Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

2010 Women's Prize for Fiction Winner

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

       
 

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Length: 688 pages

About: 1940's man caught up in US/Mexico politics

Style: Diary, letters, newspaper articles and dialogue

Where: US and Mexico

When: 1930s to 1950s

 

 

Publisher’s synopsis:

The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man's search for safety of a man torn beween the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s McCarthyite America.

 

Born in the U.S. and reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social-climbing flapper mother, Salomé. Making himself useful in the household of the famed Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and exiled Bolshevik leader Lev Trotsky, young Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution. A violent upheaval sends him north to a nation newly caught up in World War II. In the mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina he remakes himself in America's hopeful image. But political winds continue to throw him between north and south, in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach - the lacuna - between truth and public presumption.

 

A gripping story of identity, loyalty and the devastating power of accusations to destroy innocent people. The Lacuna is as deep and rich as the New World.

 

 

Extract:

Salome hated that her son was now taller than she was: the first time she noticed, she was furious, then morose. In her formula of life, this meant she was two-thirds dead. 'The first part of life is childhood. The second is your child's childhood. And then the third, old age.' Another mathematics problem with no practical solution, especially for the child. growing backward, becoming unborn: that would have been just the thing.

 

 

Reviews:

Good:

Every few years, you read a book that makes everything else in life seem unimportant. The Lacuna is the first book in a long time that made me swap my bike for public transport, just so I could keep reading.

Nina Lakhani, The Independent, 1st November 2009

 

Not so good:

...Yet the novel's later sections are marred by overstated irony, the dialogue too often staged between characters who agree, making for an authorial soapbox.

Maya Jaggi, The Guardian, 7th November 2009

 

 

 

 

About the author

Barbara Kingsolver (born April 8, 1955) is an American novelist, essayist and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in the former Republic of Congo in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels.

 

 

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Ratings

Adventure

 8

Filmability

 8

Historical

 6

Humorous

 4

Intellectuality

 6

Life-changing

 7

Page turner

 5

Readability

 4

Romance

 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Age guide: 12+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novels by same author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adaptations: None to date

 

 

 

 

 

© PWF.co.uk

 

 

 

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here

 

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