If you are like me, Christmas isn’t complete without pulling out those special books from the Christmas box. The same stories year after year–and sometimes a new one or two–create that nostalgia that makes the holidays so special. Here are a couple new editions of old favorites, and a couple brand new offerings–a style for… Continue reading Gift Books for a Cosy Christmas
In this dissection of a family, award winning author Ann Patchett follows fifty years of life in the Cousins and Keating households. From the first glimpses of unraveling marriages, to the aftereffects of divorce, to children now grown with families of their own, Commonwealth examines the effects of time and the ties of family.
Literary writer Joy Williams, finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award, has just released a new collection of short stories this month—Ninety-Nine Stories of God. Her work has often been described as ‘Kafkaesque’ for its disorienting, even haunting atmosphere. Provocatively, this description applies just as aptly to her treatment of God—a Being disorienting in his elusiveness and haunting in actions we may well like to judge.
Ramona Ausubel has recently become one of my favorite fiction authors. Her newest characters don’t go to church or discuss God very often, and if you are looking for a cleaned up, PG version of reality, you won’t find it. Her characters do devastating things to each other: they have affairs, take revenge, and even abandon their children. But Ausubel’s vision of a good life is far from nihilistic. She affirms the worth of living, despite weakness and age. She values commitment and family. She upholds marital love as deeper than passion, and weighs the impact generations bequeath on one another. Her characters hardly arrive through the mess they make unscathed; Ausubel doesn’t pretend there are no consequences. Yet, through failure, she reveals the mysterious grace that sometimes a person’s most devastating choices are also their means to redemption.
The British publication Mail On Sunday writes of The Invoice: “It’s as if Kafka decided to look on the bright side.” They couldn’t have said it better. This re-working of The Trial spoons out a giant dose of hope.