#gongreads: an award winner

Monday 12 June 2023

Seven Moons of Maali Almeida: Winner of the 2022 Booker Prize :  Karunatilaka, Shehan: Amazon.com.au: Books

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka - Winner of the Booker Prize, 2022

Colombo, 1990. Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler and closet gay, has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time where scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghouls and ghosts who cluster around him can attest. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden chache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka.

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Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver - Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 2023

The teenage son of an Appalachian single mother who dies when he is eleven uses his good looks, wit, and instincts to survive foster care, child labor, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses.

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The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld - Penguin Books Australia

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld - Winner of the Stella Prize, 2021

Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other. In the early 1700's, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local community. Six decades later, the house stands empty. Viv, mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth's belongings and discovers her place in the past - and perhaps a way forward. Each woman's choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men in their lives. But in sisterhood there is the hope of survival and new life.

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Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down - Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2022

A quiet, small-town existence. An unexpected Facebook message, jolting her back to the past. A history she's reluctant to revisit: dark memories and unspoken trauma, bruised thighs and warning knocks on bedroom walls, unfathomable loss. She became a new person a long time ago. What happens when buried stories are dragged into the light?

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The Promise by Damon Galgut - Winner of the Booker Prize, 2021

The Promise is the story of the Swart family, theirs is a story of failed possibilities, much like the history of their country. Haunted by an unmet promise made to the family servant, the well-to-do Swarts lose touch after the death of their mother. Reunited by three funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the charged atmosphere of post-apartheid South Africa in a family drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history.

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The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich - Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 2021

In The Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.

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The Jaguar by Sarah Holland-Batt - Winner of the Stella Prize, 2023

Opening and closing with startling elegies set in the charged moments before and after a death, and fearlessly probing the body's animal endurance, appetites and metamorphoses, The Jaguar is marked by Holland-Batt's lyric intensity and linguistic mastery, along with a stark new clarity of voice.Here, Holland-Batt is at her most exacting and uncompromising: these ferociously intelligent, insistent poems refuse to look away, and challenge us to view ruthless witness as a form of love. The Jaguar is an indelible collection by a poet at the height of her powers.

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The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey - Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2021

Erica Marsden's son, an artist, has been imprisoned for homicidal negligence. In a state of grief, Erica cuts off all ties to family and friends, and retreats to a quiet hamlet on the south-east coast near the prison where he is serving his sentence. There, in a rundown shack, she obsesses over creating a labyrinth by the ocean. To build it -to find a way out of her quandary -Erica will need the help of strangers. And that will require her to trust, and to reckon with her past.

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