Feldman, Deborah. Exodus. Blue Rider. Mar. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780399162770. $26.95. MEMOIR
As she recounted in her eye-opening memoir, Unorthodox, a New York Times best seller, Feldman was raised in a strict Satmar Hasidic community in Brooklyn but eventually abandoned her roots and a loveless marriage, attending Sarah Lawrence College and becoming a writer. Here she continues her story, explaining what it has been like to build a life as a single mother, away from everything she knew, and rethinking her Jewish identity in a way that works for her. Another celebration of independence; with a nine-city tour.
Fortier, Anne. The Lost Sisterhood. Ballantine. Mar. 2014. 592p. ISBN 9780345536228. $27. CD: Random Audio. POP FICTION
Fortier rocked the world with Juliet, a swift, shiny, fun read entwining medieval story and contemporary romantic mystery in Sienna that has sold close to 170,000 copies across formats. Her Juliet was a toughie, so it’s no surprise to discover that her new subject is the legend of the Amazons, which appropriately named scholar Diana believes is true. To prove it, Diana ventures to the Sahara with a Middle Easterner named Nick as a guide, and she looks to be close to success if she doesn’t get killed first.
Moore, Lorrie. Bark: Stories. Knopf. Mar. 2014. 176p. ISBN 9780307594136. $25. SHORT STORIES
Two former musicians fail to replace their dream, a teacher is visited by the ghost of a dead friend and compelled to sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” an argument gets out of hand at a fund-raising dinner in Georgetown, and a man must come to terms with both his divorce and our invasion of Iraq. Yes, it’s another searingly witty and insightful collection of stories from Moore, 15 years after the publication of Birds of America, a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and Irish Times International Fiction Prize winner with 50,000 copies in print. Important, given Moore’s popularity; with a ten-city tour to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Madison, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Mosse, Kate. Citadel. Morrow. Mar. 2014. 704p. ISBN 9780062281258 $26.9. $26.99. lrg. prnt. HISTORICAL/FANTASY
Like Labyrinth and Sepulchre, which both have New York Times best seller credentials, this new work from Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly Orange Prize) cofounder/director Mosse is set in southern France. And like those titles, it’s a blend of historical, thriller, and fantasy fiction. Inspired by the two women among the “Martyrs of Baudrigues” executed by the Germans shortly before the south of France was liberated during World War II, it features a group of women in Carcassonne who fight to drive out the Germans and to keep them from learning an age-old secret whose discovery could remake history. With a 100,000-copy first printing; upscale thrills.
Tyson, Ann Scott. American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant. Morrow. Mar. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780062114983. $27.99.
Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant trained indigenous fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, then proposed that embedding autonomous U.S. troops with tribes in Afghanistan and having them fight and possibly die alongside Afghans would earn Afghan trust and help defuse both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. (Not for nothing is the bearded, tattooed Gant called Lawrence of Afghanistan.) His 45-page paper, “One Tribe at a Time,” impressed top military personnel like Gen. David Petraeus and effectively led to a reshaping of U.S. military strategy. Pulitzer Prize nominee and veteran war correspondent Tyson interviewed Gant, then came to believe that his story entailed the larger story of the Afghan people and agreed to accompany him to Afghanistan. Eventually, they fell in love. Really a grand-scale book, explaining the 100,000-copy first printing.