Book choice for June 2019

Homegoing [suggested by Harriet Holder]

Homegoing

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself. [product description from Amazon]

The book has a Wikipedia entry.

Author's Wikipedia page.

 

Shortlisted for this month

For this month, Harriet's other selections were:

Portrait with Keys

Portrait with Keys

In the wake of apartheid, the flotsam of the divided past flows over Johannesburg and settles, once the tides recede, around Ivan Vladislavic, who, patrolling his patch, surveys the changed cityscape and tries to convey for us the nature and significance of those changes. He roams over grassy mine-dumps, sifting memories, picking up the odd glittering item here and there, before everything of value gets razed or locked away behind one or other of the city's fortifications. For this is now a city of alarms, locks and security guards, a frontier place whose boundaries are perpetually contested, whose inhabitants are 'a tribe of turnkeys'. Vladislavic, this clerk of mementoes, stands still, watches and writes - and his astonishing city comes within our reach. This is for readers who want to put their faith in a writer who knows - and loves - his city from the inside out, bearing comparison with Suketu Mehta's Maximum City, Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul and Joseph Brodsky's Watermark. [product description from Amazon]

The book has a Wikipedia entry.

Author's Wikipedia entry.
Author's website.

 

 

 

The Wolf & the Watchman

The Wolf & the Watchman

The year is 1793, Stockholm. King Gustav of Sweden has been assassinated, years of foreign wars have emptied the treasuries, and the realm is governed by a self-interested elite, leaving its citizens to suffer. On the streets, malcontent and paranoia abound.

A body is found in the city's swamp by a watchman, Mickel Cardell, and the case is handed over to investigator Cecil Winge, who is dying of consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell become embroiled in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams, and one death will expose a city rotten with corruption beneath its powdered and painted veneer.

The Wolf and the Watchman depicts the capacity for cruelty in the name of survival or greed - but also the capacity for love, friendship, and the desire for a better world. [product description from Amazon]

Author's Wikipedia entry (in Swedish).

 

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2006

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