Czech writer Heda Margolius Kovály, best known for her memoir chronicling her time in Auschwitz (Under a Cruel Star), drew from her later harrowing experiences in 1950s Soviet Prague for her only work of fiction, Innocence. This espionage thriller follows the chilling and stifling atmosphere of political oppression during the post-WWII days of Communist Czechoslovakia. Neighbor and friends are suddenly not to be trusted, as govenrment informants are hidden everywhere, and innocence begins to lose meaning to those in the government. Innocence is available in an English translation for the first time due to award-winning literary translator and co-chair of the PEN America Translation Committee, Alex Zucker. We asked Zucker a few questions about his translation process for Innnocence, the Czech language and more.
Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent most of her childhood in 14 different foster homes, a heartbreaking saga she documented in her inspiring memoir, Three Little Words. But for survivors of trauma, the work doesn't stop with a happy ending, and Rhodes-Courter continues her story with Three More Words, her new memoir about life after foster care.
Early in Seeing Off the Johns, author Rene S. Perez II gives us the key word in the story: onus—a burden or responsibility, often an unpleasant one.
Our July Top Pick is best-selling author Julie Ann Walker's action-packed romance Hell or High Water, the first in her Deep Six series about a crew of ex-SEALs and the deep-sea salvage company they run. In a 7 Questions interview, Walker tells us about her Key West research trip, the Cuban-treat that fueled her novel, the appeal of a Navy SEAL and more.
Decked out in the latest Parisian fashions for 1897, New York City debutantes and cousins Dacia and Lou are traveling on the Orient Express to their mothers’ native country, Romania. They should be thrilled, as everyone knows Bucharest is the vacation spot for wealthy Europeans. But why are there so many behind-closed-door arguments after the teens arrive?
When Burdock—a one-eyed cat named for the prickly burr seeds that inspired Velcro—discovers that Dewey Baxter is planning to burn down his barn, it becomes his mission to save the barn’s inhabitants. It isn’t long before the whole farm—workhorses Tug and Pull, Fluff the sheep, Figgy the pig, Mrs. Brown the cow, Nanny the goat and her kid, Tick—work with Burdock to concoct an escape plan.
Tamara Ellis Smith’s first novel sweeps readers up in a tale imbued with magical realism, a definitive mix of gritty realism and magic that allows the possibility for life-affirming choices.
Lois Lonsdale is an enigma to those around her. The British literature professor is a respected academic, but also something of a threat to others in the department. That’s partly due to the former spelling bee champion’s striking looks, but her publishing success and standoffish nature don’t help.
It’s hard to follow a debut that immediately became an international phenomenon, was published in 40 countries and is in the works to become a movie (hopefully with the same mind-blowing visual effects Warner Bros. brought to movies like Inception, The Lego Movie and The Matrix). The thing that made Ernest Cline’s first book, Ready Player One, so good was a nearly impossible balance between where-the-hell-did-that-come-from originality and the familiarity of Gen-X pop-culture references. There’s no such balance in his second novel, Armada. Familiarity surpasses originality—intentionally.
Janis Cooke Newman, author of Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln, once again brings history to life with her sophomore novel, A Master Plan for Rescue. Here, Newman explores New York City as World War II percolates across the Atlantic. Her remarkable novel is filled with stories within stories that recall the superhero serials that its gifted 12-year-old, Jack Quinlan, wholeheartedly believes in.