Thursday, August 03, 2023

Top ten books about chosen families

Fatin Abbas received her MFA from Hunter College, where she was a recipient of the Bernard Cohen Short Story Prize and the Miriam Weinberg Richter Award. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Freeman’s, and the Nation.

She lives in Berlin, Germany.

Abbas's new novel is Ghost Season.

At the Guardian she tagged ten books "that envision families of choice in all their beauty, complexity, and occasional dysfunction." One title on the list:
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

What a delight to encounter a novel that foregrounds friendship as a territory as rich and deeply meaningful as the conventional family. The book follows Jude, Willem, Malcolm, and JB, friends living in New York. Jude is disabled, prone to depression and self-harm. He is unable to open up to those around him, including his three best friends. Jude’s mysterious past catches up with him, however, and when feelings develop between him and one of his friends, the tragedy of his childhood comes to light. Yanagihara’s novel was a smash hit for a reason: it’s a profound depiction not only of suffering, but also of friendship, queer love and intimacy, and of the families we choose.
Read about another entry on the list.

A Little Life is among Christie Watson's five top books to inspire compassion and Jason Flemyng's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue