When aspiring Broadway actress Catherine and World War II vet Harry first lock eyes on the Staten Island Ferry, everything changes — but their lives together won't be easy. Mark Helprin delivers an old-fashioned love story, and an ode to 1940s New York, in his novel In Sunlight and in Shadow.
The Casual Vacancy is worlds away from Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It's a dark comedy of manners, set in a small town in the aftermath of a local politician's death. Rowling says her experiences with poverty informed her gritty portrayal of English life.
In his first novel, J.R. Moehringer writes from the point of view of Willie Sutton, whom he calls the "greatest American robber." Moehringer says writing historical fiction helped him deal with the anger he felt toward banks after the global financial crisis in 2008.
Charles Rowan Beye has been married three times — to two women and a man. Now, over age 80, he looks back on his life and asks, "What was that all about?" Critic Maureen Corrigan says Beye's memoir, subtitled "A Gay Man's Odyssey," is a complex, poignant addition to the sexual canon.
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