Previewing the books first published overseas that will soon be arriving in America.
Andrew O'Hagan, copyright broaddaylight
This is the launch of a feature we will publish on the 15th of each month to give you advance insight into books first published overseas. You’ll be hearing about these books when they arrive in America; now you know how the readers and critics who saw them first reacted to them. —Ed.
U.K.: Jan. 29, 2015 | Faber & Faber
U.S.: Mar. 24, 2015 | FSG
Once a gifted photographer, Anne is fighting ...
Allan Gurganus photographed by Roger Haile
The Bible offers a warning or two about worshipping false idols; Allan Gurganus’s recent novella, Decoy, gives readers a shelf-full of Biblical exegesis regarding the human complications of modern-day idolatry. If the object of worship is one’s hand-picked best friend (who might not know that yet), stand by for comedy and Old Testament calamities.
As Gurganus suggests, “We’re often most confused by the very person we love and desire most. We are snowblind.”
Decoy (which was previously published in ...
Virginia Woolf photographed by George Beresford.
“As the streets…are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm. If you persist, lawyers’ clerks will have to make flying leaps into the mud; young lady typists will have to fidget behind you. In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, eccentricity must pay the penalty, and it is better not to be very tall, to wear a long blue cloak, or to beat the air with your left hand.”
Allowing for the fact ...
S.G. Browne photographed by David DeSilva
I confess: S.G. Browne is so funny that he once made me disrupt an entire hospital emergency room. I was in the waiting room reading Browne’s debut novel Breathers (2009), a romantic comedy about zombies. When I hit the line “Is it necrophilia if we’re both dead?” I burst out laughing, disturbing every poor soul around me. (Note: the author of Breathers is rather proud of this achievement.)
Since then, Browne has published three more well-received and equally ...
Jill Alexander Essbaum photographed by Megan Sembera Peters
“Why don’t you write me a trashy book and make us all rich?” Jill Alexander Essbaum’s late father used to tease. Although she certainly didn’t have her father in mind while writing the steamy sex scenes of her captivating debut novel, Hausfrau, she has him to thank. Her father’s Sidney Sheldon and Harold Robbins books piqued her early interest in bawdy subjects.
Hausfrau follows the carnal wreckage of a tired housewife, Anna Benz, an American expat living in a ...
Jacob Rubin photographed by Andy Fink
The scene feels old-fashioned: a man walks onto a stage to practice the art of impersonation, as audience members clamor for the thrill of being his next target. In 2015, it feels like a quaint notion, that masses would find such fascination with the spectacle of one man skilled in imitation but this fascination is at the center of Jacob Rubin’s debut novel The Poser.
Part showbiz tale, part psychological study, The Poser focuses on Giovanni Bernini, a young ...
Daniel Torday photographed by Matt Barrick
Shakespeare was a poacher—so one version goes as referenced in Daniel Torday’s compelling debut novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West. Before heading to London, this practiced skill may have helped as Shakespeare later poached from historical legends and Montaigne, Plutarch and others in constructing his grand and verbally engaging entertainments. Every Shakespearean tragedy depicts the swelling before the fall. So, too, does Torday’s titular protagonist in this remarkably layered novel.
The Last Flight of Poxl West, written in what ...
Kazuo Ishiguro photographed by Jeff Cottenden.
An epic journey, a mysterious quest. The land is shrouded in mist. The people’s memories are similarly clouded, as if by design. There are ogres in the woods and dragons in the mountains—and enemies everywhere.
In lesser hands, that scenario might have become another Tolkien knockoff. But as told by the eminently practiced, genre-jumping storyteller Kazuo Ishiguro, it’s a grand allegory of human history. And more plainly than all that, Ishiguro says from his home in London, it’s “a Western ...