This week’s native daughter is Ann Patchett, author of The Patron Saint of Liar, Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant, and — my favorite — Run . I reviewed it a few months ago — Review of Run — and if you haven’t read her latest yet, please do. If my review isn’t enough to convince you, try this Book Trailer for Run (no spoilers… but a sense of the atmosphere and thematic concerns).
“Run,” with a title that suggests many things (including Kenya’s athletic prowess and Doyle’s political drive), and with a watery looking cover that reflects the whole book’s aura of a human aquarium, becomes an elegant mélange of family ties. Ms. Patchett gives her readers much to contemplate when genetics, privilege, opportunity and nurture come into play. And to her credit she is neither vague nor reductive about any of these things; she creates a genuinely rich landscape of human possibility. If she does not wildly exploit the drama of colliding fates on a snowy night and subsequent life-or-death medical crisis, there are plenty of other writers who tell such stories…
“Run” is muted only insofar as its characters are all so accomplished, their natures so decent and their barbs so civilized. It’s as if the story’s racial nuances, which are rendered almost nonexistent, are still present enough to preclude any rough edges.
Curious about the other states we’ve covered?
Photo by marxchivist
First, from Melanie Jones:
Alabama: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (check out my To Kill A Mockingbird Sample Kit!) Michigan: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides Alaska: The Man Who Swam With Beavers by Nancy Lord Arizona: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver North Dakota: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger Vermont: The Secret History by Donna Tartt Hawaii: Heads by Harry by Lois-ann Yamanaka Georgia: Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
And I went out on my own for…
Florida: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Nora Zeale Hurston Minnesota: In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien Wisconsin: When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton Louisiana: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells (Jones’ pick) and The Awakening by Kate Chopin (my pick) Colorado: Plainsong by Kent Haruf Maryland: Anything by Anne Tyler Georgia: Awakening by Kate Chopin Ohio: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Arkansas: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou Virginia: John Grisham Idaho: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson North Carolina: Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
Wondering where your state is? Coming soon… In the meantime, weigh in on future picks!