Short Fiction to Debut Novel | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jan. 2018

MacArthur, Robin. Heart Spring Mountain. Ecco. Jan. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780062444424. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062444455. LITERARY Winner of the PEN New England Book Award for Fiction, MacArthur’s Half Wild offered stories both complex and polished about women from the backwoods who want up and out. Her debut novel draws on the same milieu, featuring New […]

Media Stars, Rock Stars, Actors, & More | Memoir Previews, Nov./Dec. 2017

Archibald, Brett. Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Nov. 2017. 384p.ISBN 9781250143303. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250143310. CD: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR While on a surf-charter boat tossed about by a storm in the Mentawai Strait off Sumatra, Indonesia, Archibald blacked out from food poisoning, fell overboard, and came to with the […]

Gates, Hallberg, Hoffman, Yuknavitch, & More | Last of the Sept./Oct. 2017 Picks

Davis, Lanny J. The Unmaking of the President 2016: The Case Against FBI Director James Comey and How He Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency. Scribner. Oct. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501177729. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781501180408. POLITICAL SCIENCE Yale-trained lawyer Davis, who served in the administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, offers state-by-state analysis […]

Award-Winning Short Fiction, Hamlet Worldwide, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Arimah, Lesley Nneka. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories. Riverhead. Apr. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780735211025. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735211049. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Arimah won the 2015 African Commonwealth Prize for the Granta-published “Light,” was a finalist for the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for the title story, […]

Dangerous Reading, Dangerous Writing

Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan’s half-dozen literary honors range from the Wiener Award to the Bernstein Prize, given to her latest novel, All the Rivers (Random. Mar. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780375508295. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781588361868. Downloadable: Random Audio). It was highly praised when it was first published in Israel, but when a group of teachers asked […]

Drabble, Nguyen, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

Drabble, Margaret. The Dark Flood Rises. Farrar. Feb. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780374134952. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374715762. LITERARY FICTION A durable author of contemporary English-language literature named a Dame of the British Empire in 2008, Drabble has plenty of life experience to bring to her portrait of graying if relentlessly busy Francesca Stubbs. Even as she […]

From Aciman to Coretta Scott King | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

Aciman, André. Enigma Variations. Farrar. Jan. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780374148430. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374714772. LITERARY FICTION Aciman made his name with the memoir Out of Egypt and came forth as a novelist with 2007’s Let Me Call Your Name, a New York Times Notable Book that won numerous other honors; 2013’s Harvard Square got raves. […]

Block Collects Stories Inspired by Hopper Paintings & More | Fiction Previews, Dec. 2016, Pt. 2

Block, Lawrence, ed. In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper. Pegasus. Dec. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781681772455. $25.95. SHORT STORIES Thrillmeister Block here collects 17 newly commissioned stories written in response to Edward Hopper’s moody, sometimes desolate paintings. The authors include Michael Connelly, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lee Child, […]

Günter Grass’s Last Work, the Nabokov-Wilson Feud, & More | Barbara’s Picks, December 2016, Pt. 1

Beam, Alex. The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship. Pantheon. Dec. 2016. 224p. ISBN 9781101870228. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101870235. LITERATURE/biogr In 1940, leading man of American letters Edmund Wilson helped asylum-seeker Vladimir Nabokov get settled in this country, introducing him to editors and assigning him book reviews for the […]

Ninth-Century England, Belle Epoque Paris, Ireland in Rebellion, & More | Historical Fiction, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

Benedict, Marie. The Other Einstein. Sourcebooks Landmark. Oct. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781492637257. $25.99. HISTORICAL A brilliant student and the only woman in her class at Zurich Polytechnic in the late 1800s, Mileva Marić fell in love with fellow classmate Albert Einstein and eventually bore him three children, one out of wedlock. She is now suspected […]