Daniel Woodrell's new novel explores the lingering consequences of an explosion in an Ozarks dance hall that kills 42 people. It wasn't an accident, but the book isn't about a hunt for the murderer. Instead, reviewer Ellah Allfrey says, it's a remarkable study of a surviving sister's life and grief.
His new book, Dissident Gardens, follows three generations of an activist family, from Rose, a secular Jew and communist, to Sergius, her commune-raised grandson. The book is fiction, but its characters were inspired by Lethem's own family story.
"The Lowland" is a new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. Based on true events, it's the story of two brothers growing up in post-colonial India and the limits of love and sacrifice.
Sheri Fink's Five Days At Memorial, describes the horrific conditions at a New Orleans hospital shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Facing floodwaters and corporate mismanagement, some staffers euthanized sick patients. Fink's judgment of those actions is admirably — and frustratingly — nuanced.
In his third, much anticipated novel, Subtle Bodies, Rush takes the reader inside the most intimate parts of friendship. The author says his goal for this book, which took him nearly a decade to finish, was to produce his first concentrated piece of writing.
Strayed's half-sister checked Wild out of the public library because she thought it looked like an interesting travel book. She was about halfway through the first chapter when she realized that she and the author shared the same father.
In her debut novel, Iranian-American Sara Farizan tells the story of two teenage girls, secretly in love. Sahar faces a crisis when she discovers Nasrin is engaged, and considers gender-reassignment surgery as a way for them to stay together. Farizan speaks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about the book and her own struggle with her sexual orientation.
Author Jesse Walker argues that believing in shadowy cabals and ominous secrets isn't just for people on the margins — it's as American as apple pie. He says that our nation's paranoia stretches back to the colonial era, and that some conspiracy theories are believed by a majority of Americans.
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