Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives
by Brad Watson
A new collection of short stories from a modern mast
In recent years Brad Watson has added his name to the long list of important authors from the American South with his darkly comic insights into the lives. He earned praise and a number of awards for his first short story collection, The Last Days of Dog-Men and two stories from his latest, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives, have already been published in The New Yorker and Granta. In stories that alternate between painfully real and unsettlingly surreal, Watson has a knack for creating an emotional tie between readers and his characters, and Publisher’s Weekly said, “readers get deep into their heads and hearts, even when the weirdness surrounding them feels like something out of a David Lynch movie.”
The Sabbath World by Judith Shulevitz
by Judith Shulevitz
Bringing the day of rest into the 21st century
In The Sabbath World, Slate and New York Times writer Judith Shulevitz explores the seemingly obsolete concept of the day of rest, or Sabbath, and comes to an unexpected conclusion that “Everyone curls up inside a Sabbath at some point or other. Religion need not be involved.” From American Puritans to ancient societies the concept of the Sabbath has been around as long as human society, and with this intelligent look at its history and different incarnations, Shulevitz brings the concept into the 21st century. The Los Angeles Times called Shulevitz’s take on the tradition “a brilliant idea,” and readers may be left wondering if a day of rest is exactly what our hyper-connected society needs.
by Chloe Schama
How one Victorian woman transformed herself after the scandal of the century.
Before the days when every celebrity’s divorce became a headline, there was the Yelverton case. In the 19th-century, there were few bigger scandals than the divorce case between Theresa and William Yelverton which became society’s gossip item of choice throughout the United Kingdom. Rather than become a pariah as a rare divorcee, Theresa embarked on travels around the world, became Teresina Peregrina, and wrote a novel, Zanita chronicling parts of her remarkable journey. Margaret Flanaghan raved in Booklist, “Schama has plucked one of these basically anonymous females from the scrap heap of history, breathing new life into the story of one woman’s dogged determination to salvage her tattered reputation and forge an independent life for herself.”
Known to Evil
by Walter Mosley
Another classic detective novel from a contemporary master.
Leonid McGill is back for another round of mystery-solving in Walter Mosley’s second novel featuring him. The ingredients of any hard-boiled detective novel are all here—family drama, a hit man, a gruff anti-hero, a femme fatale, and city lights—but what makes Mosley’s novel stand apart is his gift for “aphorisms and witticisms” that are worth savoring, the Los Angeles Times says. And so is the killer plot. “Mosley's sense of story is so fundamentally sound, so in tune with the wants and needs of a crime novel that plot points reveal themselves as if by instinct or by feel.”
My Ear At His Heart
by Hanif Kureishi
A subtle, honest memoir about family and fiction by a leading novelist.
A complex web of fact and fiction, My Ear at His Heart is acclaimed author Hanif Kureishi’s exploration of his father, his own life, the Pakistani diaspora and suburbia. After discovering an unpublished novel after his father’s death, Kureishi explores his father’s teen years and adult successes and failures and realizes his own writing career blossomed from the rubble of his father’s failed literary aspirations. Kureishi’s prose can be “hypnotic and revelatory,” and in describing his successes and failures “have a sometimes wincing relevance,” the Guardian writes. “Kureishi mixes love, awe and sadness in a delineation of family life which sits us in the Bromley parlour after supper and hears the sighs and silences.”