As part of our Best Books of 2011 coverage, our editors weigh in on some of their personal favorites from the list.
The hopeful mutterings of a middle-aged man in the midst of a catastrophic divorce are somehow perfectly captured by a female writer in The Astral. After his beloved Catholic wife of 30 years kicks him out and destroys all of his poetry, Harry Quirk struggles to recapture his poetic voice and reconnect with his family, particularly his son Hector, who has somehow become the leader of a cult.
Some of the best sections in The Astral take place as Harry rides his bike through the streets of Brooklyn, musing on life, death and love and so many of the questions that plague (and define) humanity. And at its heart, comedy. PEN/Faulkner-winner Christensen pokes at her woeful characters and finds the beauty in the wanderings of happiness-seeking fools.
This is the book for lovers of the craft of writing and, of course, the colorful Brooklyn backdrop.
Read a review of The Astral, or visit Christensen’s author page. Our entire “Best of 2011″ list will be revealed in our December issue. What was your favorite book of 2011? Tell us, and you could be entered to win 10 free books in the genre of your choice.