Book picks similar to
Toward Amnesia by Sarah Van Arsdale
Emma Donoghue - 2004
When the working-class actress begins a deep friendship with the aristocratic widow Anne Damer, a sculptor and rumoured Sapphist, the consequent scandal threatens to topple Eliza from her precarious position and destroy the lives of all three.In an England overshadowed by the French Revolution, shaken by terrorism and a repressive government, Emma Donoghue leads her characters in an intricate minuet of public ambition and private passion.In the Houses of Parliament, on the stage, in the bedroom, at the race track and in the intimate salons of the Beau Monde, Life Mask brings to life a world where political liaisons prove just as dangerous as erotic ones.
Sexing the Cherry
Jeanette Winterson - 1989
The child, Jordan, is rescued by Dog Woman and grows up to travel the world like Gulliver, though he finds that the world’s most curious oddities come from his own mind. Winterson leads the reader from discussions on the nature of time to Jordan’s fascination with journeys concealed within other journeys, all with a dizzying speed that shoots the reader from epiphany to shimmering epiphany.
A Seahorse Year
Stacey D'Erasmo - 2004
When he disappears from his San Francisco home, his extended family comes together in a frantic search. But Christopher is in much more trouble than they know, and their attempts to support him and to save him will challenge their assumptions about themselves and one another. Exquisitely crafted, A Seahorse Year is an absorbing read that explores the ways in which love moves us to actions that have both redemptive and disastrous consequences, sometimes in the same heartbeat.
Nicola Griffith - 2018
But her life has turned inside out like a sock. She can't rely on family, her body is letting her down, and friends and colleagues are turning away—they treat her like a victim. She needs to break that narrative: build her own community, learn new strengths, and fight. But what do you do when you find out that the story you’ve been told, the story you’ve told yourself, is not true? How can you fight if you can’t trust your body? Who can you rely on if those around you don’t have your best interests at heart, and the systems designed to help do more harm than good? Mara makes a decision, and acts, but her actions unleash monsters aimed squarely at the heart of her new community.This is fiction from the front lines, incandescent and urgent, a narrative juggernaut that rips through sentiment to expose the savagery of America’s treatment of the disabled and chronically ill. But So Lucky also blazes with hope and a ferocious love of self, of the life that becomes possible when we stop believing lies.
The Night Watch
Sarah Waters - 2006
Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching. Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret. Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover. Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances…Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists. The Night Watch is thrilling. A towering achievement.
Sing You Home
Jodi Picoult - 2011
But her husband Max disagrees - more than that, he wants a divorce. When they separate, there is no mention of the unborn children they created together, still waiting at the clinic.The Zoe falls in love again, out of the blue, and finds herself with an unexpected second chance to have a family.But Max has found a new life too - one with no place in it for people like Zoe. And he will stand up in court to say that her new choice of partner makes her an unfit mother.Jodi Picoult's most powerful novel yet asks who has the right to decide what makes the ideal family?
The Last Nude
Ellis Avery - 2012
In the heady years before the crash, financiers drape their mistresses in Chanel, while expatriates flock to the avant-garde bookshop Shakespeare and Company. One day in July, a young American named Rafaela Fano gets into the car of a coolly dazzling stranger, the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka.Struggling to halt a downward slide toward prostitution, Rafaela agrees to model for the artist, a dispossessed Saint Petersburg aristocrat with a murky past. The two become lovers, and Rafaela inspires Tamara's most iconic Jazz Age images, among them her most accomplished—and coveted—works of art. A season as the painter's muse teaches Rafaela some hard lessons: Tamara is a cocktail of raw hunger and glittering artifice. And all the while, their romantic idyll is threatened by history's darkening tide.Inspired by real events in de Lempicka's history, The Last Nude is a tour de force of historical imagination. Avery gives the reader a tantalizing window into a lost Paris, an age already vanishing as the inexorable forces of history close in on two tangled lives. Spellbinding and provocative, The Last Nude is a novel about genius and craft, love and desire, regret, and, most of all, hope that can transcend time and circumstance.
The Language of Hoofbeats
Catherine Ryan Hyde - 2014
New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry. Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.
Pages for You
Sylvia Brownrigg - 2001
The seventeen-year-old, new to everything around her—college, the East Coast, bodies of literature, and the sexual flurries of student life—is shocked by her desire to follow this wherever it will take her. When Flannery finds herself enrolled in a class with the remote, brilliant older woman, she is intimidated at first, but gradually becomes Anne Arden's student—Baudelaire, lipstick colors, or how to travel with a lover—Flannery proves an eager pupil, until one day learns more about Anne than she ever wanted to know.
Other Voices, Other Rooms
Truman Capote - 1948
In this semiautobiographical coming-of-age novel, thirteen-year-old Joel Knox, after losing his mother, is sent from New Orleans to live with the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at Skully’s Landing, the decaying mansion in rural Alabama, his father is nowhere to be found. Instead, Joel meets his morose stepmother, Amy, eccentric cousin Randolph, and a defiant little girl named Idabel, who soon offers Joel the love and approval he seeks.Fueled by a world-weariness that belied Capote’s tender age, this novel tempers its themes of waylaid hopes and lost innocence with an appreciation for small pleasures and the colorful language of its time and place.This new edition, featuring an enlightening Introduction by John Berendt, offers readers a fresh look at Capote’s emerging brilliance as a writer of protean power and effortless grace.From the Hardcover edition.
James Baldwin - 1956
In a 1950s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to live the conventional life he envisions for himself. After meeting and proposing to a young woman, he falls into a lengthy affair with an Italian bartender and is confounded and tortured by his sexual identity as he oscillates between the two. Examining the mystery of love and passion in an intensely imagined narrative, Baldwin creates a moving and complex story of death and desire that is revelatory in its insight.
Dorothy Allison - 1988
The limitless scope of human emotion and experience are depicted in stories that give aching and eloquent voice to the terrible wounds we inflict on those closest to us. These are tales of loss and redemption; of shame and forgiveness; of love and abuse and the healing power of storytelling. A book that resonates with uncompromising candor and incandescence, Trash is sure to captivate Allison's legion of readers and win her a devoted new following.
Scott Heim - 1995
Neil McCormick is fully aware of the events from that summer of 1981. Wise beyond his years, curious about his developing sexuality, Neil found what he perceived to be love and guidance from his baseball coach. Now, ten years later, he is a teenage hustler, a terrorist of sorts, unaware of the dangerous path his life is taking. His recklessness is governed by idealized memories of his coach, memories that unexpectedly change when Brian comes to Neil for help and, ultimately, the truth.
The Price of Salt
Patricia Highsmith - 1952
They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover. With this reissue, The Price of Salt may finally be recognized as a major twentieth-century American novel.