An intimate, sharply funny novel about a couple heading toward their wedding, and the three friends who may draw them apart. Meet Celine and Luke. For all intents and purposes, the happy couple. Luke (a serial cheater) and Celine (more interested in piano than domestic life) plan to marry in a year. Archie (the best man) should be moving on from his love for Luke and up the corporate ladder, but he finds himself utterly stuck. Phoebe (the bridesmaid and Celine’s sister) just wants to get to the bottom of Luke’s frequent unexplained disappearances. And Vivian (a wedding guest) is the only one with any emotional distance, and observes her friends like ants in a colony. As the wedding approaches and these five lives intersect, each character will find themselves looking for a path to their happily ever after—but does it lie at the end of an aisle? In her wry, sprightly, and unmistakable voice, Naoise Dolan makes the marriage plot entirely her own in a sparkling ensemble novel that is both ferociously clever and supremely enjoyable.
On the streets of 1970s Brooklyn, a daily ritual goes down: the dance. Money is exchanged, belongings surrendered, power asserted. The promise of violence lies everywhere, a currency itself. For these children, Black, brown, and white, the street is a stage in shadow; some days it may seem that no one knows what happens there. Yet in the wings hide the other players: parents; cops; renovators; landlords; those who write the headlines, the histories, and laws; those who award this neighborhood its name. The rules seem obvious at first. But in memory’s prism, criminals and victims may seem to trade places. The voices of the past may seem to rise and gather as if in harmony, then make war with one another. A street may seem to crack open and reveal what lies behind its glimmering facade. None who lived through it are ever permitted to forget. Written with kaleidoscopic verve and delirious wit, Brooklyn Crime Novel is a breathtaking tour de force by a writer at the top of his powers. Jonathan Lethem, “one of America’s greatest storytellers,” (Washington Post) has crafted an epic interrogation of how we fashion stories to contain the uncontainable: our remorse at the world we’ve made.
Margaret Murphy is a natural-born weaver of fantastic tales, growing up in a world where the truth is too much for one little girl to endure. Margaret’s first memory is of the day she locked her friend in an old cooler and then ran away in terror when she couldn’t get the lid back open. Her friend died. No one ever blamed Margaret for the incident—not in so many words—but in the aftermath, Margaret receives either euphemistic platitudes or subtle suspicion. Left on her own to make sense of this tragedy, Margaret invents ever more imaginative and superstitious fictions as a way to avoid thinking about what she has done. The only one in her life who forces Margaret to face the truth is Poor Deer, a vengeful creature who insists that Margaret tame her temptation to give every story a happy ending. When teenage Margaret flees home in the aftermath of another loss, Poor Deer offers her the sudden chance to atone for her sins. Poor Deer orders Margaret to commit an act that she promises will sweep the ledger clean. But is Poor Deer’s offer to be trusted? Or is it another made-up tale, too good to be true? Heartrending and boldly imagined, Poor Deer explores the journey toward understanding who we once were and the stories we tell ourselves to help make sense of life’s most difficult moments.
A wry, tender novel about a Peruvian immigrant mother and a millennial daughter who have one final chance to find common ground. Thirtysomething Flores and her mother, Paula, still live in the same Brooklyn apartment, but that may be the only thing they have in common. It’s been nearly three years since they lost beloved husband and father Martín, who had always been the bridge between them. One day, cleaning beneath his urn, Flores discovers a note written in her mother’s handwriting: Perdóname si te fallé. Recuerda que siempre te quise.
(“Forgive me if I failed you. Remember that I always loved you.”) But what would Paula need forgiveness for? Now newfound doubts and old memories come flooding in, complicating each woman’s efforts to carve out a good life for herself—and to support the other in the same. Paula thinks Flores should spend her evenings meeting a future husband, not crunching numbers for a floundering aquarium startup. Flores wishes Paula would ask for a raise at her DollaBills retail job, or at least find a best friend who isn’t a married man. When Flores and Paula learn they will be forced to move, they must finally confront their complicated past—and decide whether they share the same dreams for the future. Spirited and warm-hearted, Melissa Rivero’s new novel showcases the complexities of the mother-daughter bond with fresh insight and empathy.
From bestselling and award-winning author Patrick deWitt comes the story of Bob Comet, a man who has lived his life through and for literature, unaware that his own experience is a poignant and affecting narrative in itself. Bob Comet is a retired librarian passing his solitary days surrounded by books and small comforts in a mint-colored house in Portland, Oregon. One morning on his daily walk he encounters a confused elderly woman lost in a market and returns her to the senior center that is her home. Hoping to fill the void he’s known since retiring, he begins volunteering at the center. Here, as a community of strange peers gathers around Bob, and following a happenstance brush with a painful complication from his past, the events of his life and the details of his character are revealed. Behind Bob Comet’s straight-man facade is the story of an unhappy child’s runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian’s vocation, and of the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Bob’s experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy; he has a talent for locating bizarre and outsize players to welcome onto the stage of his life. With his inimitable verve, skewed humor, and compassion for the outcast, Patrick deWitt has written a wide-ranging and ambitious document of the introvert’s condition. The Librarianist celebrates the extraordinary in the so-called ordinary life, and depicts beautifully the turbulence that sometimes exists beneath a surface of serenity.
From the author of the acclaimed novel Temporary, an intimate exploration of time, a fable about love, an epic daydream for a broken-hearted world.
Annie, Edward, and their young daughter, Rose, live in a cramped apartment. One night, without warning, they find a beautiful terrace hidden in their closet. It wasn’t there before, and it seems to only appear when their friend Stephanie visits. A city dweller’s dream come true! But every extra bit of space has a hidden cost, and the terrace sets off a seismic chain of events, forever changing the shape of their tiny home, and the shape of the world.
Terrace Story follows the characters who suffer these repercussions and reverberations: the little family of three, their future now deeply uncertain, and those who orbit their fragile universe. The distance and love between these characters expands limitlessly, across generations. How far can the mind travel when it’s looking for something that is gone? Where do we put our loneliness, longing, and desire? What do we do with the emotions that seem to stretch beyond the body, beyond the boundaries of life and death?
Based on the National Magazine award–winning story, Hilary Leichter’s profound second novel asks how we nurture love when death looms over every moment. From one of our most innovative and daring writers, Terrace Story is an astounding meditation on loss, a reverie about extinction, and a map for where to go next.
From bestselling, National Book Award-winning author Elizabeth Acevedo comes her first novel for adults, the story of one Dominican-American family told through the voices of its women as they await a gathering that will forever change their lives. Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides she wants a living wake—a party to bring her family and community together to celebrate the long life she’s led—her sisters are surprised. Has Flor foreseen her own death, or someone else’s? Does she have other motives? She refuses to tell her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila. But Flor isn’t the only person with secrets. Matilde has tried for decades to cover the extent of her husband’s infidelity, but she must now confront the true state of her marriage. Pastora is typically the most reserved sister, but Flor’s wake motivates this driven woman to solve her sibling’s problems. Camila is the youngest sibling, and often the forgotten one, but she’s decided she no longer wants to be taken for granted.
And the next generation, cousins Ona and Yadi, face tumult of their own: Yadi is reuniting with her first love, who was imprisoned when they were both still kids; Ona is married for years and attempting to conceive. Ona must decide whether it’s worth it to keep trying—to have a child, and the anthropology research that’s begun to feel lackluster. Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City. Told with Elizabeth Acevedo’s inimitable and incandescent voice, this is an indelible portrait of sisters and cousins, aunts and nieces—one family’s journey through their history, helping them better navigate all that is to come.
From the bestselling author of ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW comes a searing memoir of class, inequality, and grief—a daughter’s search to understand the lives her adoptive parents led, the life she forged as an adult, and the lives she’s lost. In this country, unless you attain extraordinary wealth, you will likely be unable to help your loved ones in all the ways you’d hoped. You will learn to live with the specific, hollow guilt of those who leave hardship behind, yet are unable to bring anyone else with them. When Nicole Chung graduated from high school, she couldn’t hightail it out of her overwhelmingly white Oregon hometown fast enough. As a scholarship student at a private university on the East Coast, no longer the only Korean she knew, she found a sense of community she had always craved as an Asian American adoptee — and a path to the life she’d long wanted. But the middle class world she begins to raise a family in — where there are big homes, college funds, nice vacations — looks very different from the middle class world she thought she grew up in, where paychecks have to stretch to the end of the week, health insurance is often lacking, and there are no safety nets. When her father dies at only sixty-seven, killed by diabetes and kidney disease, Nicole feels deep grief as well as rage, knowing that years of financial instability and lack of access to healthcare contributed to his premature death. And then the unthinkable happens — less than a year later, her beloved mother is diagnosed with cancer, and the physical distance between them becomes insurmountable as Covid descends upon the world. Exploring the enduring strength of family bonds in the face of hardship and tragedy, A Living Remedy examines what it takes to reconcile the distance between one life, one home, and another — and sheds needed light on some of the most persistent and tragic inequalities in American society.
A stunning novel about a mother whose dream of musical stardom for her three daughters collides with the daughters’ ambitions for their own lives set against the backdrop of gentrifying 1950s San Francisco. At home they are just sisters, but on stage, they are The Salvations. Ruth, Esther, and Chloe have been singing and dancing in harmony since they could speak. Thanks to the rigorous direction of their mother, Vivian, they’ve become a bona fide girl group whose shows are the talk of the Jazz-era Fillmore. Now Vivian has scored a once-in-a-lifetime offer from a talent manager, who promises to catapult The Salvations into the national spotlight. Vivian knows this is the big break she’s been praying for. But sometime between the hours of rehearsal on their rooftop and the weekly gigs at the Champagne Supper Club, the girls have become women, women with dreams that their mother cannot imagine. The neighborhood is changing, too: all around the Fillmore, white men in suits are approaching Black property owners with offers. One sister finds herself called to fight back, one falls into the comfort of an old relationship, another yearns to make her own voice heard. And Vivian, who has always maintained control, will have to confront the parts of her life that threaten to splinter: the community, The Salvations, and even her family. Warm, gripping, and wise, with echoes of Fiddler on the Roof, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s latest novel is a moving family portrait from “a writer of uncommon nerve and talent” (New York Times Book Review).
A taut, groundbreaking new novel from bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken, about a writer’s relationship with her larger-than-life mother—and about the very nature of writing, memory, and art. Ten months after her mother’s death, the narrator of The Hero of This Book takes a trip to London. The city was a favorite of her mother’s, and as the narrator wanders the streets, she finds herself reflecting on her mother’s life and their relationship. Thoughts of the past meld with questions of the future: back in New England, the family home is now for sale, its considerable contents already winnowed. The woman, a writer, recalls all that made her complicated mother extraordinary—her brilliant wit, her generosity, her unbelievable obstinacy, her sheer will in seizing life despite physical difficulties—and finds herself wondering how her mother had endured. Even though she wants to respect her
“Elizabeth McCracken, about a writer’s relationship with her larger-than-life mother—and about the very nature of writing, memory, and art. Ten months after her mother’s death, the narrator of The Hero of This Book takes a trip to London. The city was a favorite of her mother’s, and as the narrator wanders the streets, she finds herself reflecting on her mother’s life and their relationship. Thoughts of the past meld with questions of the future: back in New England, the family home is now for sale, its considerable contents already winnowed. The woman, a writer, recalls all that made her complicated mother extraordinary—her brilliant wit, her generosity, her unbelievable obstinacy, her sheer will in seizing life despite physical difficulties—and finds herself wondering how her mother had endured. Even though she wants to respect her mother’s nearly pathological sense of privacy, the woman must come to terms with whether making a chronicle of this remarkable life constitutes an act of love or betrayal. The Hero of This Book is a searing examination of grief and renewal, and of a deeply felt relationship between a child and her parents. What begins as a question of filial devotion ultimately becomes a lesson in what it means to write. At once comic and heartbreaking, with prose that delights at every turn, this is a novel of such piercing love and tenderness that we are reminded that art is what remains when all else falls away.