Much-anticipated, curious, or simply thrilling, here are some new and notable books.
The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty by Nina Munk (Signal) – Munk offers an incisive portrait of development economist (and mercurial egoist) Jeffrey Sachs. Focusing on Sachs’s UN-supported project to alleviate extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, she launches a critique of the entire traditional model of Western development aid. Release date: September 10, 2013.
Blood: The Stuff of Life by Lawrence Hill (House of Anansi) – When Lawrence Hill received a life-saving blood transfusion in West Africa, his perception of blood as a measure of racial identity was challenged. In this eclectic book, Hill gathers together stories that illuminate the social life of blood, including early scientific inquiries into circulation, myths of menstruation, the “one-drop rule” of early 20th century America and the “half-blood” wizards of Harry Potter. Release date: September 28, 2013.
Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland (Random House) – A foul-mouthed English cameraman named Raymond is sent to shoot a reality TV series in Kiribati. Raymond’s exaggerated vulgarity, infantilism, and generally unredeemable character allow Coupland to indulge in line-crossing humour as he embarks on his latest satire of contemporary pop culture. Release date: October 8, 2013.
The Eternal Wonder by Pearl S. Buck (Open Road Media) – Fans of Buck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Good Earth will undoubtedly be thrilled by the discovery of this work, penned just before her death in 1973. The Eternal Wonder tells the story of Randolph Colfax, a gifted young man who falls in love with Stephanie Kung, a half-Chinese, half-American woman living in Paris and struggling to reconcile her multiple national identities. Release date: October 22, 2013.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown & Co.) – When 13-year-old Theo Decker’s mother is killed in an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he saves The Goldfinch, a painting by a little-known 17th-century Dutch painter, from the flames. The tiny bird lies at the centre of Tartt’s 800-page masterpiece, which combines an exploration of love and morality with a Dickensian sense of character and place. Release date: October 22, 2013.