Getting Away With Murder

Half a decade after her death, Benazir Bhutto's assassination still haunts Pakistan.

 

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Firefly

A novelist makes chamber drama out of Noël Coward's Jamaican twilight.

 

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Year Zero: A History of 1945

Surveying the savage aftermath of the Second World War -- and the carefully wrought peace that emerged.

 

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In Times of Fading Light

An East German family epic unpacks a world of official lies with sardonic humor.

 

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The Unwinding

A look at a national landscape reshaped by shifting political winds and an economic tsunami.

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The Plantagenets

The legendary -- and infamous -- dynasty may have unwittingly sown the seeds of monarchy's end.

 

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The First Muslim

Is it possible to write the mind of a prophet?

 

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Thornton Wilder: A Life

The intensely private life of an artist who married the quotidian and the revolutionary.

 

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Sweet Tooth

The author of Atonement launches a tale of narrative deception from the spy games of a dying Cold War.

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The Lost Battles

A story of the rivalry between the two greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance -- and the vanished masterpieces their competition produced.

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George Orwell: Diaries

The journals of one of the twentieth century's most powerful voices contain the seeds of the ideas his books explored.

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Prairie Fever

How the wide-open spaces of the American frontier became a playground for English bluebloods.

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Ride a Cockhorse

Raymond Kennedy's ribald comedy pinned a satire of late-1980s excess on a small-town banker's sudden mania.

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Pale Blue Ink in a Lady's Hand

A fresh translation of a classic novel unveils an Austrian life overshadowed by the rise of fascism.

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How It All Began

A delicate network -- and a vulnerability to chaos -- connect the characters in this thoughtful comedy.

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If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home

The history of domestic life, the author argues, tells the story of our deepest secrets.

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Tolstoy: A Russian Life

A new life of the writer focuses on Tolstoy's place in a changing Russian society.

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The Beauty and The Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War

A war correspondent and historian brings to life the voices of World War I.

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The Forgotten Waltz

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering comes a new novel that reckons the cost of love.

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Columbus: The Four Voyages

The legendary navigator's journeys after the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

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Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein

A new biography of the playwright explores the secrets she guarded so closely.

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Turn of Mind

A once-brilliant surgeon battles Alzheimer's disease. But is she forgetting a monstrous crime? 

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Machiavelli

A new biography of the Florentine diplomat and author who gave birth to modern political theory, and blackened his own name in the process.

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Lives and Letters

Sparkling insights on art and artists are matched with a taste for scandal's allure in these essays.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

120 years after its original publication, Oscar Wilde's masterpiece stands fully revealed—and annotated.

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No Regrets

The passions—musical and otherwise—of the great singer Edith Piaf.

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Under the Sun: The Letters of Bruce Chatwin

The letters of travel writer Bruce Chatwin reveal genius driven by an uncontainable enthusiasm.

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The Memory of Love

Echoes of Graham Greene can be heard in Aminatta Forna's tale of youth, love, politics and betrayal in Africa.

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Tablet & Pen

Reza Aslan's new collection unlocks a treasure trove of Middle Eastern writing.

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An Object of Beauty

A tale of a "rake's progress" through a trend-maddened art world.

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About the Columnist
Brooke Allen is the author of Twentieth-Century Attitudes; Artistic License; and Moral Minority. She is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The New Criterion, The New Leader, The Hudson Review, and The Nation, among others. She was named a finalist for the 2007 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

April 21: " 'Pull' includes 'invitations to tea' at which one hears smiling reminders that a better life is available to people who stop talking about massacres..."

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…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

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.