Sebastian Barry “On Canaan’s Side”

September 27th, 2011

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Nearing her death, 89-year-old Lilly Dunne is trying to make sense of her life, her loves, and her adopted country, in Sebastian Barry‘s fifth novel “On Canaan’s Side.”

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As she tells it, Lilly fled to America from her native Ireland at the end of the first world war, and over the nearly seven decades that followed, she watched as the events of the twentieth century took the men she loved — brother, husband, son, and finally and heartbreakingly, her grandson.

Listen to Sebastian Barry

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Tracy Kidder “Strength in What Remains”

January 16th, 2009

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A young medical student from the horrifyingly war-ravaged African nation of Burundi arrives in New York City in the mid 1990s, to find a unique kind of culture shock, in Tracy Kidder‘s new book “Strength in What Remains.”

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The man’s called simply “Deo” in Kidder’s book, coming to the big city with a few dollars in his pocket, almost no knowledge of English, and a preference for sleeping in Central Park instead of a rundown tenement. But Deo’s story will amaze you, when he meets the right people…

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Listen to Tracy Kidder

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Amy Bloom “Away”

October 17th, 2007

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Russian Jewish immigrant Lillian Leyb has “endured the murder of her family, the loss of her daughter, an ocean crossing like a death march, intimate life with strangers in her cousin’s two rooms, smelling of men and urine and fried food and uncertainty and need.” And all of this by the age of 22.

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But in Amy Bloom‘s second novel “Away,” Lillian faces her most difficult test yet: a journey across 1920s America, for the reunion with her daughter she longs for above everything else.

Listen to Amy Bloom

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