Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ten top novels about pariahs

Richard Zimler's novels include The Search for Sana, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, and The Seventh Gate. He has won many prizes for his writing and has lectured on Sephardic Jewish culture all over the world. He now lives in Porto, Portugal, where he teaches journalism and writes. His latest novel is The Gospel According to Lazarus.

At the Guardian Zimler tagged his ten favorite novels about pariahs, including:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

While serving a prison term for assault, Randle McMurphy fakes insanity in order to win a transfer to a psychiatric hospital. There, his rebellious antics, zest for life and sexual allure put him in conflict with the despotic and puritanical head of his ward, Nurse Ratched, who comes to see him as a disruptive misfit and rival. McMurphy soon earns her fury by encouraging his fellow patients to live more adventurously, and though readers know that he is unlikely to win this battle of wills, the length to which Ratched goes to ensure victory still comes as a terrible shock.
Read about the other entries on the list.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is on Kim Hood's top ten list of interesting characters who just happen to have a disability, Rebecca Jane Stokes's list of seven books for fans of Orange Is The New Black, Gavin Extence's list of ten of the best underdogs in literature, Melvin Burgess's list of five notable books on drugs, and Darren Shan's top ten list of books about outsiders for teenagers.

--Marshal Zeringue