Chris Cleave recommends


The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) is in full swing at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. CBC Books got in touch with some of the writers who will be appearing at the festival to find out what recent read they'd like to recommend.

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British author Chris Cleave will be reading two nights, on Oct. 23 and 24. He's written three acclaimed novels, including the bestselling Little Bee (published with the title The Other Hand in Britain), which was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award and is being adapted as a film starring Nicole Kidman. His latest novel, Gold, was lauded by Publishers Weekly as "thrillingly written and emotionally rewarding." It's the story of Kate and Zoe, two elite cyclists -- close friends but also fierce rivals in their sport -- who are competing against each other for a spot on the Olympic team.

Here's what Chris Cleave had to say when asked to recommend a recent favourite read:

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""The best novel I've read this year is Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds. Powers, a poet and an Iraq war veteran, has written an extraordinary account of war that is personal, tender and frightening. His prose is elegant and precise, his storytelling measured and compelling. It's a beautifully accomplished performance all the more remarkable for being a debut novel. It's also a very concise text at around 50,000 words -- I read it in a single sitting and was left unsettled by the punch it packed. I thought: what masterful technique, and what confidence, to know with such precision what one wishes to say in a novel."

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