April 30, 2010 Daniel Clowes' new comic, Wilson, about a middle-aged misanthrope who lives for the sound of his own voice, will be familiar territory for the author's fans. But Glen Weldon says that Clowes' dark humor is as lacerating as ever.
April 28, 2010 David Goodwillie mashes politics, comedy, thriller and romance into one ambitious novel about gossip blogger Aidan Cole pursuing a romance with the beautiful Paige Roderick, an American terrorist bomber driven by her brother's death in Iraq.
April 27, 2010 Tired of trying to break through the filibusters, steep the tea, climb the summits? In an era dominated by partisan shouting, Christine Rosen offers a reading list that should appeal to anyone — conservative and liberal alike — feeling left out of the debate.
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April 27, 2010 Maggie O'Farrell's novel The Hand That First Held Mine is split between two main characters: an art critic and reporter trying to make her way in the man's world of 1960s London and a contemporary artist who wants desperately to remember life before the traumatic birth of her first child.
April 22, 2010 Karl Marlantes' debut novel, 30 years in the making, follows Waino Mellas, a young Ivy League student sent to Vietnam to lead a platoon. Reviewer Michael Schaub says that Marlantes comes closer than anyone before to capturing the "unrelenting terror and enormity" of the Vietnam War.
April 21, 2010 When author Simon Van Booy looks to puncture the solitude of writing life, he reaches for George, Being George, the oral biography of George Plimpton. Based on hundreds of interviews with his intimates and colleagues, the portrait of Plimpton reveals the richness and flavor of life that the actor and writer knew how to capture so well in his own work.
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April 21, 2010 The best-selling author explores her darker side in Every Last One, a tale about a mother whose ordinary suburban life is shattered when her family is violently traumatized by a trusted friend.
April 20, 2010 The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg combines the writer's four books of short stories into one impressive display of talent. Eisenberg's volume shows a mastery over the art of illustrating human emotion and complexity.
April 17, 2010 The author of Life of Pi returns with a story that arranges a stuffed donkey and monkey in an allegory about the Holocaust. Reviewer Jane Ciabattari says Beatrice and Virgil is ambitious and at times artful, but ultimately misguided.
April 15, 2010 Journalist Mark Kurlansky is drawn to singular subjects — cod, salt and oysters, to name a few. In The Eastern Stars, he takes a look at the history of baseball and sugar in the small town of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic.
April 14, 2010 Author Yoko Ogawa's Hotel Iris, published in Japanese in 1996, is the latest of her books to be translated into English. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the story, about a 17-year-old girl who begins an intense, sometimes violent affair with a tenant of her mother's rundown hotel, is decadent and profoundly sad.
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April 14, 2010 Finnish-Estonian novelist Sofi Oksanen uses a newly formed bond between an escaped Russian sex slave and a solitary Estonian woman to explore the ways decades of Soviet rule ravaged life in the former USSR.
April 12, 2010 James Sturm's graphic novel, set just before the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, is about a young expectant father on his way to market to sell the rugs he carefully makes by hand.
Nella Larsen was a prominent novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. Born in 1891, her mother was Danish and her father was West Indian.
James Allen/Harmon Foundation Records
April 7, 2010 Writer Heidi Durrow says she has read Nella Larsen's Passing more than a dozen times. The 1929 novel tells the story of two light-skinned, African-American women — childhood friends who are reconnected after leading drastically different lives. Durrow says Larsen demands that her readers transcend society's assigned labels.
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April 7, 2010 Anne Lamott's seventh novel, about precocious Rosie Ferguson, follows the rebellious girl into her senior year of high school, in which Rosie battles her dysfunctional parents and a powerful drug addiction.
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