Feb. 2-8: The Virgin Mary, The Prophet Muhammad And A Stalker Student

The Testament of Mary

by Colm Toibin

Paperback, 81 pages, Simon & Schuster, $13, published February 4 2014 | purchase

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The Testament Of Mary
Author
Colm Toibin

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A fictional imagining of the Virgin Mary's life finds her living a solitary existence in Ephesus. Years after her son's crucifixion, she struggles with guilt, anger and feelings that her son is not the son of God; that his sacrifice was not for a worthy cause.

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The First Muslim

The Story of Muhammad

by Lesley Hazleton

Paperback, 363 pages, Penguin Group USA, $17, published February 4 2014 | purchase

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The First Muslim
Subtitle
The Story of Muhammad
Author
Lesley Hazleton

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Lesley Hazleton tells the story of how Mohammad went from orphan to merchant to founder of one of the Earth's largest faiths.

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Give Me Everything You Have

On Being Stalked

by James Lasdun

Paperback, 218 pages, St Martins Pr, $15, published February 4 2014 | purchase

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Give Me Everything You Have
Subtitle
On Being Stalked
Author
James Lasdun

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A true story of obsessive love turning to obsessive hate, Give Me Everything You Have chronicles the author's harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student whose campaign of hate mail, violently anti-Semitic online postings and false public accusations were orchestrated to destroy his professional and personal life.

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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

by Anthony Marra

Paperback, 396 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published February 4 2014 | purchase

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A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena
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Anthony Marra

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In war-torn Chechnya, a doctor watches as Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has been accused of aiding Chechen rebels. He later rescues the neighbor's 8-year-old daughter, then colludes with another doctor to form an unlikely family amid the daily violence.

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The Woman Upstairs

by Claire Messud

Paperback, 304 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published February 4 2014 | purchase

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The Woman Upstairs
Author
Claire Messud

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Nora is a reclusive schoolteacher whose dreams of being an artist have been suppressed. She is seething inside with rage and resentment, but she manages keeps her anger in until she meets another woman who has everything she does not: a husband, a child and a successful art career. And then everything begins to unravel.

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See Now Then

by Jamaica Kincaid

Paperback, 182 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $13, published February 4 2014 | purchase

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See Now Then
Author
Jamaica Kincaid

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Jamaica Kincaid's novel opens with a scene of a seemingly idyllic home life in small-town New England. But it soon becomes clear that the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Sweet is anything but sweet.

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