Here are the wonderful books which arrived at my house this week:
Holy Orders by Benjamin Black (August 2013) arrived from Henry Holt and Co. by way of Library Thing’s Early Review Program. This is the sixth book of the Quirke series (I read books one and two and really enjoyed them – read my reviews of Christine Falls and Silver Swan). In this novel, the body of Quirke’s daughter’s friend is brought to his autopsy table, and Quirke is plunged into a world of corruption that takes him to the darkest corners of the Irish Church and State. The story is set in Dublin at a time when newspapers are censored, social conventions are strictly defined, and appalling crimes are hushed up. Described as “haunting, fierce, and brilliantly plotted,” this book promises to be a page-turner.
Benjamin Black is a pseudonym for the Man Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville. He is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed series of Quirke novels—including Christine Falls, A Death in Summer, and Vengeance—he lives in Dublin. Learn more about Black and his work by visiting the author’s website.
The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly (October 2013) arrived from William Morrow. Tom Franklin dazzled me with his novel Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (read my review) and so I was really interested to get a copy of this novel which he has written with his wife, who is an award winning poet. This novel is a prohibition-era tale of bootleggers and revenuers. Set in Mississippi in 1927, it features Ted Ingersoll and his partner, Ham Johnson – two federal agents sent to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents who had been chasing a local bootlegger. Unexpectedly, they discover an abandoned baby boy at the crime scene. Enter Dixie Clay Holliver, a childless woman who is also a bootlegger…and someone eager to take in an orphaned baby. With time running out on all of them, Ingersoll, Ham, and Dixie Clay must make desperate choices which will transform their lives.
Tom Franklin was born in the hamlet of Dickinson, Alabama. He holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas. He is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author and won the Los Angeles Times Book Award in 2010 for Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. That novel was also nominated for nine other awards and won the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include the Edgar-winning story Poachers from teh collection under the same title. He teaches at the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Beth Ann Fennelly has won grants from the NEA, United States Artists, and Fulbright to Brazil. Her honors include the Kenyon Review Prize and three inclusions in The Best American Poetry. She has published three volumes of poetry, along with a nonfiction book, Great with Child. She directs the University of Mississippi’s MFA program, where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl (August 2013) arrived from Random House. Library Journal is calling it “this summer’s Gone Girl” and that made me take notice of the novel. From the publisher:
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years. For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself. Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world. The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.
Marisha Pessl’s bestselling debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize (now the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize), and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. Pessl grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and currently resides in New York City. Learn more about Pessl and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Finally, Picador sent me a finished copy of Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation by Rachel Cusk (July 2013). In 2003, Rachel Cusk published A Life’s Work, a memoir of the cataclysm of motherhood. Now, she offers an intimate exploration of divorce and its tremendous impact on the lives of women—and discovers opportunity as well as pain. This nonfiction book is described as “an unflinching chronicle of the upheaval of [Cusk's] own recent separation” and “a vivid study of divorce’s complex place in our society.”
Rachel Cusk is the author of two memoirs, A Life’s Work and The Last Supper (FSG, 2009), and seven novels: Saving Agnes, winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award; The Temporary; The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Lucky Ones; In the Fold; Arlington Park (FSG, 2007); and The Bradshaw Variations (FSG, 2010). She was chosen as one of Granta’s 2003 Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in Brighton, England.
Did any amazing books arrive at YOUR house this week?