Friday, February 27, 2009

What We're Reading: Ms. Hempel Chronicles

Several years ago, Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum was a National Book Award finalist for her debut novel Madeleine is Sleeping: a surrealistic, poetic book that left me reeling and longing for more. She finally published her second novel late 2008. Ms. Hempel Chronicles follows the life of a middle school teacher in fits and starts. It has the same fragmented feel of her first book, which is perfect for those of us who have a stunted attention span. While I miss the magic and mystery of the debut, her mastery of the English language has suffered not a bit in these four years. The prose is gorgeous. I don't know what to say other than Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum remains my favorite author EVAR [sic]. This book would appeal to those who like stories with well developed characters and language that is both succinct and pretty.

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