ENGL 101 Enhanced Book Club Titles for Fall 2016
Boyden, Joseph. Three Day Road. Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 25, 2006)
ISBN-13: 978-0143037071 Paperback
Best friends Xavier and Elijah are both expert sharpshooters and, using the field craft they learned hunting in the forests of Hudson Bay, quickly become accomplished snipers. Elijah is outgoing and boastful, while Xavier is quiet and reserved, but both are deadly efficient soldiers. A parallel story line tells of Niska, Xavier's aunt, a Cree Indian prophet and healer, as she tells of the sad decline of Cree culture and waits for her nephew to come home. As the war drags on, one of the men's addiction to drugs and killing causes him to take extreme risks; when he finally commits murder to hide the ugly truth, his friend sees only one solution to save his own soul.
Eng, Tan Twan. The Garden of Evening Mists . Weinstein Books; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1602861800 Paperback
Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon comes.” As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery.
Danticat, Edwidge. The Farming of Bones. Soho Press, 2013.
ISBN-13: 978-1616953492 Paperback
Amabelle Désir, a young Haitian woman living in the Dominican Republic, has built herself a life as the servant and companion of the wife of a wealthy colonel. She and Sebastian, a cane worker, are deeply in love and plan to marry. But Amabelle's world collapses when a wave of genocidal violence, driven by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, leads to the slaughter of Haitian workers. Amabelle and Sebastian are separated, and she desperately flees the tide of violence for a Haiti she barely remembers.
St. John Mandel, Emily. Station Eleven. Vintage (June 2, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0804172448 Paperback
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.
Feinberg, Leslie. Stone Butch Blues. Alyson Books (April 1, 2004)
ISBN-13: 978-1555838539 (This book is available as a free pdf download on the author's website or, for a small fee, as a print copy. Orders can be placed here: http://www.lesliefeinberg.net/).
Woman or man? That’s the question that rages like a storm around Jess Goldberg, clouding her life and her identity. Growing up differently gendered in a blue--collar town in the 1950’s, coming out as a butch in the bars and factories of the prefeminist ’60s, deciding to pass as a man in order to survive when she is left without work or a community in the early ’70s. This powerful, provocative and deeply moving novel sees Jess coming full circle, she learns to accept the complexities of being a transgendered [sic] person in a world demanding simple explanations: a he-she emerging whole, weathering the turbulence.