Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sara Gruen's six favorite books

Sara Gruen is the author of the #1 bestselling novel Water for Elephants, as well as the bestseller Riding Lessons and Flying Changes. She shares her North Carolina home with her own version of a blended family: a husband, three children, four cats, two dogs, two horses, and a goat. In order to write her latest novel, Ape House, Gruen studied linguistics and a system of lexigrams so that she could communicate directly with the bonobos living at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa. She now considers them to be part of her extended family, and, according to the bonobos, the feeling is mutual.

She named her six favorite books for The Week magazine.

One entry on the list:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

I devoured this raucous novel, lengthy footnotes and all, in two days flat—and have been shoving it into the hands of everyone I know ever since. Containing everything from comic-book references and science fiction to Oscar Wilde and a family curse, this book breaks all the rules.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
also appears on Paste magazine's list of the ten best debut novels of the decade (2000-2009) and among The Millions' best books of fiction of the millenium. The novel is one of Matthew Kaminski's five favorite novels about immigrants in America and is a book that made a difference to Zoë Saldana.

See Junot Díaz's most important books and the Page 99 Test: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

--Marshal Zeringue