Sep 14, 2011
In this episode: A listener's plea for help, Man Booker shortlist 2012, Literary late bloomers, and 2 great books we can't wait for you to read.
We received an email from a listener who needs help: she's looking for the title of a science fiction book she read years ago, possibly published in the 1980s. An elderly, wealthy business man was dying, and his assistant agreed to an operation where her brain would be transferred to his body. Can you help our listener identify this book?
The shortlist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize was announced this week. It's a great list of titles, several of which I've read. The winner will be announced on October 18th.
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an
Ending (will be published in the US in
Carol Birch, Jamrach's Menagerie
Patrick DeWitt, The Sisters Brothers
Esi Edugyan, Half Blood Blues
Steven Kelman, Pigeon English
A.D. Miller, Snowdrops
Does the Booker shortlist make a difference for you? Do they make you more interested in the books than before (if you knew about them previously)? And for our international listeners, does the Man Booker prize mean anything outside of the UK?
Victoria called in to talk about Grandparents' Day, which is September 11th. We're going to expand this into Grandparents' Week, since we couldn't get the episode out in time for Sunday. Victoria wanted recommendations for books by authors who were literary late bloomers, or books that featured main characters who were over 50. Here's what we came up with:
Some of the "late bloomer" authors we came up with:
David Abbott, author of The Upright Piano Player
Alan Bradley, author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Harry Bernstein published his memoir, The Invisible Wall, at the age of 91.
Frank McCoourt, author of Angela's Ashes, which was published when McCourt was 66.
And novelist Donald Ray Pollock, who recently published The Devil All the Time.
There are a few more literary late bloomers listed in an article over at The Huffington Post.
Books featuring grandparents as protagonists:
The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
Above the Thunder by Renee Manfredi
Listeners, what novels featuring grandparents do you recommend?
I recently fell in love with The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt. It's a western, and though I'm not terribly well-versed in the western genre, I think it's a unique take. It's the story of Charlie and Eli Sisters, who are hired guns for a wealthy man. It's quietly violent, but also funny and warm.
Michael loved Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman. Tom Violet is in his mid-thirties, and he's not living the happy, successful life that he thought he would be. He has a conflicted relationship with his successful-novelist father, and he doesn't know what to do. It's funny and heartbreaking, and features a great main character.
[image: Some rights reserved by caspis, via flickr]