Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Freebie: The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay by Andrea Gillies and A Brief Stop On the Road From Auschwitz by Göran Rosenberg

Congratulations to Lewis Parker, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight.

This week, I have a nice bundle of books from Other Press to giveaway to one lucky reader. The trio of new releases includes The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay by Andrea Gillies and A Brief Stop On the Road From Auschwitz by Göran Rosenberg. The latter is hardcover, the other two are paperbacks. Here's more about each of the books:

The New Yorker says of The Meursault Investigation: “A tour-de-force reimagining of Camus’s The Stranger, from the point of view of the mute Arab victims.” He was the brother of “the Arab” killed by the infamous Meursault, the antihero of Camus’s classic novel. Seventy years after that event, Harun, who has lived since childhood in the shadow of his sibling’s memory, refuses to let him remain anonymous: he gives his brother a story and a name—Musa—and describes the events that led to Musa’s casual murder on a dazzlingly sunny beach. In a bar in Oran, night after night, he ruminates on his solitude, on his broken heart, on his anger with men desperate for a god, and on his disarray when faced with a country that has so disappointed him. A stranger among his own people, he wants to be granted, finally, the right to die. The Stranger is of course central to Daoud’s story, in which he both endorses and criticizes one of the most famous novels in the world. A worthy complement to its great predecessor, The Meursault Investigation is not only a profound meditation on Arab identity and the disastrous effects of colonialism in Algeria, but also a stunning work of literature in its own right, told in a unique and affecting voice.

In The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay, Booklist says, "Andrea Gillies offers a lot of food for thought about love, memory, and the lies we tell ourselves." What happens when you can’t see that the man you married is actually the one you love? For her whole life Nina Findlay has been in a love triangle with two Italian brothers, Paolo, whom she married, and Luca, with whom she was always in love and who remained her best friend throughout her marriage. Now Nina faces the future alone—estranged from Luca and separated from Paolo, she escapes to the tiny Greek island where she honeymooned twenty-five years earlier. After an accident she finds herself in the hospital telling her life story to an eagerly attentive doctor. As their conversations unfold she comes to understand the twists and turns of her romantic life and the unconscious influence of her parents’ marriage on her own. "The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay is at once lyrical and riveting. Unfolding on a radiant Greek Island, with darker echoes of Scotland and Norway, this lushly transporting, thoughtful novel moves through overlapping time periods in an intricate series of themes and variations. Despite its graceful cadence, it courses with suspense; Andrea Gillies has given us something rare, an exquisite page-turner." (Hilary Reyl, author of Lessons in French)

A Brief Stop On the Road From Auschwitz, the shattering memoir by a journalist about his father’s attempt to survive the aftermath of Auschwitz in a small industrial town in Sweden, won the prestigious August Prize. On August 2, 1947 a young man gets off a train in a small Swedish town to begin his life anew. Having endured the ghetto of Lodz, the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the slave camps and transports during the final months of Nazi Germany, his final challenge is to survive the survival. In this intelligent and deeply moving book, Göran Rosenberg returns to his own childhood to tell the story of his father: walking at his side, holding his hand, trying to get close to him. It is also the story of the chasm between the world of the child, permeated by the optimism, progress, and collective oblivion of postwar Sweden, and the world of the father, darkened by the long shadows of the past. "Destined to become a classic...Göran Rosenberg has written a calm yet passionate account of events after Auschwitz, a memoir that should be read by anyone who ponders the infinite questions of good and evil...With A Brief Stop on the Road From Auschwitz, Rosenberg has not only given us a necessary book but, by confronting unspeakable sorrow with courage and reason, he has created a masterpiece marked by great intelligence and equally great emotional intensity." (Arts Fuse)

If you’d like a chance at winning all three books, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on May 21, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on May 22.  If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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