THE HOOPLA LITERARY SOCIETY
Happy Mother’s Day! May your weekend be full of joy in whatever shape you like it.
For me, every weekend includes large chunks of reading and this one will be no different. However, I have been wording up my husband all week about making me Charlotte Wood’s Mother’s Day lunch from her gorgeous book Love and Hunger.
My plan is that he and the kids can cook while I read. Wish me luck with that one!
And here is my gift to you: some morsels for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
The Forrests, Emily Perkins
“The Forrest seniors announced that now Eve was home they were going to leave. ‘End of the week,’ Frank said. It was Thursday. What were the racing back to, their golf handicaps, their lunches? But that’s how it was with them. The thread count of Frank’s shirts and the sheen of Lee’s gold fob chain revised the past, as though the years they lived here and had children and were broke were their wilderness, an interlude.”
Through the character of Dorothy (Dot) Forrest, Emily Perkins’ latest novel examines families in all their dysfunctional glory. With writing that is deceptively simple and sharp, she pieces together ideas as if they were pieces of Lego. Ideas snapped into place, building the sensory and physical spaces for her characters to inhabit.
The narrative begins with the arrival of the Forrests in Auckland, New Zealand, freshly twanging with New York accents and the wrong haircuts. As the family lurches and heaves through adolescence, marital strife and lack of funds, Dorothy provides the narrative, filling us in with intimate details that are too real and too noticeable for them not to be true.
When an inheritance beckons her parents back to America, all but abandoning their brood to their own devices, Dorothy must navigate through love, child bearing, illness, misfortune and a sense of responsibility to her siblings. That Dorothy is not particularly well equipped to do this only adds to the sharpness.
In so many ways this novel talked of a time I recognized. Even though the experiences were not necessarily my own, I knew them. It is such a beautifully crafted novel, I had to share some with you. Here’s the first chapter. BUY THE BOOK
Vale Maurice Sendak
Maurice Sendak died on May 8 of complications following a stroke. Sendak broke with tradition creating stories about children who were often lonely, melancholy or orphaned. None was more famous than Max, the naughty boy sent to bed without his supper in Where the Wild Things Are, for which Sendak won the Caldecott Medal and an lifelong audience.
It is one thing to be a writer, it’s completely another to be able to imagine, write and illustrate your own work. To then have that work idolized by generations of children is beyond admirable.
On Tuesday night, there were eight British publishers in one room, all of them recognised as the best of independent publishing. Some of the books they are bringing out between now and Christmas are amazing. And while there is a little bit of time to wait for some of these, I couldn’t resist wetting your appetite a teensy bit.
Recognise this quote? “Which one of you bitches is my mother?” Oh yes, it’s Shirley Conran’s bestseller Lace. This year marks the 30th anniversary of a book that caused a sensation, has sold more than three million copies and paved the way for the likes of Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper. It has a hot new cover and anyone too young to have read it the first time around or who wants to see what the world was like before Sex and the City, this is a must read. It comes out in September.
Life of Pi for the big screen
I am very excited that Canadian writer Yann Martel’s Man Booker prize-winning novel Life of Pi has been made into a movie by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain). Release is scheduled for December 2012 and the industry is already talking Oscar nominations for the ground-breaking use of technology (think Titanic and Avatar.) I’m relieved to think they didn’t really put an actor in a boat with a tiger – it would have been a very short movie otherwise! Given the book has sold more than seven million copies worldwide since its release in 2001, if you haven’t read the book, now might be the time.
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