June 19, 2009 Danzy Senna's poet mother was a Boston Brahmin, her father the son of a black piano player and a Mexican boxer. Her memoir, in which she examines her family history, is part detective story, part the story of a nation.
June 10, 2009 When the stock market crashed, writer Lizzie Skurnick turned to her childhood bookcase, where she found a bunch of girls who learned to survive life's downsizing. Here are three heroines whose belt-tightening serves as great advice.
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April 21, 2009 It's hard to look at the perpetually dissatisfied sophisticates in Caitlin Macy's Spoiled and not see a nod to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her stories demonstrate not only Fitzgerald's wit and insight, but deep empathy for her subjects.
March 27, 2009 This clever, poignant spoof tells the story of a relationship gone wrong in the form of a precisely annotated auction catalog that puts the detritus of a love affair — notes, photos, keepsakes — up for sale.
March 23, 2009 Eula Biss' dazzling leaps and odd juxtapositions have the knack of seeming brilliant and obvious at the same time. Notes from No Man's Land collects forceful, beautiful essays that examine race through a frame of reference both personal and wide-ranging.
March 3, 2009 Not always nice, the characters in The Piano Teacher are always interesting. The novel tells a romantic tale of smoky mysteries, near misses, two-faced villains and secretive lovers.
February 11, 2009 In this smart and funny follow-up to his previous story collections, The Book of Ralph (2004) and America's Report Card (2006), John McNally revels in a gallery of Midwestern misfits and their stories of hard-luck love.
December 29, 2008 If previous years' bookshelves were crowded with woeful tales of single living, 2008 marked the year of marriage; even Anna Karenina, the ne plus ultra of domestic dissatisfaction, got back into the act, returning as a resident of Rego Park in Irina Reyn's What Happened to Anna K.
November 13, 2008 After a flirtation with literary fiction, King returns with Just After Sunset, a collection of lurid, gore-spattered tales that can be both horrifying and heartbreaking.
October 29, 2008 In the author's third Jackson Brodie mystery, a train crash connects a tangle of characters and crimes. The novel explores the line between protectiveness and violent possessiveness.
September 19, 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winner Marilynne Robinson returns to the town of Gilead, scene of her last novel. Home has a less meditative tone that suits its younger characters, especially Jack, the wayward son who returns in search of redemption.
September 3, 2008 A young man enters a world of power and privilege when he is summoned to live on the estate of the local industrial baron in Ethan Canin's epic America America.
August 29, 2008 Former GOP finance director Nicole Sexton's young heroine has a knack for throwing parties and tapping rich donors. But as the former intern becomes a big wheel in the Republican money machine, her ideals take a beating.
July 31, 2008 Even the bard wasn't as bawdy or silly as drug-addled scholar "Willie" Shakespeare Greenberg, the fumbling protagonist of Jess Winfield's lovingly naughty academic picaresque, My Name Is Will.
July 29, 2008 For her new short-story collection, Lara Vapnyar revisits New York's Brighton Beach and finds the link between food, memory, love and dreams of the future.
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