On Sale: June 16, 2009
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Monica Ali, nominated for the Man Booker
Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the
National Book Critics Circle Award, has written a follow-up
to Brick Lane that will further establish her as one
of England's most compelling and original
Gabriel Lightfoot is an
enterprising man from a northern England mill town, making
good in London. As executive chef at the once-splendid
Imperial Hotel, he is trying to run a tight kitchen. But his
integrity, to say nothing of his sanity, is under constant
challenge from the competing demands of an exuberant
multinational staff, a gimlet-eyed hotel management, and
business partners with whom he is secretly planning a move
to a restaurant of his own. Despite the pressures, all his
hard work looks set to pay off.
Until a worker is found
dead in the kitchen's basement. It is a small death, a
lonely death -- but it is enough to disturb the tenuous
balance of Gabe's life.
Elsewhere, Gabriel faces other
complications. His father is dying of cancer, his girlfriend
wants more from their relationship, and the restaurant
manager appears to be running an illegal business under
Enter Lena, an eerily attractive young woman
with mysterious ties to the dead man. Under her spell, Gabe
makes a decision, the consequences of which strip him naked
and change the course of the life he knows -- and the future
he thought he wanted.
Readers and reviewers have been
stunned by the breadth of humanity in Monica Ali's fiction.
She is compared to Dickens and called one of three British
novelists who are "the voice of a generation" by Time
magazine. In the Kitchen is utterly contemporary yet
has all the drama and heartbreak of a great
nineteenth-century novel. Ali is sheer pleasure to read, a
truly magnificent writer.
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