January 22, 2011 Siobhan Fallon writes precise, powerful stories about the pain of separation that military families experience when deployment after deployment tears their intimacy apart. Her debut short story collection, When the Men are Gone, explores the emotional worlds of those left behind.
January 18, 2011 Like his last two stunning novels, The Master and Brooklyn, the triple-trinity of stories in Colm Toibin's new collection, The Empty Family, are at once elegiac and elegant.
January 11, 2011 Young adult author David Levithan covers adult territory in his new novel, a collection of short definitions for terms throughout a relationship. In little bursts, he helps the reader to understand the bigger picture of a love affair.
January 8, 2011 In Maf the Dog, Scottish writer Andrew O'Hagan imagines the life of Marilyn Monroe from the perspective of her white Maltese, and the results are odd and dazzling.
November 23, 2010 Some books aren't just great reads — they're great discussions, too. Critic Heller McAlpin picks the best literary conversation starters of 2010 — guaranteed to give you something to talk about.
Nora Ephron is the celebrated screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless In Seattle, You've Got Mail and other films. She is a triple nominee for the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
November 11, 2010 She may not have reached what she calls "the nadir of old age, the Land of Anecdote," but the Oscar-nominated screenwriter still knows how to tell a story. Sassy and wise, her memoir I Remember Nothing takes a self-deprecating look at aging in the modern world.
November 2, 2010 Whimsical and richly illustrated, Maira Kalman's graphic diary is an optimistic yearlong exploration of American history and government. And the Pursuit of Happiness is an unorthodox tribute to the United States — from musings on the Department of Homeland Security to Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Ben Franklin.
October 16, 2010 In Nicole Krauss' Great House, the war-torn narratives of a historian, a poet and two novelists revolve around the writing desk they share. The result is an elegant study of memory, loss and the importance of literature.
October 4, 2010 Two-dimensional characters and corny dialogue plague Roth's new novel about a 1944 polio epidemic in Newark, N.J. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author pulls off a gorgeous finale, but his latest work doesn't meet the high bar he set with American Pastoral.
September 27, 2010 As gleefully inappropriate as it is wise, David Sedaris' collection of animal fables uses naughty wildlife and explicit illustrations to take on selfishness, bigotry and other human foibles.
September 15, 2010 The damned wear Yale varsity sweaters in Seymour Chwast's graphic novel adaptation of Dante's masterpiece. Chwast's diabolically witty cartoon drawings mix Hell's medieval monsters with the tropes of film noir and the zaniness of indie comics.
September 14, 2010 When Alan Bennett checks his mother into a hospital for depression, he uncovers more than a few skeletons in the family closet. The British playwright's memoir dismantles the myth of the normal family in a resentful but tender tale of hardship and enduring love.
Jonathan Franzen is also the author of The Corrections: A Novel, and The Discomfort Zone, a memoir.
August 24, 2010 There's been plenty of buzz about Jonathan Franzen's much-anticipated fourth novel ever since President Obama accepted an advance readers copy for his vacation in Martha's Vineyard. Critic Heller McAlpin says inflated expectations aside, she found Freedom to be a surprisingly moving and hopeful epic.
August 3, 2010 Norwegian writer Per Petterson hits the mark with his latest novel, which follows a man reflecting on his life — especially the events of 1989, a year when he lost his wife, his mother, and his faith in Communism.
July 29, 2010 Lifelong angler Paul Greenberg fuses investigative journalism, travelogue and personal memoir into one grand meditation on humankind's relationship with the ocean. Four Fish asks readers "to reevaluate whether fish are at their root expendable seafood or wildlife desperately in need of our compassion."
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor