Displaying articles for: March 2014

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. 

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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."

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Martian

Andy Weir's stirring paean to the will to survive finds a castaway on the Red Planet, as astronaut Mark Watney outdoes Jules Verne, Tom Swift and George Clooney in his quest to live and even flourish in this forbidding environment.

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The Big Both Ways

From its Chandleresque title right through its knockout climax, John Straley's Depression-era noir provides hot and heavy, morally complicated thrills as it tosses a male drifter and female murderer together on a bumpy ride across the American Northwest.

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I Am Abraham

Jerome Charyn's fiftieth book may be his best. Abraham Lincoln, known to his contemporaries as a man who loved to tell a good story, steps down from history's pedestal to narrate his improbable career with wit and charm. A bravura act of literary ventriloquism.

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Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero

The name Eliot Ness and his struggles to bring down Al Capone have passed into the annals of pop heroism via "The Untouchables." But Douglas Perry's biography reveals the less glamorous -- yet no less thrilling -- truth behind the crimefighting myth.

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The Corpse Exhibition

Hassan Blasim offers his first-hand account of contemporary Iraq, in surreal short stories alive with awe, empathy, and a native son's vantage point.

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July 26: On this day in 1602 "A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke" was entered in the Stationers' Register by printer James Robertes.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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