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A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel by Marlon James
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Dinner Party Download: Marlon James Imagines an Intimate Bob Marley
From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes one of the year’s most anticipated novels, a lyrical, masterfully written epic that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.
On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.
Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of charactersassassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghostsA Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 70s, to the crack wars in 80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.
A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolaño
NPR: Bolano’s Newly Translated Novel Wrests Beauty From Despair
Following the sudden death of her parents, teenage Bianca drops out of school and, with her brother, falls in with two petty criminals who share their family apartment and plot a strange crime.
Bright Shards of Someplace Else by Monica McFawn
NPR: The Stories In ‘Bright Shards’ Glimmer With Empathetic Power
Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, Bright Shards of Someplace Else is made up of 11 kaleidoscopic stories about the volatile but hilarious effects of misunderstanding.
The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
NPR: Calvino’s Cosmicomic Collection Treads The Final Frontier: America
Together for the first time, a new translation of the revered, contemporary Italian author’s short stories describing the beginning of the universe and other natural phenomena builds creative tales around well-known scientific facts.
The Zone of Interest: A Novel by Martin Amis
All Things Considered: Martin Amis’ ‘Zone Of Interest’ Is An Electrically Powerful Holocaust Novel
A searing portrait of life and unexpected love in a concentration camp explores the depths and contradictions of the human soul as well as the capacity of individuals who are tested to acknowledge their true selves. By the author of Time’s Arrow.
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Here & Now: YA Novel ‘Say What You Will’ Draws Inspiration From Teens With Disabilities
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern’s insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.
When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.
Monday, Monday: A Novel by Elizabeth Crook
Here & Now: New Novel Tells The Story Of The First Mass School Shooting
In this gripping, emotionally charged novel, a tragedy in Texas changes the course of three lives
On an oppressively hot Monday in August of 1966, a student and former marine named Charles Whitman hauled a footlocker of guns to the top of the University of Texas tower and began firing on pedestrians below. Before it was over, sixteen people had been killed and thirty-two wounded. It was the first mass shooting of civilians on a campus in American history.
Monday, Monday follows three students caught up in the massacre: Shelly, who leaves her math class and walks directly into the path of the bullets, and two cousins, Wyatt and Jack, who heroically rush from their classrooms to help the victims. On this searing day, a relationship begins that will eventually entangle these three young people in a forbidden love affair, an illicit pregnancy, and a vow of secrecy that will span forty years. Reunited decades after the tragedy, they will be forced to confront the event that changed their lives and that has silently and persistently ruled the lives of their children.
With electrifying storytelling and the powerful sense of destiny found in Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, and with the epic sweep of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, Elizabeth Crook’s Monday, Monday explores the ways in which we sustain ourselves and one another when the unthinkable happens. At its core, it is the story of a woman determined to make peace with herself, with the people she loves, and with a history that will not let her go. A humane treatment of a national tragedy, it marks a generous and thrilling new direction for a gifted American writer.
We Are Water: A Novel by Wally Lamb
Here & Now: Wally Lamb Finds Real Life Inspiration For Novel ‘We Are Water’
We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True.
After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh—wife, mother, outsider artist—has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets—dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives.
We Are Water is a layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs—nonconformist, Anna; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest. It is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.
With humor and compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.
The Dog: A Novel by Joseph O’Neill
NPR: 'The Dog': Dubious Dealings In Dubai
The Leonard Lopate Show: An Uneasy New Life in Dubai in Joseph O’Neill’s Novel The Dog
Leaving New York in the wake of a breakup to take a job in a futuristic Dubai at the height of its metropolitan self-invention, a young man struggles with growing feelings of being trapped while navigating the eccentricities of his wealthy employers. By the award-winning author of Netherland.
Lovely, Dark, Deep by Joyce Carol Oates
NPR: Oates’ Latest Story Collection Is ‘Dark, Deep’ And Marvelous
All Things Considered: Book Review: ‘Lovely, Dark, Deep’
The National Book Award winner and New York Times best-selling author of The Accursed presents a searing collection of stories that lay bare the terror, hurt and uncertainty that lurks at the edges of ordinary lives.
Wolf in White Van: A Novel by John Darnielle
Fresh Air: As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats’ Lead Man Writes About Pain
Weekend Edition: Sprinting Toward Epiphany: Talking With A Songwriter Turned Novelist
NPR: The Monstrous And The Beautiful Dance In ‘White Van’
John Darnielle is best known as the man behind The Mountain Goats, a band defined for its 20-plus years by a certain literary quality. His songs are populated with high school burnouts, bitter, broken lovers, people living on the fringe who can’t escape their own ghosts.
The songwriter’s latest project is a novel, Wolf in White Van, and it’s centered on another social outsider, whose sheltered, solitary life is disrupted when a disaster strikes. In a conversation with NPR’s Lynn Neary about writing the book, Darnielle nails a fundamental difference between his two art forms.
"It’s sort of like comparing making a fire and building a house," he says. "A song is fire. You react to it primally, instantly. You don’t have to decide whether you like it, and you don’t really have to sit down and think about it much after you’re done listening to it. It really does run through you like wind. Whereas a book is a journey: It’s a thing you agree to go on with somebody, and I think every reader’s experience of a book is going to be different. There are scenes in the book that feel very song-like to me, but I do think it’s a different sort of ride. It’s more of a marathon. My songs tend to sprint toward some epiphany and then explode."
Chimpanzee by Darin Bradley
NPR: A Fresh Take On Dystopia In ‘Chimpanzee’
Unemployment has ravaged the U.S. economy. People struggle everywhere, exhausted by the collapse that destroyed their lives. Benjamin Cade is an expert in cognition, and before the flatlined economy caught up to him, he earned his living as a university instructor. Now, without income, he joins the millions defaulting on their loans in his case, the money he borrowed to finance his degrees. But there are consequences. Using advances in cognitive science and chemical therapy, Ben’s debtors can reclaim their property his education. The government calls the process Repossession Therapy.” The data Ben’s repossession will yield is invaluable to those improving the indexing” technology a remarkable medical advance that has enabled the effective cure of all mental disorders. By disassembling his mind, doctors will gain the expertise to assist untold millions. But Ben has no intention of losing his mind without a fight, so he begins teaching in the park, distributing his knowledge before it’s gone in a race against ignorance. And somewhere in Ben’s confusing takedown, Chimpanzee arrives. Its iconography appears spray-painted around town. Young people in rubber chimpanzee masks start massive protests. As Ben slowly loses himself, the Chimpanzee movement seems to grow. And all fingers point to Ben.
Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood
All Things Considered: In Margaret Atwood’s Latest, The Past Is Powerfully Present
The award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale presents a collection of short stories that features such protagonists as a widowed writer who is guided by her late husband’s voice and a woman whose genetic abnormality causes her to be mistaken for a vampire.
The Drop by Dennis Lehane
The Leonard Lopate Show: Dennis Lehane’s Novel The Drop Begins with a Rescued Puppy
Here & Now: Dennis Lehane Takes ‘The Drop’ From Screen To Page
The Artery: Dennis Lehane Moves ‘The Drop’ From Boston To Brooklyn
Dennis Lehane returns to the streets of Mystic River with this love story wrapped in a crime story wrapped in a journey of faith—the basis for the major motion picture The Drop, from Fox Searchlight Pictures directed by Michaël Roskam, screenplay by Dennis Lehane, and starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini.
Three days after Christmas, a lonely bartender looking for a reason to live rescues an abused puppy from a trash can and meets a damaged woman looking for something to believe in. As their relationship grows, they cross paths with the Chechen mafia; a man grown dangerous with age and thwarted hopes; two hapless stick-up artists; a very curious cop; and the original owner of the puppy, who wants his dog back… .
A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride
NPR: Challenging, Shattering ‘Girl’ Is No Half-Formed Thing
Eimear McBride’s acclaimed debut tells the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumor, touching on everything from family violence to sexuality and the personal struggle to remain intact in times of intense trauma.