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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Deep Dive Into Donoghue

Among the most enjoyable parts of my post full-time work life has been the time I've had to do a deeper dive into the work of any author who moves me. When a book speaks to me in a big way, I get genuinely excited learning the author has a back catalog, no matter the size. 

After finishing Emma Donoghue's 2010 bestseller Room soon after its release, I knew I'd be returning to her work. Her 2000 novel Slammerkin - recommended by Anna Quindlen, another favorite author - was my next taste of Donoghue. And though the earlier novel didn't pack quite the emotional wallop of Room, it was boldly realized, encouraging me to continue my quest with this talented author.  

Donoghue's 2016 novel The Wonder had me from the first page and never let me go. Like Room, The Wonder is based on an actual event but neither book has the manipulative whiff of what is often called "historical fiction". What has most impressed me in each of these three books is Donoghue's exceptional command of her narrative. Calling her literary novels page-turners runs the risk of cheapening her gift. But with language largely free of ornament, an undeniable force propels each of her compelling stories.

Which of Emma Donoghue's books - aside from the three mentioned above - would you recommend to me and others? I'm looking forward to continuing my deep dive into her work.  

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