Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Good and Cheap (Books)! Day 22
One of our favorite editors, and quite frankly just one of the nicest guys we’ve ever met, is having quite the year. He is the first editor to have two books win the Pulitzer in the same year (Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson and Fredrik Logevell’s Embers of War). Yeah yeah yeah, but does he edit books by anyone else worth a darn? Yes. David Mitchell (also known as Mr. Liz Sullivan), Diane Keaton, Billy Collins, and he worked with Norman Mailer in his last few years.
Ebershoff is obviously impressive and a talented editor, but I came to know him through my obsession with his own novel The 19th Wife. The novel is inspired by Anna Eliza Young, who was one of Brigham Young’s fifty plus wives, who later turned against polygamy in a very public way (what’s her problem, right?). It ties this look back at polygamy in with a modern look at a woman living in a polygamous Mormon sect who is accused of killing her husband. It’s a delicious book on its own, but you will want to discuss it at length with your book group or strangers on a bus. You won’t be able to stop thinking about it. It's, as the kids say, cray cray.
We can’t talk about David without talking about The Danish Girl, which was inspired by Danish painter Einar Wegener, who was the first person to undergo sex re-assignment surgery. See, you all thought it was me, but that is not true, it was Einar Wegener.
The Danish Girl is in turns stunning, sad, and in the end inspiring. I loved this book, and after perusing my shelves realize that I must have given it to someone to read. Please return it if that person is you, I want to read it again.