Thursday, January 7, 2021

Top ten books about the unknowable

Peter Ho Davies’s latest book is A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. His previous novel, The Fortunes, a New York Times Notable Book, won the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize, and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His first novel, The Welsh Girl, a London Times Best Seller, was long-listed for the Booker Prize. He has also published two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World (winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize, and the Oregon Book Award) and Equal Love (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a New York Times Notable Book).

At the Guardian, Davies tagged ten "books that each in their various ways face the unknown, less to dispel mystery than to accept it," including:
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

Another book that seems to hover in the uncertain space between memoir and fiction. In this case the formal uncertainty reflects on, most obviously, the unknowability of a friend’s suicide, but also more subtly on the status of the friendship itself and the essential unknowability of even those we love – whether human or animal (in the form of a great dane called Apollo).
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Friend is among Mia Levitin's ten top books about consent, Lee Conell's seven books about New York City’s stark economic divide and Eliza Smith's twenty books to help you navigate grief.

--Marshal Zeringue