Strangely, this year Sant Jordi’s Day falls just after Easter. So, we’ll have to move quickly from eating the ‘Mona’ to buying our books and roses. Have you decided yet which books you’ll get for the people you love? Maybe you’ll also treat yourself? If you’d like to buy a novel in English, our teachers have a list of recommendations for this special day.
Cathy Chaplin recommends:
Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe. This novel follows the story of Okonkwe, a family man and a respected leader in his community, whose life changes dramatically as British colonialism and Christian missionaries arrive in his village.
The Road Home by Rose Tremain. A Polish man decides to leave Poland and start his life over again in London. The problem is he has very little money and not much English either. The novel is the story about how he and other people like him either make it or break it in the British capital in the early part of this century.
John Power recommends:
If cats disappear from the world, by Genki Kawamura. What would you sacrifice for an extra day of life? A young man is told he has days to live and makes a pact with the devil. A lovely novel on what really matters In life.
Nutshell, by Ian McEwan. A woman, Trudy, and her lover plan to kill her husband, the lover’s own brother. But there is there is someone who is privy to the whole plot and who is the narrator of the entire story – Trudy’s unborn child. Smart, dark and funny.
Eileen Wallace recommends:
Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, published in 2001. Based on the Japanese embassy hostage crisis of 1996–1997 in Lima, Peru, the novel follows the relationships among a group of young terrorists and their hostages, who are mostly high-profile executives and politicians, over several months. Many of the characters form unbreakable bonds of friendship, while some fall in love. Opera is a centralizing theme on many levels throughout the story.
Guy Lansing recommends:
His Dark Materials, by Sir Philip Pullman. It is an epic trilogy of fantasy novels by consisting of Northern Lights (1995), The Subtle Knife (1997), and The Amber Spyglass (2000). It follows the coming of age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes. His Dark Materials has been marketed to young adults, though Pullman wrote with no target audience in mind, and is perfect for non-native speakers.
Claire Balch recommends:
Transcription, by Kate Atkinson. This easy-to-read novel is about the story of an 18-year-old girl, Julie Armstrong, recruited as a British spy during World War II. Ten years later, Julie works on the BBC but still follows within the world of espionage and fears for her life. History wanders through these two periods of his life.