40 OVERLOOKED BOOKS FROM 2017, AS CHOSEN BY BOOKSELLERS


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I don’t like recommending lists on needull, but for books I will make an exception.

I had shamefully little knowledge of Lebanese culture and of military campaigns in North Africa, but that has been somewhat rectified by Moving the Palace. Majdalani writes beautifully of a young Lebanese man serving in the British military who finds himself on adventures in that service and with a quixotic quest to move a dissembled palace across the desert expanses of North Africa and the Middle East. The success of the novel lies not only in his accomplishments but in Majdalani’s telling of them.

–Katie Orphan, The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles

The complete article

Literary Hub

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VERNON SULLIVAN: THE BESTSELLING WRITER WHO DIDN’T EXIST


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This is one of the most interesting needulls that I have come across in a long time. I am truly fascinated by writers who manage to create an authentic persona just on the basis of secondary research.

I Spit On Your Graves marked the emergence of a beautifully corrosive African-American author, given full expression, as Chester Himes later would be, in France, except that, as it turned out, there was no Vernon Sullivan. He didn’t exist. For all its bitterness about race and racism, the novel was the work of a white man, its supposed translator, Boris Vian. And Vian had never even been to the United States. In contrast to his fictional creation, a black man who passes as white, Vian adopted a black persona, and his literary hoax, at least at first, succeeded. French readers thought Vernon Sullivan was real. They didn’t suspect Vian had done more than “translate” and supply the book’s informative preface. But who was Boris Vian exactly, and why had he perpetrated the hoax? What lay behind what now would be rightly called an egregious act of cultural appropriation?

The complete article

Scott Adlerberg — Literary Hub

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10 BOOKS FEATURING SUBVERSIVE WOMEN


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Even though needull is into recommending articles worth reading, the charm of reading a novel is never gone. And also as the weekend begins, here is a list of 10 novels featuring bad women.

Susanna Moore, In the Cut

A literary thriller about Frannie, a 35-year-old English teacher living alone in New York, who incautiously enters into a liaison with a detective investigating a murder. Frannie’s voice is detached and ironic, a mask for her extreme vulnerability. Frannie eroticizes danger, testing limits, and the sex scenes here are gorgeous and explicit.

The complete list

Melissa Ginsburg — Literary Hub

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