Fiction A to Z
Everything Inside: Stories by Edwidge DanticatWhat it is: a collection of eight short stories set among the Haitian diaspora in New York, Miami, and Haiti itself.
What it's about: death, loss, determination, and human relationships. Don't miss the story of survivors in "The Gift," or the complex interpersonal dynamics in "Dosas."
Reviewers say: "an extraordinary career milestone: spare, evocative, and moving" (Kirkus Reviews).
Quichotte by Salman RushdieWhat it is: an homage to Cervantes' classic Don Quixote. Set in the modern day, a middling Indian crime writer invents a delusional traveling salesman who crosses the U.S. in search of the love of a TV talk show host, accompanied by a son who doesn't exist.
Why you might like it: it's a sharply humorous indictment of modern American culture.
Reviewers say: "brilliant" (Publishers Weekly); "dazzling and provocative" (Booklist)
Carnegie Hill by Jonathan VatnerWhat happens: Thirty-two-year old Pepper Bradford is at loose ends, until joining the board of her Upper East Side co-op involves her in her neighbors' lives and gives her purpose.
Why you might like it: This witty comedy of manners offers a large cast of engaging characters, many of whom are struggling with marital dissatisfaction -- whether newly married or together 50 years.
Want a taste? "Unsure of the proper attire for a co-op board meeting, Pepper decided to err on the side of stuffiness."
A Door in the Earth by Amy WaldmanFeaturing: Afghan American college student Parveen Shamsa, inspired by a doctor's memoir of his time in Afghanistan. Traveling to a remote village there, she finds that nothing is as he described it.
What happens: Told through multiple perspectives, this thought-provoking novel explores American goals in the region and the often-misguided actions undertaken there.
For fans of: meditative reflections on war.
The Boat People by Sharon BalaFeaturing: Sri Lankan immigrant Mahindan, detained and separated from his young son and despairing of a new start in Canada.
Why you might like it: Though Mahindan is a sympathetic character at the outset, his prior actions in Sri Lanka complicate things; law student Priya and judge-advocate Grace are similarly complex characters.
Try this next: Sri Lankan stories, like Anuk Arudpragasam's The Story of a Brief Marriage, or refugee crisis novel Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.
Rich People Problems by Kevin KwanWhat happens: In this 3rd in a trilogy about uber-wealthy Asian families (after Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend), matriarch Shang Su Yi is dying, prompting lots of political maneuverings to win her estate.
Why you might like it: Family drama is especially enjoyable when it involves dis-inheritances, public scandals, palaces, and extremely expensive fashion, travel, and real estate.
Our advice: Start at the beginning of the series to prolong this delectable read.
Other People's Houses by Abbi WaxmanWhat do you do...when you witness a neighbor in a compromising position with a man who's not her husband? That's the question generally un-flusterable mom Frances Bloom must ask herself, raising doubts about her own marital relationship as well as those around her.
Read it for: the flawed, believable characters and enjoyable (if salty) humor.
For fans of: modern middle-class family dramedies, like Laurie Gelman's Class Mom or Maria Semple's Today Will Be Different.
The Best Kind of People by Zoe WhittallWhat happens: A celebrated and much-loved teacher has been accused of attempted rape by several students; over the following months, his family is destroyed by external threats -- and internal doubts.
What reviewers say: "a humane, clear-eyed attempt to explore the ripple effects of sexual crime" (Kirkus Reviews).
Book buzz: Written by Lambda Literary Award-winner Zoe Whittall, The Best Kind of People was shortlisted for Canada's Giller Prize and is reportedly being adapted for film.
Contact your librarian for more great books!