Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Five recent books that use cultural anthropology to brilliant effect

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well.

At B & N Reads Somers tagged five recent books that use cultural anthropology to brilliant effect, including:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple

On the surface, Where’d You Go, Bernadette isn’t anthropological at all—it’s a straight-up novel about a brilliant woman who retreats into home and family life to escape a damaging past, only to run away when things reach a breaking point. Dig deeper, though, and you find a scathing examination of modern Seattle, and the monied-yet-progressive families that send their kids to the Galer School, where Bernadette’s daughter Bee is a student. With a main character transplanted from Los Angeles, the novel serves as a dissection of a particular subculture in a specific city, arguably at a specific period in time, and it is equal parts hilarious and insightful.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is among Jeff Somers's top five novels featuring runaway parents, Chrissie Gruebel's seven great books for people who love Modern Family, Charlotte Runcie's ten best bad mothers in literature, Joel Cunningham's seven notable epistolary novels and Chrissie Gruebel's five top books for readers inspired by Nora Ephron.

--Marshal Zeringue