There There has the kind of urgency and vitality that makes other novels pale in comparison. (The prologue alone is masterful.) Set in Oakland, Calif., Tommy Orange tells a story of the urban Indian experience. Somehow this is his debut novel, but you wouldn’t know it from the deft way he winds the narrative through multiple perspectives until coiling them into a crescendo at the Big Oakland Powwow…Truly in awe of this novel.
This is the story of what happens to a young couple when the twin tragedies of systemic racism and mass incarceration hit home. Celestial and Roy are two imperfect people in a relationship, married just under a year and living in Atlanta when Roy is falsely accused then convicted of assault. What happens next? How does a marriage survive a calamity of this magnitude? Told from alternating perspectives - with a stellar epistolary section in the middle - this is both a page-turning and important novel.
Fans of Homegoing and Pachinko, take notice: here is your next epic read. This is a story of Liberia's founding told from the perspective of Liberians -- not the Americans whose complicated relationship with the country is explored but ultimately takes a backseat -- and particularly from the perspective of Gbessa, a heroine for the ages. Give it a few pages to settle into the narrative's rhythm, and it will take you on a ride that sweeps from a village in West Africa to Virginia to Jamaica and back to what would become modern day Liberia. Triumphant, vivid, powerful.
An incredible collection of writing, often about writing, but also about the simple pleasures of urban gardening, AIDS activism, the meaning of tarot cards, and an unforgettable essay about cater-waiting for William F. Buckley. For anyone who has interest in writing themselves or just enjoys the sublimity of a well-written essay, this collection is for you.
I read this book over the course of a minor illness, and my feverish state only enhanced the intensity of bearing witness to these episodic flashes of Maggie O'Farrell's life. While she might have experienced more brushes with death than the average bear, reading this memoir forced an immediate reckoning with the past calamities and near-catastrophes -- both large and small -- of my own life. What's remarkable is the degree to which our lives are filled with these moments and how we carry their weight forward. An unusual and affecting memoir.
Ah, my favorite kind of novel ... Shen Fever has wiped out most of the world's population. Somehow Candace Chen, a diligent office worker at a speciality Bible production firm, finds herself having escaped the scourge only to fall in with a group of survivors led by Bob, a drunk-with-power former IT manager. Part office satire, part millennial coming-of-age story, all wrapped up with a post-apocalyptic bow. Yes, please.
For fans of Cutting for Stone and All the Light We Cannot See ... The Winter Soldier follows a young Polish medical student deployed to a field hospital deep in the Carpathian Mountains during WWI. Romance, war, medicine - a novel to devour in front of a warm fire.