Sunday, March 13, 2011

Top 10 books about troubled families

Rachel Seiffert is the author of the Booker-shortlisted novel The Dark Room and an acclaimed collection of short stories, Field Study.

She was named one of Granta's Best of Young British writers, and one of 25 "women writers to watch" in the Orange Futures promotion. Her most recent novel is Afterwards.

A few years ago she named a list of the top 10 books about troubled families for the Guardian.

One title on the list:
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

Quoyle's marriage falls apart, and with it his life. More by accident than design, he moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland with his infant daughters and elderly maiden aunt. They form a family of sorts, and find a community there, despite the unpromising start. I think my favourite character is Agnis Hamm, Quoyle's aunt, because of the secrets she lets the reader in on, but never Quoyle. Sometimes we know least about those we're closest to, and perhaps this is no bad thing.
Read about another book on the list.

The Shipping News appears on RJ Ellory's five best list of human dramas, Elise Valmorbida's list of top ten books with a happy ending, and John Mullan's list of ten of the best fishing trips.

--Marshal Zeringue