Sophisticated Reads | Fiction Previews, Nov. 2018

Berlin, Lucia. Evening in Paradise: More Stories. Farrar. Nov. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9780374279486. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374718312. SHORT STORIES Berlin, Lucia. Welcome Home: A Memoir with Selected Photographs and Letters. Farrar. Nov. 2018. 160p. ISBN 9780374287597. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780374718329. MEMOIR Published in 2015, A Manual for Cleaning Women posthumously collected stories by the brilliant, […]

Award-Worthy Gems | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2018

Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame. Friday Black. Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2018. 208p. ISBN 9781328911247. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9781328915139. SHORT STORIES A George Saunders protégé whose short stories have won awards, Adjei-Brenyah here publishes a much-anticipated first collection that highlights racism and its painful absurdities by putting its characters in unexpected situations. “Zimmer Land,” for instance, […]

Beevor, Kubica, Ruiz Zafón, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2018

Barker, Pat. The Silence of the Girls. Harper Element. Sept. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780385544214. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385544221. Downloadable.  LITERARY Booker Prize–winning Barker, who set her celebrated “Regeneration” trilogy during World War I, here reaches back in time to the Trojan War, when women served mainly as slaves or prostitutes or laid out the dead. […]

The Art of the Short Story: 16 New Collections Reveal the Best of a Flourishing Genre

Not just fun but full of smart ideas; well-observed, unexpected writing for fans and more; top-notch, in-your-face work from the priceless Millet; excellent reading for those who value meditative, beautiful storytelling; not all these stories startle, but Sachdeva is a writer to watch; a heartfelt and well-crafted work

From Emma Hooper to Anne Tyler | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Aug. 2018

Hartsuyker, Linnea. The Sea Queen. Harper. Aug. 2018. 464p. ISBN 9780062563736. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062563750. HISTORICAL In The Half-Drowned King, Hartsukyer’s debut and the first in a trilogy vivifying Norse history, Ragnvald Eysteinsson threw in his lot with Harald of Vestfold, who would become king of a unified Norway. Here, Ragnvald is king of Sogn […]

Issues of Identity and Award-Winning Novelists | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2018

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. Liveright: Norton. Aug. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781631493836. $27.95. PHILOSOPHY Whether based on nationality, class, culture, race, and/or religion, identity is seen today as a main source of various conflicts worldwide. But NYU philosophy and law professor Appiah, author of the prize-winning Cosmopolitanism and the “Ethicist” column […]

Summer Debuts | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2018

Arthurs, Alexia. How To Love a Jamaican: Stories. Ballantine. Jul. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781524799205. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524799212. Downloadable. SHORT STORIES In 11 stories, 2017 Plimpton Prize winner Arthurs captures the lives of Jamaican immigrants in America and the families they’ve left behind. Among the scenarios: a teenager is reunited with his mother in New […]

From Horowitz to Homes | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jun. 2018

Backman, Fredrik. Us Against You. Atria. Jun. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781501160790. $26.99. CD. LITERARY Sweden’s literary contribution to the New York Times best sellers list, Backman revisits Beartown, where the cherished hockey team is slated for the dust heap. The players join a rival team in Hed, a new team forms (with a surprise coach), […]

Finding the Literary Limelight | The Reader’s Shelf

Fame in this industry can happen in many ways. Debuts can act as lightning strikes, making authors instantly celebrated. Often the already notable become writers on the side, carrying their star power onto the page.

Stories by Shriver & Sittenfeld & More Upmarket Fiction | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2018

Allnutt, Luke. We Own the Sky. Park Row: Harlequin. Apr. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780778314738. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488078712. LITERARY/FAMILY LIFE In this debut, a man struggles with the consequences of his son’s devastating illness, downing alcohol and surveying the wreck of his marriage as he posts stunning scenes of places he and his son visited […]