Neil Gaiman, Rachel Joyce, Anne Tyler, Irvine Welsh | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2015, Pt. 1

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Gaiman, Neil. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Discoveries. Morrow. Feb. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780062330260. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062330291. CD: HarperAudio. SHORT STORIES I don’t have to introduce Gaiman as the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Award– and Newbery Medal–winning author of Coraline and other spectacular examples of speculative fiction, do I? He’s back with […]

Six Essential Debuts, from Quan Barry to M.O. Walsh | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 1

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Barry, Quan. She Weeps Each Time You’re Born. Pantheon. Feb. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780307911773. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307911780. LITERARY Barry writes quietly fervent poetry that’s been honored with an AWP Donald Hall Poetry Prize, which bodes well for her first foray into fiction. Heroine Rabbit is born along the Song Ma River as the Vietnam […]

Cornwell, Greenberg, Harrison, Leovy, Simsion | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

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Cornwell, Bernard. The Empty Throne. Harper. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780062250711. $27.99. HISTORICAL FICTION It’s hard going for Uhtred in this eighth entry in the popular “Saxon Tales” series by New York Times best-selling author Cornwell. First, to heal from wounds he has received in battle, he must find the sword that did the damage. […]

Eric Foner, Seth Grahame-Smith, Edith Pearlman, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3

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Cohen, Roger. The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family. Knopf. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780307594662. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353137. MEMOIR New York Times columnist Cohen, honored by the Overseas Press Club for his work as the paper’s Balkans bureau chief during the Bosnian War and in charge of the Pulitzer […]

Award-Winning Novelists from Rachel Cusk to Yu Hua | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3

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Crummey, Michael. Sweetland. Liveright: Norton. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780871407900. $24.95. LITERARY Winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Canada for his most recent work, Galore, Crummey sets his new work on an isolated Canadian island—so isolated, in fact, that the government has offered to resettle folks from the island’s one town, the ever-diminishing Sweetland, provided […]

A Guantánamo Diary, plus Pierce Brown, Miranda July, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 1

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Brown, Pierce. Golden Son. (Red Rising Trilogy, Bk. 2). Del Rey. Jan. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9780345539816. $25; ISBN 9780345539823. SF In Brown’s debut, Red Rising, a rigidly hierarchical society on Mars keeps Reds slaving beneath the soil under the pretense that they are building for a future the dominant Golds already enjoy. But a Red […]

Karen Armstrong, Richard Ford, Ha Jin, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2014, Pt. 1

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Armstrong, Karen. Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence. Knopf. Nov. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780307957047. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385353106. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY A best-selling author of insightful books on religion and winner of the 2008 TED Prize, which facilitated her work with TED on the Charter for Compassion, Armstrong here goes beyond […]

Diane Chamberlain, Molly Gloss, Edward St. Aubyn, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2014, Pt. 4

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Chamberlain, Diane. The Silent Sister. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781250010711. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250010728. CD: Macmillan Audio. CONTEMPORARY WOMEN’S A longtime best-selling author who got even wider attention with last year’s Necessary Lies, Chamberlain returns with the story of a sister’s shocking discovery. Riley McPherson had always been told that her sister committed […]

Laird Hunt, Laila Lalami, Ben Lerner, Joseph O’Neill, Christos Tsiolkas | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Hunt, Laird. Neverhome. Little, Brown. Sept. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780316370134. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316370127. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316370158. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his previous novel, Kind One, and a two-time finalist for the PEN Center USA Award, Hunt is a real writer’s writer poised for breakout with this […]

Literary Gems (e.g., Nancy Huston, Brian Morton) and Some Major Debuts | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Adcock, Siobhan. The Barter. Dutton. Sept. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780525954224. $26.95. LITERARY In present-day Texas, Bridget feels a certain emptiness after giving up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter—and a certain anxiousness because she alone senses that an alien presence has entered the house. A century before, a bride from the city […]

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