Jhumpa Lahiri

Having in recent years claimed the Pulitzer Prize, a PEN/Hemingway Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Jhumpa Lahiri has emerged as one of fiction's most decorated and admired new voices. This month marks the publication of her new novel, The Lowland, and so we invited Lahiri to offer some recommendations that share her world-traveled eye for nuance and invention of unforgettable characters.


Memoirs of Hadrian
By Marguerite Yourcenar

"Written in the form of a letter from the Emperor Hadrian's point of view, this novel is an exceptional rendering of history made personal, an example of a modernist writer meditating with urgency and immediacy on the ancient world."


Tess of the d"Urbervilles
By Thomas Hardy

"Arguably Hardy's masterpiece, epic in scope, virtuosic in telling, shattering in effect. An indelible study of society, of human psychology, and of place. A book I re-read at every opportunity."



Mister Palomar
By Italo Calvino

"I love this novel for its wit, its pathos, and for the profundity of its descriptions. Conceived as a series of idiosyncratic observations about the world that surrounds us, it is, in the end, a cartography of consciousness: one man's attempt to map his existence, and to arrive at meaning."


The Collected Stories
By William Trevor

"This book is my bible. It has guided me from the beginning and will inspire me to the end. For his control of language, his depth of vision, his compassion, he has no equal."




My Poems Won't Change the World
By Patrizia Cavalli

"I spent a week recently doing nothing but reading these poems. They are witty, frank, disarming, lapidary, philosophical, passionate, exquisite. This new bilingual edition will be a revelation to Anglophone readers."



Giovanni's Room
By James Baldwin

"A novel of unique emotional intensity and exceptional beauty, hypnotic, intimate, harrowing. A portrait of a man torn between a woman and another man, groundbreaking for its time, it remains a transcendent novel."


April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.