Nothing has gone right for Gabrielle Segovia in a while. Frustrated with her academic job, slowly becoming more and more estranged from her husband and despondent after three miscarriages, everything comes to a head when after too much alcohol at a New Orleans nightclub, she picks up a sexy scientist attending the same conference and might have done more than kiss him if her stomach hadnâ€™t propelled her to the bathroom instead. On a lark, she participates in a reading at Marie Laveauâ€™s shop that will change her life. Mr. John, the reader, tells her that her husband has a surprise for her, her father should stay away from ladders, someone at her university wants to steal her work and that she needs to turn to her family for answers.
Clarissa Burden is having a bad day. Itâ€™s hot, her marriage is stuck in a bad place, her writing is even worse. A two-time bestselling novelist, she hasnâ€™t written a decent sentence in thirteen months. Instead she pours her mental creativity into fantasizing about the accidental (but not necessarily unwelcome) death of Iggy, her verbally abusive artist husband, sixteen years her senior. After seven years of marriage, Iggy largely ignores Clarissa and instead focuses his attention on photographing and sketching young, pretty nudes in Clarissaâ€™s back garden. He hasnâ€™t touched his wife in years. He resents and scorns her commercial success even as he milks the financial benefits. Things are not good.
Itâ€™s 1960 and partitioned India is rife with factions, superstitions, violence and oppression.
The Mittal household, living in a rambling bungalow in the old colonial enclave of Malabar Hill, Bombay, presents a comfortable, serene exterior to the world. But behind the walls, amid the remnants of British raj furnishings and â€śthe aroma of sandalwood, peppers and fried cumin,â€ť the extended family seethes with desire and discontent.
Somewhere, in the darkest and most remote part of Tennessee, lie hollers, ridges, and knolls. Set among them is a place named Bloodroot Mountain, home to Myra and her granny. The mountain gets its name from the bloodroot flowers that grow there. These flowers are so toxic that they can cause death. They are also so curative that they have amazing healing powers
January 21, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: Amy Greene, Knopf, lyrical, Magical Realism, Mental Health/Illness, Motherhood, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee Â· Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, Literary, US South
Earlier this summer I went to a book reading here in Maine where I live. The author, Jessica Anthony was local, and that always brings in a nice crowd. We have a lot of good writers in Maine. Of course there is Stephen King, up in Bangor, whom everyone knows; and thereâ€™s Phil Hoose, who just recently won the National Book Award. But there are a lot of writers around here who arenâ€™t as well known, and many of them are very talented. I had not heard of Ms. Anthony, but I was obviously in the minority, for she seemed a favorite of the crowd the evening of her reading–and it was a crowd. Chris, the owner of the bookstore, introduced her, calling her brilliant and her book brilliant too. But Chris says this about a lot of the writers he introduces. They are either brilliant, or if not brilliant, their book canâ€™t be put down. Sometimes itâ€™s one or the other. Tonight, it was both–and the book was brilliant too, as I said. Ms. Anthony approached the podium and said hello to her many friends in the audience, talked briefly about the book, and began to read from her book THE CONVALESCENT.
December 12, 2009
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: Magical Realism, Myth, Virginia Â· Posted in: Amanda Davis, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Literary, Speculative (Beyond Reality), US Mid-Atlantic, y Award Winning Author
In Jim Lynchâ€™s critically-acclaimed first novel, THE HIGHEST TIDE, Miles, a thirteen-year old boy with a knack for being in the right place at the right time, discovers a giant squid on the shores of Puget Sound as it gasps its last breath. What follows is a miracle of nature as oceanic oddities and coincidences seem drawn to the teenage boy. Now, with his second novel, BORDER SONGS, also set in the Pacific Northwest but inland, Lynch has created another story concerned as much with unexplained coincidences and natural beauty as it is with its quirky characters.