Our literature contributor, Elizabeth Lane, is back with her suggestions of books to savor this month. These female authors use their exemplary voices to weave tales of truth and history, stories we can learn and grow from.
On my nightstand now . . .
You may remember Susan Choi from her brilliant novel “American Woman” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, or her other three stunning novels. If you aren’t familiar with her work, it’s time. Susan Choi is back with another brilliant work, this time taking the tension to the stage. Choi's novel centers on a handful of students and faculty at an elite performing arts high school in the early '80s. Beyond that description, mums the word as the novel starts in one way, and then transforms into something else entirely – ajust one example of Choi’s genius in this surprising, raw, “read till all-hours-of-the-night novel.” The characters' lives are as rich and rife with drama as you'd expect, but each is part of a larger story about sex, power, envy, and trust. Timely and expertly crafted, Trust Exercise is, at its core, a novel about the power and mutability of memory.
Savage News, Jessica Yellin’s debut novel, is a gripping peek behind the curtain of today’s broadcast news industry – and, as the former Chief White House Correspondent for CNN, Yellin knows of what she speaks! Part tongue-in-cheek satire, part searing glimpse into the dark side of boys club politics, Yellin deals with the lighter fare of rating wars and heavier topics like workplace sexual harassment with a deft and truthful hand. Perfect for book clubs and the beach!
This one is a re-read for me, as I read it last year, loved it, and decided to pick it up again to revisit and relish the best bits. I Am, I Am, I Am is a memoir of O’Farrell’s near-death experiences told with wincing clarity from the perspective of a survivor. Her writing style is magic, presenting prose with such grace that you, too, will be turning to this book time and again to relish her words. A stunning mediation on life and death, and the perfect book to pair with a glass of wine as we truly savor the moments we are given.
A glimpse at what I'm reading next . . .