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Power of Fiction: October Picks

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Phil, Queen's Sqaure | October 1, 2019

Last month I commented on the embarrassment of riches in new fiction titles.  I believe the Fall release period will only accelerate this trend.

And like last month, I have a book to rave about. Let’s just give this one the Best Fiction title of the year and be done with it!

Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg is a terrifically written story about a woman artist trying to make it in New York City in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The book’s structure, the writing, and the characters are absolutely spellbinding. In fact, I can’t wait to read it again. (PS, I rarely re-read novels). This is my favourite novel of the year.

A Philosophy of Ruin by Nicholas Mancusi is only modestly about philosophy, which is somewhat odd considering the protagonist is a philosophy professor. Oscar Boatwright gets himself into a heap of trouble, and you’ll be sure to enjoy his journey to…well you’ll have to read the book to find out where he ends up.

Paris 7A.M. by Liza Wieland is a sumptuous book about poet Elizabeth Bishop and her life in Europe after graduating from Vassar. That Wieland is a poet as well only solidifies her grasp on the internal nature of Bishop’s life, in pre-WWII Europe.

And finally, Caite Dolan-Leach’s We Went to the Woods strikes an ominous tone in the title and her novel  follows through. Mackenzie Johnston, a social media disgraced 20-something heads to the woods for some communal living. While not as astute as The Girls by Emma Cline in its characterizations, nor as snarky as Nell Zink’s Nicotine, it is nonetheless a well done dissection of utopianism and its sordid underbelly.

So, what’s up for next month? How about Middle England by Jonathan Coe; Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips; Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh; and A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore.

Go get your bookmarks!