CC recommends: Fiction

November 30, 2011

The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka. Otsuka tells the story, in collective voice, of Japanese women who traveled to meet husbands already living in the U.S. in the first part of the 20th century. She writes of their encounters with Amer­ican culture and how they shaped their dreams and hopes for themselves and their families in difficult and sometimes harrowing circumstances.

The Love of My Youth,
by Mary Gordon. Gordon coaxes the past and present to speak both philosophically and kindly through the experience of Adam and Miranda, two people who were young lovers and who reencounter one another after 40 years of separation.

Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks. A young Wampanoag Indian meets a young New England woman. Set in the 17th century, this novel is not a romance but a meditation on education, cultural difference and friendship at a defining moment in American history.

The Coffins of Little Hope, by Timothy Schaffert. In a small, dying town in Nebraska, Essie Myles has fine-tuned her understanding of life and death by writing the obituary page for the local newspaper for more than 60 years. When a young girl is reported missing, Essie and the rest of the town go in search of her story. What she finds is less the truth than the various truths of myth and family legends.

Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman. Harri is a boy who has recently immigrated to London from Ghana. When another boy in his neighborhood is murdered, Harri and his friends try to track down the killer, all the while interpreting the strange world in which they find themselves through hilarious misunderstandings and original use of slang. Pigeon English is a playful look at language and culture, and a serious consideration of youth and violence.