Friday, February 25, 2011

What is Ellen Meeropol reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Ellen Meeropol, author of House Arrest, her first novel.

Her entry begins:
I work part-time at an independent bookstore and serve on their First Edition Club selection committee. This means we read ARC’s (advance readers copies) several months before publication. I just finished Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder and Touch by Alexi Zentner.

State of Wonder opens when a vague airmail letter informs pharmaceutical researcher Marina Singh that her friend and co-worker Anders Eckman died deep in the Amazon jungle where he was investigating a research project funded by the company employing them both. Marina is sent to find out exactly what happened to Eckman, to retrieve his body, and to ferret out the progress of the research led by her former medical school teacher, the brilliant and evasive Annick Swenson. A complicated mixture of dramatic plot involving killer anacondas and cannibal tribes, amazingly tactile and rich descriptions of the jungle, and thoughtful contemplation of the ethics of pharmaceutical development, and the lifelong effect a teacher can have on her students make this another first-rate read...[read on]
Among the early praise for House Arrest:
“smart, provocative, and moving”
–Julia Glass

"compelling debut"
–Heidi W. Durrow

“intelligent, heartfelt, challenging”
–Lesléa Newman

“thoughtful and tightly composed, unflinching in taking on challenging subjects and deliberating uneasy ethical conundrums”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“what it means to live by the principle of compassion, even in defiance of the rules and the rule-makers”
–Martín Espada
Visit Ellen Meeropol's website and blog.

See Meeropol's list of five political novels to change the world.

Writers Read: Ellen Meeropol.

--Marshal Zeringue