The Shelf: Marc Fitten and also the King James Conspiracy
May 1, 2009Teresa WeaverComments
Because the editor from the Chattahoochee Review, a top literary journal based at Georgia Perimeter College, Marc Fitten has gained a status to take risks. That instinct is on grand display in Fitten’s brilliant debut novel, a fable for grown ups known as Valeria’s Last Stand (Bloomsbury USA, $24). Within the Hungarian prairie village of Zivatar, 60-eight-year-old Valeria may be the town crank, the same-chance hater who loathes everything old, new, familiar, foreign, whatever. Extending its love to the village marketplace is an action of aggression for Valeria, who clutches her basket in front of her “like a battering ram.” “Valeria wasn’t thinking about foreign fruits and veggies, mostly because she’ll not grow them, but additionally due to their blatant sensuality,” Fitten creates. “Tropical fruits were inflamed with flesh and juice. These were sticky. These were uninhibited. The very first time she held a blueberry, Valeria was upset.” This never-married lady finds herself inexplicably, all of a sudden attracted towards the aging village potter, who’s already entangled using the strong-willed Ibolya, who owns the only tavern around. That unlikely triangular, combined with the arrival of the smooth-speaking chimney sweep, upsets the fragile balance of village existence beyond anyone’s craziest imagination. Every character is perfectly attracted, developing a wise, funny, openly affectionate portrait of village existence within the heady beginning of capitalism in Hungary. Author Fitten was created in Brooklyn to Panamanian parents in 1974 and elevated within the Bronx and Atlanta. He’s traveled broadly, together with a four-year stint in the twenties in a tiny apartment in Hungary, when that country was at the cycle of tremendous alterations in politics, culture, and financial aspects. The result of these seismic shifts on people is hard territory for any youthful novelist, but Fitten creates using the elegance and quiet knowledge of the village elder. This can be a stunning debut.
The King James Conspiracy
St. Martin’s Press, $25.95
Phillip Depoy’s eleventh novel-after five Fever Devilin mysteries and five Flap Tucker mysteries-is really a dizzying mixture of historic details and figments from the author’s imagination. Occur seventeenth-century England, the storyline focuses on several students designated by King James I to produce a definitive British translation from the Bible, much towards the consternation of Pope Scott in Rome. Among the students is killed and horribly mutilated, setting into motion a higher-stakes conspiracy that may rock not just the work however the first step toward Christian values. Author DePoy is really a true Renaissance man-folklorist, playwright, composer, director from the theater program at Clayton Condition College-who brings his talents for dialogue, pacing, and character development towards the mythical table. Brother Timon, a nutmeg-oil-smoking monk who’s equally good at killing people and memorizing 1000’s of pages of text, heads an excellent cast of villains and saviors, the majority of whom possess some grounding ever.
Ballantine Books, $25
Former Atlantan Cathy Holton (author of The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes) reunites four forty-something college friends in North Carolina’s Outer Banks to relive their glory days and share all the secrets of their disparate lives.
Berkley/NAL Accent, $15 paperback
Two women with look-alike luggage but very different emotional baggage
meet after they inadvertently pick up each other’s suitcase at the
Houston airport. Marietta author Tanya Michna’s setup may not be
terribly original, but she wrings a few surprises out of the journey.
|A Tree for Emmy
Peachtree Publishers, $15.95
Mary Ann Rodman, a former school media
specialist and university librarian who lives in Alpharetta, celebrates
the fuzziest, pinkest of trees in this sweet tale for young readers
(illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss) of a little girl determined to have
her own mimosa shrub.