Annal: 1986 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 1986.

Book:The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel

Margaret Atwood

In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Book:The Accidental Tourist: A Novel

The Accidental Tourist: A Novel

Anne Tyler

Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog-obedience trainer who up-ends Macon’s insular world–and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life.

Book:The Golden Gate

The Golden Gate

Vikram Seth

This novel in verse about a group of California yuppies was one of the most highly praised books of 1986 and a bestseller on both coasts.

Book:Lake Wobegon Days

Lake Wobegon Days

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor’s fictional Midwestern town, Lake Wobegon, has long since passed into literary legend. Lake Wobegon Days, his first unforgettable portrait of life in the American small-town named after an Indian word meaning “Here we are!” or “We sat all day in the rain waiting for you”, is a modern classic of warmth, humor and tenderness which introduces the reader to “a cast of characters to rival Mark Twain” (Daily Mail)

“Wryly affectionate and irresistibly funny, it’s a delight read and very good company.” —Miranda Seymour, Evening Standard

Book:The Old Gringo

The Old Gringo

Carlos Fuentes

The celebrated American writer and journalist Ambrose Bierce mysteriously disapeared in Mexico during its civil war. In this brilliant novel, Carlos Fuentes imagines the fate of Bierce among Pancho Villa’s troops and dramatizes the conflict of North America’s two cultures locked in deadly embrace.

Book:A Perfect Spy

A Perfect Spy

John le Carré

John le Carré’s classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge, and have earned him unprecedented worldwide acclaim.

Immersing readers in two parallel dramas—one about the making of a spy, the other chronicling his seemingly imminent demise—le Carré offers one of his richest and most morally resonant novels.

Magnus Pym—son of Rick, father of Tom, and a successful career officer of British Intelligence—has vanished, to the dismay of his friends, enemies, and wife. Who is he? Who was he? Who owns him? Who trained him? Secrets of state are at risk. As the truth about Pym gradually emerges, the reader joins Pym’s pursuers to explore the unsettling life and motives of a man who fought the wars he inherited with the only weapons he knew, and so became a perfect spy.

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