Allen Shawn, Robert Crais, and Other New Books
This week: Allen Shawn explores the story of his institutionalized twin, Joe Pike returns to wreak havoc, the story of a white Cherokee chief, a harrowing novel of marriage strife in Alaska, and a lawyer's struggle for civil rights in 1961 Mississippi.
In his followup to his critically acclaimed memoir, Wish I Could Be There, Allen Shawn takes up his relationship with his autistic twin sister.
While Allen Shawn was writing his memoir, Wish I Could Be There, he realized the degree to which his life was bound up with his twin sister, Mary, who was institutionalized at the age of 8 for what was later diagnosed as autism. In Twin, Shawn reconstructs his sister’s history during a time when he saw her only occasionally, and in doing so illuminates the historical beginnings of our understanding of autism. Shawn also explores his family history—his father, William Shawn, was editor of The New Yorker—in search of the dark secrets that contributed to his sister’s institutionalization.
The latest Joe Pike thrilling detective novel from New York Times bestselling author Robert Crais.
Former mercenary Joe Pike finds himself embroiled in a world of Latin American crime lords, rogue federal agents, and professional assassins in Robert Crais’ sequel to The First Rule. When Pike, a private eye, steps in to save a man and his niece from being beaten, and then the pair later disappear, he finds himself on a path that takes him from California to Louisiana to Mexico to South America, and puts his friendship with his detective partner Elvis Cole at risk, as well as his life. The Los Angeles Times compared Crais to “the best L.A. noir writers,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer called him “one of those rare, treasured mystery writers who combine genuine humanity with tales of crime and detection.”
A riveting history of the white chief who led the Cherokee tribe through their most progressive era, then through their greatest tragedy.
John Ross wasn't Cherokee, but he grew up in their villages and spent his days hunting and fishing with their children. Before the "Cherokee Moses" had reached his 30th birthday, he had fought alongside the tribe, and unified the Southeastern tribes under a democratic government. He went toe-to-toe with President Andrew Jackson, opposing the aggressive policies that were driving Native American tribes further west. His arguments in Congress and the Supreme Court drew the attention of John Quincy Adams and Chief Justice John Marshall, but Ross was ultimately sent away, defeated to march on the Cherokee's long road into exile. "You feel the fate of John Ross and the Cherokees," author Hampton Sides wrote of Hicks' "probing, eloquent" history.
The acclaimed author of the short-story collection Legends of a Suicide returns with his debut novel.
Stanford professor and outdoor writer David Vann returns with a novel set in rural Alaska, where the rugged landscape is a backdrop to a marriage being ripped apart by rage and regret. Citing Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx as his influences—writers who "focus on landscape"—Vann spins the Alaskan wilderness into a character itself. Though Publishers Weekly calls the novel "uneven," author Ron Rash says it is "an unflinching portrait of bad faith and bad dreams."
A lawyer recounts one of the most important and unknown legal victories of the civil-rights era that changed a Mississippi town and America for good.
Two years after Barack Obama’s election, historians and journalists have begun the search to find the causes of the president’s ascendancy, the forces that lifted the first African-American man into the nation’s highest office. In a new study, Count Them One by One, lawyer and professor Gordon A. Martin, Jr. argues that one has to look no further than the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Such legislation has its own antecedents. Martin’s book is a story of one: the 1961 case United States v. Lynch, which helped put African Americans on the voting rolls of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and showed the inadequacy of existing voting laws. A young lawyer in the Justice Department at the time of the trial, Martin returned to Hattiesburg decades later to interview participants and re-tell one of the most trying chapters of America’s history.