Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Eight books where things don't go that well

Simon Han was born in Tianjin, China, and raised in various cities in Texas. His stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Texas Observer, Guernica, The Iowa Review, Electric Literature, and LitHub. The recipient of several fiction awards and arts fellowships, he lives in Carrollton, Texas.

Han's new novel is Nights When Nothing Happened.

At Lit Hub he tagged eight books where things don't go that well, that "give space for more fraught experiences of the season." One title on the list:
Zadie Smith, White Teeth

New Year’s Day, 1975 and New Year’s Eve, 1992 bookend Smith’s much-celebrated first novel, as a butcher’s reluctant saving of Archie Jones’s life sets into motion a sprawling intergenerational tale of religious tradition and the modern world, accidents and destinies, “split people” and “inside and outside” histories. The final New Year’s Eve of the book somehow brings all the characters’ threads together in a simmering moment of violence, but even after all the breathless prose, one gets the sense that, “like the signing of peace treaties or the docking of passenger boats, the end is simply the beginning of an even longer story.”
Read about another book on the list.

White Teeth is on Panikos Panayi's top ten list of books about LondonersEllie Kemper's ten favorite books list, Jeff Somers's list of five notable books set on New Year’s Eve (and Day), Michael Gibney's top ten list of restaurants and bars in modern literature, Mary Beard's six best books list, John Mullan's list of the ten most notable New Years in literature, Melissa Albert's list of five notable--and ambitious--debut novels and Nigel Williams's list of ten of the best books about suburbia.

--Marshal Zeringue