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  • Writer's pictureBecky Bechhold

New and old authors.

Ayad Akhtar was a new author to me. He won a Pulitzer for his play Disgraced. His new novel Homeland Elegies has received glowing reviews. I found him to be confusing or at least mournful as he writes about the United States and the Muslim state. Is he hopeless? What does he see as the way out? I listened to interviews with him about this book and still cannot discern his ideas of how we fix things. Still glad I read it. This is a fantastic book for discussion, but certainly not uplifting.A-

Mary Gordon published Final Payments in 2006 and I have been a fan ever since. With Payback she tells a story of revenge. Strangely, I had little sympathy for Heidi/Quin who is seeking revenge on her former teacher from boarding school in the 70's. The description of the boarding school and faculty was nostalgic and accurate. Quin's foray into reality TV is ruefully humorous. Gordon typically depicts moral dilemmas and this book again offers great discussion. B+

For something far less serious from an old author new to me, Edmund White offers A Saint From Texas. Twin sisters raised in 1950's Texas pursue divergent lives- one as a nun , one as a French baroness. Mr. White is in his 80's, taught at Princeton and has won multiple French literary awards. His Paris scenes are spot on. This is a delightful book. A.


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