Set in present day West Virginia, Ann Pancakes debut novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been, tells the story of a coal mining family—a couple and their four children—living through the latest mining boom and dealing with the mountaintop removal and strip mining that is ruining what is left of their mountain life. As the mine turns the mountains to slag and wastewater, workers struggle with layoffs and children find adventure in the blasted moonscape craters. Strange As This Weather Has Been follows several members of the family, with a particular focus on fifteen-year-old Bant and her mother, Lace. Working at a “scab motel, Bant becomes involved with a young miner while her mother contemplates joining the fight against the mining companies. As domestic conflicts escalate at home, the children are pushed more and more outside among junk from the floods and felled trees in the hollows—the only nature they have ever known. But Bant has other memories and is as curious and strong-willed as her mother, and ultimately comes to discover the very real threat of destruction that looms as much in the landscape as it does at home.
Ann Pancake’s 2007 novel Strange as This Weather Has Been centered on mountaintop removal and its effects upon a single coal mining family. In Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, a follow-up collection of eleven astonishing short stories, Pancake returns to her native West Virginia to tell stories of other traditional people. These are folks living much as they have for three hundred years, tried by poverty and ill health but needing the coal companies’ upon which the economy is entirely dependent, even as they witness the air and land and water of this beautiful place being imperiled and destroyed. Ann Pancake’s ear for the Appalachian dialect – in both towns and in the countryside -- is both pitch perfect and respectful, that of one who writes from the heart of this world. Her characters are ensnared in the complexities of rural economies where there are no quick fixes to questions surrounding right livelihood even going off to college. With first-hand knowledge of the provincial locale and her exquisite depictions of the intricacies of families, she might well remind you of Alice Munro. In her intimate depiction of the natural history of rural Appalachia, Me and My Daddy
Each working day from January 29 to November 1, 1951, John Steinbeck warmed up to the work of writing East of Eden with a letter to the late Pascal Covici, his friend and editor at The Viking Press. It was his way, he said, of "getting my mental arm in shape to pitch a good game." Steinbeck's letters were written on the left-hand pages of a notebook in which the facing pages would be filled with the test of East of Eden. They touched on many subjects—story arguments, trial flights of worknamship, concern for his sons. Part autobiography, part writer's workshop, these letters offer an illuminating perspective on Steinbeck's creative process, and a fascinating glimpse of Steinbeck, the private man.
The third book in the epic and compulsively readable Sevenwaters series Child of the Prophecy is the eagerly-awaited follow-up to the winner of the Aurealis Award Son of the Shadows and the international bestseller Daughter of the Forest. Raised in an isolated cove, Fainne has been sent to live at Sevenwaters and burdened with a terrible task. She must use whatever powers she can to prevent the Fair Folk winning back the Islands, no matter what the cost. Even if it means denying herself the one she loves. But can Fainne turn her back on the people she has come to care for? And can she bring herself to rid the world of the chosen one-child of the prophecy? PRAISE FOR THE SERIES "Enormously satisfying ... enchanting, deftly told" Good Reading "There are some series so lyrical, so well-conceived, that every new book is a delight, and this describes Marillier's Sevenwaters." The Weekend West "A rousing page-turner, a heady blending of romance, magic and battle" Booklist Fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley, Isobelle Carmody and Robin Hobb will love Juliet Marillier.
Emotionally Weird is a thoroughly original and hilarious new novel about mothers, daughters, and love, by the author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum On a weather-beaten island off the coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother, Nora, take refuge in the large, mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories. Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear--like who her real father was. Effie tells various versions of her life at college, where in fact she lives in a lethargic relationship with Bob, a student who never goes to lectures, seldom gets out of bed, and to whom Klingons are as real as Spaniards and Germans. But as mother and daughter spin their tales, strange things are happening around them. Is Effie being followed? Is someone killing the old people? And where is the mysterious yellow dog? In a brilliant comic narrative which explores the nonsensical power of language and meaning, Kate Atkinson has created another magical masterpiece.
The first book in the epic and compulsively readable Sevenwaters series "I enjoyed it immensely... For an Irish resident, familiar with the mores and customs, Daughter of the Forest had special meaning and relevance." Anne McCaffrey "This saga will hold you entranced" Australian Women's Weekly Daughter of the Forest is a mixture of history and heritage, myth and magic, legend and love. Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with seven children but it is Sorcha, the youngest child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect their land from the invading Britons. For Sorcha is the only one who escapes the cruel influence of Lady Oonagh, her father's new wife. Exiled from Sevenwaters and cast out into the forest and the terrifying world beyond, Sorcha falls into the hands of the feared enemy. Now she is torn between a life she has always known and a love that only comes once. Fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley, Isobelle Carmody and Robin Hobb will love Juliet Marillier.
At last, _Up Through an Empty House of Stars_ brings together the best of the never before collected SF reviews and articles that helped build David Langford's towering reputation since 1980. Complementing the review columns collected in _The Complete Critical Assembly_ and the knockabout essays and squibs in _The Silence of the Langford_, this volume's 100 glittering selections mix serious critical insight with the inimitable Langford wit. In 2002 David Langford won his sixteenth Hugo award as Best Fan Writer, for critical and humorous commentary on SF. In the same year his occasionally scandalous SF newsletter _Ansible_ won its fifth Hugo. Langford also received the 2001 Hugo for best short story, and the 2002 Skylark Award. Here he shines a unique light on classics like Ernest Bramah, G.K. Chesterton, Robert Heinlein and Jack Vance, and analyses major SF -- and major clunkers, and minor eccentrics -- of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, continuing to the latest by such current stars as Gene Wolfe and China Mi, ville. Plus witty asides on crime fiction and its SF links, gleeful examination of writing so bad it's almost good, and (even at his most serious) turns of phrase to make you laugh aloud
A successful architect, Jessie has no memories of her life before her eleventh birthday. Her trip to England for the funeral of an unknown grandmother and the subsequent inheritance of an unexpected fortune are coupled with eerie, profoundly unsettling incidents that point in the direction of her mysterious past. The terrifying events that transpire send into a psychotic breaking point, a panic that lands her in a white padded room. As she journeys into the deep recesses of her amnesia, Jessie realized that there are some doors that should never be opened. Now, the only way out is to travel back to Eagleden Estate and face the demons of her past.
A quirky and darkly comic take on domestic life in southern India. Ousep Chacko, journalist and failed novelist, prides himself on being “the last of the real men.” This includes waking neighbors upon returning late from the pub. His wife Mariamma stretches their money, raises their two boys, and, in her spare time, gleefully fantasizes about Ousep dying. One day, their seemingly happy seventeen-year-old son Unni—an obsessed comic-book artist—falls from the balcony, leaving them to wonder whether it was an accident. Three years later, Ousep receives a package that sends him searching for the answer, hounding his son’s former friends, attending a cartoonists’ meeting, and even accosting a famous neurosurgeon. Meanwhile, younger son Thoma, missing his brother, falls head over heels for the much older girl who befriended them both. Haughty and beautiful, she has her own secrets. The Illicit Happiness of Other People—a smart, wry, and poignant novel—teases you with its mystery, philosophy, and unlikely love story.