And it can be surprisingly decisive, cementing a relationship that persists for decades without any logical basis. It is in this way that the unnamed narrator of Zadie Smith’s latest novel, “Swing Time,” meets her best friend, Tracey. The only “brown” girls in the local dance class, they form an alliance even before exchanging words.
Winner of a 2016 National Book Award, The Underground Railroad is the story of Cora, a slave who escapes via the Underground Railroad, which is rendered as an actual railroad system. Through its brilliant visions of a past both ours and not quite ours, The Underground Railroad depicts America's horrifying history with a devastating clarity.
By small shifts in perspective, the novel (winner of the National Book Award in fiction) ventures to new places in the narrative of slavery, or rather to places where it actually has something new to say: about America’s foundational sins, and the ways black history is too often stolen by white narrators.
The narrator of Strout’s powerful and melancholy new novel, “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” might be a distant relation of Olive’s, though she is raised in poverty outside the small town of Amgash, Ill., rather than in Maine, and her adult home, where most of the novel takes place, is in Manhattan.
The Trespasser by Tana French What It's All About: In The Trespasser, Tana French returns with the sixth chilling novel in her "psychological slash literary mystery" Dublin Murder Squad series. This time, she follows a young female detective and her partner as they attempt to solve the murder of a young woman — while deciphering what's the truth and what's a setup.
National Book Foundation: Who did you write this book for? Adam Haslett: In truth, I wrote it for myself. We always do, of course, write the books we want to read, but this was the book I very much needed to write to come to terms with my own experience. And for that reason it was the most cathartic work I have ever done.
USA TODAY Rating Is it fair to compare Siddhartha Mukherjee's new book The Gene: An Intimate History to The Emperor of All Maladies, his 2010 masterpiece tracing the history of cancer? Both beautifully navigate a sea of complicated medical information in a way that is digestible, poignant, and engaging; there is consistency in scope and structure between the two.
Another Brooklyn is a lyrical beauty, inspiring revelation and surprise with each line as it ensnares the reader in tension and suspense. Adolescent August’s memory-bound Brooklyn leads us to the forgotten and displaced: the poor, the abused, the voiceless, and the dead.
Sarah Bakewell’s book is a joint portrait of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus, Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger and a half-dozen other European writers and philosophers who embodied the movements in 20th-century thought known as existentialism and phenomenology.
Together, the pair scour Salvation Army stores to find old camping equipment to use in their first lab, take students on some hilariously awful field trips, burrow through rotting leaves in the Canadian Arctic, and trek through Ireland ( a place “so saturated with green that it is the things that are not green that catch one’s eye”), carefully gathering more than 1,000 moss samples that will be cavalierly dumped in the garbage by an airport security officer.
Before that, he created “My Generation” and “The Unusuals.” He has plans to adapt Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” for the big screen. Special prize to anyone who can guess which other novel Mr. Hawley has said he thinks has excellent movie potential. But “Before the Fall” has hardly been written as a pre-screenplay.
‘Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life’ By Elaine Showalter September 22, 2016 When Shirley Jackson died of heart failure in 1965, at the age of 48, obituaries described her as a popular writer of horror fiction, and especially as the author of “The Lottery,” a short story that had stunned New Yorker readers in 1948 with its deadpan account of a stoning ritual in New England.
Sweetbitter shows clearly how the glamour of delicious cuisine and the attractive, knowing people populating the kitchens coexists with the toil and pain involved. With its lush prose and its keen insights into what it takes to make your way in the restaurant world (and the world at large), Sweetbitter casts a strong spell. Find it here.
“Throughout America’s history, the start of adult life for women — whatever else it might have been destined to include — had been typically marked by marriage,” Rebecca Traister writes in her new book, “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.” “Since the late 19th century, the median age of first marriage for women had fluctuated between 20 and 22.
The full scope of DeLillo’s vision for “Zero K” comes into view with the book’s second half, when the real world, in the form of New York City and the crisis in Ukraine, floods the page. Two years have passed since Artis’s death, and Jeff now finds himself involved with a woman named Emma and her politically precocious son, whom she adopted from Ukraine.
Springsteen, left, and Jimmy Fallon perform a parody version of Springsteen's 1975 song "Born to Run" with lyrics that reflect on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's involvement in the so-called Ft. Lee bridge scandal on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" on Jan. 14, 2014.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo What It's All About: Raymie Nightingale has a dream: to win Little Miss Central Florida Tire as a means to convince her wayward father to return to her family. But when she faces off with two very different competitors in the pageant, she finds an unexpected friendship that shifts her off course.