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Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and chosen by David Sedaris as his recommended book for his Fall 2016 tour. So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was twenty-four years old then, and had a job that paid fifty-seven dollars a week as a kind of secretary at a private juvenile correctional facility for teenage boys. I think of it now as what it really was for all intents and purposes—a prison for boys. I will call it Moorehead. Delvin Moorehead was a terrible landlord I had years later, and so to use his name for such a place feels appropriate. In a week, I would run away from home and never go back. This is the story of how I disappeared. The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighborhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a buff prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at Moorehead, Eileen is enchanted and proves unable to resist what appears at first to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings. Played out against the snowy landscape of coastal New England in the days leading up to Christmas, young Eileen’s story is told from the gimlet-eyed perspective of the now much older narrator. Creepy, mesmerizing, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and early Vladimir Nabokov, this powerful debut novel enthralls and shocks, and introduces one of the most original new voices in contemporary literature.
Book Homesick for Another World Description/Summary:
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 An electrifying first collection from one of the most exciting short story writers of our time "I can’t recall the last time I laughed this hard at a book. Simultaneously, I’m shocked and scandalized. She’s brilliant, this young woman."—David Sedaris Ottessa Moshfegh's debut novel Eileen was one of the literary events of 2015. Garlanded with critical acclaim, it was named a book of the year by The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. But as many critics noted, Moshfegh is particularly held in awe for her short stories. Homesick for Another World is the rare case where an author's short story collection is if anything more anticipated than her novel. And for good reason. There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Her characters are all unsteady on their feet in one way or another; they all yearn for connection and betterment, though each in very different ways, but they are often tripped up by their own baser impulses and existential insecurities. Homesick for Another World is a master class in the varieties of self-deception across the gamut of individuals representing the human condition. But part of the unique quality of her voice, the echt Moshfeghian experience, is the way the grotesque and the outrageous are infused with tenderness and compassion. Moshfegh is our Flannery O'Connor, and Homesick for Another World is her Everything That Rises Must Converge or A Good Man is Hard to Find. The flesh is weak; the timber is crooked; people are cruel to each other, and stupid, and hurtful. But beauty comes from strange sources. And the dark energy surging through these stories is powerfully invigorating. We're in the hands of an author with a big mind, a big heart, blazing chops, and a political acuity that is needle-sharp. The needle hits the vein before we even feel the prick.
"[An] intricate and unsettling new novel . . . Death in Her Hands is not a murder mystery, nor is it really a story about self-deception or the perils of escapism. Rather, it's a haunting meditation on the nature and meaning of art." -Kevin Power, The New Yorker From one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds an ominous note on a walk in the woods. While on her daily walk with her dog in a secluded woods, a woman comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground by stones. "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." But there is no dead body. Our narrator is deeply shaken; she has no idea what to make of this. She is new to this area, alone after the death of her husband, and she knows no one. Becoming obsessed with solving this mystery, our narrator imagines who Magda was and how she met her fate. With very little to go on, she invents a list of murder suspects and possible motives for the crime. Oddly, her suppositions begin to find correspondences in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to fade into menacing certainty. As her investigation widens, strange dissonances accrue, perhaps associated with the darkness in her own past; we must face the prospect that there is either an innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one. A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Once again, we are in the hands of a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, and the stakes have never been higher.
"The Lightness could be the love child of Donna Tartt and Tana French, but its savage, glittering magic is all Emily Temple’s own." —Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists A Most Anticipated Novel by Elle • WSJ. Magazine • Glamour • Bustle • Buzzfeed • The Millions • The Philadelphia Inquirer • Publishers Weekly • Literary Hub • Electric Literature • and more! A stylish, stunningly precise, and suspenseful meditation on adolescent desire, female friendship, and the female body that shimmers with rage, wit, and fierce longing—an audacious, darkly observant, and mordantly funny literary debut for fans of Emma Cline, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Jenny Offill. One year ago, the person Olivia adores most in the world, her father, left home for a meditation retreat in the mountains and never returned. Yearning to make sense of his shocking departure and to escape her overbearing mother—a woman as grounded as her father is mercurial—Olivia runs away from home and retraces his path to a place known as the Levitation Center. Once there, she enrolls in their summer program for troubled teens, which Olivia refers to as “Buddhist Boot Camp for Bad Girls”. Soon, she finds herself drawn into the company of a close-knit trio of girls determined to transcend their circumstances, by any means necessary. Led by the elusive and beautiful Serena, and her aloof, secretive acolytes, Janet and Laurel, the girls decide this is the summer they will finally achieve enlightenment—and learn to levitate, to defy the weight of their bodies, to experience ultimate lightness. But as desire and danger intertwine, and Olivia comes ever closer to discovering what a body—and a girl—is capable of, it becomes increasingly clear that this is an advanced and perilous practice, and there’s a chance not all of them will survive. Set over the course of one fateful summer that unfolds like a fever dream, The Lightness juxtaposes fairy tales with quantum physics, cognitive science with religious fervor, and the passions and obsessions of youth with all of these, to explore concepts as complex as faith and as simple as loving people—even though you don’t, and can’t, know them at all.
Book A Death in White Bear Lake Description/Summary:
A mother’s search for the son she gave up uncovers terrifying secrets in a Minnesota town in this “masterfully depicted true-crime tale” (Publishers Weekly). In 1962, Jerry Sherwood gave up her newborn son, Dennis, for adoption. Twenty years later, she set out to find him—only to discover he had died before his fourth birthday. The immediate cause was peritonitis, but the coroner had never decided the mode of death, writing “deferred” rather than indicate accident, natural causes, or homicide. This he did even though the autopsy photos showed Dennis covered from head to toe in ugly bruises, his clenched fists and twisted facial expression suggesting he had died writhing in pain. Harold and Lois Jurgens, a middle-class, churchgoing couple in picturesque White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had adopted Dennis and five other foster children. To all appearances, they were a normal midwestern family, but Jerry suspected that something sinister had happened in the Jurgens household. She demanded to know the truth about her son’s death. Why did authorities dismiss evidence that marked Dennis as an endangered child? Could Lois Jurgens’s brother, a local police lieutenant, have interfered in the investigation? And most disturbing of all, why had so many people who’d witnessed Lois’s brutal treatment of her children stay silent for so long? Determined to find answers, local detectives and prosecutors rebuilt the case brick by brick, finally exposing the shocking truth behind a nightmare in suburbia. A finalist for the Edgar Award, A Death in White Bear Lake is “a distinguished entry in the annals of crime documentary,” and a vivid portrait of the all-American town that harbored a sadistic killer (The Washington Post).
Book My Year of Rest and Relaxation Description/Summary:
From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman's efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong? My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary, alienation can be. Both tender and blackly funny, merciless and compassionate, it is a showcase for the gifts of one of our major writers working at the height of her powers.
The instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller! "The Last Flight is thoroughly absorbing—not only because of its tantalizing plot and deft pacing, but also because of its unexpected poignancy and its satisfying, if bittersweet, resolution. The characters get under your skin."—The New York Times Book Review Two women. Two flights. One last chance to disappear. Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he's not above using his staff to track Claire's every move, making sure she's living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn't know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish. A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets—Claire taking Eva's flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it's no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva's identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden. For fans of Lisa Jewell and Liv Constantine, The Last Flight is the story of two women—both alone, both scared—and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.
We meet George Fortescue and Ronald Trimm. The former appears gentle and ordinary, whilst Trimm is successful, but deprived because of his frigid, controlling, wife. Pornographic magazines fill the void until he encounters a willing widow. Two rapes and murders occur, but it is Fortescue who receives the attention of the police.
“Even present tense has some of the grace of past tense, / what with all the present tense left to go.” From Max Ritvo—selected and edited by Louise Glück—comes a final collection of poems fully inscribed with the daring of his acrobatic mind and the force of his unrelenting spirit. Diagnosed with terminal cancer at sixteen, Ritvo spent the next decade of his life writing with frenetic energy, culminating in the publication of Four Reincarnations. As with his debut, The Final Voicemails brushes up against the pain, fear, and isolation that accompany a long illness, but with all the creative force of an artist in full command of his craft and the teeming affection of a human utterly in love with the world. The representation of the end of life resists simplicity here. It is physical decay, but it is also tedium. It is alchemy, “the breaking apart, / the replacement of who, when, how, and where, / with what.” It is an antagonist—and it is a part of the self. Ritvo’s poems ring with considered reflection on the enduring final question, while suggesting—in their vibrancy and their humor—that death is not merely an end. The Final Voicemails is an ecstatic, hopeful, painful—and completely breathtaking—second collection.
Francine Mathews' no-nonsense Nantucket police detective, Merry Folger, is back on the case after nineteen years. Death on Nantucket, the fifth Merry Folger Mystery, is full of regional charm, a strong sense of local history, and foggy New England Island atmosphere. Spencer Murphy is a national treasure. A famous Vietnam War correspondent who escaped captivity in Southeast Asia, he made a fortune off of his books and television appearances. But Spence is growing forgetful with age; he’s started to wander and even fails to come home one night. When a body is discovered at Step Above, the sprawling Murphy house near Steps Beach, Nantucket police detective Meredith Folger is called in to investigate. The timing couldn’t be worse: It’s the Fourth of July, and tourists are arriving in droves to celebrate on Nantucket’s beaches, so the police force is spread thin. On top of that Merry is planning her wedding to cranberry farmer Peter Mason, and her new boss, an ex-Chicago police chief with an aggressive management strategy, seems to be trying to force her to quit. Merry can’t conclude the Murphy investigation quickly enough for him. As she grapples with a family of unreliable storytellers—some incapable of recalling the past, and others determined that it never be known—she suspects that the truth may be forever out of reach, trapped in the failing brain of a man whose whole life may be a lie.
From the highly acclaimed author of Bad Day in Blackrock – inspiration for the 2012 award-winning film What Richard Did, directed by Lenny Abrahamson – comes a darkly funny, gripping and profoundly moving novel about a life spinning out of control, a life live without the bedrock of familial love, and the corruption of material wealth that tears at the soul. ‘It was my father’s arrest that brought me here, although you could certainly say that I took the scenic route.’ Here is rehab, where Ben – the only son of a rich South Dublin banker – is piecing together the shattered remains of his life. Abruptly cut off, at the age of 27, from a life of heedless privilege, Ben flounders through a world of drugs and dead-end jobs, his self-esteem at rock bottom. Even his once-adoring girlfriend, Clio, is at the end of her tether. Then Ben runs into an old school friend who wants to cut him in on a scam: a shady property deal in the Balkans. The deal will make Ben rich and, at one fell swoop, will deliver him from all his troubles: his addictions, his father’s very public disgrace, and his own self-loathing and regret. Problems solved. But something is amiss. For one thing, the Serbian partners don’t exactly look like fools. (In fact they look like gangsters.) And, for another, Ben is being followed everywhere he goes. Someone is being taken for a ride. But who? Praise for Bad Day in Blackrock: 'Kevin Power is an author of magnificent control, stirring the deepest compassion with restless anger in this piercing contemporary novel' Frank McGuinness 'It's an excellent novel...It comes from the gut, it's raw, it's passionate and it suggests... that there are a group of young Irish novelists about to be set loose on the world like a pack of hungry wolves. Bring 'em on, I say. I'll read them' John Boyne, author of The Boy in Striped Pyjamas 'This novel marks the debut of a deeply moral and probing writer - and a potentially great one' Sunday Post (Ireland)
Book The Maid of the White Hands Description/Summary:
Isolde's day has come. In Ireland, her mother, the Queen, lies dying. The throne of the Emerald Isle, one of the last strongholds of the goddess, awaits her. But while Ireland is her destiny, Isolde is already Queen of Cornwall, trapped in a loveless marriage to its mean-spirited King Mark. Her true love is his nephew, Tristan of Lyonesse, who has never married, remaining faithful only to Isolde. Across the sea in France, a young princess who shares Isolde's name enters the story. King Hoel named his daughtor in honor of Isolde of Ireland, and young Isolde of France has always been determined to outdo her beautiful namesake. She is a physician, too, and is called "Blanche Mains," for her white hands and healing touch. Blanche is of an age to be married, and she has chosen her husband—Tristan of Lyonesse. Her father objects, but fate favors Blanche. King Mark has become suspicious of his wife and nephew, and when Tristan is wounded in battle, he sees a chance to separate them for good. Mark sends Tristan to France to be healed by Blanche, who makes the most of the opportunity. Tristan's letters to Isolde are intercepted, and he is told that she has given him up. Near death from his wounds, Tristan sends one last, desparate letter to Isolde by a trusted servant. He is dying, he tells her, and asks for one final sign of their love. If she can forgive him for betraying her, she must come to France in a ship set with white sails. If the ship's sails are black, however, he will know that she no longer loves him. Isolde immediately leaves for France, but when Blanche sees the white-sailed ship from the castle window, she pulls the curtains and tells Tristan that the sails are black. To her horror, he turns his face to the wall and dies. There ends the traditional medieval story of Tristan and Isolde—with betrayal, death, and grief. But the original Irish lengend ends differently, and so does this book, wth magic and drama as only Rosalind Miles could write it.
Book The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again Description/Summary:
Shaw had a breakdown, but he's getting himself back together. He has a single room, a job on a decaying London barge, and an on-off affair with a doctor's daughter called Victoria, who claims to have seen her first corpse at age fourteen. It's not ideal, but it's a life. Or it would be if Shaw hadn't got himself involved in a conspiracy theory that, on dark nights by the river, seems less and less theoretical . . . Meanwhile, Victoria is up in the Midlands, renovating her dead mother's house, trying to make new friends. But what, exactly, happened to her mother? Why has the local waitress disappeared into a shallow pool in a field behind the house? And why is the town so obsessed with that old Victorian morality tale, The Water Babies? As Shaw and Victoria struggle to maintain their relationship, the sunken lands are rising up again, unnoticed in the shadows around them.
Book The Forest of Hands and Teeth Description/Summary:
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. Now, she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death? [STAR] "A bleak but gripping story...Poignant and powerful."-Publishers Weekly, Starred "A postapocalyptic romance of the first order, elegantly written from title to last line."-Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies series and Leviathan "Intelligent, dark, and bewitching, The Forest of Hands and Teeth transitions effortlessly between horror and beauty. Mary's world is one that readers will not soon forget."-Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of City of Bones "Opening The Forest of Hands and Teeth is like cracking Pandora's box: a blur of darkness and a precious bit of hope pour out. This is a beautifully crafted, page-turning, powerful novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it."-Melissa Marr, bestselling author of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange "Dark and sexy and scary. Only one of the Unconsecrated could put this book down."-Justine Larbalestier, author of How to Ditch Your Fairy
Book Life and Death in Shanghai Description/Summary:
The national-bestselling memoir of a woman’s resistance and struggles in Communist China—“an absorbing story of resourcefulness and courage” (The New York Times). A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR In August 1966, a group of Red Guards ransacked the home of Nien Cheng. Her background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated in London, the widow of an official of Chiang Kai-shek’s regime, and an employee of Shell Oil. When she refused to confess that any of this made he an enemy of the state, she was placed in solitary confinement, where she would remain for more than six years. Life and Death in Shanghai recounts the story of Nien Cheng’s imprisonment—a time of extreme deprivation which she met with heroic resistance—as well as her quest for justice when she was released. It is also the story of a country torn apart by Mao Tse-tung’s vicious campaign to topple party moderates. An incisive, personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-century history, Life and Death in Shanghai is also an astounding portrait of one woman’s courage.
"Richardson and Fielding: The Dynamics of a Critical Rivalry is the first book-length study of one of literature's most persistent and influential rivalries. Using an adaptation of Hans Jauss's reception theory, it surveys the recurring dichotomies projected onto Richardson and Fielding by all types of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century readers. Even when the rival is not mentioned directly, readers usually make it pointedly clear that one author is being privileged at the other's expense." "Even apart from its serious implications for literary history, the story of the Richardson/Fielding rivalry is a fascinating source of critical passions, prejudices, scholarly irresponsibility, wit, and often surprising interrelations between the literary tastes and cultural environments of the day."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
"Babitz’s talent for the brilliant line, honed to a point, never interferes with her feel for languid pleasures." —The New York Times Book Review A new reissue of Babitz’s collection of nine stories that look back on the 1980s and early 1990s—decades of dreams, drink, and glimpses of a changing world. Black Swans further celebrates the phenomenon of Eve Babitz, cementing her reputation as the voice of a generation. With an introduction by Stephanie Danler, bestselling author of Sweetbitter. "On the page, Babitz is pure pleasure—a perpetual–motion machine of no–stakes elation and champagne fizz." —The New Yorker "[A] true original." —The Boston Globe "She’s a natural. Or gives every appearance of being one, her writing elevated yet slangy, bright, bouncy, cheerfully hedonistic—L.A. in it purest, most idealized form." —Vanity Fair "Babitz's writing is also like the jacaranda tree in glorious bloom—bewitching an entire city, but all too brief." —Los Angeles Review of Books
Book The Name of this Book Is Secret Description/Summary:
Read the series that's sold more than 2 million copies--if you dare! Warning: this description has not been authorized by Pseudonymous Bosch. As much as he'd love to sing the praises of his book (he is very vain), he wouldn't want you to hear about his brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest. Or about how a mysterious box of vials, the Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. And he certainly wouldn't want you to know about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is, too. For it concerns a secret. A Big Secret.