Around The World in 8 Books

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After a barrage of beach reads, the waning days of summer have washed ashore late-season literary treasures from around the globe.


Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk’s latest revels in romance and intrigue when a Turkish well-digger’s desires lead to a calamitous chain of events in The Red-Haired Woman.

Man Booker-nominee Alison Pick’s Strangers With the Same Dream documents an early 20th-century Jewish group settling the territory that becomes Israel, while Irish scribe John Boyne explores his home nation’s post-war identity through a man’s search for self in The Heart’s Invisible Furies.

Linnea Hartsuyker launches an epic Viking-era trilogy with The Half-Drowned King and, south of the border, American author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Tom Perrotta explores the erotic awakenings of a 46-year-old divorced empty nester in Mrs. Fletcher.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, Québécois Chief Inspector Gamache struggles with his own conscience in Louise Penny’s Glass Houses, while The Dictator by David Layton, son of Irving, moves between Toronto and the Dominican Republic with the story of the tense relationship and troubled past of an Alzheimer’s struck man who fled Europe ahead of the Holocaust and his estranged middle-aged son.

And in Holland, a real-life anonymous Dutch author is gaining celebrity for penning a book as octogenarian Hendrik Groen, who attempts to overthrow the tediousness of his retirement home with the help of his Old-But-Not-Dead Club in the original and hilarious The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old.

A version of this article appeared in the September 2017 issue with the headline, “Around The World in Eight Books,” p. 18.