Displaying articles for: August 2013

Lookaway, Lookaway

This uproarious example of Southern Gothic at its finest examines the exploits of the dying Old South and its steamy secrets from the vantage point of the dysfunctional Johnson family.

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Taking What I Like

Linda Bamber’s debut story collection presents classic characters of fiction and theater in rare modern form, including figures from Othello running a collegiate English department.

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The Sports Gene

Are our best athletes born great, or do they achieve greatness? David Epstein dissects the physical and mental makeup of Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Usain Bolt and others, to at last distinguish athletic nature from nurture.

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The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy

A highly underrated 20th century writer presents a wealth of American eccentrics, including heat-stroked widows, hypnotizing predators, and a boy who swallows his father's wedding ring.

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Telling Our Way to the Sea

In this intimate look at California’s Sea of Cortez, Aaron Hirsh explores the biological and historical significance of a rich marine trove with an uncertain ecological future.

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Elect H. Mouse State Judge

A politician’s young daughters are kidnapped on the eve of an election in this off-the-wall novella, where the political candidate is actually a mouse, and the detectives on the case are none other than Barbie and Ken.

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Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation

The Civil War was the first major conflict in history to be photographed, and Manhattan portrait artist Mathew Brady was the foremost man behind the camera, as recounted in this excellent history of the origins of photojournalism in America.

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The Virgins

In a fresh take on the boarding school novel, Pamela Erens paints a complicated, tender portrait of a pleasure-seeking, drug-taking adolescent couple, rebellious in every way but one.

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Down in the Chapel

This provocative glimpse into religious life in the American penal system profiles four inmates -- two Christian, two Muslim -- serving life sentences while contemplating God, justice and the reasons behind their imprisonment.

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The Hare

Among the Mapuche tribe in the pampas of 19th-century Argentina, a British naturalist searches for the elusive Legibrerian hare - a species that the local Indians say has the ability to fly -  in Cesar Aira’s surreal adventure tale.

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Lawrence in Arabia

Far from the European trenches of WWI, the Arab Revolt against Turkey was a clandestine operation that gained little attention, but achieved far-reaching results. In this revelatory history, Scott Anderson profiles the four men responsible for overhauling the old Middle East.

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Very Recent History

An archive of disaffected college grads grappling with careers, dating and sex in post-millennial New York City, Choire Sicha’s debut is a fact and fiction hybrid of wry satire and profound commentary.

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Those Feet

In this “sensual history of English football,” David Winner explores the whimsical, imperial past of a quintessential British sport and its staggering impact on fandom and leisure activities around the world.

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Looking for Palestine

This profound memoir about reconciling conflicting ethnic and religious identities follows second-generation Arab-American Najla Said, attempting to understand her mixed heritage in a divided post-9/11 landscape.

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The Measures Between Us

Three Boston families cope with an impending hurricane, cataclysmic flooding and their own destructive secrets in Ethan Hauser’s impactful debut novel.

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& Sons

A hermetic genius questions the character of his heirs and the legacy of his literary masterpiece, Ampersand, in this adept tale of the compelling reasons behind why we write.

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Turn Around Bright Eyes

After the untimely death of his wife, rock music critic Rob Sheffield moved to New York City to restart and rebuild -- and started assuaging his grief through karaoke, as revealed in this touching memoir.

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Byzantium

The rise and fall of the ancient Greek metropolis is marvelously reimagined in Ben Stroud’s debut story collection, as it traverses the globe from Berlin to Lake Michigan. 

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The Art of Intimacy

The newest addition to Graywolf Press’s “Art of” series, this revealing study probes the delicate construction of fictional relationships – between lovers, friends, enemies, and even writer and reader, drawing examples from Toni Morrison, D.H. Lawrence, and Joan Didion.

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The Hall of Uselessness

Writer and sinologist Simon Leys’ timely essay collection tackles pertinent issues in the era of globalization – namely, the future of Belgium, the Cambodian genocide, and the far-reaching impact of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

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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…

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