Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

INHERITANCES by William Black
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 20, 2015

"Black is at his best as a social realist in a blue-collar milieu; elsewhere, the strain shows."
It used to be Pennsylvania coal country, and even now that the mining jobs have gone, many in Black's first story collection find it hard to leave. Read full book review >
PARIS RED by Maureen Gibbon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 20, 2015

"Fans of art history, Paris and contemporary Künstleroman like Girl With a Pearl Earring will enjoy the new perspective and the strong female voice."
Manet's muse ponders color, power, sex and love in vibrant 1860s Paris. Read full book review >

Toro! by Frank C. Schwalbe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 17, 2015

"Shines a light on criminal and bureaucratic complexities in an unusual, poignant narrative that would benefit from a more polished style."
A stripper becomes a med student after suffering a near-fatal attack by the titular Toro, but the past has an odd way of resurfacing. Read full book review >
RIDING IN CARS WITH GIRLS by Evangeline Jennings
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 2015

"A smashing, original collection likely to be read again and again."
Disenchanted characters find violence—or dispatch it—behind the wheel in Jennings' (Generic Airport Thriller, 2014, etc.) collection of crime-noir tales. Read full book review >
VOICES IN THE NIGHT by Steven Millhauser
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 2015

"A superb testament to America's quirkiest short story writer, still on his game."
A master storyteller continues to navigate the blurry space between magic and reality in 16 comic, frightening, consistently off-kilter tales. Read full book review >

THE WOMAN WHO READ TOO MUCH by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2015

"An ambitious effort produces an expertly crafted epic."
A mid-19th-century Persian poetess clashes against old-world gender expectations, religious orthodoxy, and politics in this exquisite tale, based on the actual life of poet and theologian Tahirih Qurratu'l-Ayn. Read full book review >
HAYMAKER by Adam Schuitema
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2015

"Thoughtful fiction with an unusual political twist on the theme of insiders vs. outsiders."
Libertarians decide to take over the town of Haymaker on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but the locals have a decidedly different opinion about the wisdom of this move. Read full book review >
WORLD GONE WATER by Jaime Clarke
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2015

"Clarke gives us a tortured antihero, a disturbingly self-aware man we might not root for but cannot forget."
A man struggles to navigate his life after a stay in a behavioral rehabilitation center in this character-driven novel. Read full book review >
OYE WHAT I'M GONNA TELL YOU by Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2015

"Uneven at times, but when it sparks, it catches fire."
Cuban-Americans grapple with the beauty, boundaries and nuances of their cultural heritage in this irregular, multifaceted new collection from Rodríguez Milanés (Literature and Writing/Univ. of Central Florida; Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles, 2009, etc.).Read full book review >
LINCOLN'S BILLY by Tom LeClair
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2015

"Herndon's an interesting fellow, but Abraham Lincoln is the book's star."
In LeClair's (Passing Through, 2008, etc.) novel, Abraham Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon, wants to "provide a naturalistic and profound analysis of how different traits combine to form a complex individual" when he writes the great man's biography.Read full book review >
GUTSHOT by Amelia Gray
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2015

"The best of Gray's stories find that balance between devastation and humor and navigate an uneasy territory with agility; in this book, there are many that reach that mark."
The minute details of life are memorably rendered in surreal and sometimes grotesque ways. Read full book review >
YOU CAN TRUST ME by Sophie McKenzie
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2015

"McKenzie ups her game in this one."
Children's-book author McKenzie follows her first adult novel (Close My Eyes, 2013) with another intense thriller.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >