If you’re still working away on your Adult Summer Book Bingo, we’re back with some suggestions for authors from Mexico and Canada to check out. I’ve focused on writers with a new book out in the past few years, but try our longer list in the catalog for even more suggestions including some classic authors from each country.
Herrera won the Best Translated Book Award in 2016 for his novel Signs Preceding the End of the World, in which Makina leaves behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother across the border in the United States. Makina is carrying two secret messages – one from her mother, and one from some gang members. The Transmigration of Bodies is a slim novella (just 101 pages) in which a plague has come to the city, and two feuding crime families need The Redeemer to broker peace.
Luiselli has been prolific over the past few years writing fiction and nonfiction alike. Her latest is the novel Lost Children Archive, a fragmented narrative that incorporates multiple points of view, archival documents and photographs while telling the story of a family traveling from New York to the Arizona/Mexico border and the ways they become enmeshed in the migration crisis at the border. Or check an earlier novel, Faces in the Crowd, which weaves together the story of a poet and mother living in present-day Mexico City, and the story of a young editor in 1950s New York City translating the works of an obscure Mexican poet from the 1920s.
Edugyan is one of the few authors to have won Canada’s Giller Prize twice. Washington Black begins when 11-year-old Wash is a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation. When Titch, his master’s brother arrives, Wash is pulled out of the fields and assigned to help Titch with his naturalist observations. When another man dies, a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, and Wash and Titch flee together, beginning Wash’s journey in search of his true self. Edugyan’s previous book Half-blood Blues follows a mixed-race German American jazz band in Nazi Germany as one of their most talented members is arrested by the Gestapo, and the long-reaching repercussions of that moment.
If you’re familiar with Ondaatje, it’s most likely from his 1992 novel (and later film) The English Patient, which followed four characters – a nurse, a thief, an Indian sapper, and a burn victim – as their lives converge in a bombed-out Italian villa at the end of World War II. Ondaatje’s most recent novel, Warlight, also has its narrative roots in World War II. When Nathaniel Williams was 14 and his sister 15, World War II was ending and they were left in the care of their parent’s friends. Years later, Nathaniel examines that time and interviews those who were there in an effort to understand his history.
Toews grew up in a Mennonite town in Manitoba, and much of her work centers Mennonite communities. Her latest novel, Women Talking, is based on a true story and set in a present-day Mennonite colony in Bolivia. Eight women surreptitiously gather in a barn to decide their future after learning the truth behind two years of sexual assaults committed by neighbors and family members. Will they stay, stay and fight, or leave? What about their faith, their duty, their anger? Toews’ previous novel All My Puny Sorrows teases apart the fraught relationship between two adult sisters as they grapple with family history, art and music, depression, and suicide.
For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2019 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2019 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.
~ posted by Andrea G.