Sunday, March 13, 2011

Top ten books about troubled families

Rachel Seiffert is the author of the Booker-shortlisted novel The Dark Room and an acclaimed collection of short stories, Field Study.

She was named one of Granta's Best of Young British writers, and one of 25 "women writers to watch" in the Orange Futures promotion. Her most recent novel is Afterwards.

A few years ago she named a list of the top 10 books about troubled families for the Guardian.

One title on the list:
Disgrace by JM Coetzee

David Lurie, a professor of literature, disgraces himself in middle age by sleeping with one of his students. To escape the repercussions, he goes to stay on his daughter's farm, but once there has to cope with a further, far more profound disgrace, as the farm is attacked, and his daughter is raped. It's a searing look at the racial politics of post-apartheid South Africa, but the emotional strength of the book lies in this struggle between father and daughter.
Read about the other books on the list.

Disgrace also appears on Ian Holding's top ten list of books that teach us about southern Africa; it is one of Vendela Vida's favorite books of the last ten years, one of Yann Martel's five favorite books, and one of T.C. Boyle's four favorite books to turn to for comfort.

--Marshal Zeringue