This Fall's Heaviest Read
At 1360 pages and almost five pounds, Paul Anderson's Hunger's Brides can probably claim to be the biggest book of the season. Quite a feat for a first time novelist.
The story of a student who becomes obsessed with the legendary 17th-century poet and nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and her mysterious vow of silence (signed in blood) is called "an elaborately beautiful, intricately baroque game that has at its center this mystery about Sor Juana's silence," by the Canadian publisher, Random House, reports the New York Times.
The novel first clocked in at 1,000 pages, but the editor asked for more. "What was missing was something that I knew he already knew was missing," Anne Collins, his publisher, explained - the leap into what, from her childhood or whenever, haunted Sor Juana and eventually forced her into her vow of silence. "I told him, 'You can't not go there.' And that's how it got longer."
For more about Sor Juana's life and poetry, visit the Dartmouth College Sor Juana Project.
Before you turn a page of the hefty Hunger's Brides, visit the novel's website for advice on "safe reading positions."