by Amy Bloom
Teenage Eva accompanies her talented and glamorous half-sister Iris on a quest to find fame in World War II era Hollywood. Iris’s star is rising until she is outed as a lesbian and blacklisted, sending Eva and Iris back on the road with a zany cast of characters from all walks of life. “Full of intriguing characters and lots of surprises… readers of literary fiction and 20th-century historicals, as well as fans of wacky humor, will find it an excellent choice” (Library Journal). Bloom, the author of three story collections and two novels including Away (2007), has been a nominee for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Land of Love and Drowning
by Tiphanie Yanique
Land of Love and Drowning is a family epic reflecting the folklore and history of the Virgin Islands through the stories of the descendants of Owen Arthur Bradshaw, troubled captain of West African heritage whose bad fortune reverberates for generations. Yanique, a native of St. Thomas, was recognized by the National Book Foundation as a “5 Under 35” author for her short story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony (2010). “Bubbling with talent and ambition, this novel is a head-spinning Caribbean cocktail” (Kirkus Reviews).
The Hundred-Year House
by Rebecca Makkai
Zee and her husband are living in the carriage house of her parents’ Chicago estate, a former artists’ colony when her mother’s current husband invites his children to move into the carriage house as well. Meanwhile, workplace schemes are going awry and family secrets are being discovered and again concealed. Booklist gushes over “a dazzling plot spiked with secrets and betrayals hilarious and dire” and praises author Makkai “as she stealthily investigates the complexities of ambition, sexism, violence, creativity, and love in this diverting yet richly dimensional novel.” Makkai is also the author of the highly praised debut The Borrower (2011).
Angels Make Their Hope Here
by Breena Clarke
Set in 1860s, Clarke’s third novel tells the coming-of-age story of Dossie, who escapes slavery via the Underground Railroad and settles in the mixed-race New Jersey community of Russell's Knob. Clarke is best known for her popular novel River, Cross My Heart (1999), which was an Oprah Book Club Selection.
The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
by Mira Jacob
30-year-old photographer Amina traces the history of her Indian American family over three decades, two continents, and two major tragedies. First-time novelist Jacob balances grief and tension with humor and romance. Publishers Weekly calls it an “emotionally bountiful debut” that “through its lovingly created and keenly observed characters, makes something new of the Indian immigrant experience in America.”
Last Stories and Other Stories
by William T. Vollmann
The raves are rolling in for Vollmann’s Last Stories, his first fiction offering since he won the National Book Award in 2005 for Europe Central. Kirkus declares this collection “Exquisite: beautifully, perfectly imagined and written. Weird, too.” and Library Journal calls it “an excellent introduction to Vollmann that should appeal not only to literary types but also to readers either unfamiliar with his work or intimidated by his reputation.”
by Jean Love Cush
Malik Williams, 15, has been charged with the murder of his friend Troy Barnes in this courtroom drama. His mother Janae cannot afford representation but nationally renowned attorneys from The Center for the Protection of Human Rights take the case, and defending Malik on the argument that "African-American boys ought to be deemed legally endangered." Kirkus calls it “a frightening and realistic story about the realities of racism, poverty and injustice in the Obama era” and Publishers Weekly adds “Cush has crafted a compassionate story that commands the reader's attention.”
by Dwayne Alexander Smith
In this debut thriller, Martin Grey is a promising young attorney who makes a fortuitous connection with a group of some of the most influential and wealthy black men in America. When he is invited to a weekend retreat at a former plantation, he is welcomed into their secret society—one in which the descendants of slave masters are now enslaved. Martin then realizes that his life is in danger unless he pretends to participate in their deadly vengeance. Booklist calls it “top-grade suspense” and a “disturbingly powerful, well-wrought story.”
All I Love and Know
by Judith Frank
Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen may be an odd couple, but they’ve enjoyed a quiet life together for years. When Daniel’s twin brother and sister-in-law are killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, he has to grapple with his grief in addition to the discovery that he will become the guardian of his niece and nephew—and Matthew has to face his role as an instant parent as well. Booklist calls it “a tender love story between two flawed, good-hearted people” and “a compassionate, utterly compelling story of how family members, torn apart by tragedy, must reach deep within themselves to meet their greatest challenge.” Judith Frank is also the author of Crybaby Butch (2004).
by Stephen L. Carter
Margo Jensen, a 19-year old African American undergraduate at Cornell becomes an unlikely intermediary between Kennedy and Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis. Publishers Weekly calls it an “intriguing what-if thriller” and says Carter “makes this audacious premise convincing and manages to build suspense around a historical event with a known outcome.” Carter is a professor of law at Yale and the author of several best-selling thrillers.
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