Reading Recommendations for Hispanic American Heritage Month

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month! From September 15 to October 15, our country is honoring the contributions of Hispanic Americans to our culture and nation. Hispanic Americans have positively influenced many aspects of American life, from politics to the arts to civil rights. They have also had a huge impact on our nation’s literature and literary traditions. To celebrate this impact, we are highlighting some of the incredible fiction by Hispanic authors in our collection.

Dominicana by Angie Cruzcover image for Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights will be captivated by this coming-of-age story which explores immigration, love, and the shifting tides of the American Dream. In 1965, Ana Canción moves from her beloved Dominican Republic to the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City, so that she can marry and create a path to immigration for her family. Lonely and isolated in her adopted city, she plans to flee until political turmoil back home and a new romantic entanglement open her eyes to what a life in America could be.

cover image for The Spirit of Science FictionThe Spirit of Science Fiction by Roberto Bolaño

Fans of George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London and Jean Rhys’ Quartet will be drawn in by Bolaño’s portrait of 1970s Mexico City. This genre-bending novel follows the romantic and creative escapades of two aspiring Chilean writers as they struggle to carve out a place for themselves in the literary world. While one writer sinks into a dizzying creative oblivion, the other finds himself becoming a flâneur, haunting the dingy and beautiful streets of Mexico City with a circle of extravagant writers.

cover image for the Naked Woman

The Naked Woman by Armonía Somers

The premise for The Naked Woman can be distilled simply: a woman’s feminist awakening drives a hypocritical village to madness in rural Uruguay. But this description can only hint at the brilliant brutality of Somers’ text and Maude’s translation. This intense, surreal novel exposes the violence of the male ego and the destructive power of societal misogyny. Originally published in 1950 to an audience shocked by its graphic eroticism, it is now considered an iconic work of feminism.

 

cover image for fruit of the drunken treeFruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Inspired by Rojas Contreras’ own life, this debut novel explores youth and childhood in Colombia under drug lord Pablo Escobar’s violent reign. Born and raised in a gated community in the city of Bogotá, Colombia, seven-year-old Chula has grown up sheltered from the violence and crime that ravaged the city’s streets. But when she grows close to her family’s new maid, Petrona, Chula finds herself drawn into a new realm of secrecy and betrayal. As the novel rockets to its conclusion, both girls find themselves faced with impossible choices as their world descends into chaos.

What’s on your “To Read” list for Hispanic American Heritage Month? Let us know!

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Reading Recommendations for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month. As Anti-Asian hate crimes are on the rise and the AAPI community is threatened by ignorance and cruelty, this APAHM feels particularly important. It is a time to reflect on all of the tremendous gifts, literary and otherwise, that the Asian-American community has contributed to our country and the world. With this in mind, we are highlighting some of the incredible new works by Asian-American authors in our collection.

cover art for Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless GirlsLong Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden

Literary essayist Madden’s debut memoir pulls no punches in depicting her coming of age as queer, biracial teenager in Boco Raton, Florida. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls fearlessly lays bare the many contradictions of Madden’s young life–from the immense privileges of her wealthy upbringing, to the trauma and isolation wrought by her parents’ drug addiction, to the precious and devastating nature of friendship between fatherless girls.

 

cover art for The Color of AirThe Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama

Tsukiyama’s brilliant historical novel tells the story of a Japanese-American family, set against the backdrop of Hawai’i’s sugar plantations. Just as long-standing family secrets and tensions appear primed to explode, another devastating eruption occurs: that of Mauna Loa volcano.

 

cover art for The Unpassing

 

 

The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin

Lin’s gripping debut novel interrogates the myth of the American Dream through a Taiwanese immigrant family struggling to get by in Anchorage, Alaska. When tragedy strikes, the resultant upheaval forces the family to reckon with grief and guilt amidst unfamiliar, and often unforgiving, surroundings.

 

cover art for How Much of These Hills is GoldHow Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

In Zhang’s epic Western set during the American Gold Rush, the orphaned children of Chinese immigrants set out across a harsh and unforgiving landscape in the hopes of burying their father, and their past. The unforgettable sights and adventures they encounter along the way provide a fascinating glimpse of the future that might await them.

 

cover art for Pachinko

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Lee’s powerful historical novel follows a single Korean family through a dramatic saga of betrayal, sacrifice, ambition, and love. The family’s tumultuous story begins with a young Sunja’s unplanned and potentially devastating pregnancy. Unbeknownst to her, the choices Sunja makes will reverberate through generations to come.

 

 

Anti-Violence and Anti-Racism Resources to Support the AAPI Community:

https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/

https://www.advancingjustice-aajc.org/anti-asian-hate

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/anti-racism-resources-support-asian-american-pacific-islander-community-n1260467

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a35862857/stop-asian-hate-organizations-to-support/

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Summer Reading in the Classics

Looking for some classics-inspired reading to sink your teeth into this summer? Check out this list of fiction set in the ancient world or drawing inspiration from Greco-Roman mythology.

Blue cover with a golden Grecian helmet emblazoned with the book title.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Click for catalog link.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

A heartbreaking retelling of the Trojan War from the perspective of Patroclus. Our narrator meets the heroic Achilles at a young age, and we watch alongside him as his companion grows into a seemingly invincible warrior. Throughout their adolescence and preparation for war, their relationship develops into one of profound love. By the time the pair reach the beaches of Troy, the plot churns forward as the audience braces for an inevitably tragic end. Fans of this novel should definitely check out Miller’s Circe and her earlier novella Galatea.

 

 

Purple and gold illustration of the Trojan Horse with five women in front of it.

The Women of Troy by Pat Barker. Release date: June 2021.

The Women of Troy by Pat Barker

Set in the aftermath of the sacking of Troy, this novel gives a voice to the women left behind in the aftermath of a bloody Greek victory. Briseis, a Trojan royal captured by Achilles, navigates the shattered world of her ruined city alongside the other overlooked women of the former court. A gritty, visceral imagining that pairs seamlessly with Barker’s previous novel set during the Trojan War, The Silence of the Girls.

 

 

 

 

Illustration of Roman women in archways with stars in the distance.

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper. Release date: May 2021.

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

A story about Pompeii that fleshes out the people living in the ill-fated town. Amara is a sex worker in a city brothel (a lupanar, or wolf den) attempting to assert her agency in a society that denies her bodily autonomy. An absorbing tale of womanhood and resistance that will resonate with contemporary readers looking for strong female characters in a vivid reimagining of the past.

 

 

 

 

A still life of a Roman feast with a robed figure standing next to it.

Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King. Click for catalog link.

Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King
Enslaved Thrasius navigates a dangerous political climate and the changing whims of his avaricious gourmand of a master, Apicius, as he serves extravagant dishes to Rome’s most powerful patricians in the Augustan age. Richly detailed and emotionally evocative, King presents a sumptuous feast of a novel inspired by a centuries-old collection of recipes. Her world-building is excellent; she instantly draws readers into the past through her sensory-laden prose. May leave you hungry, may not — depends on how deeply you crave peacock meatballs, milk snails, and flamingo tongues.

 

 

A woman underwater covering her face.

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons.

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons
A clever reimagining of Medusa that tackles relatable themes of loneliness and companionship. It follows Medusa through her daily life of isolation as she reminisces on her long-lost days of human existence and waits for something to break the monotony of life as a lone monster. She begins to seek solace in visits from the god Hermes, and as the years roll by, their relationship strengthens. A feminist take on Medusa that grants her much more happiness than the myths.

 

 

 

An illustration of a woman in all orange with sun rays radiating from her head.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne is a formidable new force in mythological retellings. It follows Ariadne and Phaedra, princesses of Crete, from the birth of their younger half-brother Asterion (more popularly known as the Minotaur) to their subsequent separations, marriages, and tragic ends. This is a well-written woman-centered story that breathes life into mythical characters. Saint raises questions of women’s autonomy and her characters acknowledge and challenge their own limitations in a world that disproportionately punishes women. Fans of Madeline Miller, Margaret Atwood, and Pat Barker will find much to savor in this bold new story.

 

A girl in a pink coat holds a statuette of the Eiffel Tower.

Lovely War by Julie Berry. Click for catalog link.

Lovely War by Julie Berry
Set against the backdrops of World War I and II, Lovely War follows Aphrodite, Hephaestus, and Ares as they recount the lives of four teenagers finding love during the Great War. Filled with memorable characters, lush prose, and vivid settings, the novel considers how love persists even in immense peril. The Olympian trio provides a timeless framing to the woven narrative of the two young couples fighting for their lives and their happiness amidst a global catastrophe.

 

 

 

A black cover with a bust of a Grecian marble statue with the title "The Maidens" covering the eyes.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Release date June 2021.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
One by one, the students of a brilliant, charismatic Cambridge classics professor are found dead. Grieving therapist Mariana receives a panicked call from her niece Zoe, whose friend and classmate is the first to show up brutally murdered in the woods off campus. Rushing to Cambridge – a place imbued with memories, as she recalls meeting her recently deceased husband when they were young students there – Mariana comforts Zoe and starts to pick apart the threads of the mystery unraveling before her. If you’ve read The Secret History by Donna Tartt, this classics-inspired contemporary thriller should definitely be on your to-read shelf.

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New Fiction Spotlight: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

Cover art for the Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“I don’t question God,” declares the titular character of “Eulah,” the first story in The Secret Lives of Church Ladies.

“But maybe you should question the people who taught you this version of God. Because it’s not doing you any favors,” the narrator replies.

This exchange is at the crux of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection. The collection is full of hope, heartbreak, hunger, and love. Its protagonists find themselves torn between the demands of church and family and those of their own bodies. They wrestle with their appetites, illicit or otherwise, and usually come out on top in one way or another.

The nine stories that make up The Secret Lives of Church Ladies span a wide array of turbulent and fascinating relationships with mothers, fathers, sisters, and lovers. In “Dear Sister,” a woman writes a letter to the half-sister she’s never met to inform her of the death of their father. In “Snowfall,” the narrator struggles to adjust to both the realities of living in a northern climate and her mother’s disavowal of her relationship with another woman.

Despite these tumultuous relationships, the stories are full of comfort—offered from sister to sister, daughter to mother, and lover to lover. These offerings are often in the form of food, whether it be homemade, fast-food, or frozen.

One of the collection’s most powerful stories, for example, is “Peach Cobbler,” which begins: “My mother’s peach cobbler was so good, it made God himself cheat on his wife.” Like many in the collection, “Peach Cobbler” deals with infidelity, unhealthy relationships, and the ache to be loved with wry humor and compassion.

Each story is told in the first-person, lending the collection a powerful intimacy. The reader is left feeling as though they really have been let in on the secret lives of these powerful storytellers. In The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Philyaw paints nuanced portraits of vulnerable and resilient women who rely upon each other and create communities worth treasuring.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies is available now at the Literatures and Languages Library.

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Reading Recommendations For Native American Heritage Month

“I’ve been taught bloodstones can cure a snakebite / can stop the bleeding—most people forgot this / when the war ended.” So begins the titular work of Postcolonial Love Poem, the latest  collection from award-winning poet Natalie Diaz. 

November is Native American Heritage Month, also known as American Indian Heritage Month. To celebrate, we are highlighting a few recently published works by Indigenous authors in our collection. The books linked below are as unique and multifaceted as the cultures they depict. They explore such ideas as reconciliation, dream-sharing, feminine power, resilience, and what it means to create a home. They grapple with trauma, violence, and racism in turn, but they are also touched with a deep sense of hope and love.

Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age By: Darrel McLeod

As a small boy in remote Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod is immersed in his Cree family’s history, passed down in the stories of his mother, Bertha. There he is surrounded by her tales of joy and horror. And there young Darrel learns to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that will guide him throughout his life.

But after a series of tragic losses, Bertha turns wild and unstable, and their home life becomes chaotic. Mamaskatch traces McLeod’s struggles to keep his life and family together, and come to terms with his sexual identity, amidst violence and chaos. 

 

Postcolonial Love Poem By: Natalie Diaz

Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages—bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers—be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: “Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden.” In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.

Sabrina & Corina By: Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado—a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite—these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

In “Sugar Babies,” ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. “Any Further West” follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In “Tomi,” a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, “Sabrina & Corina,” a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual.

Rebel Poet (Continuing the Oral Tradition): more stories from the 21st century Indian By: Louis V. Clark III (Two Shoes)

This eagerly anticipated follow-up to the breakout memoir How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century delves more deeply into the themes of family, community, grief, and the struggle to make a place in the world when your very identity is considered suspect. In Rebel Poet: More Stories from a 21st Century Indian, author Louis Clark examines the effects of his mother’s alcoholism and his young sister’s death, offers an intimate recounting of the backlash he faced as an Indian on the job, and celebrates the hard-fought sense of home he and his wife have created. Rebel Poet continues the author’s tradition of seamlessly mixing poetry and prose, and is at turns darker and more nuanced than its predecessor

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Looking for Something to Read? Try These Titles!

Undecided on what to read next? Stuck in a reading slump? We can help! Here are some recommendations you can find in the library catalog:

Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

book cover: a woman in a vintage red dress stands in front of a green background

Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Click for catalog link.

 

If you’re looking for a book to keep you up at night, Mexican Gothic is the perfect choice. When Noemí receives a worrying letter from her cousin, she travels to High Place, where Catalina lives with her husband and his strange family, the Doyles. When strange dreams and happenings begin to plague her, Noemí suspects there is more to High Place than meets the eye. Mexican Gothic is an eerie, gothic tale of horror that will leave you thoroughly spooked.

 

 

 

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

cover art for dear edward. click for catalog link

Dear Edward, by Ann Napolitano. Click for catalog link.

 

When Edward boards a plane to Los Angeles with his family, the last thing he expects is for it to crash–and to leave him as the only survivor. He goes to live with his aunt and uncle, where, over the course of many years, he tries to find his place and purpose in the world. A haunting coming-of-age story, Dear Edward is a breathtaking tale that will leave you thinking about it for days to come.

 

 

 

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

cover art for the stationery shop. click for catalog link

The Stationery Shop, by Marjan Kamali. Click for catalog link.

The year is 1953. Roya loves the stationery shop owned by Mr. Fakhri. It’s her oasis in Tehran, a place she can feel safe. When she’s set up by self-proclaimed matchmaker Mr. Fakhri, a beautiful romance blooms between her and another customer, Bahman. On the day before they’re to be married, they agree to meet in the town square, though due to a coup, they are unable to meet. After attempts to contact Bahman fail, Roya moves on with her life, but years later, fate brings Roya and Bahman together again. And this time, Roya is determined to know what happened all those years ago. If you like literary fiction with a slice of romance, The Stationery Shop is a perfect choice.

 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

cover art for the secret history

The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. Click for catalog link.

 

Maybe you’re interested in the dark side of academia. If so, The Secret History is a great choice. When Richard leaves his hometown to attend Hampden College, he finds himself introduced to an elite group of Classics scholars, led by the enigmatic Julian Morrow. Soon, though, he finds himself embroiled in a plot to murder one of their own: a fellow student, Bunny. Told through flashbacks leading up to Bunny’s death, The Secret History is a chilling work of fiction deserving of its bestseller status.

 

 

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

cover art of djinn patrol on the purple line. click for catalog link

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, by Deepa Anappara. Click for catalog link.

 

Nine-year-old Jai considers himself to be one of the smartest kids at his school. So when one of his classmates goes missing, he’s determined to find him, believing the crime-solving skills he’s picked up from watching too much television will help solve the case. But when more children begin to go missing and the police force remains indifferent, Jai and his friends must confront a terrifying reality. Based on real disappearances occurring in metropolitan India, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is an emotional thriller sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Translating the Classics, Graphically

What’s on your to-read list?

If you’re anything like us, your to-read list is ever-expanding, as exciting new books jump the queue over hulking classics you’re a little embarrassed you haven’t read by now.

The internet is replete with articles like “Classic Novels Everyone Should Read” and “30 Classics You Should Read Before You Die.” These lists are populated by novels like Great Expectations, Moby Dick, and Animal Farm. Intimidating lists like these can discourage even the most intrepid reader.

Some people give up on the classics before they’ve truly started them, intimidated by their length or density. Others are skeptical of their relevance to modern life. Many more simply lack the time and energy to wade through “the great books.”

But while there is no required reading list for life, who among us would not like to know these classics? Or at least know them well enough to understand what’s so very “great” about them?

A page from Tim Hamilton’s graphic adaption of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

This is where the graphic adaptation comes in. This increasingly popular format blends words, panels, and illustrations to create a highly readable and accessible new work. Some of these graphic interpretations are so innovative and beautiful they could qualify as literary masterpieces in their own right.

A quick internet search will reveal that an astonishing number of literary classics have been adapted in this way. Everything from The Great Gatsby to Paradise Lost to The Stranger has received the graphic novel treatment.

And why not? Because they distill stories into essential dialogue and visuals, graphic novels are quick reads. They can thus provide fascinating introductions to topics, ideas, and even genres of literature a reader might have otherwise discounted as out of reach. In this way, a graphic adaptation can provide a point of entry to a whole new world of stories.

Have you read any great graphic adaptations of literary classics? If not, we’ve included 3 of our favorites below to help you get you started.

Thoreau at Walden, adapted by John Porcellino

 Each artist has their own interpretation of the text, and some books are more suited to the graphic treatment than others.  As in any adaptation, sometimes sacrifices have to be made to fit the new format.

John Porcellino’s Thoreau at Walden, for example, distills Henry David Thoreau’s sojourn at Walden Pond into its most essential lessons, telling the rest of the story through deceptively simple illustrations.

 

 

Meg, Jo Beth, and Amy, adapted by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo 

Some artists use graphic adaptations to put a modern spin on a much-beloved classic. Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy, for example, reimagines the March sisters as part of a multi-ethnic blended family coming up, and coming out, in modern-day New York City. It’s hard to imagine, Louisa May Alcott, a staunch abolitionist and feminist, would object to this adaptation of Little Women.

 

To Kill A Mockingbird, adapted by Fred Fordham

 In 2018, PBS launched an eight-part series called The Great American Read. The series was designed to get Americans reading and talking passionately about books, and encouraged viewers to cast their votes in determining America’s top 100 best-loved novels. The results were a fascinating mix of classic and modern titles included on many people’s to-read lists.

But America’s number one best-loved novel proved to be Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, a coming-of-age story told against the backdrop of simmering racial tensions in small town Alabama. If this classic is on your to-read list, check out Fred Fordham’s graphic adaptation, available in the Literatures and Languages Library’s very own collection.

 

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More Fiction to Read at Home

Happy summer!

With the weather warming up, classes ending, and summertime starting, there’s no better time to find a new book. I understand, though, that finding a new book to read can be tough, so the library is here to help! If you’ve been struggling to pick up a book or can’t decide what to read, here are some great recommendations to start off the summer. All books can be accessed through the library as ebooks or audiobooks. Click titles for catalog access.


Slumberland, Paul Beatty

Booker Award-winning author Paul Beatty’s 2008 novel, Slumberland, tells the story of a Los Angeles DJ who travels to Berlin in search of the perfect person to accompany his latest masterpiece. His journey takes him through the streets of Berlin, where he begins to search for meaning and identity in the world around him. Slumberland is insightful, thoughtful, and, at times, hilarious. Beatty is an incredible writer, and Slumberland is just one novel in an entire catalog of impressive work.

To see other novels by Paul Beatty, click here

 

Machines Like Me, Ian McEwan

McEwan sets his latest novel in an alternate 1980’s London, where England lost the Falklands War, Alan Turing is still alive, and the internet and social media already exist. The story follows Adam–a synthetic human, or android–as he’s acquired by a man named Charlie, who then programs him with the help of a woman named Miranda. McEwan’s novel asks, among several other questions, just what makes us human, and whether machines are capable of understanding human emotion.

To see other novels by Ian McEwan, click here

 

 

All Grown Up, Jami Attenberg

Andrea Bern doesn’t know who she is. Sure, she knows what to tell her therapist, but behind closed doors, she is alone, a drinker, a former artist, and more. While those around her are growing up and having children, she wonders what it really means to be an adult, as she is on a different path than the rest of her siblings and friends. When Andrea’s niece is born with a life-threatening condition, she and her family must come together and reexamine their priorities. Told in a series of vignettes, All Grown Up is a clear demonstration of Attenberg’s skills as a storyteller.

To see other novels by Jami Attenberg, click here

 

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan

After feeling the effects of the Great Recession, Clay Jannon begins working at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, though he soon learns that there is more to this store than books. Customers are rare, and instead of buying anything, they simply check-out various books from odd corners of the store. Curious, Clay devises a plan to research these folks, but when he eventually brings his findings to Mr. Penumbra himself, Clay learns that more secrets await him in the mysterious bookstore.

To see other novels by Robin Sloan, click here.

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Congratulations to the 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction & Poetry!

After being delayed due to Covid-19, the winners of the Pulitzer Prize were announced via livestream on May 5th, 2020. The winner for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was Colson Whitehead, for his work The Nickel Boys, and the winner for Poetry was Jericho Brown, for his poetry collection The Tradition.

In addition to the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, Whitehead was awarded the Prize once before in 2017 for his novel, The Underground Railroad. Many of Whitehead’s works can be found in the library, plenty of which are available as ebooks and audiobooks. For more information about Colson Whitehead and his works, you can visit his website and twitter page.

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Book. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead. Click for catalog link.

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E-Audiobook. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. Click for catalog link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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E-Audiobook. The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead. Click for catalog link.

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E-Audiobook. John Henry Days, by Colson Whitehead. Click for catalog link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jericho Brown is an American poet and professor at Emory University. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, he has also been awarded the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. For more information on Brown, you can visit his website and twitter page.

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Book. The Tradition, by Jericho Brown. Click for catalog link.

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Book. Please, by Jericho Brown. Click for catalog link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book. The New Testaments, by Jericho Brown. Click for catalog link.

 

 

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Literary Fiction to Read at Home

Even though the library’s closed, there are an abundance of resources you can still access online, including ebooks and audiobooks. Below, you’ll find recommendations of award-winning and entertaining works of literary fiction, all of which can be accessed as an ebook or audiobook through the library catalog.

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (Audiobook)

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All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. Click for catalog link.

 

A Pulitzer Prize winning book, All The Light We Cannot See follows a French girl and a German boy as they each try to survive WWII. When the Nazis occupy Paris, Marie-Laure and her father flee to Saint-Malo, hoping to find some sort of safety. Werner Pfennig is an orphan living in Germany and has a knack for building and fixing radios. When he’s enlisted by the Nazis to track down the enemy, he finds himself struggling to support the cause. Beautifully written, Doerr weaves the lives of Marie and Werner together with powerful prose and moving imagery.

 

 

Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward (Audiobook)

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Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward. Click for catalog link.

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, Salvage the Bones tells the story of a rural, working-class family who must survive hurricane Katrina. In the town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, hurricane season can mean destruction. When a hurricane begins to form over the Gulf of Mexico, Esch and her family must prepare for the potential danger while also facing their own personal struggles. Esch’s father is mostly absent and only concerned about the looming hurricane. Esch is pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is trying to sneak food to a litter of puppies, and her other brothers Randall and Junior are trying to find their place in the family. Following the week leading up to Hurricane Katrina, Jesmyn Ward’s award-winning novel is a powerful and revelatory story.

 

Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (Ebook)

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Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders. Click for catalog link.

A Booker Prize-winning book, Lincoln in the Bardo takes place in February of 1862. The Civil War has just begun, and Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie is deathly ill. When he passes away a mere few days later, he’s buried in a Georgetown cemetery, which Lincoln has reportedly visited several times. From this, Saunders weaves a story with an astounding cast of characters, including Lincoln’s own son, who finds himself in a bardo, or a place of purgatory. There, ghosts and spirits mingle and communicate with one another, ultimately seeking to help both Willie Lincoln and his father find peace. A moving exploration of love, death, and grief, Lincoln in the Bardo is an utterly captivating story.

 

The Overstory, Richard Powers (Audiobook)

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The Overstory, by Richard Powers. Click for catalog link.

 

Written by an alumnus of the University of Illinois and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Overstory is a story about the power of activism and the natural world. Following a cast of characters who each have a special relationship to trees and nature, Powers interweaves their individual stories as they try to fight for the survival of the Redwoods. Their stories show the world beyond ours–a world of beauty, nature, and magnificence.

 

 

 

Women Talking, Miriam Toews (Audiobook) 

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Women Talking, by Miriam Toews. Click for catalog link.

 

When a group of Mennonite women learn that they’ve been drugged and attacked by men from their own community, they come together in an attempt to protect one another and their daughters from further harm. While the men are away, these women meet to make a difficult choice: do they stay in the community, or do they risk the danger of running away?  Women Talking is a story of women reclaiming their power despite the odds being stacked against them.

 

 

 

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (Audiobook) 

Cover Art

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. Click for catalog link.

 

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction, The Underground Railroad follows the story of a woman named Cora, who learns about the Underground Railroad through a man named Cesar. In Whitehead’s novel, though, the Underground Railroad is an actual railroad, with a network of stations, trains, and tracks. Together Cora and Cesar risk escape, fleeing from state to state trying to avoid a slave catcher named Ridgeway. The Underground Railroad is a powerful narrative about the terrors faced by slaves in the pre-Civil War era, and one woman’s fierce determination to escape bondage.

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