A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Set in the mid-1970s in India, A Fine Balance tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a ‘State of Internal Emergency’. Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates – become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen. Written with compassion, humor and insight, A Fine Balance is a vivid, richly textured and powerful novel by one of the most gifted writers of our time.
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The first novel from the author of Writing Down the Bones. Nell Schwartz, a Brooklyn-born Jewish girl who moves to the Taos of communes and sweet cedar smoke, transforms herself into Banana Rose (because she’s “bananas”), falls in love with a horn player named Gaughin, and believes they can stop time if they just love hard enough. Subtly hilarious and achingly raw, this is the story of Nell’s long, strange trip from her beloved New Mexico to the alien Midwest and back again. As she struggles with the demands of canvas and paint, with her family and faith, and with her own wild heart, she discovers the one secret power that sustains her through it all.
A pilot calls into the control tower to request an emergency landing. Following a mystery incident, the plane’s cabin is virtually destroyed, ninety-four passengers are injured and three are dead. Investigating this fatal accident for the airline, Casey Singleton must find out the truth before the multi-million dollar business goes bust in the face of a huge media backlash. Further lives are at stake and it seems everyone is against her – even her own colleagues – and everyone has something to hide. Airframe is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled thriller from the master of high-concept storytelling.
In Paradise – her first novel since she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – Toni Morrison gives us a bravura performance. As the book begins deep in Oklahoma early one morning in 1976, nine men from Ruby (pop. 360), in defense of “the one all black town worth the pain,” assault the nearby Convent and the women in it. From the town’s ancestral origins in 1890 to the fateful day of the assault, Paradise tells the story of a people ever mindful of the relationship between their spectacular history and a void “Out There . . . where random and organized evil erupted when and where it chose.” Richly imagined and elegantly composed, Paradise weaves a powerful mystery.
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family on a mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. The carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it – from garden seeds to Scripture – is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa. The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected Prime Minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring and modern writers.