Salvation Cityby Sigrid Nunez
An award-winning writer returns with a dystopian story of a 13-year-old boy orphaned after a flu pandemic wipes out swaths of the country.
Sigrid Nunez, the author of five previous novels and winner of the Rome Prize in Literature and Berlin Writers’ Award, writes this time about the future, after the flu has wiped out much of the country. Salvation City draws its name from an Indiana community where 13-year-old Cole Vining winds ups after his parents are fatal victims of the flu. Cole, the child of atheists, ends up living with Pastor Wyatt (or PW for short) and his wife, Tracy, and Cole struggles to understand his place in the world among these new role models. Time Out Chicago calls Nunez’s writing "wise" and said “the beauty of the story lies in Nunez’s empathy for all—Pastor Wyatt, for instance gets treated right by his creator.” Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story, also had praise for Salvation City, saying the novel “reads beautifully, at times joyously, and it makes one reconsider the ordering of our world.”
Half Emptyby David Rakoff
A new collection of humorous essays from The New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Get Too Comfortable.
This American Life contributor and New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Get Too Comfortable David Rakoff returns with his latest collection of satirical essays. Whereas Comfortable targeted the gaudiness of couture fashion shows in Paris and luxury hotel suites, Half Empty sees Rakoff employ his brand of dry, sardonic wit to berate everything from the musical Rent for its sappy depiction of AIDS, to the tragedy of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Dubbed a “cannily satirical tour guide” by The New York Times, Rakoff subscribes to a theory of “defensive pessimism”—you should assume the worst to avoid disappointment—and “manages to make pessimism sexy, whittling optimism into little more than an irresponsible fad, a modern opiate of the masses,” according to Kirkus Reviews.
Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queenby Anna Whitelock
A revisionist biography takes a new look at the “Bloody Queen,” Mary Tudor.
Historian Anna Whitelock’s debut Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen offers a new look at the so-called Bloody Queen, whose brief rule of England has been viewed as a time of upheaval. Long overshadowed by her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I, Whitelock sets the record straight about Mary’s rule by weighing her entire life, not just her volatile time as queen. The first woman to ever inherit the throne in England, Mary had first been disinherited as a “bastard” after her father divorced her mother, Katherine of Aragon. After her unlikely ascension to the throne following her beloved brother’s death, Mary drew upon her experiences in exile and as the wife of King Philip of Spain, and that past helped make her become a determined and single-minded queen. Released in Britain last year, the Telegraph calls Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen a “fine new biography” and the Guardian says the book is a “valuable corrective” to the previously believed narrative of Mary’s life.
Body Workby Sara Paretsky
The New York Times bestselling author returns with her 14th novel featuring intrepid female private eye V.I. Warshawski.
Whereas previous cases have tackled everything from racism ( Hardball) to the plight of immigrant families ( Fire Sale), Body Work, the 14th novel by Sara Paretsky featuring her Johnnie Walker-swilling, street-fighting female private investigator V.I. Warshawski, sees the author tackle the Iraq War. Warshawski is contracted to clear the name of an unhinged Iraq War vet who’s been accused of the murder of a young Chicago artist. The private eye immerses herself in the avant-garde art scene of Chicago and unravels a mystery involving private contractors getting rich off the Iraq War, eccentric performance artists who paint on the bodies of nude women, and much, much more. “Warshawski presents an irresistible combination—a cranky, vulnerable woman with a messy life, but a superhuman willingness to put herself in harm’s way for the sake of justice,” said the Chicago Sun-Times. “She’s like Spider-Man with a P.I. License.”
Big Girls Don’t Cryby Rebecca Traister
A thirtysomething feminist probes the 2008 presidential election and its impact on women.
Rebecca Traister’s highly anticipated debut book Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women takes a close look at the women in the 2008 presidential election—Hillary Clinton’s unimaginable rise, Sarah Palin’s attempt at claiming the White House, the swearing in of the first African-American president—and explores its transformative role for women throughout the U.S. Looking at female politicians, as well as media stars like Katie Couric and Rachel Maddow and comedians such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Traister asks: What does the election mean for us, not just today, but also in the future? All at once thrilling, hopeful, and hilarious, Big Girls Don’t Cry is the must-read story of a thirtysomething feminist on the campaign trail as she watches history in the making. “To be honest,” writes Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar, “this is the one book about the election that I’ve been waiting for.”