Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Top ten cousins in fiction

Jude Cook is the author of Byron Easy, which was published by Heinemann in 2013. He writes for the Guardian, The Spectator, Literary Review, New Statesman, TLS and the i paper, while his essays and short fiction have appeared in Stockholm Review, The Moth, The Tangerine and The Honest Ulsterman, among others. In 2017, he was longlisted for the Pin Drop RA short story award, and in 2018 for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award. He is an editor for The Literary Consultancy and teaches creative writing at the University of Westminster. He lives in London.

Cook's new novel is Jacob's Advice.

At the Guardian he tagged ten top cousins in fiction, including:
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

Marina, Danielle and Julius are wealthy Manhattanite thirtysomethings, creatives and friends. When Marina’s young cousin Bootie arrives from a bland New York suburb, he’s intent on disrupting their complacent lives. A college dropout, Dostoyevskyan malcontent and wannabe philosopher, Bootie becomes amanuensis to Marina’s father, a legendary journalist. When Bootie takes against the great man in the run-up to 9/11, he proves his favourite quotation from Emerson correct: “Great geniuses have the shortest biographies. Their cousins can tell you nothing about them.”
Read about another entry on the list.

The Emperor’s Children is on Jia Tolentino's list of recommended books, Rebecca Jane Stokes's list of ten must-reads for Liane Moriarty fans, Porochista Khakpour's top ten list of novels about 9/11, Jimmy So's list of five novels that deal with 9/11 in significant if oblique ways, Rachel Syme's list of the ten most attractive men in literature, the (London) Times' list of the 100 best books of the last decade, and the New York Times' list of the 10 best books of 2006.

--Marshal Zeringue