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A character named Magda dies, and lives, in language only in Ottessa Moshfegh's Death in Her Hands. But then again, don't all literary characters?
It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.
In Rishi Reddi's Passage West, set amidst the lives of early South Asian immigrants to California, the state of being 'in-between' is constantly moulded by the longing to belong simultaneously to two worlds.
Woven into Utopia Avenue David Mitchell stitches a subtle critique of the impacts of the pot-heavy, lysergic-immersed, and heady music's ambitions on pop culture, moral choices, and even tripping itself.
Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.
When we can't turn to the federal government for the truth, sometimes we need to turn to fiction. Sam J. Miller's Blackfish City maps a pandemic in a post-United States future.
With The Beauty of Your Face, Sahar Mustafah pens an emotional and rich journey, laden with awareness and intrigue.
While Lake City masquerades as a social climber satire that is really something else, author Thomas Kohnstamm is an open book about his intentions in his work and his hopes for his city.
Junior Burke knocks James Dean's bad-boy-gone-too-soon off the iconic pedestal in his latest book, The Cold Last Swim.
Fearless in its demand for accountability, transcendent in its honesty, Mieko Kawakami's Breasts and Eggs breathes life into feminist literature and throws down a gauntlet for other writers to aspire toward.
Whereas J.M. Coetzee's writing regularly utilizes parables, The Death of Jesus purposely destabilizes. It dazzles in its ability to present profound questions while challenging the reader to remain critical and question the meaning derived from any and all parables.
Telephone provides a case study of a family dynamic shaken by illness, what can be controlled, and what must be accepted.
A Vietnamese family's song resounds over the effects of decades of tumult in Nguyen Phan Que Mai's excellent novel, The Mountains Sing.
Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir's Miss Iceland Is at once a poetic, light-hearted narrative and a sharply edged social critique that is caustic and righteous in its portrayal of the enduring nature of sexism, misogyny and homophobia.
Reading the Library of America's comprehensive anthology, Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s, is like walking out of the rain and into a time warp.
Jessi Jezewska Stevens' debut novel, The Exhibition of Persephone Q, is filled with exciting ideas and quirky characters, but the book's surfeit of style can't make up for a lack of personality or perspective.
Steph Cha's depiction of systematic racism in Your House Will Pay is compelling, attesting to the complicated social structures at play.
With his latest, The Cockroach, the otherwise masterful British novelist Ian McEwan proves that too much cleverness can kill satire.
In The Opposite of Fate, Alison McGhee humanizes the abortion issue in a way that is unexpected and heartening.
In Laura Taylor Namey's Library of Lost Things, teens find security and significance in themselves as works in progress.
Through a familial lens, Jami Attenberg offers a thoughtful and often darkly funny exploration of Trumpian patriarchy in All This Could Be Yours.
André Aciman's long-awaited sequel to Call Me By Your Name, Find Me, isn't so much an extension of the previous book's queries about romance and sexuality as it is a work of convenient revisionism.
In Mahir Guven's debut novel, Older Brother, a young Frenchman's return to his country from war-torn Syria derails his older brother's life.
Like the title letters, the physical format of Michael DeForge's Stunt creates a kind of cage holding the main character inside rigid panels.
Metatexually dazzling yet absurdly soothing, Helen McClory's The Goldblum Variations will put a dent in your bad vibes.
Roar's strength is found in its depiction of empowered women, yet Ahern mistakenly centralizes a normative vision of feminism while reiterating the patriarchal control that silences her female characters' voices.
There's a lot to be angry about, these days, and Gabino Iglesias writes a lot about rage.