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Book fair bits

More highlights:

Abani_chris Chris Abani's quiet, grim passage from his novella Song For Night, about the horrors witnessed by a child soldier, set in an unnamed West African country. "In a story set in an African country, throw a war anywhere, and it will stick."

Michael Ondaatje's reading from the haunting opening of his novel Divisadero; his wife Linda Spalding, who read just before him, also captivated the audience with her readings from her non-fiction work Who Named the Knife, about a murder in Hawaii in 1978.

Gina B. Nahai and Caspian Rain; I confess I have not yet read that book, but it comes highly recommended from a respected freelancer (who is not respected regarding her opinion of Zadie Smith's On Beauty, but that's another story.) Nahai told her audience that fiction has a longevity that non-fiction doesn't have. True? It feels true to me.

Sena Jeter Naslund and Abundance. Another book I haven't managed to read yet, but I'm such a fan of Ahab's Wife there's no doubt that I will get to it eventually. Naslund had a few interesting things to say, namely that her works have been inspired by the fact that no great American novels have had women characters. Here's a great big thank you for giving us a few of them.

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