A daring, triumphant work of searing beauty.

THE LAST INTERVIEW

An Israeli writer gives an in-depth interview that unravels the story of his life and art.

Most interviews purport to expose some previously unknown truth, however trivial, about the interview subject. Nevo’s new novel asks the question: What would it mean for the interviewee to actually tell that “truth”—and how might the idea of truth telling be complicated if the interviewee were in the business of fiction writing? In trenchant, lovely prose—beautifully translated by Silverston—Nevo uses the unconventional structure of a literary interview to reveal the cracks in the facade of a writer’s relationship to himself, his work, and the world. Nevo excels at revealing—and reveling in—the exquisite within the mundane. As the interviewer moves from question to question, the protagonist leads the reader through various vignettes of his life; though the questions themselves range from basic to profound, each answer pulls the reader further into the protagonist’s vibrant inner world. The juxtaposition of the artificial medium of the interview with the increasing vulnerability that the writer displays in his answers is quietly radical. The emotional stakes are further heightened, and the narrative propelled, by the sometimes-jarring nature of this sort of structure: Often, the interviewer interrupts the narrative with a new question just at the point when a section is at its most moving or engrossing. The result is a compelling page-turner of quiet beauty and power. Drawing upon a rich Jewish literary heritage that stretches from Bialik to Oz to Roth, Nevo pushes the boundaries of fiction both formally and thematically, challenging the reader at every turn to reconsider their conceptions of the relationship between truth and fiction.

A daring, triumphant work of searing beauty.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-163542-987-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Other Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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A story with both comedy and heartbreak sure to please Backman fans.

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ANXIOUS PEOPLE

Eight people become unlikely friends during a hostage situation created by an inept bank robber.

In a town in Sweden, a desperate parent turns to bank robbery to help pay the rent. Unfortunately, the target turns out to be a cashless bank, which means that no robbery can take place. In an attempt to flee the police, the would-be perpetrator runs into a nearby apartment building and interrupts an open house, causing the would-be buyers to assume they're being held hostage. After the situation has ended with an absent bank robber and blood on the carpet, a father-and-son police pair work through maddening interviews with the witnesses: the ridiculous realtor; an older couple who renovates and sells apartments in an effort to stay busy; a bickering young couple expecting their first child; a well-off woman interested only in the view from the balcony of a significant bridge in her life; an elderly woman missing her husband as New Year’s Eve approaches; and, absurdly, an actor dressed as a rabbit hired to disrupt the showing and drive down the apartment price. Backman’s latest novel focuses on how a shared event can change the course of multiple people’s lives even in times of deep and ongoing anxiousness. The observer/narrator is winding and given to tangents and, in early moments, might distract a bit too much from the strongly drawn characters. But the story gains energy and sureness as it develops, resulting in moments of insight and connection between its numerous amiable characters.

A story with both comedy and heartbreak sure to please Backman fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6083-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.

THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP

With her promotion to vice president of digital inventory at a Sonoma winery, Natalie Harper finally has the financial security she's always wanted, but a sudden tragedy sends her home to rescue her late mother's charming bookstore.

Once in San Francisco, Natalie moves back into her childhood home, an eclectic set of apartments above the bookshop, a home she shares with her grandfather Andrew, who is suffering from dementia and other mysterious ailments. Blythe, Natalie's mother, loved books, but she was not a savvy businesswoman. Natalie arrives to find unpaid bills and back taxes. Housed in the historic Sunrose Building, the bookshop certainly has stories of its own to tell: Originally a saloon and brothel, it was eventually bought by Natalie's great-grandparents, who converted it into a home and apothecary. Luckily, “hammer for hire” Peach Gallagher shows up. Strong and gorgeous, the contractor catches Natalie's eye, and he certainly is drawn to the curly-haired proprietress. But Peach doesn't date clients, and Natalie is gun-shy from her previous relationship. Plus, she's already met Peach’s adorable little girl, Dorothy. Natalie isn't about to break up a marriage, but she doesn’t know Peach is actually divorced. Wiggs skillfully manipulates the stock in trade of a master romance novelist as she orchestrates Peach and Natalie's inevitable love story. To challenge Peach, enter Trevor Dashwood, a gorgeous and wealthy children's book author, whose books have already won Dorothy's heart. Hosting a book signing with Trevor might help the store’s bottom line. Meanwhile, Natalie, Peach, and Andrew find historical artifacts hidden in the Sunrose building’s walls. Will it be enough to save the store?

A gentle love story perfect for anyone looking for love amid personal, family, and financial crises.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-291409-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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