January 23, 2024 In writer Tanja Maljartschuk's novel, the narrator's malaise and weakening attachment to time serve as a metaphor for today's Ukraine, as well as for other struggling democracies, including our own.
December 6, 2023 Through the eyes of an autistic woman named Sunday, Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow explores family relationships and friendships in her debut novel, longlisted for the Booker Prize.
January 25, 2023 In a new book, Jeff Hobbs, author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, looks at the evolution of the juvenile justice system in America — primarily through people, not statistics.
September 12, 2022 The reporter's memoir takes readers on a jaunt through her captivating life and career, nose for the jugular, forthrightness about her joys and sorrows — and the history of women in the workplace.
April 25, 2022 Jori Lewis tells eye-opening stories of individuals despite scant historical record. At the outset she asks: "How do we tell the stories of people that history forgets and the present avoids?"
March 1, 2022 The character in Namrata Poddar's novel works in a call center and dreams of a new life in the U.S. but once there, she and other emigrants feel "othered" at work and in daily life.
The Four Humors, by Mina Seçkin
December 24, 2021 Turkish American writer Mina Seçkin's debut is an engrossing exploration of national identity, the meaning of family and loss, and what happens when a family hides its central secret.
September 11, 2021 Atticus Lish's book opens a disturbing window into a teenager's battle to save his mother, our broken healthcare system — and the power that humans have to inflict harm on one another.
Names for Light: A Family History, by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint
August 19, 2021 Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint's second book reads like poetry, an embodied experience of exquisite reflections on family and rootedness and deracination and sorrow and love.
I Named My Dog Pushkin (And Other Immigrant Tales): Notes From a Soviet Girl on Becoming an American Woman, by Margarita Gokum Silver
August 1, 2021 It's a particular pleasure to see our splintered country through the eyes of Margarita Gokun Silver, a determined and appreciative emigree, in 'I Named My Dog Pushkin.'
June 7, 2021 In her debut collection Walking On Cowrie Shells, Nana Nkweti bends language like a master, delivering keenly observed details and wicked humor no matter which side of the Atlantic she's on.
We Are Bridges: A Memoir, by Cassandra Lane
The Feminist Press at CUNY
April 21, 2021 In 1904, Cassandra Lane's great grandfather Burt Bridges was lynched. In telling his story, Lane offers her own memoir — and lessons on family and American history for her future child and readers.
The Impudent Ones, by Marguerite Duras
The New Press
March 14, 2021 Marguerite Duras' never-before-translated debut novel The Impudent Ones, first published in 1943, isn't a pleasant read — but it is a signpost to what she would later achieve with The Lover.
Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa, by Matthew Gavin Frank
February 23, 2021 Journalist Matthew Gavin Frank exposes the history of South Africa's nefarious diamond industry, accompanied by a tale of pigeons and their role in subversion, in crisp and poetic prose.
The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine, by Janice P. Nimura
W.W.Norton & Co.
January 21, 2021 Historian Janice P. Nimura tells the story of America's first and third certified women doctors and the role these sisters played in building medical institutions.
The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War, by Delphine Minoui
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
November 5, 2020 Journalist Delphine Minoui tells the true tale of a young man who refused to escape the terrors of Assad's regime in Syria, instead working with friends to make a library — a beacon of hope.
The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again, by Robert R. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett
Simon & Schuster
November 2, 2020 Bowling Alone author Robert Putnam joins with Shaylyn Romney Garrett to form the thesis that America's Gilded Age shows remarkable similarity to today — with a societal focus on "I" rather than "we."
The National Road: Dispatches From a Changing America, by Tom Zoellner
October 14, 2020 Teacher and writer Tom Zoellner has logged tens of thousands of miles zigzagging the continent with, a small tent and backpack, investigating American places and themes — metaphors for our country.
Let My People Vote: My Battle to Restore the Civil Rights of Returning Citizens, by Desmond Meade
October 7, 2020 Desmond Meade rose from addiction, homelessness, and prison to run a campaign to re-enfranchise more than one million Florida voters; it's a tale of hope, persistence, and the power of organizing.
Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast, by Marjoleine Kars
The New Press
August 12, 2020 Marjoleine Kars recounts a tale of oppression, bloodshed, and some triumph in her previously untold account of the 1763-64 slave rebellion in Dutch Berbice, modern day Guyana.
Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn't, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think, by David Litt
June 19, 2020 David Litt, former speechwriter to President Obama and author of Thanks, Obama, refreshingly debunks myths about our founders, pointing up false narratives and warped historical perceptions.
This Is One Way to Dance: Essays, by Sejal Shah
University of Georgia Press
June 4, 2020 Essayist Sejal Shah brings important, refreshing, and depressing observations about what it means to have dark skin and an "exotic" name, when the only country you've ever lived in is America.
What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life, Mark Doty
W. W. Norton & Company
April 16, 2020 Acclaimed poet Mark Doty's memoir is not only an exaltation of America's troubadour, Walt Whitman, but also a celebration of gay manhood, queerness, and the power and elasticity of poetry.
Later: My Life at the Edge of the World, by Paul Lisicky
March 17, 2020 As we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, Paul Lisicky's memoir is deeply affecting; we can recall the terror and frustration when no treatment or prevention was available for AIDS and HIV.