Yann Martel, Iain Pears, & Jacobson’s Shakespeare Retelling | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 4

youngblood

Gallagher, Matt. Youngblood. Atria. Feb. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9781501105746. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501105760. LITERARY Never have more veterans expressed the full depth of their war experience by turning to writing, as evidenced by recent stellar fiction from authors like Elliot Ackerman, Michael Pitre, and the National Book Award–winning Phil Klay, who calls this current example […]

Love, History, Language, Tragedy | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 4

buckley

Buckley, Gail Lumet. The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780802124548. $26. BIOGRAPHY/CULTURAL HERITAGE The daughter of actress Lena Horne, Buckley traces her roots back to great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave given that rare chance to obtain an education who […]

Jo Nesbø Above the Arctic Circle, Irvine Welsh in Edinburgh, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 3

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Kang, Han. The Vegetarian. Hogarth: Crown. Feb. 2016. 192p. ISBN 9780553448184. $21; ebk. ISBN 9780553448191. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY Highly regarded internationally, an award winner in her native South Korea, and a former student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Kang is breaking out with this tale of surprising subversion. Haunted by images from a terrible […]

Fetishes, Time Travel, & Disappearing Authors | Debut Fiction, Feb. 2016, Pt. 3

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Boyce, Trudy Nan. Out of the Blues. Putnam. Feb. 2016. 351p. ISBN 9780399167263. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698140707. THRILLER Following more than 30 years with the Atlanta PD as a beat cop, homicide detective, senior hostage negotiator, and lieutenant, Boyce leaps into writing with this story of brand-new homicide detective, Sarah “Salt” Alt, assigned a cold […]

Ginsberg, Macdonald, Seidel, Young | Barbara’s Poetry Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 1

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Ginsberg, Allen. Wait Till I’m Dead: Uncollected Poems. Grove. Feb. 2016. 464p. ed. by Bill Morgan. ISBN 9780802124531. $22. POETRY “Rainy night on Union Square, full moon. Want more poems? Wait till I’m dead.” So proclaimed Allen Ginsberg at 3:30 in the morning on August 8, 1990. And now, nearly 20 years after his death, in […]

Prize-Worthy Aboulela, Screen-Worthy Cornwell & Endo, Thatcher’s Continuing Biography, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

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Aboulela, Leila. The Kindness of Enemies. Grove. Jan. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780802124487. $26. LITERARY FICTION Sudanese-born, Scotland-based, and relentlessly prize-worthy, Aboulela grabbed the Caine Prize for African Writing with a story from the collection Coloured Lights and the Scottish Book Award for her most recent novel, Lyrics Alley; that novel and her two others, The […]

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg | LJ Review

City on Fire

Hallberg, Garth Risk. City on Fire. Knopf. Oct. 2015. 944p. ISBN 9780385353779. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385353786. F This epic, well-written, and highly entertaining first novel is set in New York City from around Christmas 1976 to the blackout of July 1977. Years earlier, wealthy widower William Hamilton-Sweeney had become engaged to a woman whose wheeler-dealer […]

Five Key Literary/Historical Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 1

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Brown, Taylor. Fallen Land. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9781250077974. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466893078. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Montana Prize winner Brown has published short fiction in venues like the Baltimore Review and  storySouth but makes the leap to full-blown novelist with a work set in Georgia in the final years of the Civil War. Callum, a […]

Editors’ Picks | Day of Dialog 2015

City on Fire

From a double biography of two of the 20th century’s most famous women (Karin Wieland’s Dietrich & Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives, Liveright: Norton, Oct.) to an ambitious 900-page debut novel set in 1970s New York City (Garth Risk Hallberg’s City on Fire, Knopf, Oct.), many of the key forthcoming fall […]

Reich on Capitalism, Schiff on the Salem Witch Trials, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

salemwitchcraft

Hotchner, A.E. Hemingway in Love: A Memoir. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2015. 176p. ISBN 9781250077486. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889484. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR/LITERATURE Published in 1966, Papa Hemingway offers an affecting personal portrait of Hotchner’s close friend Ernest Hemingway. But there was more to the story. Apparently, in deference to Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary, and his […]