Archives for: January 2012


Categories: Canadian, Award Winners, Lists

The Globe 100: Fiction

To see the complete list of the Globe & Mail's 100 Best Books of 2011, follow this link.

For the Globe & Mail's Top Crime Fiction of 2011, go to this post on the Mystery Fiction blog Murder by the Book :
Margaret Cannon's Best 11 from 2011

The Globe & Mail's Fiction List is divided into Canadian Fiction and Foreign Fiction (includes the U.S.).
Here are some examples from both categories:

Canadian Fiction

The Perfect Order of Things By David Gilmour

Gilmour’s delicious, subversive, self-mocking novel features a narrator who is a composite from all his other books. He revisits the places he has suffered, hoping to balance old scores and relearn early lessons. In the process, he is transformed from a man who likes to watch his own reflection into a man who reflects on his failings and losses. – Aritha van Herk

* * *

A Good Man By Guy Vanderhaeghe

This deeply satisfying novel, dealing with ethics, politics and nationhood, is more entertaining than political historical novels have any business being. It is the kind of impeccably crafted, Dickensian charmer we expect from Vanderhaeghe's now completed “literary western” trilogy, a collection of thematically connected fictions about the death of the wild in the Wild West. – Andrew Pyper

* * *

The Little Shadows By Marina Endicott

Featuring three fatherless sisters and their widowed mother, The Little Shadows is set on vaudeville stages all over the U.S. and Canadian West around the First World War. The novel features Endicott’s trademark wry sensibility and pithy lyricism, and her skill at pulling the rug out from under the reader’s feet. – Katherine Ashenburg

* * *

Infrared By Nancy Huston

Rena, a 45-year-old photographer in Paris, visits Florence with her elderly father and her stepmother, even though she can’t bear to be away from her lover and resents her stepmother. We come to see that her relationship with her father is problematic too. Huston shows her mastery of complicated structure, wide cultural knowledge and brilliant, assured portraiture. – Michel Basilières

* * *

The Time We All Went Marching By Arley McNeney

This small, beautiful book is filled with large themes. Edie and her four-year-old son, Belly, have boarded a train to B.C., leaving Belly’s father passed out in their freezing apartment. On the train, Edie tells Slim’s stories of Depression-era marches to Belly. McNeney layers these stories on Edie’s story with great care. A stunning achievement. – Michelle Berry

* * * * *

Foreign Fiction (includes the U.S.)

Disaster was My God: A Novel of the Outlaw Life of Arthur Rimbaud by Bruce Duffy

Rimbaud was a 19th-century prodigy who booted poetry into the 20th century before refashioning himself as an arms dealer in Africa. This “teenaged pied piper” lured Paul Verlaine – here a depraved creature Duffy captures in all his spellbinding loathsomeness – over the cliff of propriety, sobriety and solvency. A wonderful story, with a vitality that can’t be suppressed. – Kathleen Byrne

* * *

The Grief of Others By Leah Hager Cohen

Cohen’s deeply affecting novel begins with a woman in a maternity ward, struggling to come to grips with the death of her baby, who lived for only 52 hours. A year later, the family is still reeling. This is a complex and resonant novel, a moving exploration of the ways grief can twist and maim us. – Steven Hayward

* * *

The Emperor of Lies By Steve Sem-Sandberg

This brilliantly constructed novel, massive, detailed, teeming with characters, unfolds from 1940, when the Lodz Ghetto was created by the occupying Germans, to 1944, when the last of its inhabitants were deported to the death camps. During those few years, the ghetto was ruled with ruthless cruelty by Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski. – Anna Porter

* * *

1Q84 By Haruki Murakami translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel

In 1984 Tokyo, Aomame is a fitness instructor, massage therapist and assassin, killing men who commit violence against women. Tengo is an aspiring novelist and amiable loner. All they really need, it turns out, is each other. This colossus is expansive, enthralling, but also an over-long and occasionally exasperating foray into the lure of fanatical beliefs. – Charles Foran

* * *

Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A.S. Byatt

The premise for Byatt’s retelling of the Norse myths is simple and compelling: A girl is sent from the wartime London blitz to the country. At 3, she is taught to read, and her book-born life of the imagination begins. These imaginings are enormously expanded upon, and influenced forever, when her mother gives her Asgard and the Gods. – Gale Zoë Garnett

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