A Year in Reading: Madeleine Thien


I mentioned Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being and Ben Ehrenreich’s The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine in an earlier “Books of the Year” piece for The Guardian. I think both books are ones that take a long time to absorb; they are profoundly powerful not only in their observations and stories, but in how courageously and carefully they speak to our present moment.

Other resonant books I read this year are Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, which I wept through, as happens for me with the most revealing satire; Anosh Irani’s courageous The Parcel, about the life and desires and compromises of Madhu, a hijra in Kamathipura, Bombay; Chester Brown’s very personal and searching meditation on the sex trade, Paying for It; Katherena Vermette’s bold, beautiful, polyphonic novel, The Break; and James Gleick’s Time Travel, which bends time and movement around us and, through literature and the written word, within us.

More from A Year in Reading 2016

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Don’t miss: A Year in Reading 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005