When Anne Enright visited last February, she enchanted the large audience with her sparkling Irish humor, which was in sharp contrast with the sorrowful occasion at the center of The Gathering, winner of the 2007 Booker Prize. If you’re one of the many readers who loved that novel, you’ll also love the 31 stories gathered in Yesterday’s Weather (Grove, $24). In her distinctive economical, yet evocative, prose, Enright offers a sharp account of the shifting ground of a marriage, when a wife, husband, and new baby visit the husband’s family, a visit in which the couple is subject to rapid shifts in love, hate, and desire. Enright’s microscopic eye for detail gives us hard-lined characters, complemented by a slightly blurred, yet ominous, background.  Her women are smart but cynical, and no matter how dysfunctional her characters are, Enright treats them with sympathy, presenting them as brave to have so far survived the minefields of daily life.

Yesterday's Weather Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780802144324
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - June 1st, 2009

Roseanne McNulty, neé Clear, is 100 years old and has lived in mental asylums for some 60 years. Yet on the evidence of the memoirs she records in The Secret Scripture (Viking, $24.95), there is nothing wrong with her mind. Rather, due to several misjudgments earlier in her life—errors that, had they not happened in an Ireland rife with sectarian conflict, anger, and long memories, would have been minor—she earned the enmity of the town’s powerful Catholic priest. As Sebastian Barry, the accomplished Irish playwright and novelist, tells her story, it becomes also the story of her doctor, connected to her in ways she can’t begin to guess, and of a once deeply divided Ireland. Barry’s strong plotting and complex characters combine to make for realistic and compelling psychological suspense. Short-listed for the Booker prize.

The Secret Scripture: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143115694
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - April 28th, 2009

Nobody writes about the unique intimacy of a loving marriage the way the Israeli writer A. B. Yehoshua does. Maybe the subject works in his fiction because sweet domesticity is less cloying against a backdrop of history rife with life-and-death events. In Friendly Fire (Harcourt, $26), Daniella has left her loving husband Amotz at home in Israel while she visits her brother-in-law Yirmiyahu to mourn her sister’s death. Yirmi is acting as the financial manager for an all-African anthropological team in northern Tanzania. The book alternates between Daniella in Africa and Amotz, who deals with his octogenarian father and the grandchildren. “Friendly fire” is what killed her sister’s son, and Yehoshua probes the sorrow of the incident and the corrosive effect it had on the parents’ marriage. Perhaps “friendly fire” also refers to the Hanukkah candles, since the action takes place during the eight days of Hanukkah.

Friendly Fire: A Duet Cover Image
By A. B. Yehoshua, Stuart Schoffman (Translated by)
$21.95
ISBN: 9780547247854
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - November 11th, 2009

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