This brief, captivating novel introduces the fascinating world of outsider art through steady pacing and nuanced characters. What drives Ray Eccles to obsessively paint the same woman in any available medium, from ballpoint pen to bodily fluids? Will his unwitting muse reveal her identity to an art world intrigued by mystery? How does a famous stranger's singular focus impact the object of his obsession?
After being driven into exile by the rise of the Nazis, communist writer Anna Seghers wrote this heartfelt and hopeful thriller that combines the suspense of a Hitchcock movie with the real tragedy of a community in the grip of a collective madness.
A short novel with just a couple characters, this is the perfect type of book to take on a weekend trip. Spanning several years of Adam and Anita's increasingly mundane marriage, their artistic creativity is re-awoken when the mysterious immigrant, Adele, is hired as their nanny. While only 150-pages, the book provides a thought-provoking study on heavy themes like love, marriage, friendship, art, and culture.
I imagine the musical soundtrack of Tomb Song to be comprised of jazz. Full of energy and chaos, emotional highs and lows, and wild unpredictability, this is a coming-of-age "novel" like you've never read before. Respect must go to Christina MacSweeney (award winning translator of Valeria Luiselli) for translating a seemingly irreproducible piece of writing into English. I look forward to reading more Julian Herbert!
This though-provoking novel set in an idyllic Cleveland suburb contrasts the lives of rootless, unconventional Mia and stable, rule-following Elena. As their lives intertwine, their five teenagechildren see the way the other half lives and explore new facets of their identities. Full of meaty topics, it is ripe for book club discussion.
In this recent reissue of Ingalls' delightfully bizarre novella, we're introduced to the usual trope of bored housewife stuck in a loveless marriage during 50's suburban ennui. But before your eyes glaze over, in walks Larry - an amphibious frogman who has escaped from cruel captors at a research center, bringing in an element of B-horror creature feature love story that would have made Ed Wood go wild.
No one knows why Iris walked off her life from this small New England coastal community decades ago. Following the mysterious death of Iris's husband, no one knows why she and her daughter, Claire, have had nothing to do with each other for decades. And, now, no one knows why Iris has opened her cottage, once inhabited by Claire, to a stranger, June, and her baby. With characters molded by loss and damage, their stories slowly emerge against the backdrop of exquisite New England countryside. Like pieces of an intricate puzzle, their roles mesh and fit perfectly, shunning sorted pasts and rooted in the present, unafraid of the future!
This stunning debut novel has been described by countless other reviewers as a parable, and the label fits. But it's also so much more – an investigation of the differences between yearning and greed, a testament to the lengths we'll travel for love, and a compelling, sparse, salt-soaked epic.
One part pitch-perfect observation, one part razor-sharp wit and one part punk rock attitude: this is the simple but effective cocktail that makes Sean Beaudoin's first adult story collection undeniably great. Abrasive, hilarious and wise, Beaudoin will make you laugh hysterically, right up until the moment you realize that you're laughing at yourself. Heads up, George Saunders fans: your new favorite writer has arrived.
“We believed, America.” Thus, the voice of Evel Kneivel – or, at least, some infalliable, omniscient version of him – begins Daredevils. It's 1974 in Gooding, Idaho, and two teenage kids - both from Mormon families but in starkly different situations - are about to put their faith in earthly saviors, dangerous heroes and, ultimately, each other. Which means, of course, that they are about to learn how heroes can disappoint us, how saviors turn out to be just as bad as the things they save you from, and how incredibly hard and lonely it is to be free. But they're also about to learn that in the end, we've all got to believe in something. Daredevils won the 2017 Washington State Book Award for Fiction.