March 7, 2013 Marisa Silver's new novel, Mary Coin, is a fictionalized look at a famous Depression-era photograph: Dorothea Lange's iconic "Migrant Mother." Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Silver skilfully weaves together different eras and narratives, creating "quietly heroic yet very human characters."
March 6, 2013 Set at the turn of the century within the grand houses of Princeton, The Accursed is populated with specters, demons and even a vampire. But the real monsters in Joyce Carol Oates' chilling tale are the members of Princeton's elite, who preach from the pulpits and judge without compassion.
March 6, 2013 The circus is hard to categorize and easy to overlook as an art form. But author Duncan Wall decided to take a closer look at circus history — and maybe learn some clowning skills along the way — in his new book The Ordinary Acrobat.
March 6, 2013 Mohsin Hamid chooses an unusual second-person structure throughout his new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. NPR's Steve Inskeep says that, though largely mute in a narrative told to an unnamed "you," the hero "speaks powerfully through his ambition and his longing."
March 5, 2013 Mohsin Hamid's How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia presents itself as a how-to manual for success in South Asia. The story of a street urchin's corrupt path to prosperity, the novel puts critic Alan Cheuse in mind of that quintessential American story of an unscrupulous striver, The Great Gatsby.
February 28, 2013 Marisa Silver's new novel imagines the meeting of a Depression-era photographer and her now-iconic subject. Giving the characters different names but similar stories to their real-life counterparts, Silver tackles big questions about the morality of art.
February 28, 2013 Set in 1930s Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles, The Teleportation Accident is a sci-fi-noir-comedy mashup overstuffed with astute social observations, high-brow literary allusions and vivid prose. Critic Jennifer Reese finds this freewheeling farce both brilliant and exasperating.
February 26, 2013 Ariel Djanikian's debut novel, The Office of Mercy, imagines a dystopian future America where government euphemisms mask state-sponsored murder. Reviewer Michael Schaub finds traces of George Orwell in the book, which he calls "an indisputable page turner with a surprising ending."
February 25, 2013 Fiction is reality and reality fiction in Revenge, Yoko Ogawa's absorbing cycle of interlinked, eerie tales. Readers may detect the shadows of Murakami, Borges and Poe, but, says critic Alan Cheuse, Ogawa's delicious tales cast their own singular spell.
February 21, 2013 No good deed goes unpunished, and no one escapes Ismail Kadare's satire in this madcap indictment of Balkan totalitarianism. Set in Albania during WWII and its aftermath, The Fall of the Stone City is an incisive, biting work by a master of dark comedy.