My Favorite Books This Week: The Election Edition

I haven’t done this feature in a while. Sorry!

First, I have a cute site alert: The Book Pirate. He’s this cute blogger boy out in the Northwest who pokes his head in over here sometimes (I think I last told him not to shoplift, as I recall) but anyway, he’s started a litblog called The Book Pirate. Go over and say hi, bookmark him, and so on. Anyway, on with the show:

  • Tomorrow, we welcome Stephanie Grant here at Amherst College, the author of The Passions of Alice, a debut novel that set people on fire back in 1996. She follows this up now with Map of Ireland. Her novel, is set during the intense conflicts about busing in Boston in the 70s, when white mothers were blockading school buses to keep their children from attending school with blacks, and appears, oddly, the exact same week of Obama’s now-famous speech about race, and the bitter history of race-based school busing in the US. The irony is, I know that when she wrote it, she had no hope that it might be timely, and yet of the novels that might approach the center of our current political discussion now, this is one. If you feel like you don’t understand why this issue mattered to people, or you don’t know enough about the history of it, this novel is for you.
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