Two by Two: Doubles, Seconds, and Pairs | Wyatt’s World

Be it the fate of twins, an author’s second novel, braided narratives, or literary twosomes, September brings a number of titles concerned with the concept of two.

  • The Hainish Novels and Stories. 2 vols. by Ursula K. Le Guin (Library of America).
    For the second time, and in a two-volume set, Le Guin makes the roster of authors celebrated in the Library of America books. The focus this time is on her massive and intertwined “Hainish Cycle” of novels and stories.
  • Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss (Harper).
    Readers have come to expect compelling characterization and thoughtful story lines from Krauss (The History of Love), achieved through writing that demands our attention. Here, she offers the threaded stories of two central characters, both on paths to discovering their new selves.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Penguin).
    Ng made waves with her debut, Everything I Never Told You, and returns with a second novel to similar acclaim. Set in a suburb where disorder simmers beneath the neat outer shell of its residents’ lives, the story explores questions of motherhood as well as order and secrets, relationships, and families. [A September LibraryReads pick.—Ed.]
  • Sisters by Lily Tuck (Atlantic Monthly).
    In this elegant punch of a novel, Tuck presents an insightful and shifting portrait of a marriage revealed as the unnamed narrator considers the life of her husband’s first wife—the she our protagonist cannot escape.
  • The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune by J.Y. Yang (Tor.com). Released simultaneously, this pair of debut novels follows the fates of twins Sanao Mokoya and Sanao Akeha, born into a world riven by politics and expanded by magic. The stories run in different time periods in the twins’ lives; both are set in a wonderfully evoked, imaginative realm.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at Readers_Shelf@comcast.net

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