1. Fugitive Pieces
By Anne Michaels
Her writing is extremely beautiful and lyrical. Some people find it obtuse, but I like the portrayal of forgiveness and remorse. The novel has a strong storyline starting with World War II and leading up to contemporary times.
2. The Folding Star
By Alan HollingHurst
An absolutely magnificent book, the novel is set in a Flemish town. It is about the life of a man who goes to teach English as a private tutor in this town, and how he falls in love with the boys. The novel has strong sexual content that is also quite politically incorrect, but the setting is beautifully captured.
3. Recollection of a Journey
By R.C. Hutchinson
This novel is set in a Russian village, and it depicts the life of an aristocratic family during World War II. The content is deep and angst-ridden, with the plot culminating in the father-in-law having to produce a child with the wife of his missing son, who he cannot stand, just to continue the bloodline.
4. My Name is Red
By Orhan Pamuk
Unlike many other authors, Pamuk has strict control over his writing and does not let the thoughts of the reader meander. It details the milieu of miniature paintings and in many ways, the crafting of the novel shows the same attention to detail. It is almost as if the writer possesses an artist’s eye. It is an interesting example of the structure and the subject being closely related to each other.
By Kate Moses
The novel details the last two or three months in the life of the poet Sylvia Plath before she kills herself. The desolation and the complete isolation leading up to her suicide is quite striking.