In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper by Lawrence Block, editorWith offerings from authors like Stephen King, Megan Abbott, and Joyce Carol Oates, this collection is sure to please fans of dark and macabre stories, as well as those who appreciate painter Edward Hopper's lonely canvases. Complemented by the paintings that inspired them, the stories collected here cover many topics and are "searing and ensnaring, clever, erotic, and disquieting" (Booklist). In particular, look for unrequited love in "The Projectionist," clever schemes to survive the Great Depression in "Still Life, 1931," and Cold War surveillance in "The Incident of 10 November."
Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? by Kathleen CollinsKathleen Collins, the author of this newly published book of short stories, was a pioneering African-American filmmaker who died in 1988. Centered primarily on the lives of African-Americans in the 1960s and South Africans in the 1980s, her stories focus on relationships -- across familial generations, between lovers, and between races, as the title suggests. Resonant and sometimes edgy, they explore themes of self-identity and experiment with style and form by incorporating stage directions and monologues.
The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie FlaggElmwood Springs, Missouri, was founded in 1889 by Lordor Nordstrom and the mail-order bride he fell in love with. When he died, he was buried, like all citizens before and after him, in Still Meadows Cemetery. But it turns out that both Elmwood Springs and its cemetery have a flourishing social scene -- everyone buried there quickly "wakes up" to chit-chat and catch up with long-departed friends and family members. Tracing both communities throughout their history (and up until 2021), this is an epic family saga that combines historical detail with an intriguing set up and a teasing murder mystery.
How Will I Know You? by Jessica TreadwayA month after high school senior Joy Enright disappears and is thought to have drowned, her body is found near a lake in her upstate New York hometown. But while Joy's murder (and the ensuing investigation) form the plot of this suspenseful novel, it's really the relationships among the main characters (and the role of racism in the search for justice) that keep the pages turning. Told out of chronological order and by a variety of characters who expose a web of tangled connections, this is a "smart take on 21st-century adolescence, parenting and justice" (People).
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara BaumeOn a Tuesday, solitary 57-year-old misfit Ray's life changes forever. In the corner of a junk shop's window, he sees a flyer advertising a scarred dog who needs a home. At the shelter, he's brought to see the one-eyed mongrel who's as unloved as he is -- and while their start together is somewhat inauspicious, the two of them form a relationship that transforms them both. Poetic and unsparing, this debut novel from award-winning Irish author Sara Baume will be followed in April by a second novel, A Line Made by Walking.
Youngblood: A Novel by Matt GallagherWhile Youngblood is author Matt Gallagher's first novel, he's no stranger to writing. As a U.S. Army captain deployed to Iraq, he wrote for a popular blog that eventually formed the basis of his memoir, Kaboom. For this novel, he once again draws on his military experience to tell the story of Army lieutenant Jack Porter, who becomes dangerously obsessed with the story of a missing American soldier who had a love affair with the daughter of a local sheikh, while at the same time battling a confrontational new sergeant for command of his own men. Combining the trials of war with a mystery, this powerful debut is "one of the best modern war novels since Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam classic, The Things They Carried" (Booklist).
Homegoing by Yaa GyasiThough it runs through the present day, Homegoing opens in 18th-century West Africa by introducing two half-sisters whose fates could not be more different. There's Effia, who becomes the mistress of a British slave-trader, and Esi, who survives the Middle Passage only to live out her days in bondage on an American plantation. In the centuries that follow, Effia's family witnesses the destructive legacies of British imperialism and warfare between the Fante and Asante people, while Esi's descendants live through the Civil War, the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights Movement. Fans of family sagas such as Alex Haley's Roots or Annie Proulx's Barkskins will want to read this powerful debut by Ghanaian author Yaa Gyasi.
Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. RosenEvery girl needs a little black dress -- versatile, affordable, essential. And in the case of the nine women of the title, it's the same little black dress. Whether they're modeling it, borrowing it, buying and returning it, or simply trying it on, their stories are told through their association with the LBD of the season. Most of the action swirls through Manhattan landmarks such as Bloomingdales, but it expands beyond the women to the men in their lives, and beyond present-day NYC to events that took place decades ago. Quickly paced, charming, and humorous, this debut is sure to please fans looking for a grown-up version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil YapaThis gripping novel takes readers through Seattle's 1999 World Trade Organization protests through the perspectives of seven different people, all involved in different ways. There's an idealistic protester, the protective police chief, and a WTO delegate from a small and relatively powerless country, as well as a runaway pot dealer, a self-appointed medic, and a couple of cops with very different views of the protesters. Though the riots happened more than 15 years ago, this novel's take on police responsiveness to public protest is just as relevant in today's political climate.
Shelter by Jung YunThough Kyung Cho makes decent money as a tenure-track professor, he and his wife Gillian have always spent more than they earned. They're now in a tough situation that may necessitate renting out their over-mortgaged house and moving in with his wealthy parents, whom Kyung holds at arm's length despite their physical proximity. But a shocking act of violence committed against his parents changes things in an instant, forcing Kyung to come to terms with the anger, resentment, and distrust he feels towards them. Emotionally complex and deftly plotted, this debut novel also addresses aspects of race and culture in modern-day America.
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