Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Six titles searching for meaning in times of despair

Tara Isabella Burton's debut novel, Social Creature, praised by The New York Times' Janet Maslin as "a wicked original with echoes of the greats," was published in June 2018. It was named a "book of the year" by The New York Times, New York's Vulture, and The Guardian, and has been shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award. A film adaptation is in development with Lionsgate.

Her next book, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World -- explores the rites and practices of the religiously unaffiliated from SoulCycle to witchcraft.

At Lit Hub she tagged six books "that capture our hunger for something, anything, to believe in." One title on the list:
Jean-Patrick Manchette, Nada

If Dostoevsky’s The Devils tries to find profundity in its characters’ nihilism, then Jean-Patrick Manchette’s taut 1972 thriller seeks the emptiness in its characters ideals. Manchette revolutionized the “left-wing thriller” with this pot-boiler about a group of French anarchists that kidnap the American Ambassador—with chaotic and predictably tragic results, as its one-time idealists conclude that “Leftist terrorism and State terrorism, even if their motivations cannot be compared, are the two jaws of ... the same mug’s game.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue