Be prepared for me to bring it! As we're so far into TG, I hardly think that suddenly introducing Hirako's dog so late w/ so little set-up is possible. It just doesn't work pacing-wise! If he does get included, it would seem out of left-field b/c he's only been mentioned twice. As for Loser, Ishida has had Kanou hinting at his bird-dinosaur hybrid for ages now. It's inevitable that Loser will confront his bird/dinosaur selves and in the end eat Dr. Chigyou in Lab Raid 3: Electric Boogaghoul.
Hirako’s dog has had exactly the same amount of set-up as any of the Garden Children and also Itori. Listen, anon, here’s my trump card: we still don’t know who Scarecrow is, and let me tell you, it’s not a bird. Ishida is planning something. Watch this space.
I remember hearing a radio interview with Chris Packham on illegal hunting in Malta which he concluded with “give me 20 guys and we’ll sort them out” which I laughed off as “ha, oh Chris” but it turns out he was pretty serious about that.
2014 Upcoming Fiction Reads Written By Authors of Color
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Jan 31st, 2013) - In Tokyo, 16-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.
Soy Sauce For Beginners by Kristin Chen (Jan 7th, 2014):Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves behind a floundering marriage in San Francisco to return to her Singapore home, where she confronts the challenges of her mother’s alcoholism and her father’s artisanal soy sauce business before being pulled into a family controversy. In the midst of increasing pressure from her father to remain permanently in Singapore—and pressure from her mother to do just the opposite—Gretchen must decide whether she will return to her marriage and her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, or sacrifice everything and join her family’s crusade to spread artisanal soy sauce to the world.
On Such a Full Seaby Chang-rae Lee (Jan 7th, 2014): In a dystopian American future where declining urban neighborhoods have been transformed into highwalled, self-contained labor colonies whose Chinese immigrant residents work catching fish for the surrounding elites. In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.
The Radiance of Tomorrowby Ishmael Beah (Jan 7th, 2014): Beah’s debut novel tells the story of two friends Benjamin and Bockarie, who return to their hometown, Imperi, after the civil war. The village is in ruins, the ground covered in bones. As more villagers begin to come back, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they’re beset by obstacles: a scarcity of food; a rash of murders, thievery, rape, and retaliation; and the depredations of a foreign mining company intent on sullying the town’s water supply and blocking its paths with electric wires. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they’re forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike.
The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani (Jan 7th, 2014): Salazar, a detective, is determined to solve a string of recent murders before he retires. He enlists the help of an expert in psychopathy, Dr. Sunil Singh, who is haunted by a betrayal of his loved ones in apartheid South Africa. But Sunil’s own troubled past is fast on his heels in the form of a would-be assassin.
A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri (Jan 7th, 2014) - Growing up in a small rice-farming village in 1980s Iran, 12-year-old Saba Hafezi and her twin sister, Mahtab, are captivated by America. They keep lists of English words and collect illegal Life magazines, television shows, and rock music. So when her mother and sister disappear, leaving Saba and her father alone in Iran, Saba is certain that they have moved to America without her. As she grows up in the warmth and community of her local village, falls in and out of love, and struggles with the limited possibilities in post-revolutionary Iran, Saba envisions that there is another way for her story to unfold. And where Saba’s world has all the grit and brutality of real life under the new Islamic regime, her sister’s experience gives her a freedom and control that Saba can only dream of.
Foreign Gods, Inc by Okey Ndibe (Jan 11th, 2014) - Foreign Gods, Inc., tells the story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery. As Ike travels back to Nigeria to steal the statue, he must deal with old friends, family, and a mounting conflict between those in the village who worship the deity, and those who practice Christianity.
The Death Class by Erika Hayashi (Jan 14th, 2014) - Why does a college course on death have a three-year waiting list? When nurse Norma Bowe decided to teach a course on death at a college in New Jersey, she never expected it to be popular. But year after year students crowd into her classroom, and the reason is clear: Norma’s “death class” is really about how to make the most of what poet Mary Oliver famously called our “one wild and precious life.” By following her over four years, award-winning journalist Erika Hayasaki shows how Norma steers four extraordinary students from their tormented families and neighborhoods toward happiness: she rescues one young woman from her suicidal mother, helps a young man manage his schizophrenic brother, and inspires another to leave his gang life behind. Through this unorthodox class on death, Norma helps kids who are barely hanging on to understand not only the value of their own lives, but also the secret of fulfillment: to throw yourself into helping others.
Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of American Maroons by Sylviane A. Diouf (Jan 17th, 2014) - Over more than two centuries men, women, and children escaped from slavery to make the Southern wilderness their home. They hid in the mountains of Virginia and the low swamps of South Carolina; they stayed in the neighborhood or paddled their way to secluded places; they buried themselves underground or built comfortable settlements. Known as maroons, they lived on their own or set up communities in swamps or other areas where they were not likely to be discovered. To survive, the American maroons reinvented themselves, defied slave society, enforced their own definition of freedom and dared create their own alternative to what the country had delineated as being black men and women’s proper place. Audacious, self-confident, autonomous, sometimes self-sufficient, always self-governing; their very existence was a repudiation of the basic tenets of slavery. (Nonfiction)
Boy in the Twilight: Hidden Stories of China by Yu Hua (Jan 21st, 2014) - From the acclaimed author of Brothers and To Live: thirteen audacious stories that resonate with the beauty, grittiness, and exquisite irony of everyday life in China.
The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson (Jan 21st, 2014) - In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South. Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country. As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past.
From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.
In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.
A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.
Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time