May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes: November 2013 book of the month and giveaway
"I don't know how she did it, but she got away with it. Brilliant." That is the general gist of many of the reader reviews for November's book club choice, the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 winner May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes.
The wild first chapters kick off at a hurtling pace, covering a fatal car accident, adultery, violent murder and internet pornography.
Harold Silver, a Nixon-obsessed history professor, finds himself in charge of two adolescents when his bullying brother, George, is locked up in a mental institute having killed his wife (who was in bed with Harold at the time).
Harold sets off on a weird and wonderful voyage of self-discovery, encompassing diverse elements of surreal American surburban life: geriatric homes, swinging parties, school open days, hospital wards.
Despite the horrific events that occurred, a messy yet satisfying type of life begins to grow around Harold, quite distinct from the American Dream that is held up as everyone's ultimate goal.
The writing is consistently magnetic and compelling, even when the subject matter might repel you. Every detail, every piece of jargon and slang, is piercingly observant and delivered with deadpan wit.
As a social satire, the novel is unflinching and unafraid to take major risks. It is not for the faint-hearted. And yet this could also be one of the most laugh-out-loud funny books you'll read this year.
Interview with AM Homes
"I'm interested in the gap between who people are publicly and privately ... What I'm doing, which sometimes makes people uncomfortable, is saying the things we don't want to say out loud."
Read an interview with AM Homes on the Guardian website.
More about the author
Amy M Homes is the author of the novels This Book Will Save Your Life, Music for Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers and Jack, two collections of short stories, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, a highly acclaimed memoir, The Mistress's Daughter, as well as the travel memoir Los Angeles: People, Places and the Castle on the Hill.
She is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and writes frequently on arts and culture for numerous magazines and newspapers. She is currently writing for a new major US TV Series. She lives in New York City.
For more about her, check out the AM Homes official website.
Join our book club discussion with AM Homes in emailed Q&A
We are thrilled that A M Homes will be joining us and answering questions about May We Be Forgiven, her writing career and her previous novels. Due to unforseen scriptwriting commitments, AM Homes is unable to join us for a live webchat, but she will be answering all your questions in an emailed Q&A.
Please post all your author questions up here before 10pm on Tuesday 4th December, and I will then send the messages on to the author. We'll post her answers the following week.