This stunning novel, based on actual historical events, will leave readers breathless with its gorgeous prose and unforgettable characters. Harding brings Apple Island to life with his lush descriptions. It is a place, and a story that will live on in readers' minds for years to come.
Shortlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize Finalist for the 2023 National Book Award for Fiction A New Yorker Best Books of 2023 • An NPR 2023 "Books We Love" Pick • An NPR Top 10 Book of 2023 • One of Time's 100 Must-Read Books of 2023 • A New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2023 and Best Historical Fiction of 2023 • A Chicago Public Library Favorite Book of 2023 • A Fresh Air Top 10 Best Book of 2023 • A Publisher's Weekly Best Fiction of 2023 From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Tinkers, a novel inspired by the true story of Malaga Island, an isolated island off the coast of Maine that became one of the first racially integrated towns in the Northeast.
In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discover an island where they can make a life together. Over a century later, the Honeys’ descendants and a diverse group of neighbors are desperately poor, isolated, and often hungry, but nevertheless protected from the hostility awaiting them on the mainland.
During the tumultuous summer of 1912, Matthew Diamond, a retired, idealistic but prejudiced schoolteacher-turned-missionary, disrupts the community’s fragile balance through his efforts to educate its children. His presence attracts the attention of authorities on the mainland who, under the influence of the eugenics-thinking popular among progressives of the day, decide to forcibly evacuate the island, institutionalize its residents, and develop the island as a vacation destination. Beginning with a hurricane flood reminiscent of the story of Noah’s Ark, the novel ends with yet another Ark.
In prose of breathtaking beauty and power, Paul Harding brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters: Iris and Violet McDermott, sisters raising three orphaned Penobscot children; Theophilus and Candace Larks and their brood of vagabond children; the prophetic Zachary Hand to God Proverbs, a Civil War veteran who lives in a hollow tree; and more. A spellbinding story of resistance and survival, This Other Eden is an enduring testament to the struggle to preserve human dignity in the face of intolerance and injustice.
You did it! The presents were wrapped, festive meals made, carols sung and parties thrown. Or you successfully hid out from all of that kerfuffle — either way, we hope your holidays were what you wanted them to be. But it’s the start of a new year, so why not celebrate with new reading goals? […]
As 2023 draws to a close we find ourselves looking back fondly on an excellent year for books and bookstores. It is readers like you who bring these books to life, and we hope you’ll take a moment to reminisce with us. Honors have been awarded — to our Book of the Year, Author of […]
“I think it’s actually good for discussion, because you want to see a range of variety of books on these top 10 lists.” It’s been a great year for books! With best-of-the-year lists rolling out, Gilbert Cruz, Books Editor at the New York Times, sat down with Miwa Messer, host of Poured Over, to discuss […]
Bookmakers in the U.K. were betting on one of the three Pauls — Harding, Lynch and Murray — to win this year’s Booker Prize (though Paul Lynch was favored by many). In an interview with the Booker Prize team prior to tonight’s announcement, Lynch said, “Prophet Song is partly an attempt at radical empathy. I wanted […]
Drumroll please… This is a big day for books and writers and readers — this year’s crop of National Book Award finalists is here! Past winners, now considered modern classics of American literature, include Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jesmyn Ward (twice, for Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing), Charles Yu (Interior Chinatown), Elizabeth […]