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    Beloved

    • Year Released: 1987
    Beloved is a novel by the American writer Toni Morrison, published in 1987. Set during 1873 soon after the American Civil War (1861–1865), it is based on the true story of the African-American slave, Margaret Garner, who temporarily escaped slavery during 1856 in Kentucky by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. A posse arrived to retrieve her and her children by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which gave slave owners the right to pursue slaves across state borders. Margaret killed her two-year-old daughter rather than allow her to be recaptured. Beloved's main character, Sethe, kills her daughter and tries to kill her other three children when a posse arrives in Ohio to return them to Sweet Home, the plantation in Kentucky from which Sethe had recently fled. The daughter, Beloved, returns years later to haunt the home of Sethe at 124 Bluestone Road, Cincinnati. The story opens with an introduction to the ghost: "124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom." The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. It was adapted during 1998 into a movie of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey. During 2006 a New York Times survey of writers and literary critics ranked it as the best work of
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    Blankety Blank: A Memoir of Vulgaria

    • Year Released: 2008
    Blankety Blank: A Memoir of Vulgaria (2005) is a novel by American author D. Harlan Wilson. The novel critiques the idea of the memoir as a form of truth-telling and problematizes history and narrative itself as possible modes of truth. It contains various “short histories” and literary devices that are flagrantly inaccurate or misguided, all in a way that underscores the constructedness of the human condition, as well as humanity’s collective racist tendencies. Rutger Van Trout has worse problems than his mundane existence in the all-consuming, all-suppressing Vulgaria of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It's not that his son might be turning into a werewolf, or that his daughter might be a nymphomaniac. The problem does not lie in his obsession with transforming his middle-class estate into a three-ring barnyard, nor in the shrunken head collection under the bed. He doesn't even mind his wife's (possibly) haunted skeleton or the freak-of-the-week superheroes and window-jumpers populating his neighborhood. The complication has invaded his community in the form of a new breed of serial killer, one who stalks from house to house throughout the Vulgaria leaving a bloodbath that would make
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    Dr. Identity

    Dr. Identity

    • Year Released: 2007
    Dr. Identity (2007) is the fourth book and first novel by American author D. Harlan Wilson. Set in a dystopian, mediatized future where people surrogate themselves with android lookalikes, the novel focuses on the foils of an English professor (Dr. 'Blah), his psychotic android (Dr. Identity), and their flight from the agents of the Law, especially the "Papanazi." Like much of Wilson's work, Dr. Identity is distinguished by its ultraviolence, metanarration, and critique of media technology. It is the first novel in the Scikungfi Trilogy along with the forthcoming Codename Prague (2009) and The Kyoto Man (2010). For a professor at Corndog University it's quite acceptable to purchase a robotic doppelgänger and have it teach your classes for you. But how does it reflect on your teaching skills when your doppelgänger murders the whole class? Follow the Dystopian Duo (Dr. Blah Blah Blah and his robot Dr. Identity) on a killing spree of epic proportions through the irreal postapocalyptic city of Bliptown where time ticks sideways, artificial Bug-Eyed Monsters punish citizens for consumer-capitalist lethargy, and ultraviolence is as essential as a daily multivitamin.
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    Finding Myself

    • Year Released: 2003
    Finding Myself is a 2003 novel by Toby Litt. The story is a comedy about friendship, love, hate and society in the English seaside town of Southwold, and centers on the main characters, female writer Victoria About ("pronounced Abut") and the friends and relatives she has invited for a month. Finding Myself is the sixth novel by Toby Litt, and published by Penguin Books. The Times called it "a compelling page-turner", The Observer thought it was "fascinating and dazzling". The plot centers on Victoria About, a prolific female English writer, who has invited some of her friends and relatives to come and stay at a seaside house she has rented in Southwold. The only condition is the fact that they all have to allow her to watch them and to turn all she sees and hears into her next novel, "From The Lighthouse". Clearly inspired by Virginia Woolf, Victoria drafts a synopsis with things (such as rows & relationships) that will happen during the month. But as summer holiday starts, Victoria is not pleased with the general boredom and carefree conversations that happen in the house. Little does she know that when the guests discover she has hidden spycams all over the house, and when she
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    Generation A

    Generation A is the thirteenth novel from Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland. It takes place in a near future, in a world in which bees have become extinct. The novel is told with a shifting-frame narrative perspective, shifting between the novel's five main protagonists. The novel mirrors the style of Coupland's first novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, which is also a framed narrative. On September 30, 2009, Generation A was announced as a finalist for The Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize by The Writer's Trust of Canada. Coupland's website has a synopsis of the novel: The novel "mirrors the style" of Coupland's breakthrough first novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture The story is told through non-numbered chapters, just as the first was. The book is told with a shifting narrative perspective. Each chapter title announces whose perspective the rest of the chapter will be in. The book rotates in the order of Harj, Zack, Samantha, Julien, and Diana for most of the work. Some changes happen due to the plot. The novel is also, like Generation X, a framed narrative. However, as this novel mirrors the style, the framed narrative style is also
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    Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture

    • Year Released: 1991
    Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, published by St. Martin's Press in 1991, is the first novel by Douglas Coupland. The novel popularized the term Generation X, which refers to Americans and Canadians who reached adulthood in the late 1980s. It is a framed narrative, in which a group of youths exchange heartfelt stories about themselves and fantastical stories of their creation. Coupland released the similarly titled Generation A in September 2009. Generation X is a framed narrative, like Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales or The Decameron by Boccaccio. The framing story is that of three friends—Dag, Claire, and the narrator, Andy—living together in the Mojave Desert in California. The tales are told by the various characters in the novel, which is arranged into three parts. Each chapter is separately titled rather than numbered, with titles such as "I Am Not A Target Market" and "Adventure Without Risk Is Disneyland". The locations of the novel was set circa 1990 Southern California in the then rapidly-growing and economic booming-turned-into-depressed communities of Palm Springs and the Inland Empire (California) region. Some characters were born and raised in L.A. and
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    Glamorama

    • Year Released: 1998
    Glamorama is a novel by American writer Bret Easton Ellis. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1998. Unlike Ellis' previous novels, Glamorama is set in and satirizes the 1990s, specifically celebrity culture and consumerism. Time describes the novel as "a screed against models and celebrity." Ellis wanted to write a Stephen King-style ghost story novel, which would eventually become Lunar Park; finding it difficult at the time, he began work on the other novel which he had in mind. This was a Robert Ludlum-style thriller, with the intention of using one of his own vapid characters who lack insight as the narrator. The novel is a satire of modern celebrity culture; this is reflected in its premise, which features models-turned-terrorists. A character remarks, "basically, everyone was a sociopath...and all the girls' hair was chignoned." The novel plays upon the conspiracy thriller conceit of someone "behind all the awful events", to dramatise the revelation of a world of random horror. The lack of resolution contributes to Ellis' artistic effect. The obsession with beauty is reflected in consistent namedropping; this satirizes (the main character) Victor's obsession with looks,
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    Gravity's Rainbow

    • Year Released: 1973
    Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern novel written by Thomas Pynchon and first published on February 28, 1973. The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertaken by several characters to uncover the secret of a mysterious device named the "Schwarzgerät" ("black device") that is to be installed in a rocket with the serial number "00000." Gravity's Rainbow is transgressive, as it questions and inverts social standards of deviance and disgust and transgresses boundaries of Western culture and reason. Frequently digressive, the novel subverts many of the traditional elements of plot and character development, and traverses detailed, specialist knowledge drawn from a wide range of disciplines. The novel has been praised for its innovation and complexity, but criticized by others. In 1974, the three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction supported Gravity's Rainbow for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The other eleven members of the board overturned this decision and no award was given for fiction that year. The novel was nominated for the 1973
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    Green Grass, Running Water

    • Year Released: 1993
    Green Grass, Running Water is a 1993 novel by Native-Canadian and Greek writer Thomas King. Set in a contemporary First Nations Blackfoot community in Alberta, Canada, the novel gained attention due to its unique use of structure, narrative, and the fusion of oral and written literary traditions. The novel is rife with humor and satire, particularly regarding Judeo-Christian beliefs as well as western government and society. Green Grass, Running Water was a finalist for 1993 Governor General's Award in Fiction. Green Grass, Running Water opens with an unknown narrator explaining "the beginning," in which the trickster-god Coyote is present as well as the unknown narrator. Coyote has a dream which takes form and wakes Coyote up from his sleep. The dream thinks that it is very smart; indeed the dream thinks that it is god, but Coyote is only amused, labeling the dream as Dog, who gets everything backwards. Dog asks why there is water everywhere, surrounding the unknown narrator, Coyote, and him. At this, the unknown narrator begins to explain the escape of four Native American elders from a mental institution who are named Lone Ranger, Ishmael, Robinson Crusoe, and Hawkeye. The
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    Homer and Langley

    • Year Released: 2009
    Homer & Langley is a novel by American author E. L. Doctorow published in September, 2009. It details the lives of the Collyer brothers, notorious for their eccentricities as well as their habit of compulsively hoarding a plethora of various bric-a-brac.
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    Infinite Jest

    • Year Released: 1997
    Infinite Jest is a 1996 novel by David Foster Wallace. The lengthy and complex work takes place in a semi-parodic future version of North America, and touches on tennis, substance addiction and recovery programs, depression, child abuse, family relationships, advertising and popular entertainment, film theory, and Quebec separatism, among other topics. Wallace was 33 when the novel was published. The novel includes 388 numbered endnotes (some of which have footnotes of their own) that explain or expound on points in the story. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Wallace characterized their use as a method of disrupting the linearity of the text while maintaining some sense of narrative cohesion. In 2005, Time magazine included the novel in its list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. The novel's title is from Hamlet. Hamlet holds the skull of the court jester, Yorick, and says "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!" Wallace's working title for Infinite Jest was A Failed Entertainment. In the novel's future
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    Like a Speeding Youth

    • Year Released: 2002
    Like a Speeding Youth (像少年啦飞驰, pinyin: Xiàng shàonián la fēichí) is a 2002 novel by Chinese writer Han Han. It is Han's third book, and uses Han's traditional writing style, a mixture of humor and satire about society. The novel indicates contemporary Chinese students' as well as lower class workers' confusion and current situation. It is universal that published books' prefaces are something like expectances that this book could sell well or praises for the authors' great talents by another several masters. However, the content of the Like a Speeding Youth's preface differs from the majority. The content of the preface can be divided into four parts. This book can be divided into three parts according to three main characters' appearance and disappearance. They are Tie Niu (铁牛 TiěNiǘ), Lao Xia (老夏 LǎoXià) and Lao Qiang (老枪 LǎoQiāng). In the first part, the narrator recounts the carefree life of the leading character and Tie Niu in Shanghai. In this part, the protagonist shows no interest in study. Junior school teachers appear as very cruel to less wealthy and less academically inclined students, which results in these two characters' hatred of school. In the following years, the
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    Lover

    • Year Released: 1976
    Lover is a lesbian feminist novel by Bertha Harris, published in 1976 by Daughters, Inc., a small press dedicated to women's fiction. It is considered Harris's most ambitious work, and has been compared to Djuna Barnes's Nightwood and the stories of Jane Bowles. Harris has said that it was written "straight from the libido, while I was madly in love, and liberated by the lesbian cultural movement of the mid-1970s." Lover's prose is distinctly postmodern, eschewing conventional narrative for experimental narrative techniques. In contrast to some lesbian novels of the time, such as Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle (also, incidentally, published by Daughters), which used a prototypical bildungsroman technique with a lesbian placed squarely at the center, Lover reflects complex notions of radical lesbian philosophy, community, family structure, and eroticism by using highly inventive, often fantastical storytelling techniques. In Harris's introduction to the 1993 edition, she writes, "Lover should be absorbed as if it were a theatrical performance. There's tap dancing and singing, disguise, sleights of hand, mirror illusions, quick-change acts, and drag." Amanda C. Gable has argued
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    Mason & Dixon

    • Year Released: 1997
    Mason & Dixon is a postmodernist novel by American author Thomas Pynchon published in 1997. It centers on the collaboration of the historical Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in their astronomical and surveying exploits in Cape Colony, Saint Helena, Great Britain and along the Mason-Dixon line in British North America on the eve of the American Revolutionary War. Intermingled with Mason and Dixon's biographies, history, fantasy, legend, speculation, and outright fabrication, the novel is based on the focal point of one Rev. Wicks Cherrycoke, a clergyman of dubious orthodoxy, who attempts to entertain and divert his extended family on a cold December evening — partly for amusement, and partly to keep his coveted status as a guest in the house. The novel's scope takes in aspects of established Colonial American history including the call of the West, the often ignored histories of women, Native Americans, and slaves, plus excursions into geomancy, Deism, a hollow Earth, and — perhaps — alien abduction. The novel also contains philosophical discussions and parables of automata/robots, the afterlife, slavery, feng shui and others. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Nevil Maskelyne,
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    Oblivion: Stories

    • Year Released: 2004
    Oblivion: Stories (2004) is a collection of short fiction by American author David Foster Wallace. Oblivion is Wallace’s third and last short story collection and was listed as a 2004 New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Throughout the stories, Wallace explores the nature of reality, dreams, trauma, and the “dynamics of consciousness.” The story “Good Old Neon” was included The O. Henry Prize Stories 2002. The book received generally positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator Metacritic reported the book had an average score of 68 out of 100, based on 22 reviews. Joel Stein, for Time writes that the “breathtakingly smart” stories are “epic modernism,” with “big plots, absurd Beckettian humor and science-fiction-height ideas portrayed vis-a-vis slow, realistic stream of consciousness.” Jan Wildt for The San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Oblivion argues convincingly that the short story is the 42-year-old author's true fictional metier.” She additionally states that Oblivion "puts [Wallace's] stylistic idiosyncrasy to better use than any of its predecessors." Despite these positive reviews, some critics were unimpressed. For The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani
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    Peckinpah: An Ultraviolent Romance

    • Year Released: 2009
    Peckinpah: An Ultraviolent Romance (2009) is a short critifictional novel by American author D. Harlan Wilson. It is a series of vignettes, folk tales and pseudobiographical sketches that coalesce into two stories, one about a man named Felix Soandso who seeks vengeance on a gang of exploitation film villains after they kill his wife, the other about the life of filmmaker Sam Peckinpah, for whom the book functions as a kind of deranged, schizophrenic ode. While the novel did not receive any awards, it met with acclaim and was endorsed by Alan Moore, who called it "a bludgeoning celluloid rush of language and ideas served from an action-painter's bucket" and "an incendiary gem." Life in Dreamfield, Indiana, is a daily harangue of pigs, cornfields, pigs, fast food joints, pigs, Dollar Stores, motorcycles, pigs, and good old-fashioned Amerikan redneckery. The decidedly estranged yet complacent occupants of this proverbial smalltown go about their business like geriatrics in a casino ... until their business is interrupted by a sinister gang of outsiders. Angry, slick-talking, and ultraviolent to the core, Samson Thataway and the Fuming Garcias commit art-for-art's-sake in the form of
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    Pseudo-City

    • Year Released: 2005
    Pseudo-City (2005) is the third book by American author D. Harlan Wilson. Referred to as a novel as often as a collection of stories -- Wilson himself has called it a "story-cycle" -- it contains twenty-nine irreal short stories and flash fiction that overlap and feature recurrent characters. Pieces in this collection originally appeared in magazines and journals such as Albedo one, The Dream People, Red Cedar Review, Nemonymous, Milk Magazine and Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. In Pseudofoliculitis City nothing is as it seems and everything is as it should be. Today's forecast calls for extreme confrontation, with sandwich flurries and the threat of handlebar moustaches to the west. By turns absurd and surreal, dark and challenging, Pseudo-City exposes what waits in the bathroom stall, under the manhole cover and in the corporate boardroom, all in a way that can only be described as mind-bogglingly irreal. Set in an imaginary, "post-real" metropolis, this book delivers a hauntingly satirical version of our own mediatized reality.
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    Second Skin

    Second Skin is a 1964 novel by John Hawkes. The story is told by a 1st-person narrator, a fifty-nine-year-old ex-naval lieutenant whose name is Edward, though other characters usually call him Skipper or Papa Cue Ball (due to his baldness). Though the tone of the novel strives to be comic and optimistic, the narrator's life is beset by a series of tragic events: his father (a mortician), his wife, and his daughter Cassandra commit suicide; his son-in-law Fernandez is killed after he has left Cassandra to live with his gay lover; Skipper is beaten up and perhaps raped during a mutiny on board of U.S.S. Starfish, the ship he commands in W.W.II; he is harassed by a small clan of shady fishermen on the "black island" in north-Atlantic where he settles after leaving the US Navy. The narrator eventually finds shelter in a tropical island with his black mess boy, Sonny, and his lover Catalina Kate, though it is not clear if the scenes on the island, where Skipper works as an artificial inseminator, are real or simply imagined. The novel is told in a non-linear fashion through a series of flashbacks. It is then at first difficult for the reader to understand the reasons of some weird
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    The Adventures of Mao on the Long March

    The Adventures of Mao on the Long March is Frederic Tuten's first published novel. The novel is a fictionalized account of Chairman Mao's rise to power, and is highly experimental in nature, including extensive use of parody and collage. The novel has no linear plot, and is mostly composed of an elaborate arrangement of disparate elements. The novel presents a seemingly straightforward history of the Long March, as well as a fictionalized interview with Mao and several more conventional "novelistic" scenes with Mao as the main character. The novel also includes a large selection of unattributed quotes from various sources and parodies of certain writers, including Faulkner, Hemingway, and Kerouac. The story first appeared in 1969 in a 39-page condensed form in the magazine Artist Slain. In 1970 the completed book was sent to various publishers and rejected as it was not considered a novel. Tuten considered self-publication and asked his friend Roy Lichtenstein to do the cover. Eventually, he was offered a publication deal by Citadel Press, on the condition that Lichtenstein make a lithograph of Mao for a deluxe edition (Lichtenstein's "Head of Mao" precedes Andy Warhol's Mao series
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    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

    • Year Released: 2006
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a 2006 novel from the point of view of an innocent young boy, written by Irish novelist John Boyne. Unlike the months of planning Boyne devoted to his other books, he said that he wrote the entire first draft of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in two and a half days, barely sleeping until he got to the end. To date, the novel has sold more than 5 million copies around the world, and was published as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in the United States to go along with the traditional American spelling of the word. In both 2007 and 2008 it was the best selling book of the year in Spain. It has also reached number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in the UK, Ireland, Australia and many other countries. Bruno is a 9-year-old boy growing up during World War II in Berlin with his loving mother and father. He lives in a huge house with his parents, his twelve-year-old sister Gretel (whom he refers to as a Hopeless Case) and maid servants called Maria, Lars, and the 'Cook'. His father is a high-ranking SS officer who, after a visit from Adolf Hitler (referred to in the novel as "The Fury", Bruno's misrecognition of the word "Führer") and
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    The Broom of the System

    • Year Released: 1987
    The Broom of the System is the first novel by the American writer David Foster Wallace, published in 1987. Wallace stated that the initial idea for the novel sprang from a remark made by an old girlfriend. DT Max reported that, according to Wallace, she said "she would rather be a character in a piece of fiction than a real person. I got to wondering just what the difference was." Wallace revealed in an interview that the novel was somewhat autobiographical: "the sensitive tale of a sensitive young WASP who's just had this midlife crisis that’s moved him from coldly cerebral analytic math to a coldly cerebral take on fiction . . . which also shifted his existential dread from a fear that he was just a 98.6°F calculating machine to a fear that he was nothing but a linguistic construct." The book centers on the emotionally challenged Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman, a 24-year-old telephone switchboard operator who questions her own reality. In Wallace's typically offbeat style, Lenore navigates three separate crises: her great-grandmother's escape from a nursing home, a neurotic boyfriend, and a suddenly vocal pet cockatiel. The controlling idea surrounding all of these crises is the use
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    The Cannibal

    The Cannibal is a 1949 novel by John Hawkes (novelist), partially based on Hawkes' own experiences in the Second World War. The novel is divided in three parts. The first and the last are set in 1945, in an imaginary small German town ravaged by the war, Spitzen-on-the-Dein. The second part takes place during the First World War, from 1914 (the title of this part of the novel) to 1918. It is difficult to outline the plot of the novel because when the narrative shifts from 1945 to 1914 we are not clearly told what is the relation of the characters in that part of the novel with those of the first and last part; the only continuity is the presence in all three parts of Madame Snow. Stella Snow is a young and promising night club singer, daughter of a German general, in 1914; she is the owner of a boarding house in the destitute Spitzen-on-the-Dein of 1945. However, the story, told in a surrealistic or anti-realistic fashion, may be summarized by saying that the two parts of the novel set in 1945 depict the material and moral wasteland created by Nazism and W.W.II; the first part can be said to show the roots of those horrors in the years of earlier German imperialism and the
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    The Dead Father

    The Dead Father is a post-modernist novel by author Donald Barthelme published in 1975 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book relates the journey of a vaguely defined entity that symbolizes fatherhood, hauled by a small group of people as the plot unravels through narratives, anecdotes, dialogues, reflexions and allegories presented to the reader through the tools and constructions of postmodern literature, in which the author excelled as a short story writer. Chapter 17 includes an adapted version of a previously published short story, "A Manual for Sons", that is much in the style and character of the novel. The "Dead Father" is being hauled with a cable by some of his children, across lands and under all weather conditions, towards a goal of an emancipatory nature but that is left mysterious throughout most of the story, to be revealed, at the end of the novel, to be his burial spot. The story, in a genre typical of the author, does not follow a conventional plot structure, but evolves through a series of revelations, seemingly-unrelated stories, anecdotes, dialogues,descriptive figments, surreal snapshots of reality, personal rendering of the characters' impressions or
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    The Dervish House

    • Year Released: 2010
    The Dervish House is a 2010 science fiction novel by Ian McDonald. The novel was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2011, and won the BSFA Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in the same year. It was a nominee for the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
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    The Grass-Cutting Sword

    The Grass-Cutting Sword

    • Year Released: 2006
    The Grass-Cutting Sword is a novella by Catherynne M. Valente. It was published by Prime Books in 2006. The tale is a postmodern interpretation of the Japanese folk-tale of Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi ("Heaven's Cloud-Gathering Sword"), which is taken from the collection of folk-lore in the Kojiki. The action shifts between the journey of the storm-god Susanoo who has been banished to earth in human form by his sister, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, as he attempts to slay the eight-headed serpent Yamata-no-Orochi. Valente also portrays the serpent's side of the story with a twist; the tale told by Orochi is intercut or added to by the seven maidens who have been sacrificed to the monster.
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    The Kafka Effekt

    The Kafka Effekt

    • Year Released: 2001
    The Kafka Effekt (2001) is the debut book of American author D. Harlan Wilson. It contains forty-four irreal short stories and flash fiction and has been said to combine the milieu's of Franz Kafka and William S. Burroughs. Along with Carlton Mellick III's Satan Burger, Vincent Sakowski's Some Things Are Better Left Unplugged, Hertzan Chimera's Szmonhfu, Kevin L. Donihe's Shall We Gather at the Garden? and M.F. Korn's Skimming the Gumbo Nuclear, The Kafka Effekt was among the first books jointly released by Bizarro fiction publisher Eraserhead Press. Pieces in this collection originally appeared in magazines and journals such as Redsine, Doorknobs & BodyPaint, The Dream Zone, The Dream People, Samsara Quarterly and The Café Irreal. The Kafka Effekt also includes the story "The Cocktail Party," which was adapted into a short film of the same name by graphic artist and filmmaker Brandon Duncan in 2006. The Kafka Effekt is a multigeneric pastiche of absurdism, magic realism, humor, surrealism, science fiction, postmodernism, horror, the airport novel, literary fiction and bizarro fiction. Wilson's characters consistently struggle to come to terms with the ultraviolence that
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    The Lime Twig

    The Lime Twig (1961) is a classic short novel or novella by experimental American writer John Hawkes. This highly elliptical novel, set in England after World War II, deals with a sedate, bored lower-class couple -- Michael and Margaret Banks -- who are lured into fronting a racehorse scheme. Michael Banks is befriended by William Hencher, a well-meaning but lost soul who fell into association with a ruthless gang during the war. After his mother's death, Hencher wants to repay the Bankses for their allowing him to rent a room in their home, where he lived with his mother twenty years prior. Knowing Michael likes horses, Hencher invites him to the heist of the racehorse Rock Castle -- which goes awry, leading to Hencher's death. The gang members then keep Michael under wraps. Realizing that Margaret is becoming suspicious of Michael's absence, they force Michael to call and tell her to meet him at a party. In order to ensure that Michael will front as the owner of the stolen stallion, they kidnap Margaret while distracting Michael with two women, both sexual predators. The heavy of the gang, Thick, beats Margaret mercilessly with a truncheon after she attempts to escape; then,
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    The Million-Year Centipede, or, Liquid Structures

    • Year Released: 2007
    The Million-Year Centipede, or, Liquid Structures (2007) is the sixth novel by American author Eckhard Gerdes. Set in an apocalyptic world in which a giant centipede comes to collect the all of the true rock ‘n’ roll fans, Gerdes’ book is built of text fragments, drawings and songs that deal with themes like hero worship and fundamentalism. Like much of Gerdes’ work, The Million-Year Centipede is non-linear in structure, but is distinguished by its use of allegory. “Wakelin, frontman of seminal rock group The Hinge, once wrote a poem so prophetic that to ignore its wisdom is to doom yourself to drown in blood. After realizing the power of his words he faked his own death. Now one obsessed fan is tracking Wakelin down…can he be found before it’s too late?”
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    The Pale King

    • Year Released: 2011
    The Pale King is an unfinished novel by David Foster Wallace, published posthumously on April 15, 2011. After Wallace's suicide on September 12, 2008, a manuscript and associated computer files were found by his widow, Karen Green, and his agent, Bonnie Nadell. That material was compiled by his friend and editor Michael Pietsch into the form that was eventually published. Wallace had been working on the novel for over a decade. Even incomplete, The Pale King is a long work, with 50 chapters of varying length totaling over 500 pages. Like much of Wallace's work, the novel defies straightforward summary. Each chapter stands almost alone, with text ranging from straight dialogues between coworkers about civics or masturbation to snippets of the 1985 Illinois tax code to poignant sensory or character sketches, and each brings something different to the whole of the novel. Many of the chapters relate the experiences of a handful of employees of the Internal Revenue Service in Peoria, Illinois in 1985. One of the characters, one of two who narrate their chapters, is named David Wallace, but he is a wholly fictional counterpart of the author and not the focal point of the novel. Pietsch
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    The Recognitions

    • Year Released: 1955
    The Recognitions, published in 1955, is American author William Gaddis's first novel. The novel was poorly received initially, but Gaddis's reputation grew, twenty years later, with the publication of his second novel J R (which won a National Book Award), and The Recognitions received belated fame as a masterpiece of American literature. Time Magazine included The Recognitions in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. The story loosely follows the life of Wyatt Gwyon, a Calvinist minister's son from rural New England. He initially plans to follow his father into the ministry, however, he is inspired to become a painter by The Seven Deadly Sins, Bosch's painting in his father's possession. He leaves and travels to Europe to study painting. Discouraged by a corrupt critic and frustrated with his career he moves to New York. He meets Recktall Brown, a capitalistic collector and dealer of art, who makes a Faustian deal with him. Wyatt creates paintings in the style of Flemish and Dutch masters (such as Hieronymous Bosch, Hugo van der Goes, and Hans Memling), forges their signature, and Brown will sell them as newly discovered antique originals. Soon Wyatt is
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    The Waterworks

    • Year Released: 1994
    The Waterworks is an novel by E. L. Doctorow, written in 1994. The setting of the novel is New York in 1871. Martin Pemberton, a freelance journalist, was at odds with his father Augustus, who died a few years ago. After his father's death, Martin sees his father, briefly and accidentally in a public bus (omnibus) as it drives past him. Martin begins to make inquiries but suddenly disappears. His employer and editor McIlvaine, begins looking for him. In a search for clues and connections, McIlvaine interrogates several characters including Martin's fiancée, Emily Tisdale, Martin's stepmother, the painter Harry Wheelwright and the Reverend Charles Grimshaw. As soon as McIlvaine approaches police officer Edmund Donne for help, they begin to realize the full extent of Augustus Pemberton's game. Again and again they come back to the Croton Aqueduct. Soon McIlvaine and Donne learn that Augustus Pemberton has faked his death and together with other plutocrats of the city – are being kept alive by the dangerous and intelligent doctor and scientist Dr. Sartorius. Colluding with the historical character of William Tweed Sartorius has realized many of the keys to extended, perhaps eternal
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    Triple Door

    • Year Released: 2000
    Triple Door (simplified Chinese: 三重门; traditional Chinese: 三重門; pinyin: Sānchóng mén) is the first novel by Chinese writer Han Han.
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    Underworld

    • Year Released: 1997
    Underworld is a novel published in 1997 by Don DeLillo. It was nominated for the National Book Award, was a best-seller, and is one of DeLillo's better-known novels. In 2006, a survey of eminent authors and critics conducted by The New York Times found Underworld the runner-up for the best work of American fiction of the past 25 years; it garnered 11 of 125 votes, finishing behind only Toni Morrison's Beloved with 15 votes. Underworld is a non-linear narrative that has many intertwined themes. A central character is Nick Shay, a waste management executive, who leads an undirected existence in late 20th century America. His wife, Marian, is having an affair with one of his friends. The events of the novel span from the 1950s through the 1990s. The characters in the book respond to several historical events, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and nuclear proliferation. The novel is divided into eight sections: DeLillo said that the novel’s title came to him as he thought about radioactive waste buried deep underground and about Pluto, god of death. The waste and byproducts of history, dissected and discussed throughout the novel, constantly resurface from the underworld (or,
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    White Noise

    • Year Released: 1985
    White Noise is the eighth novel by Don DeLillo, published by Viking Press in 1985. It won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. White Noise is an example of postmodern literature. It is widely considered DeLillo's "breakout" work and brought him to the attention of a much larger audience. Time included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. DeLillo originally wanted to call the book Panasonic, but the Panasonic Corporation objected. Set at an bucolic Midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler Studies (though he doesn't speak German). He has been married five times to four women and has a brood of children and stepchildren (Heinrich, Denise, Steffie, Wilder) with his current wife, Babette. Jack and Babette are both extremely afraid of death; they frequently wonder which of them will be the first to die. The first part of White Noise, called "Waves and Radiation," is a chronicle of contemporary family life combined with academic satire. There is little plot development in this section, which mainly serves as
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    Wide Sargasso Sea

    • Year Released: 1966
    Wide Sargasso Sea is a 1966 postcolonial parallel novel by Dominica-born author Jean Rhys. Since her previous work, Good Morning, Midnight, was published in 1939, Rhys had lived in obscurity. Wide Sargasso Sea put Rhys into the limelight once more, and became her most successful novel. The novel acts as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë's famous 1847 novel Jane Eyre. It is the story of Antoinette Cosway (known as Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre), a white Creole heiress, from the time of her youth in the Caribbean to her unhappy marriage with Mr Rochester and relocation to England. Caught in an oppressive patriarchal society in which she belongs neither to the white Europeans nor the black Jamaicans, Rhys's novel re-imagines Brontë's devilish madwoman in the attic. As with many postcolonial works, the novel deals largely with the themes of racial inequality and the harshness of displacement and assimilation. The opening of the novel is set a short while after the 1833 emancipation of the slaves in British-owned Jamaica. The protagonist Antoinette conveys the story of her life from childhood to her arranged marriage to an unnamed Englishman (implied as Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre). As the
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    Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams

    • Year Released: 2005
    Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams (2005) is a novel about a woman living as a hermit in ancient Japan written by Catherynne M. Valente. After her village is destroyed, Ayako lives alone in the mountains. Weaving through Ayako's life are her dreams; she explores the mythologies of goddesses from around the world and receives lessons from the river, mountain, and animals, who speak to her while the people from the village below dare only to leave offerings for her. Ayako's dreams touch upon a variety of literary, mythological, and religious subjects, ranging from the Greek Sphinx to Isis' recreation of Osiris' body.
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