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Title Author Description
book image The Land Breakers
Land Breakers
John Ehle
Ehle
+ Description

A historical saga that chronicles Appalachian settlement during the Revolutionary War years. "Reads like living history … I could recommend this book simply for Ehle’s vivid portrayal of the purely practical struggle of pioneering life … but it’s also a riveting story, with scenes that will remain alive for me for a long time."—Lori Benton
Contributors: Linda Spalding

book image In the Heart of the Heart of the Country: And Other Stories
Heart of the Heart of the Country
William H. Gass
Gass
+ Description

"This collection defines Gass not as a special but as a major voice … Gass engenders brand-new abrupt vulnerabilities. We read about the becalmed Midwest, about farmers mired in their dailiness, and realize too late that we’ve been exposed to a deadly poetry. It says that America is lost … No writer I’ve ever read, not even Joyce, can celebrate his world with a more piercing sadness."—Frederic Morton, The New York Times
Contributors: Joanna Scott

book image Totempole
Totempole
Sanford Friedman
Friedman
+ Description

Friedman's psychologically acute and empathetic masterpiece traces the coming-of-age—from two to twenty-four—of a boy growing up on the Lower East Side of New York. “Vivid and utterly convincing...The truth of Mr. Friedman’s book is not the truth of autobiography, but the truth-making that the best fiction is.”—James Dickey
Contributors: Peter Cameron

book image During the Reign of the Queen of Persia
During the Reign of the Queen of Persia
Joan Chase
Chase
+ Description

Joan Chase’s subtle story of three generations of women in the American Midwest in the 1950s negotiating lifetimes of “joy and ruin” deserves its place alongside such achievements as Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine. "Moving, unusual and accomplished."—Margaret Atwood
Contributors: Meghan O'Rourke

book image In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist
Courtyard of the Kabbalist
Ruchama King Feuerman
Feuerman
+ Description

This novel, set in Jerusalem, is the story of two expatriate Americans—a kabbalist's assistant and a beautiful motorcycle-riding woman—and an Arab janitor, whose lives become intertwined in a variety of ways in the courtyard of an elderly kabbalist and his wife.

book image Fighting for Life
Fighting for Life
S. Josephine Baker
Baker
+ Description

In 1918, Dr. S. Josephine Baker made the shocking assertion that front-line soldiers enjoyed better survival rates than infants born in NYC. And then she did something about it, developing hygiene programs that turned the city into one of the safest places to be born and in the process creating the discipline of preventive medicine. Here she recounts her many crusades, including her successful identification of Typhoid Mary and work as a suffragist.
Contributors: Helen Epstein

book image In Love
In Love
Alfred Hayes
Hayes
+ Description

If Indecent Proposal had been written by Jean Rhys and shot by Edward Hopper, the result might have been something like In Love, in which lonely, searching strangers strive to make connections that will outlive last call at the local dive. “Hayes addresses the human condition and its heartbreaks with brevity and brutal honesty.”—The Guardian
Contributors: Frederic Raphael

book image My Face for the World to See
My Face for the World to See
Alfred Hayes
Hayes
+ Description

In Hayes's hypnotically intense reckoning with self-deception and desolation, a disillusioned screenwriter falls into an affair with an actress who, like him, has missed the big time. Nelson Algren called My Face for the World to See “the most vivid picture of Hollywood since Nathanael West’s Day of the Locust.”
Contributors: David Thomson

book image The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories
Unrest-Cure and Other Stories
Saki
Saki
+ Description

“Weird, but in a good way” is how The Guardian describes Saki’s fantastical stories, set in Edwardian drawing rooms and garden parties. The same words might be used to describe the illustrations Edward Gorey drew for this selection of Saki’s work, originally commissioned by a Swiss publisher, and never before widely available in an English-language edition.
Contributors: Edward Gorey

book image Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
Russell Hoban
Hoban
+ Description

A man and a woman, each isolated, desperate and despairing—and utter strangers to the other—are simultaneously seized with the desire to liberate turtles from the London Zoo. Hoban confronts the dangers of modern life, its disconnect from nature and solipsistic atomization, with a dark eye and a generous spirit.
Contributors: Ed Park

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