October update, and our November book choice

October update, and our November book choice

So you may have noticed that we postponed the discussion of Martin Dressler an additional week, which is an awful lot of delay for an awful short book; unfortunately, with all the new hiring going on here, we’ve been swamped with interviews and had to back-burner the book club for an extra week.

So we’ll now be starting discussion of Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist on Monday, October 18. Again, here's Ellen Wernecke's explanation of why she picked this book for us:

Whitehead's imaginative debut gives a familiar story of political corruption a speculative quarter-turn by constructing an alternate America behind it. Just as elevator operator Lila Mae Watson anticipates setting a new standard for safety in the unnamed city where she works, an accident on her watch jeopardizes the advances her coworkers have made, with election season (and its accompanying flow of patronage) just around the corner. I haven't decided whether it’s an ambitious failure or an ingenious fable, but the story of Lila Mae fighting to clear her name is a provocative read.

And next up, with discussion beginning November 29, we have Zack Handlen's latest pick, Beryl Bainbridge's 1984 novel Watson's Apology. Here's his explanation:

Beryl Bainbridge is a British writer who passed away recently; she's probably best known for An Awfully Big Adventure, which was made into a movie starring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. In the later part of her career, Bainbridge turned to historical fiction, without losing the sharp, bitter eye that characterized her earlier work. Watson's Apology is based on a real-life murder case from 1844, when a clergyman, John Shelby Watson, bludgeoned his wife to death after 30 years of marriage. Bainbridge's prose is sharp, elegant, and painfully well-observed, and her grasp of psychology means her characters are as developed as her style. Plus, like all her novels, it's short.

As usual, we won't have a December pick, because the discussion would coincide with all the end-of-the-month holidaying; we'll let you know next month what January's book will be. Happy reading!

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