Have blockbuster authors and multi-volume series lost their appeal? Are you interested in exploring a new author but don’t know where to start? Try one of these emerging voices from book critics’ Best of 2013 lists.
The Next Time You See Me is Holly Jones Goddard’s debut novel about the disappearance of a woman from a small Kentucky town and the way it the shapes the lives of the townsfolk who know her. (Slate, “The Overlooked Books of 2013”)First time novelist Anthony Marra explores the relationships that bind us all together in A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, set in war-torn Chechnya. Fans of Tea Obrecht’s The Tiger’s Wife, a debut novel that made many Best of 2011 lists, might enjoy this book. (Washington Post, “Top 10 Books in 2013")
Graeme Simsion’s first book of fiction, The Rosie Project, has already been optioned for a movie. Don Tillman, geneticist professor, applies the scientific method to his search for finding the perfect wife. The lead character of this hilarious, feel-good book will remind you of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. (Los Angeles Times, “2013 Holiday Book List”)Philip Meyer hits the mark again with The Son, his second novel. An epic, coming-of-age story, The Son is a take on the American creation myth as seen through three generations of a Texas family. Meyer’s first book, American Rust, made several critics’ lists for Best Book of 2009. (Washington Post, Top 10 Books in 2013)
Rachel Kushner’s second novel The Flamethrowers made multiple “Best of” lists this year. It is a subtle, beautifully-written story about art, motorcycle racing and revolutionary politics. Her first novel Telex from Cuba was published in 2008. (New York Times, “10 Best Books of 2013”)At 28, Eleanor Catton became the youngest author ever to win Britain’s Man Booker Prize with The Luminaries, a complex page-turner set in 19th century New Zealand. A series of strange events sets this mysterious adventure story in motion: a wealthy man is missing, a prostitute attempts suicide and a treasure of cash has been found in an unlikely place. See this list for previous Booker Prize winners and nominees.
Author Chimamanada Ngozi Adichie won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008 and recently published her fourth book, Americanah. Shown through the lens of the modern African immigrant experience, this is a book for today’s global world – a fearless yet funny and tender story that spans three continents. Adichie’s prior works include two novels, Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus, and a collection of short stories, The Thing Around Your Neck. (New York Times, “10 Best Books of 2013”)- Ginger Hawkins, Centreville Regional Library