Music for Wartime
Author: Rebecca Makkai
A spellbinding short story collection from a master of the form, the acclaimed author of The Hundred-Year House Rebecca Makkai's first two novels, The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House have established her as one of the freshest and most imaginative voices in fiction. Now, the acclaimed writer returns with a highly anticipated collection of short stories marked with her signature mix of intelligence, wit, and heart. A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, while her own relationship falls apart. Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young boy has a revelation about his father's past when a renowned Romanian violinist plays a concert in their home. In an unnamed country, a composer records the folk songs of two women from a village on the brink of destruction. Makkai has been anthologized four times in The Best American Short Stories as well as The Best American Nonrequired Reading. These wide-ranging and deeply moving stories?some inspired by her family history?will delight her many fans, as well as readers of Lorrie Moore, Jim Shepard, and Karen Russell.
Author: Rebecca Makkai
In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road. Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?
The acclaimed author of The Borrower returns with a dazzlingly original, mordantly witty novel about the secrets of an old-money family and their turn-of-the-century estate, Laurelfield. “Rebecca Makkai is a writer to watch, as sneakily ambitious as she is unpretentious." –Richard Russo Meet the Devohrs: Zee, a Marxist literary scholar who detests her parents’ wealth but nevertheless finds herself living in their carriage house; Gracie, her mother, who claims she can tell your lot in life by looking at your teeth; and Bruce, her step-father, stockpiling supplies for the Y2K apocalypse and perpetually late for his tee time. Then there’s Violet Devohr, Zee’s great-grandmother, who they say took her own life somewhere in the vast house, and whose massive oil portrait still hangs in the dining room. Violet’s portrait was known to terrify the artists who resided at the house from the 1920s to the 1950s, when it served as the Laurelfield Arts Colony—and this is exactly the period Zee’s husband, Doug, is interested in. An out-of-work academic whose only hope of a future position is securing a book deal, Doug is stalled on his biography of the poet Edwin Parfitt, once in residence at the colony. All he needs to get the book back on track—besides some motivation and self-esteem—is access to the colony records, rotting away in the attic for decades. But when Doug begins to poke around where he shouldn’t, he finds Gracie guards the files with a strange ferocity, raising questions about what she might be hiding. The secrets of the hundred-year house would turn everything Doug and Zee think they know about her family on its head—that is, if they were to ever uncover them. In this brilliantly conceived, ambitious, and deeply rewarding novel, Rebecca Makkai unfolds a generational saga in reverse, leading the reader back in time on a literary scavenger hunt as we seek to uncover the truth about these strange people and this mysterious house. With intelligence and humor, a daring narrative approach, and a lovingly satirical voice, Rebecca Makkai has crafted an unforgettable novel about family, fate and the incredible surprises life can offer. For readers of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle From the Hardcover edition.
The Great Believers
Author: Rebecca Makkai
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD “A page turner...An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis. "—The New York Times Book Review A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed author Rebecca Makkai In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.
Author: Zoe Heller
Publisher: Knopf Canada
The book opens with a prologue set in mid-sixties London, where Joel Litvinoff, an American civil rights lawyer, meets a young Englishwoman, Audrey. After a brief and apparently casual affair, she decides to go to the United States and marry him. The main narrative then commences in New York in 2002. Joel is 72 and approaching the end of a long and illustrious career as an activist lawyer. He and Audrey live in Greenwich Village and have three adult children: two daughters, Rosa and Karla, and an adopted son, Lenny. Audrey is now an acid-tongued, domineering woman in late middle age who fiercely defends, but never questions, the political stance that has shaped her life. Her most tender feelings appear to be directed towards Lenny, a frequent drug user who is incapable of personal responsibility. Karla, the neglected and under-appreciated oldest child, is a social worker who is married, not very happily, to Mike. They have been trying unsuccessfully to start a family. Rosa works with disadvantaged young girls. She is becoming increasingly interested in Judaism, a faith rejected along with all others by her Jewish parents. For this she is much derided by Audrey. Joel suffers a stroke while in court and is in a coma for most of the time span covered by the book. Audrey is convinced he is not getting proper care in the hospital and creates difficulties for its medical staff. During this time of stress, Karla’s unhappiness with her marriage rises to the surface. She begins an affair with Khaled, originally from Egypt, who runs a newspaper store at the hospital where they both work. Rosa immerses herself in the study of Orthodox Judaism and, though she finds many of its teachings difficult to accept, though she perseveres. A stranger, Berenice Mason, introduces herself to Audrey, claiming that her son is Joel’s illegitimate child. Though Audrey initially dismisses her with contempt, it emerges that her story is true and that Berenice has been receiving regular financial support from Joel. Lenny is persuaded by Audrey’s friend Jean to go to her country home in Pennsylvania for a month in order to get off drugs. He makes great progress there and, when Audrey visits, he proposes settling in Pennsylvania permanently. Appalled by the prospect of losing him, Audrey does her best to discourage the idea. Rosa abandons, and then takes up again, her studies in Orthodox Judaism deciding finally that she must pursue her religious intuitions. Joel dies without regaining consciousness. At his funeral, which is attended by thousands, Audrey gives a eulogy in which she celebrates her 40-year marriage to her husband and makes a public acknowledgment of Berenice and her son. At the reception afterwards, Karla makes a last-minute, momentous decision regarding her own marriage. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jane Bradley
Publisher: Unbridled Books
You Believers is a powerful, cathartic story of casual evil and of how the worst things can be faced so that we might not only survive, but grow. A young woman goes missing, and her mother uproots her life to find her daughter. But it is not just the heartbreak or the deep mystery of the hunt for lost loved ones that Bradley so convincingly explores. Rather, with the help of an amazingly dedicated searcher, family and friends somehow learn to move past unspeakable horror and celebrate the tenacity of the human spirit. Offering a vision that is at once ruthless and utterly compassionate, Bradley renders the search for logic, meaning, redemption and even hope in the domino force that is human nature. Part Southern gothic, part crime, part haunting suspense story, You Believers takes us on an infinitely harrowing journey that rewards the reader with insight into how we might endure horrible events with faith, strength, and grace even while it reveals the ripple effects of random violence.
Author: Joe Queenan
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Bestselling author Queenan explores the world of sports fans in an attempt to understand the inexplicable: What does anyone get out of it? For Yankee, Cowboy, and Laker fans the answer is fairly clear: the return on investment is relatively high. But why do people root so passionately for tragically inept teams like the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies? Why do people organize their emotional lives around lackluster franchises such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, the San Diego Padres, and the Phoenix Suns, none of whom have ever won a single championship in their entire history? Is it pure tribalism? An attempt to maintain contact with one's vanished childhood? In True Believers, humorist and lifelong Philly fan Joe Queenan answers these and many other questions, shedding light on—and reveling in—the culture and psychology of his countless fellow fans. Making pilgrimages to such cradles of competition as Notre Dame Stadium, Fenway, and Wrigley Field, Queenan delves into every aspect of fandom in such illuminating chapters as Fans Who Love Too Much (men, like the author, who actually resort to psychotherapy to deal with their unhealthy addiction), Fans Who Run in Front (which meticulously delineates the differences between Retroactive, Municipal, and Vicarious Frontrunners), and Fans Who Misbehave (those who spill beer on women, moon other fans, or throw half-eaten sandwiches at innocent bystanders simply because they look like the current coach of the New York Jets). True Believers is a hilarious but also heartfelt look into the world of those fans who realize that it is, in fact, more than just a game.
Author: Charles Baxter
Captures the fleeting moments that forever shape an individual's life in eight pieces of short fiction that include "Reincarnation," "The Cure for Love," and the title novella in which the narrator describes his father's fall from grace. 17,500 first printing. Tour.
Muhammad and the Believers
Author: Fred M. Donner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Looks at the history of Islam, arguing that its origins began with the "Believers" movement that emphasized strict monotheism and righteous behavior that included both Christians and Jews in its early years.
The Angel of History
Author: Rabih Alameddine
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
“There are many ways to break someone’s heart, but Rabih Alameddine is one rare writer who not only breaks our hearts but gives every broken piece a new life.”—Yiyun Li Following the critical and commercial success of An Unnecessary Woman, Alameddine delivers a spectacular portrait of a man and an era of profound political and social upheaval. Set over the course of one night in the waiting room of a psych clinic, The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints. Set in Cairo and Beirut; Sana'a, Stockholm, and San Francisco; Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrait of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound, philosophical and hilariously winning story of the war between memory and oblivion we wrestle with every day of our lives. “Rabih Alameddine is one our most daring writers—daring not in the cheap sense of lurid or racy, but as a surgeon, a philosopher, an explorer, or a dancer.”—Michael Chabon
Author: Justin L. Barrett
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Infants have a lot to make sense of in the world: Why does the sun shine and night fall; why do some objects move in response to words, while others won’t budge; who is it that looks over them and cares for them? How the developing brain grapples with these and other questions leads children, across cultures, to naturally develop a belief in a divine power of remarkably consistent traits––a god that is a powerful creator, knowing, immortal, and good—explains noted developmental psychologist and anthropologist Justin L. Barrett in this enlightening and provocative book. In short, we are all born believers. Belief begins in the brain. Under the sway of powerful internal and external influences, children understand their environments by imagining at least one creative and intelligent agent, a grand creator and controller that brings order and purpose to the world. Further, these beliefs in unseen super beings help organize children’s intuitions about morality and surprising life events, making life meaningful. Summarizing scientific experiments conducted with children across the globe, Professor Barrett illustrates the ways human beings have come to develop complex belief systems about God’s omniscience, the afterlife, and the immortality of deities. He shows how the science of childhood religiosity reveals, across humanity, a “natural religion,” the organization of those beliefs that humans gravitate to organically, and how it underlies all of the world’s major religions, uniting them under one common source. For believers and nonbelievers alike, Barrett offers a compelling argument for the human instinct for religion, as he guides all parents in how to effectively encourage children in developing a healthy constellation of beliefs about the world around them.
Author: Kurt Andersen
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Withdrawing herself from consideration for Supreme Court Judgeship, distinguished judge Karen Hollander reflects on the reasons for her decision while remembering her coming of age in 1960s America, during which she experienced a formative event that reverberates in the cultural landscape of her present-day life. By the best-selling author of Heyday. 40,000 first printing.
The True Believer
Author: Eric Hoffer
Publisher: Harper Collins
A stevedore on the San Francisco docks in the 1940s, Eric Hoffer wrote philosophical treatises in his spare time while living in the railroad yards. The True Believer -- the first and most famous of his books -- was made into a bestseller when President Eisenhower cited it during one of the earliest television press conferences.Completely relevant and essential for understanding the world today, The True Believer is a visionary, highly provocative look into the mind of the fanatic and a penetrating study of how an individual becomes one.
Among the Believers
Author: V.S. Naipaul
Naipaul's controversial account of his travels through the Islamic world was hailed by The New Republic as "the most notable work on contemporary Islam to have appeared in a very long time." From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Michael Moran
Jerry Miller began his life as a normal boy. He was born and raised in Miami, Florida. His parents were kind, hardworking, and completely normal. Before he spoke his first word, however, he already discovered one of his many superpowers, proving he was anything but normal. He tried hiding his powers and living like an ordinary boy, but daily challenges and lack of self-control forced Jerry to reveal his powers on numerous occasions. With Jerrys powers now out in the open, what will happen next? Will he be accepted by friends and family? Will he live up to expectations? Will he become a true hero or crumble under pressure and fail the world?