Wednesday, December 10, 2014

'Light' in novel title adds shimmer and mystery -- please add to the list

There's a shimmery quality to novels with the word "Light" in the title.

The title of Anthony Doerr's recent, "All the Light We Cannot See," a World War II love story, captured my imagination and ran through my head for weeks after its stunning debut.

I look forward to North Carolinian David Joy's 2015 novel with another mysterious title: "Where All Light Tends to Go." Where does all light tend to go?

A few more titles of novels with the word Light:

1. "Light in August," William Faulkner's 1932 novel,
the 7th of his 19, sometimes called his Great American Novel.

2. "The Light in the Piazza," Chapel Hill resident Elizabeth Spencer's 1960 novella about a mother and daughter on a lark-turns-dark vacation in Italy. Later made into a 1962 film.

3. "Light Years," James Salter's 1975 portrait of a marriage, hailed as his masterpiece.

4. "How the Light Gets In," Louise Penny's 2013 novel, the ninth in a series starring inspector Armand Gamache, is a counterpoint to David Joy's title. (Penny's title is from Leonard Cohen's "Anthem" -- "There's a crack in everything / that's how the light gets in."

5. "The Light and the Dark," by Russia's most celebrated writer Mikhail Shishkin, is a series of letters between a man at war and a woman on the home front.

6. "Claire of the Sea Light," by Edwidge Danticat, is narrated by a 7-year-old Haitian girl whose mother dies giving birth to her.

7. "The Light Between Oceans," a 2013 debut novel by London lawyer M.L. Stedman, is about a childless couple in an Australian outpost.

8. "Mirror and the Light" is Hilary Mantel's sequel to "Wolf Hall" and "Bringing up the Bodies," due in 2015.
So tell me: What titles have I overlooked?