From Bohjalian to Wideman | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Mar. 2018

Bohjalian, Chris. The Flight Attendant. Doubleday. Mar. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780385542418. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385542425. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/THRILLER Here’s a milestone: Bohjalian is publishing his 20th novel, and as always it combines popular tropes with a serious examination of social issues. Binge-drinking flight attendant Cassandra Bowden wakes up with another bad hangover […]

From Africa to Alaska to Terror in Paris | New Voices in Literary Fiction, Mar. 2018

Benson, Adrienne. The Brightest Sun. Park Row: Harlequin. Mar. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780778331278. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488028090. LITERARY Harlequin’s new literary imprint is feeling radiant about this debut from the African-raised Benson, who returned to work there as a Peace Corps volunteer. Set in the 1990s under Africa’s bright sun, it explores the lives of […]

War, Immigration, & Top-Flight Fiction | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2018

Abouzeid, Rania. No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria. Norton. Mar. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780393609493. $26.95. CURRENT EVENTS/MIDDLE EAST For her in-depth coverage of the Middle East, Beirut-based Abouzeid has earned numerous honors, from the George Polk Award to the European Commission’s Anna Lindh Journalist Foundation Award. Here she gives a history […]

Louise Erdrich, S.A. Chakraborty, & Elizabeth Berg | November Fiction on Audio

Christmas stories from an sf/f master, Andy Weir’s follow-up to The Martian, and debuts from actor Krysten Ritter and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner

Top World Fiction for Fall

Never didactic, this slice-of-life portrait of Cuba at a crucial moment will find readers beyond Latin American enthusiasts; an unsettling and brilliant document of contemporary life—highly recommended; Nevo shows us life’s complexities in a thoroughly satisfying read

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 […]

Banville, Mamet, Zadie Smith, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2018

Banville, John. Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir. Knopf. Feb. 2018. 224p. ISBN 9781524732837. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524732844. Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR/TRAVEL Not just a memoir, this new work by Man Booker Prize winner Banville recounts his relationship with Dublin, a significant force in his life if not in his fiction until the Quirke mystery series […]

Maria Dueñas, Gregory Maguire, & Henning Mankell’s last book | October Fiction on Audio

Gregory Maguire reimagines the Nutcracker, Chantal Acevado fictionalizes Spanish princess Eulalia, and a debut thriller connects modern murders to medieval Moscow.

Literary Highlights | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2018

Anderson, James. Lullaby Road. Crown. Jan. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781101906545. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101906569. LITERARY THRILLER Engrossing and beautifully written, Anderson’s The Never-Open Desert Diner was issued by a small press in 2015, picked up by Crown in 2016, and received generally glowing reviews. Protagonist Ben Jones, a truck driver plying Utah’s highways, returns in […]

Winter with Knausgaard & Ali Smith, Cornwell Revisits Shakespeare, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2018

Benjamin, Melanie. The Girls in the Picture. Delacorte. Jan. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781101886809. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101886816. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION Mary Pickford was full of the firsts: the first to have her name above the marquee, to win Academy Award for Best Actress in a Talkie, and to place her hand- and footprints […]