém, which is…