I got my hands on a copy of Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry before our fiction editor Abby did. When she asked me what the novel was about, I thought for a minute and said, “In two words? Creepy twins.”
Though obviously there’s a little more to the book than that, overall I stand by that statement. And her latest work is also creepy, though minus the twins. Fans of her more mainstream works may not realize it, but Niffenegger also publishes graphic novels. Her most recent is The Night Bookmobile (Abrams)—the story, which originally appeared in Zoetrope All Story and was also published serially in the Guardian, is about Alexandra, a young woman who finds a mysterious bookmobile on Ravenswood Avenue in Chicago one night. It is bigger than it looks from the outside, and contains only the books she herself has read.
- Here was my paperback copy of Anna Karenina, fattened by repeated reading. I picked up Gravity’s Rainbow. As I fanned through the book I saw that the text stopped at page fifty-seven; the remaining pages were blank. I had never finished reading it. A popsicle stick served to mark the place I had not come back to.
Over the course of the next 20 years, Lexi tries—with varying degrees of success—to find the bookmobile again, and figure out how to stay there forever. But escape comes at a price.
We have one copy of the book to give away to a lucky reader. Just tell us in the comments what book you’re most proud to have in your personal “I’ve read it!” library—your Night Bookmobile, so to speak—before next Monday, and you’re entered. Good luck!
ETA: Contest closed — congrats to Bess, our #1 commenter, who was chosen by Random.org as the winner.