In an interview for the upcoming issue of the New York Times magazine, Obama said he’s grown tired of briefing books and has been spending his time reading “Netherland”, a Joseph O’Neill’s 2008 novel. “Netherland” is a highly praised novel about living in a post 9/11 world and covers the topic of marriage and also cricket.
The hardcover came out last year and the paperback publisher, Vintage/Anchor Books, citing a recent double-digit increase in sales, announced Monday it has moved up the paperback release from June 2 to this Thursday, May 7.
This first printing will be 70,000 copies.
Netherland was published in May 2008 and was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review where Dwight Garner (NYTBR senior editor) called it “the wittiest, angriest, most exacting and most desolate work of fiction we’ve yet had about life in New York and London after the World Trade Center fell”. It would later that year make the prestigious New York Times Book Review list of “10 Best Books of 2008” as chosen by the paper’s editors.
James Wood, writing in the New Yorker, called it “one of the most remarkable postcolonial books I have ever read”; and said it has been “consistently misread as a 9/11 novel, which stints what is most remarkable about it: that it is a post colonial re-writing of The Great Gatsby.
Awards and nominations
In the weeks leading up the announcement of the 2008 Man Booker Prize, Netherland was spoken of by some literary pundits as being the favourite to win. However, on September 9, 2008, the Booker nominee shortlist was announced and the novel, surprisingly at least for some critics at the New York Times, failed to make the list. The book was also nominated for the Warwick Prize for Writing (2008/9) and made it to the long list of that prize announced in November 2008.
Netherland won the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.