gallery Fiction Wrestles with Global Terrorism
Taylor Antrim applauds Lorraine Adams' stellar new novel for being even better than nonfiction at capturing our messy world of politics, espionage, and journalism. Plus: View his picks of other great novels based on current events.
Saturday By Ian McEwan
McEwan's most gripping
novel perfectly gauges the ambivalence beneath the anti-war mood in London just weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Checkpoint By Nicholson Baker
In The New York Times, critic Leon Wieseltier called this slim
novella of two friends debating an imagined assassination of George W. Bush inflammatory, irresponsible, a "scummy little book." Only the first description is true. Mao II By Don DeLillo
DeLillo's strange, and frequently funny,
meditation on creativity, mass movements and terrorism, set in 1989, still feels pressingly of the moment. Philadelphia Fire By John Edgar Wideman
Wideman's quasi fictional
investigation into the 1985 firebombing of the Afrocentric MOVE commune in Philadelphia is a dense and rivetingly personal
cri de coeur on race in America's cities. Rabbit Redux By John Updike
Set in the summer of 1969 and full of that year's sexual and racial politics,
this is unjustly considered the weakest of the Rabbit novels. To me it's Updike at his bravest and most lyrically profane.