Keeping Up With The Penguins

Reviews For The Would-Be Booklover

56 Days – Catherine Ryan Howard

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Is it too soon for a COVID-19 murder mystery? Catherine Ryan Howard surely hopes not. 56 Days is her latest high-concept crime thriller, set in Dublin in the early days of the city’s first lock-down. The wonderful team at Corvus (via Allen & Unwin) kindly sent me a copy for review.

In a lot of ways, this is a high-octane version of an all-too-familiar story. Single people (like Ciara and Oliver, the main characters) found themselves backed into a corner by the pandemic: either white-knuckle it through alone, or move into the same “household” as someone you’ve been casually dating. Ciara and Oliver choose the latter… and someone ends up dead.

56 Days is well written, well paced, with tantalising clues and a couple of truly excellent fake-out twists. The couple barely know each other when they’re forced into the pressure cooker pandemic situation, so the reader gets two (or more?) very different perspectives on the same events.

One important note: if you’ve yet to read Catherine Ryan Howard’s previous novel, The Nothing Man, there’s a spoiler buried in this one about mid-way through – the stories take place in the same universe.

I thoroughly enjoyed 56 Days – so my verdict is that it’s not too soon for a COVID-19 novel, as long as it’s a good one.

18 Pulitzer Prize Winning Books

The Pulitzer Prizes are a set of awards given each year for achievements in American journalism, literature, and composition. You might have noticed that quite a few of the books I’ve read and recommended here on Keeping Up With The Penguins are lauded as Pulitzer Prize-winners – for some reason, I seem to share a literary sensibility with the panel of judges. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (formerly the Pulitzer Prize for Novel) is awarded “for distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life”. Here are eighteen great Pulitzer Prize-winning books from the past 100 years.

18 Pulitzer Prize Winning Books - Book List - Keeping Up With The Penguins
If you purchase one of these Pulitzer Prize winning books through an affiliate link on this page, I’ll earn a small commission.

March by Geraldine Brooks

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2006

In her 2005 novel, March, Geraldine Brooks reimagines Louisa May Alcott’s children’s classic Little Women from the perspective of the mostly-absent March patriarch. The Pulitzer Prize judges commended Brooks for adding “adult resonance to Alcott’s optimistic children’s tale to portray the moral complexity of war, and a marriage tested”. They called March “a lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time”.

The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck - Book Laid on Wooden Table - Keeping Up With The Penguins

Pulitzer Prize for Novel 1940

John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath is now widely considered a classic of American working class literature, and a strong contender for the Great American Novel moniker. In the year following its 1939 release, Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Novel, and the National Book Award, for his searing social commentary. It was also the best-selling novel of the year (an astonishing 430,000 copies), and the Armed Services Edition went through two full print runs. Read my full review of The Grapes Of Wrath here.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2015

Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See explores the depth and breadth of human nature through a story about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths cross in unlikely circumstances over the course of WWII. According to the Pulitzer Prize judges, Doerr “illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another”. They called this New York Times best-seller “dazzling … a magnificent, deeply moving novel”. Read my full review of All The Light We Cannot See here.

The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1953

The Old Man And The Sea was first published in 1952, the last major work of fiction by Hemingway to be published during his lifetime. The deceptively short and simple story revolves around an aging Cuban fisherman, and his struggle to reel in a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream. Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the year following its release, and it was also cited specifically in the judges’ comments when he received a Nobel Prize for Literature (which Hemingway, in turn, dedicated to the people of Cuba).

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2003

Jeffrey Eugenides’ 2002 novel Middlesex tells the uniquely intertwined history of Cal, an intersex third-generation Greek American. The Pulitzer Board described it as a “vastly realized, multi-generational novel as highspirited as it is intelligent … Like the masks of Greek drama, Middlesex is equal parts comedy and tragedy, but its real triumph is its emotional abundance, delivered with consummate authority and grace,”.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019

Richard Powers’ The Overstory is “a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance”, one that earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction among several other awards and short-listings in 2019. It contains the stories of nine fictional Americans, each of whom share some special connection to trees, despite their disparate circumstances and eras. The Pulitzer Prize website describes it as “an ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them,”.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone-With-The-Wind-Margaret-Mitchell-Book-Laid-on-Wooden-Table-Keeping-Up-With-The-Penguins

Pulitzer Prize for Novel 1937

Gone With The Wind is best known these days as the classic film, but back in 1936 it was an astonishingly popular novel by American author Margaret Mitchell. It was an instant best-seller, with hundreds of thousands of copies flying off the shelves long before the 1939 film adaptation. It depicts a questionable coming-of-age story against the backdrop of a horribly white-washed version of Southern plantation life immediately prior to and during the Civil War. It doesn’t stand up to today’s critical scrutiny, but at the time it was a phenomenon, and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Novel the year following its release.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Hours - Michael Cunningham - Keeping Up With The Penguins115

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1999

As the ’90s drew to a close, Michael Cunningham was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for The Hours, a novel that draws upon the life and work of Virginia Woolf “to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters who are struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair”. It is a “passionate, profound, and deeply moving” novel, one that is still widely recognised as Cunningham’s most remarkable literary achievement.

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2011

A Visit From The Goon Squad is “an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed”. Egan centres the story on the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker, and his employee, the young and passionate Sasha. Told through a series of creative and innovative formats, this story “captures the undertow of self-destruction that we all must either master or succumb to; the basic human hunger for redemption; and the universal tendency to reach for both”.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1988

Toni Morrison was awarded a slew of prizes for her 1987 novel Beloved, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction among them. It seems particularly fitting, given that she hoped for the novel to stand in as a memorial testament to the lives lost and damaged beyond recognition by the Atlantic slave trade (“There’s no small bench by the road,” she said, “and because such a place doesn’t exist, that I know of, the book had to.”) In this unique story, of a former slave living a haunted life in Cincinnati, Morrison captures a universal pain and shame. Read my full review of Beloved here.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2018

It’s so rare that a truly funny book wins the Pulitzer Prize – which makes it all the more special when one does! Less got the gong in 2018, and it was very well deserved. The story revolves around Arthur Less, an aging gay man so desperate to avoid the wedding of his ex-lover that he accepts every invitation to every half-baked literary event around the world. Less is “a scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, [and] a bittersweet romance of chances lost”. Read my full review of Less here.

The Age Of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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Pulitzer Prize for Novel 1921

In 1921, Edith Wharton became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, for The Age Of Innocence. It was a controversial choice, but not (necessarily) because of the author’s gender. The Pulitzer Prize for Novel was originally set to go to Sinclair Lewis for Main Street, as per the choice of the Prize’s jury at the time, but the board overruled them and awarded the prize to Wharton instead. The apparent reason for the switch was Lewis’s novel having “offended a number of prominent persons in the Middle West”, and Wharton said in a note to Lewis that she “despaired” over the decision. Read my full review of The Age Of Innocence here.

The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz - Keeping Up With The Penguins

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2008

Junot Diaz has fallen from grace since being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008, having been called out for despicable behaviour as part of the #MeToo reckoning. Despite the revelations, however, The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao is still sold in editions with a Pulitzer Prize seal embossed on the cover. The story itself is a fascinating window into an aspect of American life – a Dominican-American who dreams of overcoming the challenges of his ghetto home to find love and success – but can we really separate the art from the artist?

All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

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Pulitzer Prize for Novel 1947

Who would’ve thought, when Robert Penn Warren was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Novel in 1947 for his fictionalised account of the troubled term of a populist governor, that it would still be so resonant over seventy years later? All The King’s Men traces the political career of Willie Stark, a cynical Southerner who seems destined for the life (and death) of a messianic figure. The New York Time Book Review called the book “magnificently vital reading, a book so charged with dramatic tension it almost crackles with blue sparks,”. Read my full review of All The King’s Men here.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead - Keeping Up With The Penguins

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017

The Underground Railroad is a semi-speculative alternative history of the antebellum South, one that Barack Obama called “terrific” and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017. It “combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America,”. According to the judges, “The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.” Read my full review of The Underground Railroad here.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1983

Alice Walker became the first ever black woman to win a Pulitzer when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Color Purple in 1983. It has retained its cultural currency across the intervening decades – so much so that it continues to be banned and challenged in schools and libraries, which seems to be a rite of passage for any meaningful work of literature. The story of a young black girl, told through her letters to God, is a challenging read, but a vital and perennially relevant one. Read my full review of The Color Purple here.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2007

Cormac McCarthy is a notoriously reclusive contemporary writer, but he granted rare and special insight into his writing process and creative mind after being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Road in 2007. He told Oprah that it took him only six weeks to write the haunting post-apocalyptic novel. The idea came to him after a road trip with his son in El Paso, where he found himself wondering what the road might look like in a hundred years’ time. “It is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of,” according to his publisher.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1961

To Kill A Mockingbird has been widely considered one of the most iconic American novels of all time since its release, so it was hardly a surprise when Harper Lee received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. The judges were openly disappointed in the literary offerings from established writers that year, but credited Lee with “revitalising American fiction” and producing a novel of “unusual distinction”. Her friend, Truman Capote, was happy for her – but remained bitter that she had won a Pulitzer, while he hadn’t for In Cold Blood, until his death. Read my full review of To Kill A Mockingbird here.

Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides tends more towards writing short fiction than he does full-length novels… but damn, when he turns it on, he really turns it on. Middlesex is his 2002 novel inspired by the 19th-century diary of a French convent student who was intersex. He worked for nine years, writing and re-writing, until he managed to weave together a story that was both epic and introspective.

Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides - Keeping Up With The Penguins
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Middlesex begins with Cal, aged 41, looking back on “this rollercoaster ride of a gene through time”. Ostensibly styled as Cal’s memoir, the first half-or-so of the book is more of a family saga, the internal logic being that tracing the Stephanides family tree is essential to understanding the unique circumstances and coincidences that gave rise to Cal’s genetic 5-alpha-reductase deficiency.

See, Middlesex is also a gender novel: Cal is intersex. They were assigned-female-at-birth (AFAB, in today’s parlance), due to their ambiguous-appearing genitals and the negligence of the family doctor’s examination. As such, they were raised as a girl. However, they have testes, and their secondary sex characteristics that emerge during puberty are typically male.

That’s the big ticket item, the reason most people come to Middlesex – but it’s a shame, because there’s a lot more to this story than Cal’s gender identity.

To take it all the way back to the beginning (as Cal does): their grandparents were, ahem, cut from the same branch of the family tree. Yes, they were brother and sister before they were husband and wife, before Game Of Thrones made it cool. They were displaced during the early 20th century conflict between Greeks and Turks, and managed – by the skin of their teeth – to emigrate to the United States. So, it’s an immigrant story, about ethnic identity and the American Dream, as much as it’s anything else.

The family saga is like Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets The Slap-era Christos Tsiolkas. Eugenides, through Cal, paints an incredibly detailed portrait of three generations (from conception to death) against the backdrop of major historical events, including the 1967 Detroit Riot and Watergate. Of course, this requires some funky twists and turns in Cal’s narration. Eugenides allows his protagonist unrealistic insight into other characters’ thoughts, a kind of omniscient-first-person at times, but somehow he makes it flow very naturally (think Melville’s narration by Ishmael in Moby Dick).

And, an important side note: in addition to being preternaturally insightful, Cal is FUNNY. Like, no one calls Middlesex a comedy, but I literally lol’d several times. It’s not all doom and gloom!

I suppose I can’t ignore the sex and gender themes of Middlesex forever. So, deep breath, here we go…

First off, no, Eugenides is not intersex himself. He drew a lot of details for Middlesex (particularly around Greek American families and geography) from his real life, but not the gender bit. As he explains it:

Because the story is so far from my own experience, I had to use a lot of details from my own life to ground it in reality, to make it believable for me and then hopefully for the reader, as well. So I would use my own physical appearance. I would use details from my grandparents’ life, the streets they lived on, the kinds of places they lived. And all this made it real for me because it was a tall order to write such a story.

Jeffrey Eugenides (On Middlesex)

Of course, adopting the voice of an intersex character for a novel is a controversial choice by today’s standards, but at least Eugenides took it seriously. It wasn’t a gimmick to sell books: Cal’s voice and identity are central to the story. Eugenides spent years researching intersex biology and politics. Learning about 5-alpha-reductase deficiency actually changed the shape and scope of the story (initially, Eugenides had envisaged Middlesex as a short fictional autobiography, but learning that this condition primarily arises in isolated inbred populations led him to explore the epic history of Cal’s family).

Also controversial is the language Cal (slash Eugenides) uses throughout the novel. By the end, Cal explicitly rejects the essentialism underlying “traditional” definitions of sex and gender – Cal is neither “really” a boy, nor “really” a girl, regardless of clothing or the assumptions of others – but Eugenides uses he/him pronouns to describe the character. I’ve chosen not to in this review, because it simply didn’t feel accurate or natural based on the days I’ve spent with Cal while reading Middlesex. I suspect, if the novel were written and published today, they would be using gender neutral pronouns.

Then, there’s the language Cal uses to describe their identity. They shift between using “intersex” (when talking in the abstract, regarding activism and so forth) and the now-objectionable “hermaphrodite”. Eugenides has been asked directly why he used this term, and I thought his justification was pretty sound: it’s used by Cal in the context of their identification and engagement with Hermaphroditus, among other characters of Greek mythology and history. “When speaking about real people, I should—and I do my best to—use the term ‘intersex’,” he said. He also pointed to the journal Hermaphrodites With Attitude (published by the Intersex Society of North America) as an example of the reclaiming of the word by intersex people, akin to the reclaiming of the word “queer”.

Nevertheless, even though the language is a bit outdated (twenty years is a long time in LGBTIQ+ politics and science!), there’s a ring of authenticity in Eugenides’ portrayal, and a sensibility that I think transcends nomenclature. He has been largely praised by queer and intersex reviewers for his sensitive and insightful depiction of an intersex character, which is more than most cis-het men could ever hope for. The exception would be the handful of reviewers and scholars who have criticised Eugenides for supposedly “erasing lesbian identities” (as Cal only openly explores their attraction to women once they begin presenting as a man). I think that’s a bit rich, to be honest; Middlesex is already a huge sweeping epic, and adding an extra hundred pages for Cal to explore lesbianism would have felt like inauthentic overkill.

But I circle back to my original point: Middlesex is much more than a gender novel. Adam Begley described it as “a hybrid form, epic crossed with history, romance, comedy, tragedy” in his review for the New York Observer, and that’s spot on. It’s a big book, in length, depth, and breadth, and yet it’s compelling and thoroughly readable. If you’ve held off reading Middlesex, feeling skeptical or intimidated, you really shouldn’t wait any longer.

My favourite Amazon reviews of Middlesex:

  • “When the incestuous couple really started tucking into each other, I finally googled the author’s motivation in having incest as a major plot element, and it turns out he threw that in there just because he needed to explain the main character’s intersex condition. Ugh. C’mon Eugenides. There are a lot of other ways you could have peeled that banana.” – Julia
  • “This is a horrible and dull book. Rotten in every way. It starts with a really stupid and misleading line. “I was born on an incredibly smogless day in Detroit”. There is NEVER any smog in Detroit. The rest of the book is just as bad. There should be a stack of these books about 1/2 of a mile high for the author to jump off of.” – Michael
  • “Seriously? Incest stories about the protagonist’s grandmother is what makes good reading these days? No thanks.” – maranda green harris

Lily Harford’s Last Request – Joanna Buckley

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Get Lily Harford’s Last Request here.
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Joanna Buckley chose a lofty goal for her debut novel. The Australian author “wanted to write a book that would highlight, and encourage readers to discuss and debate, the fraught topic of assisted dying”, according to her author’s note. My friends at Harlequin HQ (HarperCollins) were kind enough to send me a copy for review.

Lily Harford’s Last Request renders the long life and final days of the titular character, Lily Harford. The story circles around her move into an assisted living facility, and her decline into vascular dementia, alongside the various other ills that come with aging.

Her perspective is shared with that of her daughter, a middle-aged school principal with a lot on her mind, and a nurse’s aide, who draws a lot of meaning from her work in aged care.

Fearing a similar mental decline to that experienced by her father, with a traumatic end, Lily begins asking others to help her end her life on her own terms.

Clearly, this story is trigger-heavy, for anyone with sore spots around ageing, dementia, and assisted dying. The opening scene, depicting Lily’s imminent death by means of smothering, is particularly confronting.

While I appreciated Buckley’s choice of subject, and warmed to the nature of the characters she crafted, Lily Harford’s Last Request fell a bit short for me. The dialogue was often stilted, exposition-heavy and unrealistic, and the “twist” ending was all too foreseeable.

This one would resonate, though, for fans of Still Alice. Even though it wasn’t for me, I hope it does indeed encourage more open conversations about assisted dying and the options that are (or should be) available to those who wish to control their own death.

Book Birthdays in 2022

A brand new year has begun, which means (among other things) that a whole new batch of books are celebrating milestone birthdays! Here are some of the major book birthdays in 2022.

Book Birthdays in 2022 - Book List - Keeping Up With The Penguins
You’ll make my next birthday the best ever if you buy a book through a link on this page – I’m an affiliate, so I’ll earn a commission.

Books Turning 10 In 2022

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

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The Fault In Our Stars was YA superstar John Green’s sixth novel. Before it was published in 2012, the announcement of just its title – just its title – saw pre-orders explode, and it rose to #84 on the Amazon bestseller list. Green foolishly committed to personally signing each pre-ordered copy; that’s how he ended up having to autograph the entire first print run. He even polled the public as to what colour Sharpie he should use, and divvied up the 150,000 copies according to the proportion of the vote that each colour received. That’s peak extra, right there… Read my full review of The Fault In Our Stars here.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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Former Entertainment Weekly writer Gillian Flynn had published two twisty thrillers with anti-heronies – Sharp Objects and Dark Places – prior to 2012, but it was Gone Girl that snagged the book club market and made her a superstar. Looking back, it’s interesting to note that this book about women’s rage shot to the top of the bestseller list long before the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements went global, perhaps an omen of the reckoning that was to come. Amy Dunne remains one of the most divisive protagonists of the past decade, and people are still scraping their jaws off the ground after That Twist. Read my full review of Gone Girl here.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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When Wild was first published back in 2012, Cheryl Strayed wasn’t exactly on top of the world. Even though Reese Witherspoon had optioned the book weeks before its publication date, and it debuted at #7 on the New York Times Best Seller list, Strayed and her husband were sitting on $85,000 of credit card debt and were struggling to make rent. She even asked her agent to put a rush on the cheque the publisher offered, whatever the amount, so that she could use it to keep a roof over her family’s heads. Ten years on, things look very different for her and her family, and she’s generously spoken openly about her past financial struggles and the grit it took to write through them. Read my full review of Wild here.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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A Man Called Ove has won a legion of fans around the world, but few realise that the beloved titular character actually began on Fredrik Backman’s blog. A few years before the novel was published in 2012, the then-relatively-unknown blogger read an article about (no kidding) a man called Ove who had “a fit” while buying museum tickets. Backman found the man completely relatable, and published a series of posts titled “I am a man called Ove”, detailing his pet peeves and his difficulties getting along with others. Hundreds of readers begged him to turn the series into a novel, and ten years later it has become an iconic heartwarming favourite. Read my full review of A Man Called Ove here.

The Miseducation Of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth

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Emily M Danforth accidentally did 20+ years of research, as a (self-described) “weirdo closeted queer kid” in Miles City, Montana, before the 2005 case of Zach Stark inspired her to write The Miseducation Of Cameron Post. Much has changed since its publication in 2012 (though not enough); many jurisdictions around the world are planning to (or have already!) banned “conversion therapy” camps and other harmful practices aimed at “de-gaying” youths. Still, this book remains a beacon for queer and questioning teens and their allies, and each new edition released by its publishers is prettier than the last.

Books Turning 20 In 2022

Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

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For much of the ’80s and ’90s, Haruki Murakami was one of Japan’s best kept literary secrets. It wasn’t until the ’00s that the English translations of his work generated serious buzz outside his homeland. Kafka On The Shore was one of those breakthrough titles, translated into English by Phillip Gabriel. Like The Wind Up Bird Chronicle before it, and 1Q84, it has a strange dreamlike quality, the trademark Japanese magical realism for which Murakami is renowned and adored. It’s hardly an easy read, but 20 years after its initial publication in the original Japanese, Kafka On The Shore continues to astonish new readers and re-readers alike.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

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Jeffrey Eugenides’ bildungsroman-cum-family saga Middlesex has sold over 4 million copies worldwide since its publication 20 years ago (with a boost from Oprah’s Book Club). It was named one of the best books of 2002 by multiple mastheads, including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times Book Review – a few have even suggested it as a contender for the title of the Great American Novel. Its enduring popularity (despite never having been adapted for film or television, the easiest way to engage new readers years after a book’s release) would certainly support that designation.

The Days Of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

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Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous literary genius, so reclusive that it’s really quite difficult to tell you anything at all about the genesis and publication of The Days Of Abandonment. I can tell you that it came before her most popular work – the series of Neapolitan novels, beginning with My Brilliant Friend – being first published in the original Italian in 2002. Ann Goldstein translated it into English, and the translation was published in 2005 (so I suppose, technically, it has two birthdays?). Other than that, the history of this novel remains as mysterious as that of its author.

Books Turning 50 in 2022

Watership Down by Richard Adams

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Watership Down began the way a lot of great children’s books do: as a story the author told his own kids. Richard Adams was desperate to keep his two young girls entertained on a long road trip, so he started making up a story for them about some bunnies who had adventures on the fields around Berkshire where they lived. The girls loved it so much that they convinced him to write it down. The rest is history, now – Watership Down turns 50 this year! Incidentally, its younger sibling, the sequel Tales From Watership Down, turns 26.

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