Monday, April 27, 2020

Five of the best sibling relationships in fiction

Born in Beijing but mostly an artifact of the United States, C Pam Zhang has lived in thirteen cities across four countries and is still looking for home. She’s been awarded support from Tin House, Bread Loaf, Aspen Words and elsewhere, and currently lives in San Francisco.

Her new novel is How Much of These Hills Is Gold.

At the Waterstones blog Zhang tagged five favorite sibling relationships in fiction, including:
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

There are not one but two pairs of conflicted brothers in Steinbeck’s novel, which is inspired by the Biblical brothers Cain and Abel. Emotions are appropriately grand in scope. There are grim suicides, brutal assaults, seductions, plots, heartbreaks, power struggles, betrayals. Though the one-dimensional nature of certain characters – including an almost comedically evil seductress – can be grating, there’s no denying the ambition of this book. At its best it hums with the agony of brothers who are joined by brutality and dark history, and the question of whether they can ever break the cycle.
Read about the other entries on the list.

East of Eden is among four books that changed Mary Norris and John Mullan's ten best fraternal hatreds in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue