Richard Francis photographed by Junenoire Mitchell
There’s one book in particular that you’ll have no trouble finding as you browse the science aisle at the bookstore this summer.
On the cover of Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World, a reasonably menacing gray wolf stares intently back at you. His eyes are fixed, and the hair on his head is standing up. He has long, slender limbs for running down prey, and broad jaws for eating it. Standing beneath the big bad wolf and barely a quarter ...
Sarai Walker photographed by Marion Ettlinger
If you happen to be hosting book club on the night your group discusses Dietland, Sarai Walker’s arresting debut novel, do yourself a favor and buy a few extra bottles of wine. As the book jacket’s cheerful pop-art image of a cupcake grenade suggests, there’s a lot to, well, chew on in these pages. Walker begins the book sweetly enough, sketching an intimate portrait of Plum Kettle, a young, “fat” woman trying to make her way at a women’s magazine ...
Indie writers who've had success writing historical fiction.
History is full of colorful characters. As a result, writers have often long made use of real-life figures in their fiction, usually in cameo roles. E.L. Doctorow’s classic historical novel Ragtime (1975), for example, features the real-life anarchist Emma Goldman, among many, many others, and Caleb Carr’s bestselling mystery The Alienist (1994) includes a young Theodore Roosevelt as a secondary character.
Self-published authors have also tried their hands at merging historical reality and fiction—sometimes with quite clever ...
Peter Nichols photographed by Adrian Kinloch
Peter Nichols literally shipwrecked. Hollywood bigwigs optioned screenplays of his that were never produced. Love came and went. And when he submitted a draft of The Rocks, a novel quite unlike the bestselling nautical nonfiction he’s known for (A Voyage for Madmen, 2001; Evolution’s Captain, 2003, etc.), his longterm literary agent left him.
“Bad things don’t happen to writers; it’s all material,” Garrison Keillor said—and The Rocks is so much richer for the delectable allusions to its author’s adventuresome ...
The novel that birthed a "machine of condemnation"
Thomas Hardy by William Strang.
Thomas Hardy always imagined that he would be better known for his poems than his novels, which he grudgingly wrote, he said, simply to pay the bills. The facts were otherwise. He lived a long life, dying in 1928 at the age of 87, but had given up on writing those novels fully 33 years before—which did nothing to diminish either his reputation or the speculations on the parts of the contemporary press as to just when he would break ...
H.W. Brands photographed by Marsha Miller
It’s easy, if you’re politically so inclined, to dismiss Ronald Reagan as a mere actor who bumbled his way onto the film set called the presidency, an intellectual lightweight in a White House full of geniuses, a political naïf in a hardball world.
It would be easy. It would also be wrong.
So says H.W. Brands, the eminent student of American history who, when not teaching at the University of Texas, has been busy writing weighty tomes each one ...
Our survey of books first published overseas that are making their way to America
Susan Barker photographed by Derek Anson.
U.K.: July 3, 2014 | Doubleday
U.S.: Aug. 18, 2015 | Touchstone
Wang Jun ekes out a living in gruelling 12-hour shifts as a taxi driver in dusty, polluted, crowded Beijing. His mundane life with his pretty masseuse wife and their adored daughter, Echo, in Apartment 404 is thrown into disarray by a series of letters from the mysterious Watcher, who claims to have known him in five previous lives. Wang’s past incarnations take the reader on ...
Margo Rabb photographed by Jackie Rabb
When Margo Rabb’s father died within days of the 1998 Swiss Air crash, the two events became inextricably linked for her. “I just kept imagining what it would be like to have lost someone in that way in such a public way,” she says. In Rabb’s new novel Kissing in America, she explores just that question. The narrator Eva’s dad died in a plane crash, but, in an inversion of Rabb’s own experience, she tells people it was a heart attack.
Even aside from that concordance, Kissing feels like a ...