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NBCC Reads

NBCC Good Reads 3 [The Long Tail] Mary Ann Gwinn Recommends…


NBCC board member and Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn had this suggestion for the NBCC Good Reads Spring 2008 list, recommendations by NBCC members, awards winners and finalists:

Peter Carey’s “His Illegal Self” is the story of Che, the young son of a 60s radical, and Anna, his mother’s former comrade in arms. Anna is thrust unwillingly into the role of Che’s kidnapper and caretaker after a clandestine meeting with Che’s mother goes horribly awry. It has an indelible cast of characters – there’s Che’s Grandma Selkirk, with a steel blue-blood spine and a forge-hot love for her grandson. There’s Trevor, an illiterate but not dumb outlaw, whose past involves the very worst incarnation of an adult-child relationship. There’s a star-crossed cat. Plus Che and Anna, unrelated by blood but bound by a cats’-cradle of love and desperation into the roles of parent and child. The adults in “His Illegal Self” are beautifully drawn, but the supreme gift to the reader of “His Illegal Self” is Carey’s portrait of a scared little boy, confused about the most basic of premises — who is his family, anyway? — who becomes brave.—Mary Ann Gwinn