September 30, 2020 K-Ming Chang's debut novel is full of mythical beasts that roam through the lineage and the stories of a Chinese family in Arkansas, stories that come alive and help them endure pain and trauma.
Tomboyland: Essays, by Melissa Faliveno
August 6, 2020 Throughout her essays, Melissa Faliveno is constantly straddling blurry lines, never willing to let any of her topics lie comfortably still, always turning them over to look at another facet.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, by Adrian Tomine
Drawn and Quarterly
July 25, 2020 In framing Tomine's life trajectory via professional and personal setbacks and moments of mortification, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist becomes mesmerizing, funny, and deeply honest.
Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me, by Erin Khar
February 28, 2020 Erin Khar's son, at 12, asked her if she'd ever used drugs; this book is her answer: "When we write the truth, when we write about our experiences, we reflect back what it means to be a human being."
February 12, 2020 Amber Sparks' new story collection is full of vivid language, compelling imagery, sharp wit and tenderness; many of the pieces also share a thread of anger in their treatment of the patriarchy.
February 8, 2020 Ben Okri's new novel begins with a prison, which preoccupies his characters — where is it? What is it? Who's in it? It's a deceptively simple read that wrestles with deep questions about humanity.
December 28, 2019 The title of Kiley Reid's debut novel works on multiple levels — it can refer to chronological age or political era — and those different meanings echo throughout this funny, uncomfortable book.
November 25, 2019 Turkish author Burhan Sönmez's quiet, subtle fourth novel, about a man who wakes up in the hospital with complete amnesia, is deeply concerned with the linkages between memory and the body.
November 22, 2019 Robert Harris' genre-bending new book at first appears to take place in a medieval setting — and then you realize the young priest at its center is holding a cracked, defunct, centuries-old iPhone.
November 13, 2019 Saud Alsanousi's novel follows a group of Kuwaiti kids growing up in the 1980s — then jumps to a near future torn by sectarian violence. It's a resonant book that asks more questions than it answers.
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, by Adrienne Brodeur
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt;
October 17, 2019 As a teen, Adrienne Brodeur helped her mother keep a long-term affair a secret. In her memoir, she writes of realizing that being her mother's confidant didn't equal the unconditional love she sought.
Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home, by Richard Bell
October 16, 2019 Richard Bell's true tale details how even as the Underground Railroad ferried enslaved people north towards freedom, free black people vanished from northern cities to be sold into plantation slavery.
The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson's Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin, by Jan Stocklassa and translated by Tara F. Chace.
October 3, 2019 The author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had long been investigating the death of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. Journalist Jan Stocklassa convincingly and humbly picks up where he left off.
Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir, by Jeannie Vanasco
Tin House Books
October 2, 2019 Jeannie Vanasco was raped by a long-time friend. In her new memoir, she recounts approaching the man years later to ask if he will talk with her about it --- and the conversations that result.
September 13, 2019 Edward Berenson looks at what led up to the false narrative that Jewish people murder Christian children and use their blood, its perpetuation, and the single 1928 U.S. allegation of blood libel.