From Subhash's earliest memories, at every point, his brother was there. In the suburban streets of Calcutta where they wandered before dusk and in the hyacinth-strewn ponds where they played for hours on end, Udayan was always in his older brother's sight.
So close in age, they were inseparable in childhood and yet, as the years pass — as U.S tanks roll into Vietnam and riots sweep across India — their brotherly bond can do nothing to forestall the tragedy that will upend their lives. Udayan — charismatic and impulsive — finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty. He will give everything, risk all, for what he believes, and in doing so will transform the futures of those dearest to him: his newly married, pregnant wife, his brother and their parents. For all of them, the repercussions of his actions will reverberate across continents and seep through the generations that follow.
Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portrayal of lives undone and forged anew, The Lowland is a deeply felt novel of family ties that entangle and fray in ways unforeseen and unrevealed, of ties that ineluctably define who we are. With all the hallmarks of Jhumpa Lahiri's achingly poignant, exquisitely empathetic story-telling, this is her most devastating work of fiction to date.
To open the Fall 2013 season, Margaret Atwood, author of the Oryx and Crake trilogy, will be joined in conversation by novelist and columnist Carl Hiaasen, whose most recent work is the bestselling Bad Monkey.
MaddAddam continues the dystopian themes that characterize both Oryx and The Year of the Flood, in which Atwood creates a compelling fictional reality that forces her readers to reflect on the current issues of their own. In conversation with journalist and author Carl Hiaasen, Atwood will reflect upon the dystopian themes running through her recent work and look back on her remarkable career.
Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. She is the author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children's literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood's dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006.
Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, part of the Massey Lecture series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood's work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long PenTM.
Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of twelve previous novels, including the best-selling Star Island, Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and four best-selling children's books, Chomp, Hoot, Flush, and Scat. His most recent work of nonfiction is The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport. He also writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald.
In conversation with Paul Holdengräber, Pico Iyer will unravel the mysterious communion he has always had with Graham Greene, illuminated now in The Man Within My Head. Iyer, at home nowhere, will examine the nature of his elective affinities with Greene—their shared restlessness and refusal to make a home in any faith, country or category.
Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and eight works of non-fiction, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul and The Open Road. He writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, Harper's, The New York Times and many other publications; his most recent articles have discussed the workers of the Fukushima nuclear plant, the power of stillness and the fiction of Somalia.
When most researchers arrive at the Library of Congress, their journey of discovery begins in the Main Reading Room. As the home to the library's reference collections, the computer catalog center, and knowledgeable reference staff, the Main Reading Room's purpose is to make library research easily accessible to anyone with enough curiosity to pursue it. This video includes general information about the library's staff and material resources, the reader ID process, and encourages researchers to experience all that the library has to offer. Speakers include 2012 Library of Congress Junior Fellow Kristen Schumacher and Library staffers Cheryl Adams, Kathy Woodrell, Steven Davenport, Abby Yochelson, Thomas Mann, Kristi Conkle and Judy Robinson. Alissa Quart, author of Branded and Hot House Kids, is back with a new and insightful look at America's emerging subcultures. Now Quart, who Quiet author Susan Cain has called, "one of the smartest cultural interpreters of her generation" is back with Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers, and Rebels. Tracing the increasing impact of marginal culture on America's pop mainstream—from slow food, to Indie-rock, to gender-fluid activism—Quart shows the power and promise that outsiders bring to our increasingly interconnected world. She traces the stories of specific individuals and shows the enormous impact they have through what she calls " identity innovation," proving in the process that being "weird" can be a source of strength. Join us for an evening for exciting discussion about the changes taking place in our culture today!
Susan Cain joins Alissa Quart, for this very special conversation in our rare book room.