Ruth Ozeki’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted title has been a favorite among BookerMarks members this year. With such a richly layered and intricate plot, it’s difficult not to get sucked into this novel of hope, friendship, and family in the modern world. Split between two narrators, A Tale for the Time Being introduces readers to Nao, a teenage girl living in Tokyo, and Ruth, a writer living on the Pacific coast of Canada. Even though the two have never met, their lives are inextricably connected when Ruth finds Nao’s diary on the ocean shore, carefully wrapped and sealed within a freezer bag. As Ruth reads Nao’s story, she develops a deep kinship and sense of concern for this Japanese girl.
We Need New Names
A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo
2013 / 304 Pages
We all have problems. I get that. As adults it’s much easier to get caught in the trap of complaining about any given hardship that we encounter or bump in the road that we might face than it is to work towards a realistic solution to whatever the source of our current woe might be. We’re only human. We often get stuck in endless cycles of bad behavior, unable to rescue ourselves for torments that are mostly of our own creation. Sometimes we fail. Other times we succeed. Both the highs and the lows can be wild, emotional roller coasters.
The 2013 Booker Conversations is a series of in-depth, spoiler-free discussions between BookerMarks bloggers about this year’s nominated titles. Kicking things off, Aaron Westerman from Typographical Era and Michelle Williams from A Reader and a Rider discuss Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries.
Aaron Westerman is Opinionless. Except of course when it comes to books or movies. He’s the co-founder of Typographical Era where he blogs on a regular basis about the latest in translated literature, foreign cinema, and more.
Michelle Williams is an avid “reader” of books and a “rider” of bicycles. When she is not cycling you can catch her reading and when she is not reading, well, she is probably pedaling about somewhere. Her blog, A Reader and A Rider journals her reviews of literary fiction.
Set in the 1860’s during the height of the New Zealand gold rush, Eleanor Catton’s astrologically-inspired novel The Luminaries, is a wonderfully vivid piece of historical fiction that centers around death of drunkard, the disappearance of wealthy young man, the addictions of a prostitute, and a fortune in stolen gold that may or may not bind them all together.