Literary Book Discussion
Join other fans of Literary Fiction to discuss the latest book selection!
This book discussion is typically held monthly on the fourth Tuesday @ 1pm
Book Selection for January: “Nightbitch” by Rachel Yoder
With its clear eyes on contemporary womanhood and sharp take on structures of power, Nightbitch is an outrageously original, joyfully subversive read that will make you want to howl in laughter and recognition. Addictive enough to be devoured in one sitting, this is an unforgettable novel from a blazing new talent.
One day, the mother was a mother but then, one night, she was quite suddenly something else…
At home full-time with her two-year-old son, an artist finds she is struggling. She is lonely and exhausted. She had imagined – what was it she had imagined? Her husband, always travelling for his work, calls her from faraway hotel rooms. One more toddler bedtime, and she fears she might lose her mind.
Instead, quite suddenly, she starts gaining things, surprising things that happen one night when her child will not sleep. Sharper canines. Strange new patches of hair. New appetites, new instincts. And from deep within herself, a new voice.
Book Selection for February: “FOSTER” by Claire Keegan
Foster is spare, heart-rending – and perfect.
The nameless narrator is a little girl whose parents, impoverished Catholic farmers already overwhelmed by too many children and the father’s bad habits, farm her out to distant relatives before the next baby’s arrival. She has no idea what to expect – whether she’ll be worked hard or treated kindly, and for how long.
The experience turns out to be life changing, as the deprivations of her former life reveal themselves through the things she notices, like the sparkling kitchen and calm efficiency of her temporary guardians.
Book Selection for March: “Stories from the Tenants Downstairs” by Sidik Fofana
Stories from the Tenants Downstairs is a collection of eight interconnected short stories.
Among the eight, interconnected short stories set in a Harlem high rise is one that will break you: a middle schooler named Najee who’s struggling to write a remorseful letter to a friend’s mother. There’s also a would-be hairdresser who’s mortified when he goes viral and a young woman wrestling with animosity and vengeance toward one of her neighbors-in-need.
Sidik Fofana’s characters tell their stories in such vivid voices, rendered so completely, that you swear you can see their facial expressions and hear their breathing as you laugh at their wit and hurt at their pain: a brilliant debut.
Book Selection for April: “Glory: A Novel” by NoViolet Bulawayo
Award-winning Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo’s second novel, Glory, is a resonant and stirring fable about Jidada, a fictional nation modeled after Zimbabwe, and what happens when its longtime leader is ousted.
By turns funny and heartbreaking, Bulawayo’s attention to voice and cadence throughout enriches the book, which succeeds in expressing a people’s frustration, terror, resilience, uprising, and hope in a way that can be applied to a multitude of nations and political realities around the globe.
Hope is not an easy thing but, like Glory, it is indeed glorious in its power.
Book Selection for May: “Stolen” by Ann-Helén Laestadius, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Nine-year-old Elsa witnesses the slaughter of her reindeer – a hate crime against the Indigenous Sámi community – and is threatened into silence by the killer. But when he strikes again a decade later, she is ready to take down both the killer and the criminal justice system that allowed him to terrorize her people with impunity. This coming-of-age thriller explores themes of white male entitlement, rural despair, generational trauma, colonialism and gatekeeping with a nuance that makes you forget its Swedish setting. Scandinavia, it turns out, is not as cozy-cabin-core as Americans like to imagine.