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by Colum McCann
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Doctorow's selective use of historical figures and events lends Ragtime its air of verisimilitude without robbing him of the freedom to imagine and distort and mythologize. It is, for a writer of fiction, the best of all possible worlds.
With the awarding of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2012/2013 literary award season is now over, which gives us the opportunity to update our list of prizewinners.
"No language could ever be exhausted by any landscape, in particular Ireland."
The more heavily McCann relies on historical figures, as distinct from history, the weaker his writing is; the more sparingly he uses historical figures, the stronger the writing is.
With each foray onto the Internet, each ping and clang, we are searching for meaning in a haystack of data, balancing perspectives, trying to find reason in a cacophony of opinion. Is it any wonder we are drawn to fiction that reflects this new way of being, to a form that’s uniquely suited to our fragmented and globalized century?
At 7,900 words strong and encompassing 79 titles, this is the only 2013 book preview you will ever need.
With the awarding of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2011/2012 literary award season is now over, which gives us the opportunity to update our list of prizewinners.
Yan’s style here is maximalistic, headlong, sloppy to be sure, but bursting with life; or rather, lives -- human and otherwise.
For an eighth year, we asked some of our favorite writers, thinkers, and readers to look back, reflect, and share. Their charge was to name, from all the books they read this year, the one(s) that meant the most to them, regardless of publication date. Grouped together, these ruminations, cheers, squibs, and essays will be a chronicle of reading and good books from every era. We hope you find in them seeds that will help make your year in reading in 2012 a fruitful one.
With the awarding of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2010/2011 literary award season is now over, which gives us the opportunity to update our list of prizewinners.
This seemingly innocent question was put to me for the first time a couple of weeks ago when a paperback review copy of a non-fiction book arrived in my mailbox.
Because of the IMPAC award’s global reach and egalitarian process, it’s always interesting to dig deeper into the longlist.
I spent a great deal of time on tour this summer, reading at bookstores from southern California to New Hampshire, and I encountered Larry Watson’s Montana 1948 toward the end of all this, a hot day in Ann Arbor when I had some time to kill before an event.
With four books heading to the Hall of Fame, that means we have four new books landing on the list, ranging from hard-boiled Scandinavian thrillers to historical fiction in 18th century Japan to a 12-year-old literary biography with a twist.
What seems key about the novel is that what we think of as a historical evolution—or a descent from a unified to a fragmented perspective—isn’t an evolution at all. In fact, the novel has always been insecure. It’s just that the manifestation of its insecurity has changed over time.
Tinkers debuts and The Corrections graduates. Plus, a controversial new number one.
Franzen stays on top. Sebald to the Hall of Fame. Tolstoy debuts.
How many complications of time and viewpoint novel can a stand and remain viable—and by “viable”, I think I mean both “elegant” and “not completely baffling.”
David Mitchell graduates to the Hall of Fame, Michael Lewis debuts, and we have a new number one.
Shoeshine Cats is admirable in part for its tinge of the improbable, its impossible suavité and secret rooms. Kestin catches us up in a gritty enchantment.
Four books debut on the list: Powell, McCann, Pevear and Volokhonsky, and Bouillier. David Mitchell vaults into the top spot.