Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Jung Chang, Nora Ephron, Wil S. Hylton, Richard Kurin, Ann Patchett, Claudia Roth Pierpont

cixi

Chang, Jung. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China. Knopf. Nov. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780307271600. $30. BIOGRAPHY First a Red Guard, then the recipient of a doctoral degree in linguistics from England’s Bristol University, then the hugely best-selling author of Wild Swans and Mao, Jung Chang has a remarkable life story. And the […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Fiction from Daniel Alarcón, James Franco, Kathleen Kent, David Leavitt, & Valerie Plame

LEAVITT

Alarcón, Daniel. At Night We Walk in Circles. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Oct. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781594631719. $27.95. LITERARY A PEN/Hemingway finalist and one of The New Yorker’s 20 under 40, Alarcón is being primed for a breakout with this second novel. At age eight, as his country descends into civil war, Nelson hears a […]

Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup: From Mary Beard to Eileen Rockefeller

beard

Beard, Mary. Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations. Liveright: Norton. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780871407160. $28.95. HISTORY Described by the New York Times as “the closest thing, if it exists, to a celebrity classics professor” in a story about her having stood up to some naysayers who abused her on the Internet, Cambridge scholar […]

Goodbye 2012: Terrific Story Collections and Small-Press Bests

englander

So many eye-popping short story collections, so many revelatory small-press literary novels, and such little space on those end-of-the-year Best lists. Fortunately, I have a venue for featuring Best Indie Novels and Best Stories Collections of 2012, which you’ll find presented below. In addition, since I get far too much good material throughout the year […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2013, Pt. 1: Klosterman, Kurlansky, and Conversations with Orson Welles

dancingstreet

Biskind, Peter, ed. My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles. Metropolitan: Holt. Jul. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9780805097252. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780805097269. CD: Macmillan Audio. AUTOBIOG/ENTERTAINMENT Back when, the inimitable Orson Welles recorded a series of private conversations while lunching with director Henry Jaglom, a good friend. In the recently rescued tapes, […]

Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2013, Pt. 3: Aciman, Margulis, Roach, Tremain, Wolitzer

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  Aciman, André. Harvard Square. Norton. Apr. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780393088601. $25.95. LITERARY FICTION From vivid, scalding Alexandria (Out of Egypt: A Memoir) to the sensuous Italian Riviera (Call Me by Your Name) to snow-crusted Manhattan during Christmas (Eight White Nights), Aciman has transported us far and wide in his acutely observed works, whether fiction […]

Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2013, Pt. 1: Hamid, Hemon, Haruf, Oates, & More

accursed

Hamid, Mohsin. How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Mar. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9781594487293. $26.95. LITERARY FICTION The title could come from one of those get-rich-quick books that the young and ambitious eat up, and in fact Hamid imaginatively uses that genre’s format to shape his narrative. But this is […]

Fiction Previews, Feb. 2013, Pt. 2: Debut Novels, Including Roger Hobbs’s Frankfurt Hit, Ghostman

ghostman

Amin, Manisha Jolie. Dancing to the Flute. Atria: S. & S. Feb. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781451672046. pap. $15. CD/downloadable: S. & S. Audio. POP FICTION Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Amin grew up in Australia listening to her mother spin out Indian folktales as her father played the flute. So you can tell what […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2013, Pt. 4: Tracy Kidder, Michelle Rhee, Ali Smith, and More

goodprose

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2013, Pt. 4: Tracy Kidder, Michelle Rhee, Ali Smith, and More

Four Memoirs by Women, Jan. 2013: Rebecca Dana, Robin Quivers, Rosie Schaap, Alisa Valdes

jijitsu

Four Memoirs by Women, Jan. 2013: Rebecca Dana, Robin Quivers, Rosie Schaap, Alisa Valdes

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