Books of the year 2011: John Burnside

Before the End, After the Beginning - Dagoberto Gilb

 

Two years ago, the great Dagoberto Gilb suffered a stroke; what emerged out of the long months of recovery was Before the End, After the Beginning (Grove Press, $24), a superb collection of ten raw, powerful and profoundly honest stories.

In memoir, honesty matters more than anything but, when married with the humour, wit and élan vital of Jeanette Winterson's Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Jonathan Cape, £14.99), it is a transformative force. Just as honest, in a different way, is the former diplomat Carne Ross's The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century (Simon & Schuster, £16.99), an inspiring call to those we are all now calling "the 99 per cent" to transform the democratic process through emergent anarchism.

Next: A S Byatt

Previous: Melvyn Bragg

Back to list