Search: When the Snow Fell

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When the Snow Fell

Henning Mankell (Author) , Laurie Thompson (Translator)

Joel is growing up. He is getting interested in girls. Just look at his New Year's resolutions: 1 - to see a naked lady, 2 - to toughen himself up so that he can live to be a hundred, and 3 - to see the sea. They all look pretty impossible for a motherless boy in Northern Sweden. Especially as his sailor dad is keen to drown his sadness in drink, and all the local matrons are narrowly watching the pair of them. And then he saves old Simon from a frozen death in the woods, and Joel becomes a local hero.

Life In A Postcard

Rosemary Bailey (Author)

'I wake to the sun striking gold on a stone wall. If I lean out of the window I can see Mount Canigou newly iced with snow. It is wonderful to live in a building with windows all around, to see both sunrise and sunset, to be constantly aware of the passage of the sun and moon.'

In 1988, Rosemary Bailey and her husband were travelling in the French Pyrenees when they fell in love with, and subsequently bought, a ruined medieval monastery, surrounded by peach orchards and snow-capped peaks. Traces of the monks were everywhere, in the frescoed 13th century chapel, the buried crypt, the stone arches of the cloister.

For the next few years the couple visited Corbiac whenever they could, until in 1997, they took the plunge and moved from central London to rural France with their six-year-old son. Entirely reliant on their earnings as freelance writers, they put their Apple Macs in the room with the fewest leaks and sent Theo to the village school. With vision and determination they have restored the monastery to its former glory, testing their relationship and resolve to the limit, and finding unexpected inspiration in the place.

Life in a Postcard is not just Rosemary Bailey's enthralling account of the challenges of life in a small mountain community, but also a celebration of the rugged beauty of French Catalonia, the pleasures of Catalan cooking, and an exploration of an alternative, often magical world.

Don't Call Us Dead

Danez Smith (Author)

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved back here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality—the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood—and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “Some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, “some of us all at once.” Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America—“Dear White America”—where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.

history is what it is. it knows what it did.
bad dog. bad blood. bad day to be a boy

color of a July well spent. but here, not earth
not heaven, we can’t recall our white shirts

turned ruby gowns. here, there’s no language
for officer or law, no color to call white.

if snow fell, it’d fall black. please, don’t call
us dead, call us alive someplace better.

we say our own names when we pray.
we go out for sweets & come back.

—from “summer, somewhere”

The Friends of Meager Fortune

David Adams Richards (Author)

Will Jameson has a temperament of iron, standing up to men twice his age when he takes over the Jameson lumber company after his father's death. His younger brother Owen is sensitive, literary and fanciful. But when Will dies suddenly and Owen's beloved Lula rejects him, Owen's deeper character comes to light: joining the army in the hope of getting himself killed, instead Owen returns home a decorated war hero.

Then he falls in love with the beautiful, childlike Camellia - the wife of Will's old friend Reggie Glidden - and soon Owen and Camellia find themselves watched on all sides, caught in the teeth of an entire town's gossip and hypocrisy. Inexorably, they are pulled into a chain of events that will end with death, disappearance and a sensational trial.

The Friends of Meager Fortune is a transfixing love story and a devastating portrait of a society - but it is also a brilliant commemoration of the passing of a world, that of the lumberjacks who felled the trees by hand and dragged them down mountainsides with horses. Owen Jameson begins what will become the greatest cut in New Brunswick history, his men setting up camp on the notoriously dangerous Good Friday Mountain. The teamsters spend months in pitiless ice and snow, daily pitting themselves against nature and risking their lives for scant reward, in the last moments before the coming of mechanization that will make them obsolete. This heroic, brutal life is all Meager Fortune, the camp keeper, knows. A good and innocent man, he shows unexpected resolution in the face of the betrayals of the more worldly men around him.

Rich with all the passion, ambition and almost mythic vision that defines David Adams Richards' work, The Friends of Meager Fortune is a profound and important book about the hands and the heart; about true greatness and true weakness; about the relentlessness of fate and the evil that men and women do. Wise, stark, and without a false word in it, it cements David Adams Richards' claim to be the finest novelist at work in Canada today.

Discontent and its Civilizations by Mohsin Hamid

In this extract, entitled Once Upon a Life, Mohsin recounts the experience of returning...

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