From John Wray’s Lowboy to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, contemporary authors have boldly chronicled the minds, trials and tribulations of characters facing a range of cognitive and neurological challenges. Michelle Adelman’s debut, Piece of Mind, fits neatly into this genre.
The occupation of Iraq was as nebulous as the reasons for the original invasion. Indeed, the war's raisons d'être multiplied as the years progressed. In Matt Gallagher's important debut novel, Youngblood, a lieutenant stationed in Iraq asks the trillion-dollar question: "Just what . . . were we doing?"
Poet and translator Idra Novey brings a considerable imagination to her first work of fiction, Ways to Disappear, in which the disappearance of a famous novelist upends the life of her American translator.
Legendary writer M.M. “Mimi” Banning hid herself away after feeling suffocated by the fame that accompanied winning a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award at age 20. The only piece of work the reclusive author has managed to produce since then is her son, Frank, a brilliant fourth-grader who uses smart 1930s garb—like pocket squares and wingtips—and facts about the movie business as armor. But after losing her fortune, the tetchy literary talent must write a new book ASAP.
Is there a better setting for a mystery with a whiff of the supernatural than an English country manor house? From Thornfield Hall to Manderley, literature is replete with spooky old homes: places that pulse with untold dangers, where secrets and horrors from the past whisper from the shadows.
Sharon Guskin’s debut novel is the tender story of a mother’s desperate struggle to heal her troubled child, artfully blended with an intriguing exploration of the world of the paranormal and the provocative question of whether consciousness can survive death.
There may be animals, an imminent flood and a guy named Noah, but Noah’s Wife is not the familiar Genesis account. Imagine not a wind-tossed ark on rough waters but a town where the rains began and never stopped. Never a break in the gray clouds, never a feeling besides damp, no change in the forecast.
From Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Gone Girl, contemporary marriage has frequently been subject to scathing literary portrayals. Andria Williams, however, may well be the first to set marital tribulations against the backdrop of a (literal) nuclear meltdown. Given this, ahem, explosive premise, it’s interesting to note that Williams’ debut eschews the extremities favored by the likes of Edward Albee or Gillian Flynn. The Longest Night is a closely observed study with its feet planted firmly in domestic realism.
There is power in words. A book requires its reader to fill in the blanks, to imagine a world into being. Sometimes, that world is grander than reality. That’s always appealed to Swedish bookstore clerk Sara Lindqvist. Books are better company than most people, and they’ve taken her to the most amazing places.
A reader need not be a disciple of rock legend Neil Young to find that Only Love Can Break Your Heart strikes a nostalgic chord.