There is a scene in Stephanie Kallos’ new novel in which protagonist Charles Marlow is describing all the clichés associated with an archetypal film on autism. It feels like a wink at the reader, as this book contains many of these same clichés. Yet Language Arts takes enough of a fresh approach to its subject to make it a riveting read.
If there’s a life before this one where people are allowed to pick their parents, the two young protagonists of Rebecca Dinerstein’s debut novel came up snake eyes, or nearly so.
Every professional thrown in contact with the public has at least one client who’s, to put it charitably, challenging. But the husband-and-wife attorney team of Joe and Lisa Stone managed to land an international gold medal champion in The Jezebel Remedy, the fourth novel from Virginia Circuit Court Judge Martin Clark.
Mazie Phillips-Gordon was a real person. Born in 1897, she ran the ticket booth at New York’s Venice Theater from 1916 to 1938. You may not think that’s such a big achievement, but then you probably haven’t read the Joseph Mitchell New Yorker essay about her that inspired Jami Attenberg’s entertaining new novel, Saint Mazie.
Legendary book editor Jonathan Galassi has been at Farrar, Straus and Giroux since 1986 and is now its president and publisher. So why is his rambunctious, captivating first novel, Muse, being published by a rival?
The final chapter in Lev Grossman's Magicians Trilogy, a suspenseful historic account of a perilous voyage and a National Book Award finalist make for great reading this month.
When an author begins a novel with “And then there was the day”—as Kent Haruf begins Our Souls at Night, a brief, final testament completed shortly before his death last November—you know he knows we know what he’s talking about. This is Holt, Colorado.
The Rocks, the second novel by Peter Nichols, has everything you’d hope for in a great beach read: a vivid Mediterranean setting, complicated entanglements, adventures at sea, some hanky-panky and a little heartbreak. But its sunny exterior conceals some sharp observations on human vulnerability and how easily self-preservation can calcify into mere selfishness.
In Dietland, timid Plum Kettle is sure that losing weight is the key that will unlock the life she wants to live. But when she crosses paths with a mysterious young woman, she ends up involved in a full-on riot grrl ride to a feminist awakening. Sarai Walker answers a few questions about her edgy, girl-power debut.
Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s second novel, Balm, follows a group of refugees who meet in the bustling, reeking and bewildering city of Chicago.