Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Release Tuesday 5/19

It's that time of the week again! Today, we've got two great new titles in paperback: Ethan Canin's America America and Marlena De Blasi's That Summer in Sicily. Read on to find out more about them!


"Ethan Canin's new novel is a powerful lament that haunts us like a latter-day ghost of The Great Gatsby. Delivered its own corrupt and luscious poetry, Canin gives us a poisoned lullaby of the Nixon era.

Canin's narrator, Corey Sifter, is a kind of Nick Carraway (but with working-class origins), who finds his way into the land of the rich. Corey is 16 in 1971; he lives in a little town in western New York State that used to belong to the Erie and Seneca Indians, but is now ruled by Liam Metarey, a tycoon of Scottish descent whose holdings cover a third of the county. Riddled with guilt over his father's rapacious gathering of wealth, Liam longs, like some benevolent laird, to reverse America's politics of greed. He sets about creating his own president, Henry Bonwiller, a United States senator from New York who is a champion of the working man and wants to get America out of Vietnam. He also "adopts" Corey, who becomes a caretaker of Liam's grounds and mingles with his dysfunctional family. Corey soon becomes involved in Bonwiller's presidential campaign, but Bonwiller is a deeply flawed candidate--a megalomaniac, a drunkard and a philanderer." ~ Jerome Charyn, Publisher's Weekly


“At villa Donnafugata, long ago is never very far away,” writes bestselling author Marlena de Blasi of the magnificent if somewhat ruined castle in the mountains of Sicily that she stumbles upon one summer while traveling with her husband. There de Blasi is befriended by Tosca, the patroness of the villa, who shares her own unforgettable love story. In a luminous and tantalizing voice, de Blasi re-creates Tosca’s life and romance with the last prince of Sicily descended from the French nobles of Anjou. But when Prince Leo attempts to better the lives of his peasants, his defiance of the local Mafia costs him dearly. The present-day narrative finds Tosca sharing her considerable inherited wealth with a harmonious society composed of many of the women–now widowed–who once worked the prince’s land alongside their husbands. This marvelous epic drama reminds us that in order to live a rich life, one must embrace both life’s sorrow and its beauty.

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