Novels – Zoo Book Sales Fri, 11 Jun 2021 09:41:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Novels – Zoo Book Sales 32 32 Novel of the week: The answer to everything Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:59:40 +0000

Luke Kennard writes about the middle class, Barney Norris said in The Guardian: “the flat whites, homeownership, the therapists, the teachers.”

His first novel, The transition, was a satire on Britain’s housing crisis. In her second, Emily and Steven, a couple with two young sons, are excluded from the London property market and move to a vaguely “alternative” suburban community called the Criterion, Patricia Nicol told The Sunday Times. There, Emily becomes emotionally involved with a glamorous neighbor called Elliott. The resulting novel is “very funny” and “abounds in concise and ironic observations”.

Although seemingly about adultery, this novel features little sex, Jake Kerridge said in The Daily Telegraph: Emily and Elliott are too tied in parenting to meet more than occasionally. Instead, they conduct their business through WhatsApp – and much of the book consists of “transcripts of their messages.”

The plot is a bit static, but it’s a story readers will admire for “the sharpness of most of its characterizations and observations of 21st century life and love.”

4th domain 416pp £ 14.99; Bookstore of the week € 11.99

Bookstore of the week

To order this or any other printed book, visit, or speak to a bookseller on 020-3176 3835. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

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New Liquid Crystal Metals Offer Electric Zoom Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:24:15 +0000

Researchers at Cornell’s School of Applied and Engineering Physics and Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology have created a one-of-a-kind metallic lens, a metamaterial lens, which can be focused using tension instead of mechanically move its components.

The proof of concept opens the door to a range of compact varifocal lenses for possible use in many imaging applications such as satellites, telescopes and microscopes, which traditionally focus light using curved lenses that s ‘adjust using mechanical parts. In some applications, moving traditional glass or plastic lenses to vary the focal length is simply not practical due to space, weight or size considerations.

Conceptual rendering of an electrically adjustable ultrathin metal developed by engineers at Cornell and Samsung.

Metalenses are flat arrays of nanoantennas or resonators, less than a micron thick, which act as focusing devices. But until now, once a metal was made, its focal length was difficult to change, according to Melissa Bosch, a doctoral student and first author of an article detailing research in the American Chemical Society’s journal Nano Letters.

The innovation, developed as part of the collaboration between researchers at Samsung and Cornell, was to fuse a metalene with well-established liquid crystal technology to tailor the local phase response of the metalens. This allowed researchers to vary the focus of metals in a controlled manner by varying the voltage applied across the device.

“This combination worked as we hoped and expected,” said Bosch, who works in the lab of Gennady Shvets, professor of applied physics and engineering and lead author of the article. “The result was an electrically adjustable ultra-thin lens capable of continuous zoom and a total focal length shift of up to 20%.

Samsung researchers hope to develop the technology for use in augmented reality glasses, according to Bosch. She sees many other possible applications such as replacing optical lenses on satellites, spacecraft, drones, night vision goggles, endoscopes and other applications where saving space and weight are of the utmost importance. priorities.

Maxim Shcherbakov, postdoctoral associate at the Shvets lab and corresponding author of the paper, said researchers have made progress in associating liquid crystals with nanostructures over the past decade, but no one has applied this idea to lentils. Now the group plans to continue the project and improve the capabilities of the prototype.

“For example,” said Shcherbakov, “this lens works on one wavelength, red, but it will be much more useful if it can work on the entire color spectrum – red, green, blue.”

The Cornell research group is currently developing a multi-wavelength varifocal version of the metalens using the existing platform as a starting point.

“The optimization procedure for other wavelengths is very similar to that for red. In some ways the most difficult step is already over, now it’s just a matter of building on the work already done, ”Bosch said.

This work was supported by the Global Research Outreach program of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and, in part, by the Cornell Center for Materials Research with funding from the National Science Foundation and the US Office of Naval Research.

Chris Dawson is a writer for the College of Engineering.

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Writers Remove References To Anne Frank And Israel From Their Novels Following Social Media Complaints | JTA Wed, 09 Jun 2021 20:12:39 +0000

(JTA) – Best-selling authors Elin Hilderbrand and Casey McQuiston removed references to Anne Frank and Israel from their novels this week following an outcry on social media from small subsets of readers.

The movements sparked a storm of controversy in the literary world.

The campaigns against the books have been successful although they appear to be relatively small in size and come from very different perspectives on Jews and Israel. One blames the authors for a joke perceived as anti-Semitic, while the other opposes the mere mention of Israel.

In the first case, the first edition of Hilderbrand’s new novel, “Golden Girl,” contains a line of dialogue in which two teenage girls from Nantucket discuss a plan for one of them to hide in the attic. her friend for the summer. One of the girls then jokes that she would be “like Anne Frank”.

Some readers on Instagram said the joke was anti-Semitic and demanded an apology from Hilderbrand. The author published one and announced that she would remove the passage from future editions of the book.

McQuiston, a love novelist, is taken to task for the 2019 novel “Red, White & Royal Blue”, about a romance between the son of the US president and a prince of England. The president jokes that the US ambassador to the United Nations “said something silly about Israel, and now I have to call Netanyahu and apologize personally.”

A handful of Twitter users wrote that even mentioning Israel in fiction “normalizes” the occupation of Palestine. Their complaints were amplified by a fan account of the book, which prompted McQuiston say the line would be changed for future prints. McQuiston has a new book coming out this year.

The authors’ decisions to remove passages from future editions have been criticized on Twitter by Slate Books columnist Laura Miller and many prominent authors, including Taffy Brodesser-Akner and Mark Harris, who are Jewish. Several compared the incidents to other recent campaigns against young adult novels for perceived cultural insensitivities, saying that many readers on social media have lost the ability to distinguish between a character’s point of view and that of the author.

“Complaining about other more successful writers is one of the most popular activities on Twitter, as is developing high and rigorous standards of correct speech and vigorously prosecuting, even informally, those who violate them,” Miller wrote. “What’s unusual about these two examples is how quickly the two writers gave in to what appear to be very small groups of critics.”

The post Writers remove references to Anne Frank and Israel from their novels following social media complaints that first appeared on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Medicinal plant Cyperus rotundus holds promise for new COVID-19 therapies Wed, 09 Jun 2021 04:32:00 +0000

COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a viral respiratory illness that is spreading around the world. It has been declared a public health emergency and pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). A lack of effective therapeutic efforts has hampered treatment for COVID-19.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Main Protease (MPRO) plays an essential role in the viral replication cycle.

Once inside a host cell, SARS-CoV-2 begins to produce non-structural proteins that facilitate replication and propagation, among which is the major protease 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (MPRO), responsible for the proteolytic treatment.

This enzyme demonstrates extreme specificity towards viral polypeptide sequences, interacting minimally with host proteins. This means that any drug targeting the enzyme is unlikely to also inhibit host proteases, making the essential SARS-CoV-2 enzyme a particularly attractive drug target.

Cyperus rotundu is a plant with a history as herbal medicine, containing many chemicals frequently found to be medicinal in nature: flavonoids, terpenoids, etc. Compounds from the plant have demonstrated some inhibitory activity against HIV by modulating the enzyme CYP3A4, and therefore in a drug discovery effort, Kumar et al. (July 2021) computer screened these natural compounds against MPRO in an article recently published at Computers in biology and medicine.

Ligand screening

A library of 390 compounds from Cyperus rotundu has been assembled in silico and checked for drug resemblance, having good bioavailability by the ability to cross membranes, leaving 354 relevant ligands.

7,938 conformers were generated from these ligands, and docking simulations were performed against MPRO, based on the crystal structure of the enzyme. The top 30 compounds ranked in terms of the LibDock score, which provides a numerical value based on electrostatic interactions between molecules, have been carried forward for more detailed binding energy testing. Compounds that have bound to MPRO active site with negative binding energy, and therefore providing a suitable stable binding to an inhibitory drug, were selected from the drug tracks, leaving 12 compounds of interest.

Lupeol demonstrated the most favorable docking affinity towards MPRO, followed by β-amyrin acetate, achieving scores of -70.03 and -59.33 kcal / mol, respectively. Interestingly, the antiretroviral protease inhibitor drugs lopinavir and ritonavir, which have been shown to be effective against COVID-19 in some studies, achieved scores of only -50.25 and -68.58 kcal / mol, respectively. . Other compounds have shown good binding affinities with MPRO, comparable to these commercial drugs, and were therefore also selected for further consideration: leanolic acid, -amyrin, stigmasta-5,22-dien-3-ol and valrenyl acetate. The root mean square deviation of the ligands once bound was also evaluated to determine the flexibility of the compounds, α-amyrin, stigmasta-5,22-dien-3-ol and valrenyl acetate demonstrating the greatest rigidity. Beta-amyrin followed by stigmasta-5,22-dien-3-ol had the greatest total binding free energy, indicating stronger intermolecular interactions and more stable bonds.

Bioavailability and toxicity

Beta-amyrin and stigmasta-5,22-dien-3-ol were examined for pharmacokinetics and toxicity, both demonstrating adequate oral bioavailability and exceptional intestinal absorption approaching 100%. They also strongly test the blood-brain barrier and central nervous system permeability, suggesting that they would biodistribute well through both. The drugs do not inhibit human cytochrome P450, indicating that they are not metabolized.

The drug tracks were exposed to the Ames toxicity test, exhibiting low toxicity, although they obtained relatively high scores in terms of acute toxicity taking into account the LD50 values ​​for the rat and the minnow for them. compounds. The group suggests that both drug tracks are likely to be well tolerated by humans, although this needs to be verified experimentally by in vitro and in vivo studies.

The researchers concluded that Cyperus rotundu Linn. herbal medicine helps treat viral infections in the traditional way, and may be useful in the development of new and effective therapies against COVID-19.

Journal reference:

  • S. Birendra Kumar, Swati Krishna, Sneha Pradeep, Divya Elsa Mathews, Ramya Pattabiraman, Manikanta Murahari, TP Krishna Murthy, Screening for natural compounds of Cyperus rotundus Linn against the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro): A computational approach integrated, Computers in Biology and Medicine,,

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Team, Studiocanal adapts Dave Hutchinson’s novels – Deadline Tue, 08 Jun 2021 13:00:00 +0000

EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a project that’s likely to generate a lot of buzz globally: Studiocanal brings together the BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated team behind Tinker Tailor Spy Soldier to adapt spy writer Dave Hutchinson Fractured Europe sequence novels into a major television series.

Tinker Tailor Spy Soldier writer Peter Straughan and director Tomas Alfredson will turn best-selling novels into an eight-part series, titled Europe, which will be co-produced by Seven Stories, the All3Media-owned production company founded by A girl with an earring producer Anand Tucker.

Hutchinson wrote four Fractured Europe sequence books since 2014. The series is set in a near-future Europe, which has split into countless small nation-states after being ravaged by a pandemic and economic decline.

“The Railway Children” gets a sequel after 50 years; Jenny Agutter back, Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay also starring

In the first book, Europe in autumn, Rudi, a chef based at a small restaurant in Krakow, Poland, is embroiled in a new career with Les Coureurs des Bois, an obscure organization that will move anything across any state border for a price . Soon Rudi is in a world of high-risk smuggling operations, where kidnappings and double-crossings are as natural as a constantly redrawn map.

Alfredson said: “Europe is a unique blend of classic spy novel and mind-boggling science fiction. Set in the not too distant future, in a world that for the most part closely resembles our world today, the story offers a rich and gripping allegory of our contemporary times.

Tucker said the series has been a “passion” since the founding of Seven Stories in 2015, while Studiocanal’s executive vice president of global production, Ron Halpern, added: “We had hoped for many years to find the right one. project to work on again with Peter and Tomas. We have now found it in the serial adaptation of Dave Hutchinson’s fantastic near-future spy thrillers. “

Europe will be produced by Tucker, Colleen Woodcock, Robyn Slovo, Straughan and Alfredson. Studiocanal distributes internationally. the Fractured Europe sequence series is published by Solaris, an imprint of Rebellion. The book rights deal was negotiated by Luke Speed ​​of Curtis Brown Group on behalf of Alexander Cochran of C&W Agency.

Cold War Spy Thriller Tinker Tailor Spy Soldier premiered in 2011 and was based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré. It starred Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy, and won Best British Feature at the BAFTAs, as well as Best Adapted Screenplay.

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New therapy appears safe in some prostate cancer patients Mon, 07 Jun 2021 18:38:08 +0000

Treatment with the new HPN424 therapy induced antitumor activity in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), according to the results of an ongoing Phase 1 / 2a study.

The results, which were presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), also showed that the engagement of T cells targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) at half- tri-specific life was well tolerated in patients.

The phase 1 / 2a study evaluated the agent in patients with mCRPC who received more than two previous systemic treatments. The median age was 70 (range, 43-91) and the median number of previous treatments was five (range, 1-12), with 73% of men having received previous chemotherapy. Most (78%) of the patients were white, while 9% were black, 2% were Asian, and 11% were classified as other / unreported.

Observation of safety, tolerability and identification of a phase 2 maximum tolerated / recommended dose was the primary objective of the study. Other purposes included, but not limited to, evaluation of anti-tumor activity.

The study included a fixed-dose treatment group of 70 patients and a step-up (or escalation) group of 19 patients. As of April 23, 89 patients had received treatment. The maximum targeted doses evaluated to date in the step-up group were 160 mg / kg and 300 mg / kg in the fixed-dose group.

Confirmed partial response to treatment, decline of prostate-specific antigen (elevated levels of PSA are often, but not always, indicative of the presence of prostate cancer) and circulating tumor cells (cancer cells shed by a primary tumor or its metastases circulating in the blood) a reduction occurred in both treatment groups. More than half (57%) of the 56 evaluable patients achieved reduction in circulating tumor cells.

“Overall, across the study as a whole, 15 of 74 patients … with at least six months of follow-up remained on treatment beyond 24 weeks,” study author Johann De Bono, head of drug development at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, UK, said during the data presentation. “Decreases in PSA from baseline were observed in 20% of evaluable patients.

Cytokine release syndrome (rapid release of cytokines into the blood by immune cells affected by treatment) and transaminitis (high levels of certain liver enzymes) were the most common treatment-related side effects, and they occurred on more often during the first cycle of treatment. , according to de Bono. Other cytokine-related side effects included chills, fever, hypotension, infusion-related reaction, flushing, and hypoxia (lack of oxygen in body tissues). Other side effects reported included fatigue, nausea, vomiting, anemia, headache, back pain, tachycardia, constipation, and decreased appetite.

“HPN424 was generally well tolerated,” concluded de Bono. “Two patients discontinued treatment due to treatment-related adverse events. The (maximum tolerated dose) has not yet been reached for either the step-up or the fixed-dose arm.

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Award-winning novelist Jo Spain on new crime thriller The Perfect Lie Mon, 07 Jun 2021 00:03:14 +0000

SHE IS one of Ireland’s most prolific crime writers and in the first 10 pages of her latest novel The perfect lie, Jo Spain makes readers’ hearts beat faster as they follow the life of Irish emigrant Erin Kennedy.

After moving to New York City five years ago following a family tragedy, Erin’s fortunes changed when she met her husband, Police Detective Danny.

The couple live happily in the idyllic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. But when Erin opens the door for Danny’s fellow police officers one morning, she is amazed to turn around and see her husband jump to death out of their fourth-floor apartment window.

Fast forward 18 months and Erin is now in court, on trial for the murder of her husband, as she discovers that the life she believed to be perfect was based entirely on the perfect lie.

So how can you be accused of killing someone who committed suicide?

“There were times I thought I would never understand,” reveals the 40-year-old Dubliner.

“I always start my books with a crochet idea. I let this amazing opening reflect in my mind for a while before collecting all the secrets of her seemingly ‘perfect’ husband.

“When I write, it’s like putting together a crossword, putting all the clues there so that when the reader reads it all comes together perfectly at the end. It’s very satisfying.”

Spain has carefully studied the subject of suicide, insisting that it wants to “treat it as much more than a conspiracy”.

“I wanted to deal with it in the most compassionate way. Unfortunately, while ending their own lives solves a problem, it creates a problem for everyone and I wanted to capture the grief Erin was feeling.”

she dedicated The perfect lie to “the Irish diaspora, which was far from home when Covid entered our lives”.

“I thought how difficult it must be for an expat when the proverbial hits the fan, you are far from family and friends and at the mercy of an unknown justice system.

“The American system is very confrontational where they tell you ‘we know you are guilty and now we are going to prove it’.”

Spain admits that the other reason she put the book down in New York is to “allow her brain to travel”.

“I love reading books and watching TV shows set elsewhere – we just need a little escape, especially after Covid. I’ve been to New York a few times and watched a lot of it. ‘shows taking place on Long Island and I thought’ that sounds nice ‘. And if I could conquer the American market, that would be a bonus, “she laughs.

Spain’s arrival in the publishing world is the result of a selection from thousands of participants in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition.

With our blessing, a police case starring Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds, was purchased by Quercus in 2015. Ten bestselling novels followed.

She previously worked as a journalist with A Phoblacht and as Sinn Féin’s political advisor in Dáil Éireann – two experiences that have helped her as an author.

“There are different ways of doing politics,” explains Spain, who has explored Irish mother and baby homes, the post-Celtic Tiger crash and sex trafficking in her writings. She even featured the secret tunnels of Leinster House as a backdrop in her second novel, Beneath the surface.

“The analytical thinking skills helped with the plot and the psychology of the characters. And although I have explored Irish history, social and religious issues, it is politics with a little ‘p’ and people can probably absorb it better in a detective story. “

What she loves most about writing the crime thriller genre is her ability to hold her fictional villains accountable for their crimes.

“You can put it right and do justice in a way that doesn’t happen in real life,” she smiles.

Spain also has a booming career as a screenwriter. She made her screenwriting debut with the 2018 crime drama RTÉ Dublin Took of, which she co-wrote with Love-hateby Stuart Carolan.

“RTÉ had read my series Tom Reynolds, and although they didn’t want to adapt them, they asked me if I wanted to write for television.

“It opened up the world to me. It’s almost like Freemasons; once you put on a show, your name is out there. I am now in the position of fighting against work.”

When it came to making the transition to writing for television, Spain was fearless.

“With detective fiction, you already know that plot and pacing are really important and that’s what matters on screen.”

Jo Spain has also written for television, including the 2018 series Taken Down

She is currently filming in Dublin for the filming of her new eight-part thriller, Wild harry, with Jane Seymour. The Grammy-winning, Golden Globe-winning actress plays a recently retired English teacher who can’t help but take an active interest in the criminal cases entrusted to her police detective son.

“To meet Jane Seymour in the flesh was absolutely amazing. She is so beautiful, humble and full of life. Her character is going to be truly loved. She is 70 years old and is a retired teacher who drinks alcohol, swears, drives fast and is just fantastic. “

Seymour is also an executive producer on Wild harry and Spain receives precious advice from her.

“It’s fascinating to know more about this aspect of the business. It will help me write in the future because you can write anything, but if you don’t have enough budget to film it , you have problems.”

Spain juggles a number of other screen projects, including the novel’s adaptation Source by Sarah Sultoon, a Scandinavian drama she describes as “a mix between Fargo and Kill Eve“and a show about the 1980s music scene in Sheffield.

She is also working on her novel 2022: Drowning speaks of “an Englishman who goes to Lapland where his sister died in rather horrific circumstances”.

“It’s a perfect setting for a detective mystery. I want people to feel the cold when they read this book so that it makes the tension unbearable.”

And will she return in her Inspector Tom series?

“I hope so. He’s on sabbatical but I think he still has life in him for two or three pounds more,” adds Spain, who also manages to juggle his career with raising four children. , aged six to 15.

“The lockdown was tough. I’m used to working from home, but I’m not used to working from home with four kids here all the time and home schooling. This has put my patience to the test. ordeal, ”she laughs.

The perfect lie by Jo Spain is published by Quercus

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Grisham’s novel and non-fiction essays are bestsellers Sun, 06 Jun 2021 05:13:40 +0000

1. Sooley

by John Grisham. Samuel Sooleymon receives a basketball scholarship in North Carolina and decides to bring his family from South Sudan ravaged by civil war.

2. The last thing he said to me

by Laura Dave. Hannah Hall uncovers truths about her missing husband and connections to her daughter from a previous relationship.

Hail Mary project

by Andy Weir. Ryland Grace wakes up from a long sleep, alone and far from home, and the fate of humanity rests on his shoulders.

While justice sleeps

by Stacey Abrams. When Judge Wynn falls into a coma, his legal assistant, Avery Keene, must uncover clues to a controversial case.

21st birthday

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. The 21st book in the Women’s Murder Club series. New evidence is changing the case of a missing mother.

6. The hill we climb

by Amanda Gorman. The poem was read on President Joe Biden’s inauguration day, by the youngest poet to ever write and perform an inaugural poem.

7. The midnight library

by Matt Haig. Nora Seed finds a library beyond the edge of the universe that contains books with multiple possibilities of lives one could have lived.

8. This summer

by Jennifer Weiner. Daisy Shoemaker receives emails aimed at a woman leading a more glamorous life and discovers that there was more to this accident.

9. The four winds

by Kristin Hannah. As dust storms roll in during the Great Depression, Elsa must choose between saving the family and the farm or heading west.

10. A gamer

by David Baldacci. World War II veteran Aloysius Archer seeks an apprenticeship with private investigator Willie Dash in a corrupt California town.

1. The anthropocene reviewed

by John Green. A collection of personal essays that review different facets of the human-centered planet.

2. Zero failure

by Carol Leonnig. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner sheds light on secrets, scandals and loopholes in the Secret Service.

3. Kill the mob

by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The 10th book in the Conservative Commentator’s Killing series examines organized crime in the United States during the 20th century.

4. What happened to you?

by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey. An approach to trauma treatment that shifts an essential question used to investigate it.

5. Noise

by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein. This could lead to variability in the judgments that should be identical and the potential means of remedying them.

6. Directory

by Seth Rogen. A collection of personal essays from the actor, writer, producer, director, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

7. Green light

by Matthew McConaughey. The Oscar-winning actor shares excerpts from the diaries he has kept for the past 35 years.

8. Premonition

by Michael Lewis. Stories from skeptics who went against the Trump administration’s official response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The profiles include a local public health worker and a group of medics known as the Wolverines.

9. The Bomber Mafia

by Malcolm Gladwell. A look at the main players and the results of precision bombing during WWII.

10. wild

by Glennon Doyle. The activist and speaker describes her journey of listening to her inner voice.

New York Times

  • Houston Chronicle Contributor

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Jennifer Weiner understands women, and her new novel, “This Summer,” shows why Sat, 05 Jun 2021 12:35:30 +0000

Jennifer Weiner’s latest novel, “That Summer,” is a #MeToo story. In a broader sense, each of the 15 novels Weiner wrote could best be described as “me too” stories. Her heroines are almost always intelligent, self-deprecating outsiders who have not been “seen” by the world. Some feel estranged from the normative roles of wife and mother. (“Me too,” think many Weiner readers.)

Others feel bad about being “plus size” in a world where a woman, again, can never be too thin. (“Me too.”) Still others feel cosmically lonely or invisible or ashamed that they have to take a pill or another glass of wine to get through the day. (“Me too”, “Me too”, Me too. “)

Weiner has made a major literary career writing compelling popular novels that take women seriously. At its core, her stories are about women trying to hold on to themselves in a world determined to diminish them.

“This Summer” is more of a political novel than most as its plot is informed by the rise of the #MeToo movement and the drastic change in attitude towards men who say their actions should be excused because of their youth. or that the victims were drunk or dressed. provocative or… just because.

The entangled stories of “That Summer” are about two women, both named Diana, who have been hurt in different ways by a man. And this is only the beginning of what these “two Dianas” have in common.

“That Summer” opens with a prologue which is a long held breath. Weiner writes it in the present tense, as if the memory he evokes keeps replaying in a loop:

“She was fifteen that summer, a thoughtful and fascinated girl, with hazel eyes with long lashes and a leggy body that still didn’t quite look like her. She lives in a townhouse in South Boston with her parents and two sisters, and attends a private school in Cambridge on a scholarship, where she mostly earns B’s, with the exception of A’s in English and Art. She dreams of falling in love.

This is Diana Starling, who takes a mother’s helper job on Cape Cod during this distant summer and meets a crowd of school children on the beach and is encouraged to believe that one of them – a handsome sensitive guy named “Poe” – really, really love him.

He invites her over to a bonfire on the last night of summer and, as Diana sits next to him, drinking something he handed her from a red Solo mug, she thinks, “It’s the best night of my life. ” It’s not. For years, the traumatized Diana struggles, fails, and still struggles to heal from the violence inflicted on her that night.

Daisy Shoemaker, our other “Diana”, is a 30 year old woman and mother who lives on the Tony Main Line outside of Philadelphia. Although her first name is Diana, she was renamed “Daisy” by her husband, Hal, while dating. Daisy considers herself “short and stocky,” unlike Hal, an older corporate lawyer who keeps fit.

Daisy is a wonderful cook and once dreamed of becoming a food writer, but her father’s untimely death and her marriage at age 20 derailed those ambitions. Now Daisy feels lost and isolated, patronized by her husband and rejected by her artistic and rebellious teenage daughter Beatrice.

When Daisy begins receiving emails intended for the other Diana (their email addresses are almost identical), the two begin an online correspondence that quickly turns into a in-person friendship. But these misdirected emails turn out not to be as random as they initially appeared.

Weiner’s braided plot not only alternates between the lives of two Dianas, but moves through time. The longest and most captivating section takes place on Cape Cod, where adult Diana Starling returns to live, working as a waitress and breathing in a magical place she loved before it turned into a nightmare.

One of Weiner’s distinctive strengths as a writer is his ability to realistically depict how people change bodies and souls. In her 2009 novel, “Best Friends Forever,” Weiner described how her heroine, Addie Downs, gradually emerged from her cocoon of loneliness and superfluous weight. Here, Diana’s unfinished healing spans decades in Cape Town.

When adult Diana first returns to Cape Town during the offseason thanks to a cottage loan, the restaurant manager who hires her instantly sees her as a potential ‘washashore’, meaning ‘the misfits … the people who wash here and decide to stay. “

Diana’s lonely first year – filled with grueling restoration work, weekly library visits to stock up on novels, morning swims in the ocean, and the loving company of a rescue dog – ends up transforming into a busy life. Weiner writes incisively, but with restraint, about Diana’s gradual process of reclaiming some measure of peace.

“That Summer” is a captivating and nuanced novel about the long and terrible aftermath of sexual assault and the things that can be stolen from women and that can never be fully restored. But, because it’s a Jennifer Weiner novel, it’s not a controversy. It’s rewarding in its own way. Weiner seems to be a firm believer in the saving grace of humor, the ability of time to open up possibilities, and the strength of female friendship. Me too.

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Love letter: a real romance novel Fri, 04 Jun 2021 20:28:26 +0000

When Kimberlee Stevenson picked up a copy of “Until I Saw Your Smile” from romance writer JJ Murray in 2016, she had no idea she would ever become the subject of one of her books. Mr Murray accepted his Facebook friend request, and after quietly following his life through his posts, he turned his admiration into a 235-page novel. In 2018, Mr Murray broke his silence by sending Ms Stevenson the email that sparked their own romance. The couple married on April 30.

Like many librarians who make a living categorizing books according to their subject matter, Jess deCourcy Hinds, the author of this week’s Modern Love essay, has always relied on the Dewey Decimal System to make sure every book lands at its rightful place. However, as a woman who has dated both men and women, and someone who finds solace in categorization, she often wondered where she fell on the LGBTQAI + classification spectrum after marrying. a man. After years of feeling uncomfortable, she finally learned to accept being gay.

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June is Pride Month, and although the pandemic canceled most events last year, the celebration of the LGBTQAI + community is back with a mix of in-person and online events. Here is a selection of events to help you celebrate face to face.

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