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Detail from the cover of The Turtle Diary
Detail from the cover of The Turtle Diary

Second life

One question: Name an older book you recently discovered Add to ...

What older book have you recently discovered for the first time?

Turtle Diary, by Russell Hoban, just brought back into print by NYRB Classics with a sharp new introduction by Ed Park. The story takes the form of alternating diary entries by two solitary Londoners who are separately fascinated by the sea turtles at the zoo and plotting the enormous reptiles’ liberation. But really it’s about loneliness, and its quasi-epistolary form allows it to capture the meandering, adrift way our thoughts and emotions float and flow when we are alone. The two diarists, Neaera H. and William G., are complex and strangely loveable characters, the sort of uncommon companions you miss when you put the book down. For me, at least, they are unforgettable.

Jared Bland is the editor of Globe Books.

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Follow on Twitter: @jaredbland

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