New Writers To Watch | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Andreasen, Michael. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories. Dutton. Feb. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9781101986615. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781101986622. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES A little sister born without a head turns out to be quite annoying. A lovelorn kraken pulls a ship into the deep. A man longs for his wife even as his […]

Boyne, Senna, Messud, Perrotta, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Aug 2017

Boyne, John. The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Hogarth: Crown. Aug. 2017. 592p. ISBN 9781524760786. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781524760809. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY The author of the multi-award-winning and mega-best-selling children’s book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and of adult fiction like 2015’s blade-sharp A History of Loneliness, Boyne here tells the affecting story of Cyril […]

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Dublin Winner Sharma, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

Alexievich, Svetlana. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II. Random. Jul. 2017. 384p. tr. from Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. ISBN 9780399588723. $30; ekb. ISBN 9780399588730. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY Winner of the Nobel Prize for her rich, incisive oral histories of the Soviet Union, Alexievich […]

Award-Worthy Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

Danielewski, Mark Z. The Familiar. Vol. 4: Hades. Pantheon. Feb. 2017. 880p. ISBN 9780375715006. pap. $26.95. LITERARY/FANTASY One Rainy Day in May, the first volume of National Book Award finalist Danielewski’s magnum opus, The Familiar, was published in 2015 and quickly hit the New York Times best sellers list, rising to No. 5. The entire […]

Eliot Ackerman, Han Kang, Mark Kurlansky, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 1

Ackerman, Elliot. Dark at the Crossing. Knopf. Jan. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101947371. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101947388. LITERARY A Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ackerman is among the soldier-writers who have returned home to give us a considered view of the fighting. He’s […]

Rising Stars | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 1

Barkan, Josh. Mexico: Stories. Hogarth: Crown. Jan. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101906293. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781101906309. SHORT STORIES What do you do when a drug lord walks into your restaurant? Or when a parent walks into your classroom and threatens to kill you if his son falls for the wrong girl? These are some of the […]

Atwood, Hajdu, Semple, & Zink | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2016, Pt. 3

Atwood, Margaret. Hag-Seed. Hogarth: Crown. (Hogarth Shakespeare.) Oct. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780804141291. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780804141307. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY FICTION Now that Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, and Anne Tyler have all had a go at contemporizing Shakespeare via the “Hogarth Shakespeare” series (purveyed by Penguin Random House companies in eight countries, with rights sold […]

Sophie Hannah, Eimear McBride, Ron Rash & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2016. , Pt. 3

Hannah, Sophie/Agatha Christie. Closed Casket: The New Hercule Poirot Novel. Morrow. Sept. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062458827. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062458841. CD: HarperAudio. MYSTERY With The Monogram Murders, Hannah gutsily took on the task of bringing back Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and though some fans sniped, it was a New York Times best seller that got […]

Anne Tyler Revisits Shakespeare, plus Ausubel, Danielewski, & Newcomer El Rashidi | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jun. 2016. Pt. 4

Ausubel, Ramona. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty. Riverhead. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781616205621. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698410855. LITERARY Ausubel debuted with No One Is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Fiction Award and a New York Public Library’s Young Lions finalist that was ambitious, gorgeously written, and occasionally […]

Cleave, Dyer, Junger, Müller, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 3

Blumenthal, Sidney. A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1849. S. & S. May 2016. 608p. ISBN 9781476777252. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781476777276. BIOGRAPHY A veteran reporter, former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, and senior adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Blumenthal offers the first of a three-volume study of President Abraham […]