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All Things Considered's Annual Book Review
Reviewer Alan Cheuse Shares His Favorites for the Year

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Dec. 19, 2001 -- In a look at the literary offerings of the year, NPR's book reviewer, Alan Cheuse, offers All Things Considered the wish list he'd draw up for the holidays.

The Tale of Genji
Photo courtesy Viking

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu is widely recognized as the world's first novel. The 11th-century tale of a shining prince has been painstakingly translated by Royal Tyler, a retired professor of Japanese language and literature.

October Suite by Maxine Clair tells the story of October Brown, her sister Vergie and the two elderly aunts who took the girls in when their father murdered their mother.

Blackwater Sound by James W. Hall is a novel about a powerful Florida family whose high-tech fortune is dwindling. The clan is haunted by an enormous blue marlin that kills the eldest son -- who was meant to restore the family's prominence.

Complete Works of Isaac Babel
Photo courtesy Norton

The Complete Works of Isaac Babel is a collection of the Russian Jewish writer's plays, short stories, diaries and screenplays translated by Peter Constantine and edited by Babel's daughter, Nathalie.

Red is a tribute by Terry Tempest Williams to Utah's canyon country through a collection of essays, poems, congressional testimony and journal entries.

Esther's Stories is a debut collection of scenes and stories by Peter Orner. The 34 stories, many no more than a page or two long, span America geographically and culturally.

Hoop Roots by John Edgar Wideman mingles memories of playing basketball with recollections of Pittsburgh.

Poetry Speaks
Photo courtesy Sourcebooks

Poetry Speaks: Hear Great Poets Read Their Work from Tennyson to Plath offers a print anthology of major works plus a collection of three audio CDs.

Circle of Wonder by N. Scott Momaday is an illustrated memoir of the writer's childhood on the Native American Jemez Reservation with particular emphasis on the Christmas season.

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