Displaying articles for: June 2014

Let's Go and Go On and On

Indie rocker Tim Kinsella's sophomore novel is a lively study of character actress Laurie Bird, whose memorable turns in the films of Woody Allen and Monte Hellman are unforgettable to fans, and a revelation to newcomers.

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The Albertine Workout

Revered, iconoclastic poet Anne Carson turns in a pamphlet-sized labyrinth on a curious subject (Marcel Proust's long-time love "Albertine"), sprawling in a mere fifty-two pages of rewarding lists and appendixes.

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Short Century

Fans of Vladimir Nabokov and Philip Roth, take note: this tale of a disgraced neo-con journalist trying to clear his name – everywhere from Iraq to the Ivy League - smolders with delicious fury. Debuting author David Burr Gerrard here proves a newcomer to watch.

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The People in the Trees

Now in paperback (and PEN Award-nominated): Hanya Yanagihara's voyage into the forests of Micronesia unearths a tribe of immortals, whose fountain of youth is shipped to America with deadly, fantastical results. A tale of magic, culture clash, and "delicious secrets... dark oily pockets of mystery."

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The Zhivago Affair

When Boris Pasternak published his famed novel Doctor Zhivago, it was banned in his native Soviet Union and made the Pasternak family into targeted enemies of the KGB. Peter Finn and Petra Couvee's cat-and-mouse Cold War history carries the volatile suspense of Pasternak's prose, and a reminder of the risks some must take to print their personal truths.

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Some Desperate Glory

Max Egremont's explosive history of "The World War I the Poets Knew" finds the likes of writer-soldiers Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, and Siegfried Sassoon on the frontlines, in the hopes of understanding how the battlefield sacrifices they made translated to the rich verse which made them legends.

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The Antiquarian

Peruvian journalist Faverón Patriau's debut novel confirms what we've long suspected: booksellers are secretly trafficking human organs in an underground marketplace. This dark fable recalls the works of Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolano in its pairing of macabre mystery with ardor for literature and its creators.

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Things I Don't Want to Know

Few essayists have the courage and talent to go head-to-head with George Orwell. Deborah Levy's response to Orwell's iconic piece "Why I Write" is at once a feminist call to arms, a touching memoir of small moments, and a guide to writing fiction from one of literature's bravest rulebreakers. 

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The Corsican Caper

Francis and Oleg covet each other's homes on the Riviera, but who called in the local mafioso as their cavalry? Peter Mayle's prose sparkles with champagne and vigor, in this charming gambol of clever twists through la bonne vie.

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The Fever

Megan Abbott took her genius for modern noir to the cheerleading squad with Dare Me, but her latest novel ventures into even more psychologically compelling territory, as a mysterious wave of seizures among teenage girls sweeps through an unsuspecting town.

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The Last Magazine

This posthumous novel from award-winning journalist Michael Hastings is poignant evidence of a great fiction career cut off by his untimely death.  A scathing, funny, rollicking look at the end of an era for print reporters, drawing on the author's own improbable adventures in the field.

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Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret

When U.S.S.R forces arrive to build monuments on Angola's beaches, the locals (including Dr. KnockKnock, a ghost, and a pet alligator) rush to save their grandmothers' waterfront homes. Mononymous author Ondjaki delivers playful magical realism with delightful defiance.

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What is Visible

A novel narrated by Laura Bridgman, the first documented blind and deaf person to learn language, contains exceptionally lyrical prose from author Kimberly Elkins, and winning cameos from Bridgman's true-life cohorts Charles Dickens and Helen Keller.

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Fortunes of War: The Levant Trilogy

Discover why Anthony Burgess called Olivia Manning's expansive novel of a young ex-pat couple evading the Nazi Party "The finest fictional record of the war produced by a British writer." A surprising - often poignantly joyful - look at Europe's last pre-WWII hurrahs.

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Midnight in Europe

Hemingway meets Le Carre as an eclectic array of freedom fighters try to outwit Fascists in the heat of the Spanish Civil War. Espionage virtuoso Alan Furst winds up the suspense in his taut, intercontinental spy story.

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The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

An ailing war historian seeking companionship buys a tawny owl named Mumble. So begins Martin Windrow's soaring memoir of fifteen years with his gentle, shoelace-chewing, touchingly loyal pet. Think "My Dog Tulip" or "Ring of Bright Water" (with feathers).

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A Replacement Life

A journalist takes up a dangerous assignment: forging the coveted documents which secure Holocaust reparations for Jewish-Americans. Debuting novelist Boris Fishman places caustic humor on South Brooklyn tongues in this fearlessly sharp Discover Great New Writers selection.

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Adam

When a shy high schooler crashes with his Brooklynite sister over one summer, he finds the unexpected love of his life: a red-headed, transgendered beauty named Gillian. Comic artist Ariel Schrag's debut novel triumphs in coupling evergreen youthful amour  with a unique and compassionate perspective.

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Klaus Klump: A Man

A foolish-but-fiercely competitive Portuguese publisher seeks fame and fortune during the breakout of a wild (downright absurdist) war in Goncalo Alvares' offbeat character study, a pastiche recalling the heights of Roberto Bolano and Pier Paolo Pasolini. 

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The Essential Ellen Willis

A pioneer woman in the field of rock and roll journalism (and late 20th century cultural criticism at large), Ellen Willis receives deserved compendium treatment, collecting her wry musings on Janis Joplin, Lou Reed, child-rearing, daytime talk shows, and defining "radical feminism."  

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Stealth

Already a legend in his native Egypt, Sonallah Ibrahim has quietly emerged as one of our most riveting authors in translation. His latest - from the perspective of an 11-year old boy living with his widowed dad - finds poignancy in tragedy and vivid details of 1950s Cairo on the verge of revolution.

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1954

The titular year that was finds Brown vs. Board of Education coinciding with a season in which two of baseball's best African-American players - Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants and Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians - dominated the major leagues and forever changed the game they loved.

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With My Dog Eyes

Hilda Hilst may be the Donna Tartt of Brazil, and this may be her answer to The Secret History. Published in America for the first time, this 1986 novel centers on a professor whose unorthodox teaching methods get him in hot water, and off on an odyssey of sex, drugs, and existentialism.

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My Salinger Year

Call it Girls for grown women. Joanna Rakoff's memoir of '90s Brooklyn – and her surprising friendship with the hermetic J.D. Salinger – is a nimble, strong-willed look at her choice to "come of age" and write with an open heart.

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Traitors to All

Why do nice folks keep turning up dead in the same Milanese canal? Detective Lamberti suspects the corrupt lawyer with whom he once shared a prison cell. Giorgio Scerbanenco's reissued 1966 crime noir is a perfect beach read, and cooler than a chilled Negroni.

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July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

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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