Monday, July 9, 2012
Top Historical Fiction Picks
Booklist recently published a list of their favorite historical fiction titles from the past year. The genre continues to be popular and the novels described below show that authors continue to interpret the past in fresh new ways. All descriptions are from Booklist
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. A beautiful novel telling the stories of Japanese mail order brides who came to California at the turn of the last century.
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje. In 1953, an 11 year old boy's life is permanently changed when he travels by himself on an ocean liner from Ceylon to London.
Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes by William Kennedy. A jazzy, seductive, historically anchored novel of politics and romance, race and revolution.
Conquistadora by Esmerelda Santiago. This extraordinary historical novel, set in nineteenth century Puerto Rico, features a high-handed, strong-willed woman determined to escape her boring future in Spain.
Partitions by Amit Majmudar. This significantly poignant but never maudlin novel vividly depicts their personal tragedies that occurred when India and Pakistan divided in 1947.
The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth. A sequel to Sacred Hunger, this novel sees the legal follow up to a mutiny on a slave ship that happened several years prior.
River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh. Spellbinding and astute, Ghosh continues the 19th century saga about the opium trade that he launched with Sea of Poppies.
The Secret History of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vásquez; translated by Anne McLean. In London in 1924, the main character of this deeply lyrical novel vows to tell us the real story of Colombia and its endless civil wars.
The Time in Between by María Dueñas; translated by Daniel Hahn. On the eve of the Spanish Civil War, a young seamstress from Madrid is abandoned in Morocco by her lover and makes anew and successful life for herself.
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. This Polish Canadian author's brilliant, bold novel of 18th century Russia is a masterful account of one woman's progress toward absolute monarchical rule