Friday, August 05, 2011


On the Library's Best Fiction of 2011 is an out-of-nowhere literary sensation. Before I Go to Sleep by British author S.J. Watson is about a woman struggling to reconstruct her identity after a mysterious accident leaves her with a memory that is erased every night. Back in 2008, S. J. Watson was a 30-something London audiologist and had just won a place in the inaugural class of a six-month novel-writing course at the Faber Academy, a mini-M.F.A. program run by the distinguished publishing house Faber & Faber. Three years later, he's an international sensation with a 37-country deal and a film project with Ridley Scott. Janet Maslin of the New York Times credits Watson with "the summer's single most suspenseful plot".

The second neuro-mystery on APL's list is Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante. Turn of Mind is the first novel from Alice LaPlante, an award-winning nonfiction writer. It's about a retired orthopedic surgeon with Alzheimer's who is implicated in the murder of her best friend. Told in the surgeon's own voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of the surprisingly intimate, complex alliance between the two life-long friends who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries.

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