May 15, 2013 The new book from Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a knockout of a novel about immigration that transcends genre. It's everything from a coming-of-age novel to a romance to a comic novel of social manners to an up-to-the-minute meditation on race.
May 7, 2013 Full of sex, intrigue and clues based on Victorian poetry, Elanor Dymott's Every Contact Leaves a Trace is a literary mystery about a murder at Oxford University. This tale of a clueless husband who discovers his wife's true nature too late reminds critic Maureen Corrigan a little of Gone Girl.
May 6, 2013 The latest novel from three-time National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin takes inspiration from Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge.
April 24, 2013 Ken Kalfus' new novel about an astronomer obsessed with attracting the attention of Martians appears at first to be an homage to the scientific romances of H.G. Wells and the lost-world sagas of H. Rider Haggard. As the novel develops, however, its unique social commentaries emerge.
April 11, 2013 In her new memoir, Shocked, Volk examines the two women who had a lasting impact on her as she began to parse who she was as a woman: her beautiful, critical mother, Audrey Morgen Volk; and the famous — and unconventional — haute couture designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
March 27, 2013 The rich and good-looking get a taste of life among the 99 percent in Jonathan Dee's novels. In A Thousand Pardons, his protagonist, Helen Armstead, finds a secret talent for getting powerful men to apologize after her marriage falls apart and she is forced to enter the working world.
March 6, 2013 The main character in Rebecca Miller's new novel is a pest with a past, and his gnat-like status offers him one great advantage: Those convex eyes allow him to see fully into the hearts of humans, specifically two other characters whose paths intersect with his.
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 21, 2013 The author of Swamplandia! has a new collection of short stories called Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the stories are daring and devastating, and with them Russell establishes herself as one of the great American writers of our young century.
February 21, 2013 Chris Morgan Jones' The Jackal's Share finesses the fundamentals of the spy novel with admirable economy. The clever premise has our detective investigating his own client in order to certify his sterling character. Naturally, complications arise.
February 12, 2013 In a new memoir, James Lasdun describes how a former-student-turned-friend stalked and slandered him online. Give Me Everything You Have is a meditation on what it means to control your reputation on the Internet — and the book is Lasdun's attempt to fight back.
January 17, 2013 The National Book Critics Circle has announced that two feminist literary scholars, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, will receive a lifetime achievement award. Critic Maureen Corrigan says their groundbreaking 1979 book, The Madwoman in the Attic, changed the way we read.