Sunday, May 12, 2013

An Author a Day for Thirty Days: Day 11

Okay, I know I'm super late in posting my pick for the day. In my defense, I'm in Arizona right now, and they don't recognize daylight savings time, so I'm two hours behind the whiny, nagging Gianna. Here's what I have to say to that: GRAND CANYON. It's grand. It's a canyon. It's a lovely way to spend a day after traveling all week for work.

Here are two more words: JACUZZI SUITE. There appears to be a jacuzzi in the middle of my hotel room. I think there's the strong possibility that I will be finishing this pick with some soothing bubbles.

My pick today is Susanna Moore. Technically we've briefly mentioned one of her books before (in a piece about books about prison, which further proves that the quality of this blog leaves much to be desired), but we've never given her the proper amount of attention. Another reason I want to highlight Susanna Moore is that I know Gianna's a fan and I'm tired of her stealing my picks. I'm therefore stealing one of hers. (Did I mention I have a jacuzzi in the middle of my hotel room? How about that the manager of the hotel made a point of saying it could seat two? Or that his name is--and I'm not making this up--Japhet Leviticus?)

Susanna Moore. Focus. Okay. Let's say you like serious, thought-provoking fiction. Let's say that you don't want to read the same book rehashed by an author over and over. Let's say that women's lives, and often the darker elements of their lives, interest you. You will like Susanna Moore.

The first book of hers I read was In the Cut, which is arguably her most well-known work since it was made into a movie starring Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo and directed by Jane Campion. This book is dark, twisted, erotic, extremely disturbing, and intelligent. Franny, the main character, is obsessed with language and with risk-taking without emotional engagement. She's a woman on the edge, but when she realizes that the woman she saw engaged in a sordid act with a man is the same woman who ended up murdered, Franny becomes a witness in the hunt for a serial killer. Her foil is Detective Mallory, emotional mystery. Good times.

Next was The Big Girls. It's a novel set in a women's prison. Yes, please.

Susanna Moore's latest novel is The Life of Objects. In 1938, Beatrice, an Irish lace maker, takes a job as a lace curator/restorer for a wealthy German couple. This is Germany on the eve of World War II, though, and when Hitler begins invading countries, the family--including Beatrice--retreat to their country home. She is faced with the choice: return to Ireland or take her chances in Germany and the growing horrors around her. Reading groups, you should check this one out.

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