Saturday, February 19, 2011

Five political novels to change the world

Ellen Meeropol holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine. Her stories have appeared in The Drum, Bridges, Portland Magazine, Pedestal, Patchwork Journal, and The Women’s Times.

House Arrest, her first novel, is out this month.

At Madam Mayo's blog, Meeropol named five political novels to change the world.

One novel on her list:
The Crying Tree
by Naseem Rakha

After nineteen years in prison, the man who killed 15-year-old Shep has stopped his appeals and is scheduled to die by lethal injection. The story follows prison superintendent Tab Mason and Shep’s mother Irene back and forth between the family’s Illinois farm and the town in Oregon where the murder took place, from the family’s move to Oregon in 1983 to the execution date in 2004. As the plot twists unfold with seamless transitions, the reader travels Irene’s road of fierce hate and revenge-hunger to eventual forgiveness and re-connection. Rakha does an admirable job of avoiding the pat, the easy, the black and white sound bite and of challenging the reader both emotionally and intellectually.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue