Each of the following novels have met three qualifications: 1) It has been read by me. 2) It received my highest rating when I read it. 3) It has at least one color in its title.
‘The Blue Flower’ by Penelope Fitzgerald (1997) – This is one of many fine short novels by Fitzgerald, this about the German Romantic writer Novalis. Here is a historical novel for people who don’t like historical novels.
‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathanial Hawthorne (1850) – Hester Prynne is found guilty of adultery and must wear a scarlet ‘A’ on her dress to shame her. Don’t be afraid to read Hawthorne. I find him as easy a read as Mark Twain although in a totally different style.
‘Black Swan Green’ by David Mitchell (2006) – I loved this little novel about a Worcestershire boy with a speech disorder, whereas I find some of Mitchell’s longer stuff perplexing. I have high hopes for ‘Slade House’ which will be released soon and is again a shorter novel.
‘From the Black Hills’ by Judy Troy (1999) – This is a strong coming of age work about a son who must contend with his father’s dark deeds. The father has shot and killed his female receptionist lover and has disappeared. This sounds melodramatic, but these things do happen, and Troy’s skill as a novelist pulls it off well.
“The idea which tyrants find most useful is the idea of God.” – Stendhal
‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess (1962) – After a night of ultra-violence with his gang of droogs, Alex is sent off to prison for aversion therapy to cure him. This is a dystopian novel that resonates and sickens with modern psychological theory.
‘The Rose Garden’ by Maeve Brennan (2000) – I suppose this is cheating since ‘Rose’ is both a plant and a color. However if there is an opportunity to include Maeve Brennan in a list, I will do so. This is a short story collection by one of the wittiest people who ever lived.
“The impulse toward good involves choice and is complicated, and the impulse toward bad is hideously easy and simple.” – Maeve Brennan
‘The Golden Droplet’ by Michel Tournier (1987) – Again I cheat as ‘Gold’ is both a mineral and a color. And again Michel Tournier is a writer worthy of inclusion, no matter what. Michel Tournier is a writer of fairy tales for adults, and this is one of his finest.
‘White Noise’ by Don DeLillo (1985) – An industrial accident unleashes an “Airborne Toxic Event”. This is a brilliant post-modern novel. Lev Grossman said ‘White Noise’ is “pitched at a level of absurdity slightly above that of real life.”
“Hold fast to whatever fragments of love that exist, for sometimes a mosaic is more beautiful than an unbroken pattern. – Dawn Powell
“History indulges strange whims in the way it dresses its women.” – Michel Faber