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Next in the series exploring The Exuberance of Youth World Book Club talks to the award-winning American author Ben Lerner about his beguiling debut novel Leaving the Atocha Station.
Brilliant, unreliable, young American poet Adam Gordon is on a fellowship in Madrid, where he is struggling to establish his identity and dazzle his contemporaries.
Instead of studying, his research becomes a meditation on authenticity - are his relationships with the people he meets in Spain, especially the two clever and beautiful women he falls for, as fraudulent as he fears his poems are? In the aftermath of the 2004 Madrid train bombings has he participated in history or merely watch it pass him by?
Winner of the Believer Book Award and a Guardian Book of the Year from 2012 which marked the launch a major new literary talent.
(Picture: Ben Lerner. Photo credit: Catherine Barnett.)
Yaa Gyasi: Homegoing
In this year-long celebration of The Exuberance of Youth, World Book Club revisits the multi-prize-winning debut novel Homegoing by the acclaimed Ghanaian author Yaa Gyasi.
The story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a white slave-trader, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history. A novel of remarkable sweep and power, with each character’s life indelibly drawn, Homegoing reveals the devastating legacy of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit.
(Picture: Yaa Gyasi. Photo credit: Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation.)
Mohsin Hamid: Exit West
In the season celebrating The Exuberance of Youth, World Book Club talks to Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid about his compelling novel, Exit West.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize Exit West features Nadia and Saeed, two ordinary young people, attempting to fall in love in a world turned upside down. Civil war is driving them from their homeland and they join the great outpouring of people fleeing a collapsing city, hoping against hope, to find their place in the world. Then something extraordinary happens: doors start appearing, all over the world. They lead to other cities, other countries, other lives. But once you leave there’s no coming back. Readers from around the world put their questions to Mohsin Hamid about this dazzling book.
(Picture: Mohsin Hamid. Photo credit: Jillian Edelstein.)
World Book Cafe: Brooklyn
World Book Café, the programme where writers reveal the secrets of their home cities, goes to Brooklyn.
In a lively and engaging conversation from the heart of the neighbourhood, Asian American authors will share insights into their creative lives, the obstacles they face and the joy they find in words and writing.
Presenter Michelle Fleury will be joined on stage by Brooklyn-based writers Elaine Hsieh Chou, Crystal Hana Kim, Matthew Ortile, Pitchaya Sudbanthad and Jen Lue.
Jennifer Egan: A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan answers audience questions about her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. It is a dazzling, exciting book, which plays with form and storytelling traditions. Goon Squad is made up of connected short stories circling around musician and record executive Bennie Salazar, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. It explores their pasts and catapults them into the future using a rich variety of voices and narrative styles. This special edition of World Book Club, presented by Katherine Lanpher, was recorded at Brooklyn Central Library.
(Photo: Jennifer Egan. Credit: Pieter M. Van Hattem)