Our survey of books first published overseas that are making their way to America
Jesse Armstrong photographed by Barney Jones.
Sophie and the Sibyl
U.K.: April 9, 2015 | Bloomsbury
U.S.: Aug. 4, 2015 | Bloomsbury USA
George Eliot is old and ugly with wonderful eyes to the slightly hungover Max, the 23-year-old brother of her German publisher, when he meets her in Berlin. Duncker sends them off together to the spa town of Homburg, where Eliot—the sibyl of the title—and Max run into the beautiful, imperious, rich, intelligent Sophie von Hahn, whom Max is to marry. A ...
Emily Mitchell photographed by Britt Olsen-Ecker.
Emily Mitchell is the author of Viral. But who is Emily Mitchell, really?
“Emily Mitchell has worked as a waitress, a receptionist at a bakery/tanning salon, a short-order cook, a snowmobile driver, a crime-scene cleanup technician, an exotic animal trainer, a war correspondent, a phone dispatcher, a secretary, an environmental campaigner, a freelance journalist, a bean counter and a holistic pediatric oncologist,” Mitchell writes in “Biographies.”
“Biographies” isn’t her biography, but one of a dozen delightfully diverse ...
Publishing is still a business forged from personal connections
What’s the point of BookExpo America? Every year the publishing industry’s annual convention seems to get smaller, and half the conversation on the floor seems to be of the “Why am I here?” variety. But as archaic as it may be, publishing is still a business forged out of personal connections, of agents knowing which editor would be right for a particular author and publicists knowing which reviewers will like what books. So much of publishing is still about ...
Don Winslow photographed by Michael Lionstar
Don Winslow listens to the laughter of children out on the edge of America. Today, the crime writer has lent part of his ranch north of San Diego to a local school doing historical recreations of pioneer life, and the kids are excitedly throwing hatchets in the background.
“When you write books like this one, hearing a bunch of kids laugh is a good thing,” he says.
“This one” may very well be the author’s magnum opus. The Cartel ...
Stephen Jarvis photographed by Chris Nevard
With just a glance at Death and Mr. Pickwick, one might presume to know a great deal about the novel’s author, Stephen Jarvis. At more than 800 pages, with a title alluding to the very first of Charles Dicken’s novels, The Pickwick Papers, it would seem a safe bet that the English writer is a lifelong fan of Dickens. He’s not. “I mean, I read Oliver Twist in school,” Jarvis says of his experience prior to taking on this ...
Mia Alvar photographed by Deborah Lopez.
You’d be hard-pressed to guess where Mia Alvar hails from based on her itinerant debut. In the Country’s stories are set in the Philippines, Bahrain, and New York: all places its author has called home.
“I do tend to feel like a sort of observer, at a remove, in any one of those places,” says Alvar, who resists claiming full “New Yorker” status, despite living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “That was part of the attraction for ...
Characters gruesomely murdered and then resurrected, inter-species communication, vicious lions dispatched not to threaten but to protect mankind—such phenomena constitute the reality-defying, genre-bending universe Scott Hawkins creates in his thrilling debut, The Library at Mount Char. At the center of the novel lies the imposing, albeit largely absent figure of a tyrannical, violent leader called Father, whom the Pelapi race—Hawkins’s eerie, almost sorcerous, but still fiercely human protagonists—obey and revere as their post-apocalyptic savior.
For Hawkins, the book blends fantasy ...
Joe Lansdale photographed by Karen Lansdale
Even if the prolific Joe Lansdale created an imaginary twin (don’t put it past him), the two combined probably wouldn’t have enough fingers and toes to count all of his published novels. So when he says Paradise Sky was the most fun one to write, take heed.
A fictionalized story of the real-life Nat Love, the picaresque tale follows its African-American protagonist on a jaunt through post-Civil War adventures that lead him into careers as a marksman nicknamed Deadwood Dick ...