August 6, 2013 The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is a debut novel about a sharp and assured young man living among young, aspiring literary types in Brooklyn. Book critic Maureen Corrigan says never before has a novel made her feel so grateful to be middle-aged.
July 18, 2013 After "Robert Galbraith" was revealed to be the pen name for J.K. Rowling, many readers have been circling back to a "debut" novel they'd initially overlooked. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the mystery is respectable, but she will shelve it in the "I've read worse, but I've read better" category.
June 7, 2013 Karen Joy Fowler's haunting novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, draws on arguments she used to have with her father, a psychology professor, over how closely connected humans and animals really are. Fowler is also the author of the 2004 best-seller The Jane Austen Book Club.
May 27, 2013 Recently, Fresh Air contributor Maureen Corrigan found a letter from then-Secretary of War James Forrestal that had been sent to her father after he had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1945. In that letter, she found an expression of gratitude that could serve us well today.
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.