Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 2)

THE PUZZLEHEADED GIRL by Christina Stead
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"At shorter length, Stead reveals more clearly her gifts in tone and voice and building a scene, while her theme here puts these fictions among the Ur-texts of feminism."
The four novellas of this reissued 1967 book center on young women in the 1940s and '50s seeking to find themselves in a world looking to impose its own definitions. Read full book review >
THE BEAUTIES AND FURIES by Christina Stead
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"A welcome reissue of an intriguing, atmospherically rich work."
A woman leaves her husband in London for a younger man in Paris, where the affair takes unusual turns thanks to a conniving fellow the lovers befriend in this ambitious 1936 novel. Read full book review >

RISE AND SHINE, BENEDICT STONE by Phaedra Patrick
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"It does bear some resemblance to the author's first book, but it lacks the charm and genuine eccentricity of the earlier effort."
Unabashedly heartwarming, Patrick's (TheCurious Charms of Arthur Pepper, 2016) second novel is set in a quaint English village where our hero drinks lots of tea and eats too many sweets. Read full book review >
BLUE FIELD by Elise Levine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"A transgressive, gut-wrenching portrayal of grief that asks what it's like to drown."
A deeply damaged woman flirts with death in the depths of underwater caves. Read full book review >
ATLANTIC HOTEL by João  Gilberto Noll
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"A short novel that still manages to feel like a waste of time."
An unnamed man has surreal experiences as he journeys across Brazil. Read full book review >

BAD DREAMS AND OTHER STORIES by Tessa Hadley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"Achingly lovely, though never sentimental, Hadley's collection renders common lives with exquisite grace."
Acclaimed novelist Hadley (The Past, 2016, etc.) is back with a collection of 10 quietly explosive short stories that reveal, with unsparing precision, the epic drama simmering beneath the mundanity of everyday life. Read full book review >
WE COULD'VE BEEN HAPPY HERE by Keith Lesmeister
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"A gritty, emotionally sensitive clutch of stories."
A debut story collection about hard-luck denizens of rural and exurban Iowa. Read full book review >
NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"This follow-the-plot-dots modernization unfortunately falls flat due to Chevalier's heavy-handedness in turning Othello into a polemic on the evils of American racism and her awkward shoehorning of tween angst into Shakespearian tragedy."
As her contribution to the Hogarth Shakespeare series of contemporary retellings of the Bard's works, Chevalier (At the Edge of the Orchard, 2016, etc.) turns Othello into the story of a disastrous chain of events that follows a black student's arrival at a white elementary school in suburban Washington, D.C. Read full book review >
IT'S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND by Michele Campbell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"Moody and dark in its portrayal of friendship and marriage."
Three college roommates find their lives inextricably linked after the death of a friend. Read full book review >
WHERE YOU LIVE by Andrew Roe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"Literature as sociology, or sociology as literature; either way, a sometimes-dispiriting but eloquent evocation of lives at the continent's edge."
Carver-esque, West Coast-set tales of working-class hardship from Roe, author of the well-received novel The Miracle Girl (2015). Read full book review >
THE INVENTED PART by Rodrigo Fresán
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"An exemplary postmodern novel that is both literature and entertainment."
"Is Jell-O animal, vegetal, mineral, or interplanetary?" A tour de force from Argentinian writer Fresán, charting a course from confusion to confusion and back again. Read full book review >
EAGLE AND EMPIRE by Alan Smale
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"A satisfying culmination to the adventures of a Roman warrior in the New World."
In the final volume of his alternate-history trilogy supposing that the Roman Empire never collapsed, Smale (Eagle in Exile, 2016, etc.) chronicles a 13th-century world war as Roman and Mongol empires clash in Nova Hesperia—North America. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >