Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Six books searching for meaning in times of despair

Tara Isabella Burton's debut novel, Social Creature, praised by The New York Times' Janet Maslin as "a wicked original with echoes of the greats," was published in June 2018. It was named a "book of the year" by The New York Times, New York's Vulture, and The Guardian, and has been shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award. A film adaptation is in development with Lionsgate.

Her next book, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World -- explores the rites and practices of the religiously unaffiliated from SoulCycle to witchcraft.

At Lit Hub she tagged six books "that capture our hunger for something, anything, to believe in." One title on the list:
Victor LaValle, Big Machine

Equal parts black comedy and phantasmagoric thriller, this surreal 2011 novel about the heroin-addicted childhood survivor of a suicide cult summoned to a mysterious gathering of paranormal investigators known as “Unlikely Scholarss” is a bleakly funny meditation on faith, ideology, group order, and the fine lines between them.
Read about another entry on the list.

Big Machine is among Laura van den Berg's six favorite unconventional mystery novels.

The Page 69 Test: Big Machine.

--Marshal Zeringue