Book Brahmin: Andrew Fukuda

Andrew Fukuda was born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong. After earning a bachelor's in history from Cornell, he worked with immigrant teens in Manhattan's Chinatown. That experience led to his debut novel, Crossing, which was selected by ALA Booklist as an Editor's Choice. Before becoming a full time writer, Fukuda was a criminal prosecutor for seven years.

His second novel, the dystopian thriller The Hunt, was just published by St. Martin's Press. For more on The Hunt, check out our Maximum Shelf.

On your nightstand now:

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

Favorite books when you were a child:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl; Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Your top five authors:

Stephen King, David Guterson, Jhumpa Lahiri, John Burnham Schwartz, Ernest Hemingway.

Book you've faked reading:

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I was simply too busy that semester sunbathing on the quad and playing intramural sports. Somehow I was able to write a paper on the book overnight; I grabbed random quotes and wrapped them around a completely random theory. The professor gave me an A+.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Stark and disquieting, it slayed me inside with its haunting gracefulness. The last paragraph devastated me, and still does with every rereading.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Jim the Boy by Tony Earley. Go ahead, take a look at the cover, and tell me you don't smell the sweet mountain air, hear the laughter of children soughing in the grass, feel the summer sun burnishing youthful hope into your skin. But the cover evokes childhood, like the language of the book itself, with a deceptive simplicity.

Book that changed your life:

The Bible.

Favorite line from a book:

"They wept together, for the things they now knew." From Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. A sentence that captures--with painful precision--the separation of intimacy, the intimacy of separation.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I read it when I was still a naïve, thin-skinned 10-year-old. The book's ending floored me; I couldn't move for an hour. But now, after reading a few too many novels with a Sixth Sense-like plot twist, I'm too hardened and calloused to be caught by surprise anymore. Somebody sandpaper my skin down, erase my reading memory and put The Murder of Roger Ackroyd back in my hands again, please.

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