Broadway Baby

Pity the poor stage mother, living out her dreams through her put-upon offspring. In his first work of fiction, poet and memoirist Alan Shapiro brings us an archetypal doozy: Growing up, Miriam Bluestein imagined her glamorous future on the stage. Those ambitions faded with the arrival of her family, but they are revived when her son, Ethan, shows talent as a performer. Miriam's single-minded drive on her disinterested son's behalf tears her family apart: readers get front-row seats for this arresting drama.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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…