Author: Penelope Lively
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize Penelope Lively won Britain's prestigious Booker Prize for this deeply moving, elegantly structured novel. Elderly, uncompromising Claudia Hampton lies in a London hospital bed with memories of life fluttering through her fading consciousness. An author of popular history, Claudia proclaims she's carrying out her last project: a history of the world. This history turns out to be a mosaic of her life, her own story tangled with those of her brother, her lover and father of her daughter, and the center of her life, Tom, her one great love found and lost in war-torn Egypt. Always the independent woman, often with contentious relationships, Claudia's personal history is complex and fascinating. As people visit Claudia, they shake and twist the mosaic, changing speed, movement, and voice, to reveal themselves and Claudia's impact on their world.
Author: Hilary Mantel
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe oppose him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his advisor, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum and a deadlock. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. The son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a bully and a charmer, Cromwell has broken all the rules of a rigid society in his rise to power. Narrowly escaping personal disaster—the loss of his young family and of Wolsey, his beloved patron—he picks his way deftly through a court where “man is wolf to man.” Pitting himself against parliament, the political establishment and the papacy, he is prepared to reshape England to his own and Henry’s desires. In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. Wolf Hall re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hair’s breadth, where success brings unlimited power, but a single failure means death.
Author: Mike Poulton, Hilary Mantel
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
THE STORY: Mike Poulton’s two-part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novels is a thrilling portrait of a brilliant manipulator navigating a high-stakes political landscape. WOLF HALL begins in England in 1527. King Henry VIII needs a male heir, and his anger grows as months pass without the divorce he craves. Into this volatile court enters the commoner Thomas Cromwell. Once a mercenary and now a master politician, he sets out to grant King Henry’s desire while methodically and ruthlessly pursuing his own Reforming agenda.
The English Patient
Author: Michael Ondaatje
With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. Hana, the exhausted nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burned man who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal,and rescue illuminates this book like flashes of heat lightening. From the Hardcover edition.
History of Wolves
Author: Emily Fridlund
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
“So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth this provides!”—Aimee Bender Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do—and fail to do—for the people they love. Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, Emily Fridlund’s propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent.
In a Free State
Author: V. S. Naipaul
No writer has rendered our boundariless, post-colonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, or given its upheavals such a hauntingly human face. A perfect case in point is this riveting novel, a masterful and stylishly rendered narrative of emigration, dislocation, and dread, accompanied by four supporting narratives. In the beginning it is just a car trip through Africa. Two English people—Bobby, a civil servant with a guilty appetite for African boys, and Linda, a supercilious “compound wife”—are driving back to their enclave after a stay in the capital. But in between lies the landscape of an unnamed country whose squalor and ethnic bloodletting suggest Idi Amin’s Uganda. And the farther Naipaul’s protagonists travel into it, the more they find themselves crossing the line that separates privileged outsiders from horrified victims. Alongside this Conradian tour de force are four incisive portraits of men seeking liberation far from home. By turns funny and terrifying, sorrowful and unsparing, In A Free State is Naipaul at his best.
Author: Hilary Mantel
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
One dark and stormy night in 1956, a stranger named Fludd mysteriously turns up in the dismal village of Fetherhoughton. He is the curate sent by the bishop to assist Father Angwin-or is he? In the most unlikely of places, a superstitious town that understands little of romance or sentimentality, where bad blood between neighbors is ancient and impenetrable, miracles begin to bloom. No matter how copiously Father Angwin drinks while he confesses his broken faith, the level of the bottle does not drop. Although Fludd does not appear to be eating, the food on his plate disappears. Fludd becomes lover, gravedigger, and savior, transforming his dull office into a golden regency of decision, unashamed sensation, and unprecedented action. Knitting together the miraculous and the mundane, the dreadful and the ludicrous, Fludd is a tale of alchemy and transformation told with astonishing art, insight, humor, and wit.
Bring Up the Bodies
Author: Hilary Mantel
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize Winner of the 2012 Costa Book of the Year Award The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head? Bring Up the Bodies is one of The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2012, one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012 and one of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2012
The Worm in the Bud
Author: Chris Collett
In Birmingham a local journalist is found dead in his home. A puncture wound in his arm a testimony to his death by lethal injection, the cryptic note by his side: 'no more', seems at first to suggest suicide but Detective Inspector Tom Mariner has learned to take nothing at face value. There is something a little too staged about events, especially as just that evening Mariner had witnessed Edward Barham pick up a prostitute in a bar. As the police investigate the house further, they discovers there is another witness to events at 34 Clarendon Avenue. Barham's younger brother, Jamie, is found in a cupboard under the stairs. It seems likely that Jamie Barham had witnessed his brother's killing but his severe autism has left him without the means to communicate what he has seen Mariner is determined to build enough of a relationship with Jamie to get to the truth. And the fact that this means spending time with Anna Barham, Jamie's new - and reluctant - guardian, is no great hardship. But is Edward's death related to his recent investigations into a local crimelord. Or is there something else, something that only Jamie can tell them - if he so chooses.
Author: Eleanor Catton
Publisher: Little, Brown
The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."--New York Times Book Review It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.
Author: Barry Unsworth
Winner of the Booker Prize A historical novel set in the eighteenth century, Sacred Hunger is a stunning, engrossing exploration of power, domination, and greed in the British Empire as it entered fully into the slave trade and spread it throughout its colonies. Barry Unsworth follows the failing fortunes of William Kemp, a merchant pinning his last chance to a slave ship; his son who needs a fortune because he is in love with an upper-class woman; and his nephew who sails on the ship as its doctor because he has lost all he has loved. The voyage meets its demise when disease spreads among the slaves and the captain's drastic response provokes a mutiny. Joining together, the sailors and the slaves set up a secret, utopian society in the wilderness of Florida, only to await the vengeance of the single-minded, young Kemp.
Author: Hilary Mantel
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Hailed as a "writer of subtlety and depth," Hilary Mantel turns her dark genius on the world of psychics in this smart, unsettling novel (Joyce Carol Oates) A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison. Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion. Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist. It is not long before Alison's connection to the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest- insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.
Author: Paul Beatty
Publisher: TPC Books
Dickens, an "agrarian ghetto," is the fictional Los Angeles hood at the center of Paul Beatty's scathingly satirical novel, The Sellout. It's a book that, as poet Kevin Young writes in his perceptive New York Times review, "isn't for the fainthearted." Beatty — the first American novelist to win the coveted Man Booker Award — is a comic genius at the top of his game and in The Sellout, he dares to question almost every received notion about American society. Buckle your seat belts.
The Courier's Tale
Author: Peter Walker
Publisher: A&C Black
Like the Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall, The Courier's Tale is set in the treacherous worlds of the English court of Henry VIII, where Thomas Cromwell holds sway, and Machiavellian Italy.
Author: Anna Burns
Publisher: Faber & Faber
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 'Milkman is extraordinary. I've been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It's frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time.' - Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.