Literature

FICTION

Whittall, Zoe. The Best Kind of People. Toronto, ON: House of Anansi, 2016.

Synopsis from the House of Anansi Press website:

“What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?

George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.”


Schofield, Anakana. Martin John. Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2015.

Synopsis from the Biblioasis website:

“Martin John’s mam says that she is glad he is done with it. But is Martin John done with it? He says he wants it to stop, his mother wants it to stop, we all want it to stop. But is it really what Martin John wants? He had it in his mind to do it and he did it. Harm was done when he did it. Harm would continue to be done. Who will stop Martin John? Will you stop him? Should she stop him?

From Anakana Schofield, the brilliant author of the best-selling Malarky, comes a darkly comic novel circuiting through the mind, motivations and preoccupations of a character many women have experienced but few have understood quite so well. The result confirms Schofield as one of the bravest and most innovative authors at work in English today.”

Connell, Evan S. The Diary of a Rapist: A Novel. 1966. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2016.

Synopsis from the Counterpoint Press website:

“The story begins with the unhappy marriage of junior clerk Earl Summerfield to the much older Bianca. Feeling victimized by his cold wife and mocking superiors at work, Earl decides to keep a diary, a chronicle of his apparently crumbling marital relations, the paranoia and abuses he is seemingly forced to tolerate at work, and the world around him going to pieces in 1960’s San Francisco. What he sees, what he says, what he wants to say — everything swarms his head and consciousness, inciting and fueling fantasies of love, ambition, and avenging the violent crimes with which he was become obsessed. His angry and unstable mind alternates between feelings of apprehension and disgust, and exploring his own violent, sexual fantasies, and Earl takes action first by breaking into other peoples’ houses and then fixating on various women, before settling with utmost and troubling certainty on the local beauty queen, Mara St. John’s. This unnerving work is a contemplation of the middle-class existence in a changing world, narrated by an unstable man held hostage by his deteriorating mental state.”


NON-FICTION

Elva, Thordis, and Tom Stranger. South of Forgiveness: A True Story of Rape and Responsibility. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017.

Synopsis from the South of Forgiveness website:

“One ordinary spring morning in Reykjavik, Thordis Elva kisses her son and partner goodbye before boarding a plane to do an extraordinary thing: fly seven thousand miles south to meet up with the man who raped her when she was just sixteen.

​Meanwhile, in Sydney, Australia, Tom Stranger nervously embarks on an equally life-changing journey, wondering whether he is worthy of this meeting.

South of Forgiveness is an unprecedented collaboration between a survivor and a perpetrator, each equally committed to exploring the darkest moment of their lives. It is a true story about being bent but not broken, of facing fear with courage, and of finding hope even in the most wounded of places.”

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