A towering work of speculative fiction that will have readers rethinking what it means to be human.

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AMERICAN NEOLITHIC

This powerful cautionary tale mixes political satire and legal thrills in a near-future America where the existence of a Neanderthal threatens a government that has devolved into a “trailer park theocracy.”

When jaded Manhattan lawyer Raleigh is hired to represent a suspect accused of murdering a popular rap artist, he understands immediately that the case could interest Homeland Security. His client—nicknamed Blingbling—is described as a “crazy homeless retarded guy”; he has no Social Security number, license or Homeland passport. In a country where Patriot Amendments have been added to the Constitution to radically limit civil liberties and give Homeland Police unlimited jurisdiction over cases concerning national security, Raleigh knows that if Blingbling is involved in any terrorist activity, his own career—and his freedom—could be at stake. But the case becomes exponentially more complicated when a DNA test shows that Blingbling isn’t human: He’s a Neanderthal who, with the few others of his kind, has been secretly living in a “Nest” in an abandoned building in New York’s SoHo district. When, in an attempt to dismiss the case, Raleigh goes public with the revelation, he finds himself at the center of a national firestorm over the theory of evolution. “The mouth-breathers amended the Constitution just one step short of criminalizing modern science and here you go proving evolution,” Raleigh tells Blingbling. The political and social commentary throughout this unique novel is razor-sharp, as are uses of imagery and symbolism. The disturbing contrast of nonviolent, contemplative and deeply compassionate Blingbling to the brutality, apathy and ignorance of modern-day America is profoundly moving. One standout among many is a brilliant sequence in which Raleigh attends a bum fight—“illegal, but illegal the way whiskey was in 1924. And I make my living off the kind of people who in the Coolidge administration would have been meeting trawlers full of booze at midnight on the North Fork. Well, kind of like them. Just worse.”

A towering work of speculative fiction that will have readers rethinking what it means to be human.

Pub Date: May 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1936196333

Page Count: 200

Publisher: C&R Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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