This Week’s Must Read: Malaysia Flight 370 and the World’s Attention


NPR has highlighted Stewart’s novel Songs for the Missing in regard to the missing Malaysia Flight 370:

What happens when the systems, institutions, technology and networks we’ve put into place for our protection, fail us? Consigned to speculation, how do we deal with the unresolved? What if the scant information we are able to cobble together, only deepens the mystery, and compounds our unknowing? What lengths will we go to for the answers we must have?

These are just a few of the many questions that have arisen in the wake of the unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Stewart O’Nan’s brilliant 2008 novel, Songs for the Missing, though it features no ill-fated airliners, raises many of the same questions.


The Odds: One of NPR’s Favorite Books of 2012

npr-books-logo-colorThe Odds was picked as one of Maureen Corrigan’s favorite books of 2012:

That dazed-and-confused trend kicked off in January with Stewart O’Nan’s novella, The Odds, about a middle-aged, unemployed couple about to divorce in order to protect what little assets they have left. First, though, Marion and Art Fowler book a deluxe suite at one of the honeymoon hotels in Niagara Falls and get ready to gamble their remaining cash at the hotel casino. O’Nan’s go-for-broke literary style — by turns elegant and ruefully funny — rivets readers to the fateful spin of that roulette wheel.

[listen to podcast or read more]

Fired And Foreclosed: Unemployment Lit

From Maureen Corrigan of NPR Books:

Stewart O’Nan is an unfailingly smart and affecting novelist, but never more so, I think, than when he writes about the economic struggles of ordinary folks. His great 2007 novella, Last Night at the Lobster, is about the last shift at a closing seafood restaurant in a crummy New England mall. Now, O’Nan has just published a powerful new novella about the unemployed called The Odds.

Read or listen to the story
 on NPR Books.

Emily in Kansas City Star’s Top 100; Essay in NPR Books

Emily, Alone was also named as one of the Star’s Top 100 Books of 2011:

In a sequel to “Wish You Were Here” (2003), O’Nan wonderfully captures hope and sadness as the aged Emily searches for meaning after her husband passes away.

[the full list]

 And in case you missed it, NPR Books is featuring an essay by Stewart:

Ode To The Dead: In Remembrance Of Characters Past

I first heard of Christie Hodgen way back in 2001, when I was a judge for the National Endowment for the Arts. Her story of a younger sister dealing with a troubled, possibly mentally ill brother flat knocked me out. The other judges on the panel agreed — here was a powerhouse writer. I felt privileged to read her work before the rest of the world, so why did it take me so long to discover her second novel, Elegies for the Brokenhearted, which came out last summer?