In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

Read more...

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

Read more...

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

Read more...

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Read more...

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

The Brunist Day of Wrath

Forty-eight years after the release of his eerie debut The Origin of the Brunists, iconoclast Robert Coover delivers a sequel of an ominous cult that forms in the wake of a mining disaster, spooking their pious township as they prepare for a worldwide reckoning.

Read more...

A Man Called Destruction

The fate of the "cult" musician is to be rediscovered early and often.  Such was the journey of rambling man Alex Chilton, singer of the influential bands Big Star and the Box Tops.  Holly George-Warren's thorough interviews and crisp prose dig deep into the hero behind the myths.

Read more...

Updike

Adam Begley delivers a finely wrought portrait of the literary magician whose novels and short stories spun the raw stuff of suburban "middleness" into a hoard of glittering treasure.

Read more...

Mother of God

At just 18, Paul Rosolie left behind his suburban New Jersey life for the remote region of Peru where the Amazon begins. His education included giant snakes, tribespeople hostile and friendly, and the incalculable, threatend beauty of the rainforest. This is nature -- and adventure --  unfettered and wild.

Read more...

Machine Made

"Tammany Hall" has become iconic shorthand for a style of governance and politicking that seemingly long ago vanished from the Earth.  Journalist and historian Terry Golway finds the resonance of the famed organization.

Read more...

More Powerful Than Dynamite

Thai Jones's eye-opening study of the USA in 1914 captures an unwritten history of a nation on the brink of anarchist bombings and political bedlam akin to that which scrambled Europe at the outset of WWI. 

Read more...

Portrait Inside My Head

A true man of letters in poetry, novels, and memoirs, Phillip Lopate turns his hand now to another collection of essays, a volume that sprawls engagingly over such varied terrain as "My Brother the Radio Host" to "Why I Remain a Baseball Fan."

Read more...

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

How does a rigorous, seven-hundred page economic history become a lionized hit? Through the canny voice of professor Thomas Piketty, and his demystification of inherited wealth, Karl Marx's true legacy, and what we mean when we talk about monetary "growth" and "inequality".

Read more...

MFA vs. NYC

Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding) assembles a stellar cast of contributors to spell out two camps of contemporary literature - academia and the publishers track - finding fun, intelligent arguments in favor of each mode.

Read more...

The Resistance Man

Few mystery novels feature as enticing a venue as Périgord, the scene of Martin Walker's popular series about French flic Bruno Courrèges.  In his sixth outing, the police chief must investigate the hidden life of a WWII veteran, and outwit incoming British spies.

Read more...

Demon Camp

Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Percy probes the outer limits of PTSD within true-life veteran Caleb Daniels. Haunted by spectral visages of his comrades in Afghanistan, Daniels sought relief among exorcists and evangelicals, with Percy as our guide into the search for one soldier's soul.  A Discover Great New Writers selection.

Read more...

On Earth as It Is in Heaven

Say "Italian prize fighter" and one thinks Jake La Motta or Rocky Graziano.  But Davide Enia's bold and colorful novel featuring a Sicilian lad who embarks on a pugilistic career swings big, with a brawling cast of larger-than-life men and women learned in low crime and hard knocks.

Read more...

Rock She Wrote

Where is the female Lester Bangs or Greil Marcus?  Right here, in the pages of an electric collection assembled by editors Evelyn McDonnell and Ann Powers, who've pillaged the pages of pop music journals from the 1960s to the present in search of the best writing by women on the people's music.

Read more...

William Wells Brown: Clotel & Other Writings

Born into slavery and freed to become a force for justice, William Wells Brown (1814-1884) conjured up Clotel, the first novel attributed to an African-American writer.  Alongside his nonfiction, the book speaks to questions about race and equality that still resonate today.

Read more...

The Long Voyage

Malcolm Cowley (1898-1989) may be one of the most important (and unheralded) literary figures of the twentieth century.  His critical track record for fostering genius and capturing the sensibility of the Lost Generation now receive a spotlight, thanks to savvy editor Hans Bak.

Read more...

The Roving Party

Set in Tasmania during the early nineteenth century, Rohan Wilson's novel chronicles a despicable era of anti-aboriginal violence, with shades of Cormac McCarthy and Homeric tragedy for good measure.

Read more...

The Splendid Things We Planned

Blake Bailey -- acclaimed biographer of John Cheever and other giants -- reveals his affinity for the troubled lives of his subjects, in an aching memoir of brotherhood, addiction, and love.

Read more...

The Red Road

How could a man in prison have left his fingerprints on a gun at a murder scene outside its walls? Detective Inspector Alex Morrow connects cases cold and hot, but all roads lead her back corruption in her own force.  Another Glasgow-set crackler from the masterful Denise Mina.

Read more...

The Poisoned Pawn

In Peggy Blair's latest crackerjack thriller, ghost-haunted Cuban cop Ricardo Ramirez hits Canada, where he must clear the name of a colleague who stands accused of murdering his own wife.

Read more...

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain

Adrianne Harun plumbs the depths of rural despair with an eclectic cast of characters who face not only the traditional pitfalls of drugs and poverty, but also the malign supernatural attentions of an itinerant musician who might be Old Scratch himself.

Read more...

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

advertisement