Woodsburner - John Pipkin

Henry David Thoreau is the Woodsburner (Anchor, $15.95) in John Pipkin’s debut novel. Inspired by an actual event from1844, the story follows the lives of four men forever affected by the fire. Over the course of a week, the incident provokes each man to make a life-changing decision. One of them, Thoreau, is inspired to live alone at Walden Pond, reaffirming his decision to maintain a self-sufficient life. Pipkin uses the fire to dramatize the sense of rugged individualism of the era, along with the intense debate over the spiritual and material sides of life then raging in the area around Concord, Massachusetts.

Woodsburner: Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Winner By John Pipkin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307455321
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - May 4th, 2010

The Quickening Maze - Adam Foulds

England in 1837 was on the cusp of huge changes. In his lyrical first novel, The Quickening Maze (Penguin, $15), short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Adam Foulds examines the shifts from traditional faith, handcrafting, and village life to an as-yet-uncertain industrial future. He focuses on the closed society of High Beach mental asylum, which counts among its inmates John Clare, the once-renowned “peasant poet” who is now out of fashion, and the young Alfred Tennyson, a promising writer about to embark on In Memoriam, the masterpiece that Queen Victoria would keep at her bedside. Foulds takes readers inside the poets’ minds as well as into the consciousness of other patients, the distracted doctor hoping to make a fortune with a new mechanical woodcarver, and the doctor’s daughter, smitten with Tennyson. Weaving fictional with historical characters and events, Foulds has created a rich tapestry of voices and visions. 

The Quickening Maze: A Novel By Adam Foulds Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117797
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - June 29th, 2010

The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters

Set in post-WWII England, Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger (Riverhead, $16) starts with Dr. Faraday’s house-call to the old country estate, Hundreds Hall, to tend to the family’s ill maid. The maid’s real complaint is not her health but the rambling and dilapidated house, which shows signs of supernatural goings-on: mysterious wall markings, soft taps across the floors of deserted rooms, shifting objects, bruises and scrapes suffered by its occupants. As these preternatural occurrences grow more violent, they’re echoed in the social turmoil of the changing world outside the estate. Waters’s beautiful prose and masterful control of her material deepen the chill of this accomplished Gothic novel.

The Little Stranger By Sarah Waters Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594484469
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - May 4th, 2010