Her first novel, Last Night in Montreal, was recently released in paperback. Last Night in Montreal was a June 2009 Indie Next pick and is a finalist for ForeWord Magazine's 2009 Book of the Year. Her second novel, The Singer's Gun, is #1 on the Indie Next List for May 2010.
Earlier this month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I'm presently reading Something Red, by Jennifer Gilmore. I picked it up partly because it looked really interesting, and partly because Jennifer and I follow one another on Twitter and Facebook. There's a certain obligation when someone you know writes a book—I know a lot of authors at this point, which is frankly kind of an expensive proposition—but as it happens, I love this book so far and I'm glad that I bought it. I'm not very far in, because I got through the first couple of chapters and then I forgot it when I went on tour, but I'm looking forward to picking it up again when I get back to New York tomorrow.Learn more about the author and her work at Emily St. John Mandel's website.
Other recent books—I read Joanna Smith Rakoff's A Fortunate Age recently (for much the same reason as I bought Jennifer's book; we were on the same panel at a book festival in Albany last month and traveled back to New York on the same train, and how could I not read her book after that?), and I can't get the last scene out of my head.
A few weeks back I was writing an essay for The Millions about digressions in novels, and thought I'd cite Milan Kundera's Immortality as an example of a work that's filled with digressions that somehow don't break the spell of the book; I opened it with the intent of thumbing through and finding a good example of a digression that works, but ended up getting sucked in and reading half the novel.
The Page 69 Test: Last Night in Montreal.