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Holiday Reading List

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Holiday Reading List 

    The Underground Railroad

    From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. 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.

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    Homegoing

    Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best First BookEffia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.

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    Hot Milk

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016 SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE 2016Plunge into this hypnotic tale of female sexuality and power - from the Man Booker shortlisted author of Swimming HomeTwo women arrive in a village on the Spanish coast. Rose is suffering from a strange illness andher doctors are mystified. Her daughter Sofia has brought her here to find a cure with the infamous and controversial Dr Gomez - a man of questionable methods and motives. Intoxicated by thick heat and the seductive people who move through it, both women begin to see their lives clearly for the first time in years.Through the opposing figures of mother and daughter, Deborah Levy explores the strange and monstrous nature of womanhood. Dreamlike and utterly compulsive, Hot Milk is a delirious fairy tale of feminine potency, a story both modern and timeless.

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    The Noise of Time

    In May 1937 a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return. So begins Julian Barnes' first novel since his Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending. A story about the collision of Art and Power, about human compromise, human cowardice and human courage, it is the work of a true master.

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    Imagine Me Gone

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 2017 A sweeping American drama about the long legacy of mental illness, the bonds of kinship, and the limits of love Michael is John and Margaret's eldest son. He's a precocious kid, smart and funny, obsessed with books and music. His sister Celia is the sensible one in the family: tougher than the boys, unshakeably certain about how the world works. And then there's Alec, the youngest, the most ambitious and also the most sensitive. He grows up in the shadow of Michael's distant coolness and Celia's pragmatic confidence, never quite keeping up with the others. The children are still living at home when their brilliant, beloved father walks into the woods by their house and take his own life. Years later, one of them will follow him. How are we damaged by what we inherit? How much can any family give to save one of its own? And how can you tell the difference between what is passed on and what is picked up - between the truly inherited flaw and the self-fulfilling prophecy? Weaving together the voices of five family members, Adam Haslett imagines how a single isolated tragedy can become the event that defines many lives, unfolding a rich and painful novel that has all the makings of an American classic.

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