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Title Author Description
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

book image The Alteration
Alteration
Kingsley Amis
Amis
+ Description

In Kingsley Amis’s virtuoso foray into alternate history, it is 1976 but the modern world is a medieval relic, frozen in intellectual and spiritual time ever since Martin Luther was promoted to pope back in the sixteenth century. "One of the best—possibly the best—alternate-worlds novels in existence."— Philip K. Dick
Contributors: William Gibson

book image The Green Man
Green Man
Kingsley Amis
Amis
+ Description

"A thoroughly contemporary ghost story . . . in the uncomplicated, old-fashioned sense. As one might expect from the author of Lucky Jim, The Green Man is also an extremely funny book, filled with slapstick, parody and satire. Indeed, the success of this short novel depends very much on the balance that Amis maintains between fear and laughter.''—The New York Times
Contributors: Michael Dirda

book image The Abandoned
Abandoned
Paul Gallico
Gallico
+ Description

Young Peter sees a striped kitten in a park across the road from his house. As he crosses the street, he is struck by a truck. When he awakes, he discovers he has been transformed into a cat. Luckily, he is befriended by the street-smart stray, Jennie, who shows him how to survive in a world where dangers are many and humans are cruel.

book image Pitch Dark
Pitch Dark
Renata Adler
Adler
+ Description

“What’s new. What else. What next. What’s happened here.” Pitch Dark, Renata Adler’s follow-up to her prize-winning novel Speedboat, is a book of questions, questions that bedevil Kate Ennis as she considers her relationship with her married lover. “A moving, infuriating, tantalizing book.”—The Boston Globe
Contributors: Muriel Spark

book image Speedboat
Speedboat
Renata Adler
Aldler
+ Description

Speedboat—a novel, a memoir, a lyric essay?—all questions of category fall away in its reading. What remains is Renata Adler's voice, perceptive, wry, brilliant, making what sense she can of the late 20th-century condition. Speedboat was a revelation to writers as different as Elizabeth Hardwick and David Foster Wallace, and its true influence is only beginning to be felt.
Contributors: Guy Trebay

book image Lucky Jim
Lucky Jim
Kingsley Amis
Amis
+ Description

This campus comedy launched Kingsley Amis's career and made him the reluctant voice of a generation. Neither its vitriol nor its wit has dulled with the years. "Remarkable for its relentless skewering of artifice and pretension, Lucky Jim also contains some of the finest comic set pieces in the language." —Olivia Laing, The Observer
Contributors: Keith Gessen

book image The Old Devils
Old Devils
Kingsley Amis
Amis
+ Description

Winner of the 1986 Booker Prize, and considered by his son Martin to be Kingsley Amis’s greatest achievement, The Old Devils is delightful proof that neither Amis nor his characters mellowed in old age. In fact, a placid life is just the thing that Amis denies his old devils, whose routines of nattering, complaining, and drinking, are thrown into chaos when an old friend and rival (now a successful writer) returns to town with a new and entrancing wife.
Contributors: John Banville

book image Young Man with a Horn
Young Man with a Horn
Dorothy Baker
Baker
+ Description

This book, loosely inspired by the life of Bix Beiderbecke, is widely regarded as the first jazz novel, and it courses with the verve and swing of the sound that defined an era. It is the story of Rick Martin, a prodigy whose dedication to music cannot save him from self destruction. "Got a kid who's into music? This is the book. Interested in the Jazz Age? Ditto. Or just looking for a short novel that you can't put down? Here you go."—Jesse Kornbluth
Contributors: Gary Giddins

book image The Water Theatre
Water Theatre
Lindsay Clarke
Clarke
+ Description

A novel that follows war reporter Martin Crowther as he travels to Italy hoping to convince the estranged children of his ailing mentor to visit their father one last time.