Sixty years ago, on Feb. 10, 1957, just three days past her 90th birthday, the famed writer Laura Ingalls Wilder died.
Laura had been living alone on the Missouri farm that she and her husband had worked for decades, having been liberated from the necessity of making an income by means of their fields and orchards because of Laura’s success as an author. That success had dated to only a quarter-century before, when Laura published Little House in the Big ...
Photo courtesy Sandra Vander Schaaf
If Beverly Jenkins had her way, her novels would have many more history nuggets than they do. But then, she says, she has to remind herself that she is writing romance, not a history book. The veteran award-winning writer of African-American historical fiction novels has dozens of books under her belt and knows it’s a fine line to walk between sharing all the fascinating historical facts she unearths from her research and having her readers eyes glaze over. So she ...
Our preview of books first published overseas
'Waking Lions' was released in Israel in 2014 but is available in America starting Feb. 28.
Trans. by Megan McDowell
Spain: 2012 | Random House Mondadori
U.S.: March 7, 2017 | Coffee House Press
A young aspiring journalist, addicted to fast food, overweight, and fearful that his teeth are about to fall out, is travelling by car through the Atacama Desert with the father he rarely sees. In this slim, economical novel by a young Chilean writer who has won two major prizes in his home country, the strangely detached ...
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” So says—well, the devil, or at least an earthly representative of his Luciferness, in Bryan Singer’s 1995 film The Usual Suspects. But what if the devil were to appear on Earth and not be terribly shy about making his presence known? That’s the provocative premise of Mikhail Bulgakov’s much-loved novel The Master and Margarita, which first appeared in book form a quarter-century after the ...
Talking to debut novelist Andrew Hilleman
Photo courtesy Kyle Gilbertson
When debut authors talk about their struggles to get published, their stories usually boil down to a dramatic tale of numbers, despite the literary context: X number of writing workshops they attended, X number of years spent working on the debut, X number of rejections from agents or publishers. Andrew Hilleman, whose electric, compelling debut novel, World, Chase Me Down, is out today, has numbers that are more memorable than most. This 332-page novel based on the real-life kidnapping in ...
Spotlighting some of my favorite new fiction
What better way to start a new year than by reading new writers? Here are excerpts from our reviews of some of the most exciting debuts being published this month, two first novels and a book of short stories:
Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke: “In this aptly named story collection by an Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean heritage, people living in various countries struggle to build better lives for themselves....Clarke fully inhabits the voices of her characters—a masterful feat ...
Courtesy Lisa Grossman
King Grossman had just returned from participating in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests when Kirkus caught up with him. His desire to become an active citizen informs the backbone of his debut indie venture, Letters to Alice. The novel has a feel for the zeitgeist of our times with Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring woven into its threads. The book’s protagonist, Frazier Pickett, an editor whose writing ambitions have been mostly quashed, is a “slumbering man,” somebody ...
Rachel Hulin photographed by Brett Henrikson.
Fancy a Dangerous Liaisons-styledelicacy? Rachel Hulin’s epistolary debut features some lip-smacking secrets between brother and sister.
“I love epistolary novels,” says Hulin, author of Hey Harry, Hey Matilda. “I always try to think about how to get that voyeuristic voice without letters...but it just feels like you’re not getting in there. I really want to be in someone’s head. I want to feel like you know this person deeply and you know their secrets.”
Matilda and ...