Archive for the ‘Man Booker Nominee’ Category


THE NORTHERN CLEMENCY by Philip Hensher is a sprawling novel that explores the lives of two middle class families against the backdrop of the Thatcher era. The novel, which begins and ends in Sheffield, spans the years 1974-1994, and as the history of the Glover and the Sellers families unfolds, replete with adultery, deceit, and scandal, significant social shifts in the country take place. Author Philip Hensher explores two decades in the lives of these people–relationships sour and fail, and new, unexpected relationships are formed. By 1994, the characters have all endured a range of experiences including forced early retirement, illness, and alienation. On a national level, the changes are also dramatic: The Miners’ Strike, the Right-to-Buy Scheme (the sale of council homes) and the privatization of the UK electric industry have all taken place, and the characters have had some role to play in the changes.

April 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags:  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Facing History, Family Matters, Man Booker Nominee, Reading Guide, United Kingdom, World Lit


With THE LITTLE STRANGER author Sarah Waters departs from the settings, characters and style of her first three historical novels, TIPPING THE VELVET, AFFINITY, and FINGERSMITH, all set in Victorian England. Nor is this book like her more recent THE NIGHT WATCH, a sensitive and passionate love story set in wartime England. THE LITTLE STRANGER is a sinister, Hitchcockian-like tale of a haunted house, ghosts and madness. It provides a most chilling, unputdownable read.

December 19, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Facing History, Horror, Man Booker Nominee, Speculative (Beyond Reality), United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author


The excerpt above is part of a woman journalist’s article after she came to interview storyteller Olive Wellwood, who, with her banker/financial writer husband, Humphrey, presided over a seemingly magical household built on legendary riders of the “Paracelsian four elementals: sylphs in the air, gnomes in the earth, undines in water, salamanders in fire.” The building blocks came in the form of old, blended and new fairy tales; ornately ghoulish museum pieces such as the ancient and kobold-studded Gloucester Candlestick; and a secret pastoral tree house where the children could run wild. The Wellwoods and their friends were well-off, fashionable Fabian Society (and other related organization) members who, in the late 1800’s and beyond, believed in raising their children with a minimum of discipline in a rustic but artistically rich environment.

October 7, 2009 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Literary, Man Booker Nominee, Reading Guide, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

LOVE AND SUMMER by William Trevor

In William Trevor’s novel LOVE AND SUMMER, past and present don’t collide but instead merge into a shimmering, elusive and painful present. The novel set in the 1950s explores the lives of interconnecting characters following the funeral of Mrs. Eileen Connulty in the Irish town of Rathmoye.

September 12, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Ireland, Man Booker Nominee, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin

The very first page of Colm Toibin’s new novel, BROOKLYN, sets the stage beautifully: In Enniscorthy, a small town in Ireland, Eilis Lacey looks out the window as her more glamorous sister, Rose, returns from a game of golf with her professional acquaintances. Rose has an important job, provides for the family and is the arbiter of most conversations the homely Eilis shares with her mother. When Eilis looks out the window, it’s as if an adoring child is watching a parent return home. So it comes as no surprise when…

August 13, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Costa Award (Whitbread), Europe, Family Matters, Literary, Man Booker Nominee, New York City, World Lit