November 5, 2010 Erika Lopez's The Girl Must Die: A Monster Girl Memoir is a rallying cry for the gritty, guitar- and gun-slinging women who disappeared after the 1990s. It comes 12 years after her raucous, racy and hilarious breakthrough novel Flaming Iguanas.
September 23, 2010 Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's elegant style is out of date — but not out of touch. In The Woman with the Bouquet, the French writer's sparse, anachronistic explorations of love create a passionate, timeless collection that will make readers wonder "what if ...?"
September 10, 2010 Parisian writer Jean-Christophe Valtat's latest novel is set in a fictional early 20th-century Arctic Circle city that's been taken over by a menacing council. Valtat's knowledge of North Pole mythology shines through.
August 10, 2010 Japanese novelist Shuichi Yoshida straddles the boundary between the pre- and post-Internet world, and his latest book is a crime thriller challenging assumptions about real and virtual identities. Villain contrasts Japan's welcoming embrace of the wired world with its strong roots in tradition.
July 23, 2010 First published in 1964 as La violence et la derision, Albert Cossery's The Jokers is light in tone. But underlying its ridiculous set-up and playful nature are dissent and rage — a railing against the idea of an intractable political fate. The Jokers is Cossery's sixth book to be translated from French to English.
June 2, 2010 Alasdair Gray's latest novel is a hodgepodge of older material — reworked from newspaper articles, discarded stories and plays. It swings widely through time and space to portray the vulnerabilities of men in power, yet it ultimately holds together as funny, profane, cohesive fiction.
May 26, 2010 Jessa Crispin reviews Hilary Thayer Hamann's debut novel, Anthropology of an American Girl, which Hamann self-published in 2003. Now out in a new edition from a major publisher, the novel retains much of its unedited bloat, but also an amateurish charm.
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.
March 24, 2010 Marion Meade chronicles the life and times of little-known author Nathanael West and his wife, Eileen McKenney. West was the author of the novels Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust.
February 16, 2010 Dubravka Ugresic's Baba Yaga Laid an Egg explores issues of women and aging through three modern retellings of the story of Baba Yaga, the villainous crone at the heart of many Eastern European folk tales.
February 3, 2010 The main character of Stephen Benatar's 1982 novel Wish Her Safe at Home is a middle-aged London woman who inherits a run-down house from her aunt. The book, now in paperback for the first time, blends bright fantasy with a creeping darkness.
January 18, 2010 The heroines in the early stories of author Mavis Gallant deal with a reality Gallant herself knew — the freedom, and loneliness, of expatriate life. Those stories have been collected in a new book called The Cost of Living.
December 4, 2009 2009's top works of foreign fiction, as picked by critic Jessa Crispin, feature a geography as wide ranging as their topics: genetic research, civil unrest, sibling resentment, and fairy-tale depictions of government corruption.
November 9, 2009 The heroine of Elizabeth Wilson's new mystery novel, War Damage, lives an outwardly respectable life, but a murder threatens to bring the secrets of her past into the light. Watson is also the author of Twilight Hour, published in 2007.
October 12, 2009 Sarah Hall's How to Paint a Dead Man weaves together time-shifted stories of four visual artists, all at crisis points in their lives. The book is clever in structure and sweeping in ambition. Hall's skill makes the journey worth the commitment.