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If You Like Margaret Atwood

  • If You Like Margaret Atwood

“Though known for her dystopian themes, Margaret Atwood’s literary style often incorporates mythical/fairy tale images into past, present, and future worlds that remain recognizably modern. Her protagonists are primarily women (often artists or writers) in difficult situations but who are never passive victims. Graceful, polished prose describes complex characters and storylines. There is always more beneath the surface, which allows readers to appreciate her novels on a variety of levels. Atwood weaves serious feminist concerns into highly readable stories, leavened by wit and humor.” – NoveList Description

If You Like Margaret Atwood, You Might Like…

Kindred

Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler's 1979 masterpiece and ground-breaking exploration of power and responsibility, for fans of The Handmaid's Tale, The Power and Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing. With an original foreword by Ayòbámi Adébáyò. 'If you've ever tweeted "All Lives Matter" someone needs to shove this book into your hand, and quickly' The Pool Nineteenth-century Maryland is a very dangerous place for a black woman - but Dana has no choice but to go there, and keep going back. Rufus calls Dana to him whenever his life is threatened. Neither of them understands his power, nor how two such different people will come to depend on each other for survival. And the longer Dana spends with Rufus, the more aware she is that her own life might be over before it's even begun. This is the extraordinary story of two people bound by blood, separated by so much more than time - and confronting the inescapable ties between past and present.

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The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

Michael Chabon

Set in the Jewish homeland of ... Alaska, this is a brilliantly original novel from Michael Chabon, author of THE ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY and WONDER BOYS.

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Slow Man

J.M. Coetzee

Paul Rayment is on the threshold of a comfortable old age when a calamitous cycling accident results in the amputation of a leg. Humiliated, his body truncated, his life circumscribed, he turns away from his friends. He hires a nurse named Marijana, with whom he has a European childhood in common: hers in Croatia, his in France. Tactfully and efficiently she ministers to his needs. But his feelings for her, and for her handsome teenage son, are complicated by the sudden arrival on his doorstep of the celebrated Australian novelist Elizabeth Costello, who threatens to take over the direction of his life and the affairs of his heart.

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Slammerkin

Emma Donoghue

Slammerkin: A loose gown; a loose woman. Born to rough cloth in Hogarth's London, but longing for silk, Mary Saunders's eye for a shiny red ribbon leads her to prostitution at a young age. A dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth, and the position of household seamstress, the ordinary life of an ordinary girl with no expectations. But Mary has known freedom, and having never known love, it is freedom that motivates her. Mary asks herself if the prostitute who hires out her body is more or less free than the "honest woman" locked into marriage, or the servant who runs a household not her own? And is either as free as a man? Ultimately, Mary remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets: Never give up your liberty. Clothes make the woman. Clothes are the greatest lie ever told.

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The Seven Sisters

Margaret Drabble

Candida Wilton--a woman recently betrayed, rejected, divorced, and alienated from her three grown daughters--moves from a beautiful Georgian house in lovely Suffolk to a two-room walk-up flat in a run-down building in central London. Candida is not exactly destitute. So, is the move perversity, she wonders, a survival test, or is she punishing herself? How will she adjust to this shabby, menacing, but curiously appealing city? What can happen, at her age, to change her life? And yet, as she climbs the dingy communal staircase with her suitcases, she feels both nervous and exhilarated. There is a relationship with a computer to which she now confides her past and her present. And friendships of sorts with other women--widows, divorced, never married, women straddled between generations. And then Candida's surprise inheritance . . . A beautifully rendered story, this is Margaret Drabble at her novelistic best.

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Three Junes

Julia Glass

An astonishing first novel that traces the lives of a Scottish family over a decade as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises. In June of 1989 Paul McLeod, a newspaper publisher and recent widower, travels to Greece, where he falls for a young American artist and reflects on the complicated truth about his marriage. . ..Six years later, again in June, Paul’s death draws his three grown sons and their families back to their ancestral home. Fenno, the eldest, a wry, introspective gay man, narrates the events of this unforeseen reunion. Far from his straitlaced expatriate life as a bookseller in Greenwich Village, Fenno is stunned by a series of revelations that threaten his carefully crafted defenses. . .. Four years farther on, in yet another June, a chance meeting on the Long Island shore brings Fenno together with Fern Olitsky, the artist who once captivated his father. Now pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt about the past against her wishes for the future and decide what family means to her. In prose rich with compassion and wit, Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love’s redemptive powers. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro

A meditation on mortality and lost innocence: a portrait of adolescence as that hinge moment in life when self-knowledge brings intimations of one's destiny.

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Burial Rites

Hannah Kent

SHORTLISTED FOR THE STELLA PRIZE AND THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2014 "Burial Rites is beautiful and compelling . . . it's the announcement of a writer to watch." Guardian "A gripping tale." New York Times In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson and his family, who are horrified and avoid Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the summer months fall away to winter, Agnes's story begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she? Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about freedom and the ways we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, and asks: how can one woman endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others? Fans of Anna Funder's All That I Am and Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist will love Burial Rites. PRAISE FOR HANNAH KENT "An outstandingly good debut . . . I found myself spellbound . . . Kent has done a great deal of research and transformed its results into a work of art." Literary Review

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Family Album

Penelope Lively

*NOMINATED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD* Family Album 'a hugely enjoyable read' from Booker Prize winner Penelope Lively 'This novel should delight her regular readers and ensnare new ones' Evening Standard Allersmead is a big shabby Victorian suburban house. The perfect place to grow up for elegant Sandra, difficult Gina, destructive Paul, considerate Katie, clever Roger and flighty Clare. But was it? Now adults, the children return to Allersmead one by one. To their home-making mother and aloof writer father, and a house that for years has played silent witness to a family's secrets. And one devastating secret of which no one speaks . . . 'One of those ridiculously simple, ridiculously readable novels whose artistry only becomes apparent when you put it down' Sunday Telegraph 'A pleasure to read, hugely enjoyable, consistently absorbing, hilarious' Independent Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year's Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London.

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The Executioner’s Song

Norman Mailer

A reconstruction of the crime and fate of Gary Gilmore, the convicted murderer who sought his own execution in Utah where he was imprisoned, is based on taped interviews with relatives, friends, lawyers, and law-enforcement officials

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The Road

Cormac McCarthy

NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. A New York Times Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post

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Nutshell

Ian McEwan

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb.

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The Woman Upstairs

Claire Messud

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children, a masterly new novel: the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desire for a world beyond her own. Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and lover. She has instead become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Then into her life arrives the glamorous and cosmopolitan Shahids—her new student Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale, and his parents: Skandar, a dashing Lebanese professor who has come to Boston for a fellowship at Harvard, and Sirena, an effortlessly alluring Italian artist. When Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies, Nora is drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family; she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora’s happiness explodes her boundaries, and she discovers in herself an unprecedented ferocity—one that puts her beliefs and her sense of self at stake. Told with urgency, intimacy and piercing emotion, this brilliant novel of passion and artistic fulfillment explores the intensity, thrill—and the devastating cost—of embracing an authentic life. This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

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Mudwoman

Joyce Carol Oates

“Oates is just a fearless writer…with her brave heart and her impossibly lush and dead-on imaginative powers.” —Los Angeles Times “[An] extraordinarily intense, racking, and resonant novel.” —Booklist (starred review) One of the most acclaimed writers in the world today, the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates follows up her searing, New York Times bestselling memoir, A Widow’s Story, with an extraordinary new work of fiction. Mudwoman is a riveting psychological thriller, taut with dark suspense, that explores the high price of repression in the life of a respected university president teetering on the precipice of a nervous breakdown. Like Daphne DuMaurier’s gothic masterwork, Rebecca, and the classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, Oates’s Mudwoman is a chilling page-turner that hinges on the power of the imagination and the blurry lines between the real and the invented—and it stands tall among the author’s most powerful and beloved works, including The Falls, The Gravedigger’s Daughter, and We Were the Mulvaneys.

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1984

George Orwell

George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life with extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity. “Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be. Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Arundhati Roy

2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist The Ministry of Utmost Happinessis a dazzling new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The God of Small Things. It takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Dehli and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war. It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope. The tale begins with Anjum—who used to be Aftab—unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her—including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo's landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs' Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi. As this ravishing, deeply humane novel braids these richly complex lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts.

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Beauty

Sheri S. Tepper

With the critically acclaimed novels The Gate To Women's Country, Raising The Stones, and the Hugo-nominated Grass, Sheri Tepper has established herself as one of the major science fiction writers of out Time. In Beauty, she broadens her territory even further, with a novel that evokes all the richness of fairy tale and fable. Drawing on the wellspring of tales such as "Sleeping Beauty," Beauty is a moving novel of love and loss, hope and despair, magic and nature. Set against a backdrop both enchanted and frightening, the story begins with a wicked aunt's curse that will afflict a young woman named Beauty on her sixteenth birthday. Though Beauty is able to sidestep tragedy, she soon finds herself embarked on an adventure of vast consequences. For it becomes clear that the enchanted places of this fantastic world--a place not unlike our own--are in danger and must be saved before it is too late. From the Paperback edition.

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