HAMNET, by O'Farrell NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, January 20, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com

Hamnet By Maggie O'Farrell Cover Image

Hamnet (Paperback)

$16.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
14 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:19pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
4 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:33pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:33pm

August 2020 Indie Next List


“I loved Hamnet in very much the same way I loved Lincoln in the Bardo. This novel explores the way the dead haunt the living—especially how the death of a child haunts their parents—and does it in the context of a fascinating historical figure and time. But we know so much about the Lincolns, and so little about the Shakespeares. Maggie O’Farrell’s ability to construct a palpably real emotional life for all the members of the Shakespeare family—but especially for Shakespeare’s wife—is just magical. This is a powerful and haunting novel.”
— Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, IL

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare’s life ... here is a novel ... so gorgeously written that it transports you." —The Boston Globe

England, 1580: The Black Death creeps across the land, an ever-present threat, infecting the healthy, the sick, the old and the young alike. The end of days is near, but life always goes on.

A young Latin tutor—penniless and bullied by a violent father—falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family’s land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon, she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is just taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever. 

Don’t miss Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel, The Marriage Portrait!
MAGGIE O'FARRELL was born in Northern Ireland in 1972. Her novels include Hamnet (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award), After You’d Gone, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine (winner of the Costa Novel Award), and Instructions for a Heatwave. She has also written a memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death. She lives in Edinburgh.
Product Details ISBN: 9781984898876
ISBN-10: 1984898876
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: May 18th, 2021
Pages: 320
Language: English
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR One of Bill Gates's Favorite Books of the Year Book Club Pick: Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles’ The Reading Room

"O'Farrell has a melodic relationship to language. There is a poetic cadence to her writing and a lushness in her descriptions of the natural world. . . . We can smell the tang of the various new leathers in the glover's workshop, the fragrance of the apples racked a finger-width apart in the winter storage shed. . . . As the book unfolds, it brings its story to a tender and ultimately hopeful conclusion: that even the greatest grief, the most damaged marriage, and most shattered heart might find some solace, some healing."
—Geraldine Brooks, the New York Times Book Review

“All too timely . . . inspired. . . . [An] exceptional historical novel ”
The New Yorker

"Magnificent and searing. . . . A family saga so bursting with life, touched by magic, and anchored in affection. . . . Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare’s life, about whether he even wrote his own plays, here is a novel that matches him with a woman overwhelmingly more than worthy."
The Boston Globe

"A tour de force. . . . Hamnet vividly captures the life-changing intensity of maternity in its myriad stages—from the pain of childbirth to the unassuagable grief of loss. Fierce emotions and lyrical prose are what we've come to expect of O'Farrell."
—NPR

"O'Farrell moves through the family's pain like a master of signs and signals. . . . In Hamnet, art imitates life not to co-opt reality, but to help us bear it."
Los Angeles Times

"Wholly original, fully engrossing. . . . Agnes is a character for the ages—engimatic, fully formed and nearly literally bewitching to behold in every scene she's in."
San Francisco Chronicle

“A moving portrait of a mother’s grief. . . . O’Farrell’s prose is characteristically beautiful.”
The Wall Street Journal

"Miraculous... brilliant... A novel told with the urgency of a whispered prayer — or curse...  through the alchemy of her own vision, she has created a moving story about the way loss viciously recalibrates a marriage...  A richly drawn and intimate portrait of 16th-century English life set against the arrival of one devastating death."
--Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"What could be more common, over centuries and continents, than the death of a child - and yet Maggie O’Farrell, with her flawless sentences and furious heart, somehow makes it new. This story of remarkable people bereft of their boy will leave you shaking with loss but also the love from which family is spun."
--Emma Donoghue, author of Room

"Grief and loss so finely written I could hardly bear to read it"
--Sarah Moss, author of Ghost Wall
 
"A bold undertaking, beautifully imagined and written"
--Claire Tomalin, author of Charles Dickens: A Life
 
"Heartstopping. Hamnet does for the Shakespeare story what Jean Rhys did for Jane Eyre, inhabiting it, enlarging it and enriching it in ways that will alter the readers view for ever"
--Patrick Gale, author of A Place Called Winter
 
"Exquisite, immersive and compelling… deserves to win prizes"
--Marian Keyes, author of The Break

"It so happens that the child at the center of Hamnet inspired one of civilization’s most famous plays, but in Maggie O’Farrell’s gifted hands, Hamnet feels as real as my own child.  The raw physical life of O’Farrell’s Renaissance England is enthralling.  But the beating heart of this book is Hamnet’s mother – an indelible, dauntless woman. What a sensual, full-throated love song to the lost child."
--Amity Gaige

"Hamnet is a beautiful read, a devastating one, intricate, and breathtakingly imaginative.  It will stay with me a long time"
--Rachel Joyce

"I'm absolutely blown away by Maggie O'Farrell's HAMNET. Love, grief, hope, resilience - the world of this novel is so vivid I could nearly smell the grass in the fields, hear the rain in the gutters. In moments where the story shoots up to heaven I was there, too, grieving with these characters, feeling how lucky we all are to be alive, understanding how desperately we want the people we love to be remembered. It's without a doubt one of the best novels I've ever read."
--Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes

"A bold, beautiful, heart-breaking novel. Maggie has taken on both the most famous writer in the world and the mantle of history with effortless grace. In the process she’s written the book of her life. I’m wildly jealous!"
--Tracy Chevalier
 
"I don’t know how anyone could fail to love this book. It is a marvel: a great work of imaginative recreation and a great story. It is also a moral achievement to have transformed that young child from being a literary footnote into someone so tenderly alive that part of you wishes he had survived and Hamlet never been written"
--Dominic Dromgoole, author of Hamlet, Globe to Globe

“Evocative. . . . [Hamnet] is also life-affirming as it suggests ways art can transcend misfortune.” 
National Review

“Superb. . . . O’Farrell’s exquisitely wrought eighth novel proves once again what a very fine writer she is.”
Financial Times
 
“Elliptical, dreamlike. . . . [Hamnet] confirms O’Farrell as an extraordinarily versatile writer, with a profound understanding of the most elemental human bonds—qualities also possessed by a certain former Latin tutor from Stratford.” 
The Observer (UK)
 
“A remarkable piece of work. . . . O’Farrell is one of the most surprisingly quiet radicals in fiction.” 
The Scotsman (UK)
 
“[A] portrayal of grief and pain. . . . O’Farrell describes these agonies with such power that Hamnet would resonate at any time.” 
The Guardian
 
“[O’Farrell is] a writer of rare emotional intelligence whose personal intimations of mortality bear rich fruit in this, her eighth novel.” 
Evening Standard

“This artfully paced novel is an anatomy of grief. . . . Just when the novel’s second part seems to be moving to a tragic conclusion, it mounts a stunning redemptive volte-face.” 
—The Times Literary Supplement

"This striking, painfully lovely novel captures the very nature of grief."
--Booklist [starred review]

THE WARDEN, by Trollope NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, December 16, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com

The Warden (Modern Library Classics) By Anthony Trollope, Louis Auchincloss (Introduction by) Cover Image

The Warden (Modern Library Classics) (Paperback)

By Anthony Trollope, Louis Auchincloss (Introduction by)

$13.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:19pm
The first of Trollope’s popular Barsetshire novels, set in the fictional cathedral town of Barchester, The Warden centers on the honorable cleric Septimus Harding, one of Trollope’s most memorable characters. When Harding is accused of mismanaging church funds, his predicament lays bare the complexities of the Victorian world and of nineteenth-century provincial life. And, as Louis Auchincloss observes in his Introduction, “The theme of The Warden presents the kind of social problem that always fascinated Trollope: the inevitable clash of ancient privilege with modern social awareness.”
Louis Auchincloss has written more than fifty books, including The Rector of Justin and, most recently, Manhattan Monologues. He lives in New York City.
Product Details ISBN: 9780812967043
ISBN-10: 0812967046
Publisher: Modern Library
Publication Date: April 8th, 2003
Pages: 256
Language: English
Series: Modern Library Classics
“Trollope will remain one of the most trustworthy . . . of the writers who have helped the heart of man to know itself.” —Henry James

WARLIGHT, by Ondaatje NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, November 18, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The group meets at 5039 Connectitcut Ave in Condo 4.  The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com

Warlight (Vintage International) By Michael Ondaatje Cover Image

Warlight (Vintage International) (Paperback)

$16.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:19pm

May 2018 Indie Next List


“With his usual virtuosity, master storyteller Michael Ondaatje delivers a mysterious, shimmering new coming-of-age novel. Warlight is the unexpected story of two teenagers abandoned by their enigmatic parents in post-war London. Casually watched over by a dodgy cast of characters - petty criminals, opera singers, and panting greyhounds - Nathaniel and Rachel try to make sense of their new world while struggling to define their parents' shadowy wartime pasts. Years later, Nathaniel embarks on a quest to discover the disturbing truth, and his own unwitting part in it. Balancing poignance with surprising comic touches, Warlight is a stellar addition to the Ondaatje canon.”
— Chrysler Szarlan, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List


“Ondaatje’s new book, Warlight, is brilliant. The reader is drawn in by a perfect first sentence hinting at the intrigue that will unfold in the novel: ‘In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.’ Teenage Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, are left by their parents for reasons that quickly become suspect. The novel is told in parts, beginning with Nathaniel’s teen years, then jumping ahead to his adult years and filling in the histories of the story’s most important characters. The immature voice of teenage Nathaniel is masterfully written as the foreshadowing of the man he will become.”
— Jen Wills Geraedts, Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, MN

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
 
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Notable Book
 
An NPR Best Book of the Year
 
It is 1945, and London is still reeling from years of war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, seemingly abandoned by their parents, have been left in the care of an enigmatic figure they call The Moth. They suspect he may be a criminal and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect and educate (in rather unusual ways) the siblings. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And how should Nathaniel and Rachel feel when their mother returns without their father after months of silence—explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand during that time, and it is this journey—through reality, recollection, and imagi­nation—that is told in this magnificent novel.
Michael Ondaatje is the author of six pre­vious novels, a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry. The English Patient won the Booker Prize in 1992 and the Golden Man Booker in 2018; Anil’s Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje now lives in Toronto.
Product Details ISBN: 9780525562962
ISBN-10: 0525562966
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: Vintage International
“An elegiac thriller [with] the immediate allure of a dark fairy tale.” —The Washington Post

“[Ondaatje] casts a magical spell, as he takes you into his half-lit world of war and love, death and loss, and the dark waterways of the past.” —The New York Review of Books

“Mr. Ondaatje has stepped into John le Carré’s world of spies and criminals. . . . His novel views history as a child would, in ignorance but also in innocence and wonder.” —The Wall Street Journal

“[An] intricate and absorbing novel. . . . Brings alive a time and a place.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A rare and beautiful thing—a deeply retrospective novel about war secrets that feels neither overstated nor overly ethereal. . . . One of the most absorbing books I’ve read all year.” — Esi Edugyan, The Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Wonderfully atmospheric, beautifully paced, subtle storytelling. . . . Tells the hidden, barely spoken, tale of war, especially as it impacts on children. Ondaatje skilfully moves back and forth through time, finally offering an extraordinary narrative twist that feels as earned as it is unexpected.” —2018 Man Booker Prize Jury citation

“A meditation on the lingering effects of war on family.” —Barack Obama (personal pick for recommended summer reading)

“Our book of the year—and maybe of Ondaatje’s career. . . . A terrifically tense spy thriller and a delicate coming-of-age tale.” —The Telegraph (London)

“A superb wartime mystery. . . . Ondaatje’s is an aesthetic of the fragment. His novels are constructed, with intricate beauty, from images and scenes that don’t so much flow together as cling together in vibrating, tensile fashion.” —The Boston Globe

“A masterpiece of shifting memory.” —Los Angeles Times

“An intricate ballet of longing and deception. . . . If writers are cartographers of the heart, Michael Ondaatje's oeuvre could fill an atlas.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“An entrancing and masterfully crafted story.” —The New Republic

“With the force of something familiar, intimate, truthful . . . Warlight sucked me in deeper than any novel that I can remember; when I looked up from it, I was surprised to find the 21st century still going on about me. . . . A work of fiction as rich, beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory.” —Alex Preston, The Guardian

“Lyrical. . . . Ondaatje illuminates the rubble-strewn landscape [of post-war London] from angled sidelights. . . . His prose matches a mood of mystery and suspicion that tantalizes.” —The Economist

“Fascinating. . . . Lyrical. . . . A mournful, impressionistic memory of all the things that never were.” —Entertainment Weekly

“The author’s prose is as bright and startling as we’ve seen it since The English Patient.” —Condé Nast Traveler

“A haunting mystery. . . . By turns lyrical and wrenching. . . . A rich, satisfying read.” —People

“A tender coming-of-age story . . . warmly delivered. . . . [Ondaatje’s] elegant prose is a pleasure.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Eloquently told and heartbreakingly believable. . . . No other writer builds a world with the delicacy and precision of Michael Ondaatje. You enter it, fall under its spell and never want to leave.” —The Seattle Times

“Exquisite. . . . Elegant, melancholy. . . . Ondaatje keeps the reader in thrall to the story through the sheer excellence of his writing.” —The Dallas Morning News

“[A] quiet, lushly shaded and haunting novel. . . . Immensely rich and rewarding.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Gorgeously written. . . . A fog of wonder, fear, tenderness and melancholy.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch 

Warlight is mesmerising, and powerfully sad. . . . This novel dives into the darkness, and finds small miracles among the shattered glass, the ruins.” —Financial Times

“A novel of shadowy brilliance.” —The Times (London)

“Wonderful. . . . This elegiac novel combines the stealth of an espionage thriller with the irresolute shifts of a memory play, purposefully full of fragments, loss and unfinished stories.” —The Daily Mail

“Surprising, delightful, heartbreaking and written as only Ondaatje could write it.” — Kamila Shamsie, The Guardian

“Majestic. . . . Show-stoppingly magnificent. . . . Golden? Adamantine.” —The New Statesman

“Mesmerizing. . . .  One of Ondaatje’s most successful and satisfying novels.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“Irresistible. . . . An exceptionally entertaining literary journey.” —The Irish Times

“Compulsively and grippingly readable. . . . Michael Ondaatje is a marvellous writer, and Warlight is a novel which will continue to play in the reader’s imagination.” —The Scotsman

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