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Posts tagged ‘National Book Award’


“The Round House”

With all my being, I wanted to go back to before all this had happened. I wanted to enter our good-smelling kitchen again, sit down at my mother’s table before she’d struck me and before my father had forgotten my existence. I wanted to hear my mother laugh until she snorted. I wanted to move back through time and stop her from returning to her office that Sunday for those files. Read more »


“White Noise”

Don Delillo is an American novelist who was born in 1936 and started writing novels in the 1960’s. His eighth book, “White Noise” won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1985. Set in a midwestern college town called Blacksmith on the campus of “College on the Hill,” “White Noise” is told from the perspective of Jack Gladney, a 51-year old professor who chairs the Hitler Studies Department at the local college. Gladney is married to Babette (his 5th wife) and together they have six children:  his three – Mary Alice (19), Heinrich (14), and Steffie (9) and her three:  Denise (11), Eugene (8) and Wilder (3). It may seem like the Brady Bunch but the Gladney family is more like George Banks (Steve Martin from “Father of the Bride”) meets “Mother’s Little Helper” on the set of “Home Alone.” Read more »


“Then We Came To The End”

There are many books about families and the dysfunction inherent in the groups we were born into but not many books are written about the workplace where people choose to spend at least a third of their day (with the other third devoted to family and friends and the remaining third supposedly sleeping). Workplaces become a microcosm of a family – a big family – and are full of dysfunctional and odd characters who can be hilarious, annoying, intimidating but also endearing.  Enter the employees of a well-known Chicago advertising agency in the fictional novel “Then We Came To The End” by Joshua Ferris. Read more »