September 19, 2020
A fantastical world, families navigating the death of a loved one, a plea for respect to all American citizens and young adult fiction that can be read and thoroughly enjoyed by adults. These are the pleasures on offer to readers this week.
Buyer, Center for Fiction Bookstore
By Susanna Clarke
Published by Bloomsbury
Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell, a whopper of a fantasy novel, put her on the map over 15 years ago and expanded the reach of the genre. Piranesi is a third the size but full of otherworldly delights set in a wondrous house with limitless rooms and an ocean. Fans of Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell and Madeline Miller will devour this novel that blends mythology, history and magic. It’s also a particularly beautifully designed book!
By Sue Miller
Published by Harper
Sue Miller remains one of the most accomplished novelists creating memorable family stories. Her new novel introduces long-married Graham and Annie, who have always been considered the perfect couple, and their close-knit extended family. When Graham (a bookseller), unexpectedly dies, secrets long buried come to the surface with a rippling effect on all. Miller’s examination of the aftermath of such a loss has a universal appeal. We have limited copies of signed editions* of this extraordinary book.
*For signed copies please call 212-755-6710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org..
The Last Story of Mina Lee
By Nancy Jooyoun Kim
Published by Park Row
A moving story that touches upon the many issues of life as an immigrant family. The language and cultural barriers between Margot and her mother seem insurmountable at times but Margot’s fierce attachment to her—whom “she could only see . . . as the impossible foreigner”—is never in doubt despite the physical and emotional distance. This story of a Korean mother and U.S.-born daughter will reverberate with readers everywhere, especially those who have tried to reconcile the desire for a more “American” life with the essential lessons taught by their parents about the hardships and racism they endured.
By Laila Lalami
Published by Pantheon
Lalami, author of several novels and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, has a timely message for Americans that she delivers with fervor and urgency. Her ‘conditional citizens’ are the ones caught between the push/pull of policy in the U.S. that is suspiciously like a caste system (see Isabel Wilkerson). Lalami’s eloquence and ardor add much to the current discussion in this country about the treatment of people considered outsiders, people of color, and those judged to be of lower class. Through her personal story we see the greater picture—and it is not pretty..
By Tiffany D. Jackson
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Jackson’s powerful novel begins with her heroine Enchanted, a Black high-schooler who has fallen under the spell of a charismatic musician, waking to a blood drenched apartment and a dead body. When she is suspected of the murder, Enchanted must come to terms with the abuse and exploitation she has faced as she is brutally plunged into adulthood. Jackson is an award-winning Brooklyn-based writer unafraid to introduce teens to hard subjects, and even harder truths about American culture today. Signed copies* available.
*For signed copies please call 212-755-6710 or email email@example.com.
By Yamile Saied Méndez
Published by Algonquin
This is Mendéz’s first YA novel, and it is set in her native Argentina. Her fútbol-obsessed heroine plays for a school team that just qualified for a prestigious South American tournament. Her brother is already a soccer star, as is her boyfriend. Being a mixed-race girl from a strict family throws obstacles in her path both for her future career and her love life, but Furia is learning to make choices for herself. Her passionate tenacity in following her dreams is the true strength of the story..