Contemporary Literature: Most Popular Articles
Poetry is many things to many people. Homer, John Milton, Christopher Marlowe, and of course Shakespeare have each given us enough to fill textbooks. Poems from the Romantic period include Goethe's
Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of the characters of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the characters. This is the result of the reader having a greater knowledge than the characters themselves.
While it is impossible to rank the most important authors in contemporary literature, here is a list of ten important (English language) authors with some biographical notes and links to more information about them and their work.
Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression makes it nearly impossible to define.
Resolution is the part of the story's plot line in which the problem of the story is resolved or worked out. This occurs after the falling action and is typically where the story ends.
Sherman Alexie, the son a Spokane Indian mother and a Coeur d’Alene Indian father, grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA. Alexie is known not only for his novels and short stories, which debunk the notion of the nobly suffering Indian, he is also a songwriter and film-maker, and the recipient of numerous literary awards and honors.
Learn more about narrative arcs, also called story arcs, and the four components that make up the chronological construction of the plot.
When Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner and an American pilot in World War II, crashes his bomber in the Pacific Ocean, he had know idea that he was about to embark on one of the most extraordinary oddyseys ever recounted.
Tsukuru Tazaki must reconcile his differences with four former friends in order to grow out of an emotionally stunted malaise.
The Man Booker Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. It is not only one of literature's highest honors but quite lucrative as the winner takes home £50,000. Here are the past ten years' Booker Prize Winners.
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, Mark Haddon's dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debut novels in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.
What if you could go back in time? Back to a November day in Dallas in 1963 to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy - that's the goal of English teacher Jake Epping, the protagonist in Stephen King's time travel novel, 11/22/63.
In 'Blink,' Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. 'Blink' is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem.
Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' is a short and inspirational parable about the importance of pursuing one's dreams. Originally published in 1988 in the Brazillian author's native Portugese, it has since been translated in close to 70 languages and has become one of the best-selling books in history.
The book review falls somewhere between a critical analysis of literature, which tends toward the dry and academic, and the book report, which we associate with the simple book summaries we may have turned in in our younger years. The book review has elements of both of these but is neither. Here are some simple guidelines to crafting a book review.
The falling action in a work of literature is the sequence of events that follow the climax and end in the resolution. This is in contrast to the rising action which leads up to the plot's climax.
Night is Elie Wiesels candid, horrific, and poignant account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elies wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the authors original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets mans capacity for inhumanity to man.
Ann Lamott, the daughter of the writer Kenneth Lamott, wrote her first novel, Hard Laughter, when her father was diagnosed with brain cancer. Lamott's novels tend to be about love and loss and real life struggles that touch us all, and in her nonfiction, she has explored parenthood, faith, and the craft of writing.
'Divine Justice' is the fourth in David Baldacci's Camel Club series of novels that have enjoyed immense popularity. Each novel has asked what secrets the federal government is keeping from citizens? It is not paranoia if there really are secrets, and any one of us who has served in certain governmental agencies is very well aware that secrets do exist, some benign, some malignant.
In books like The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho speaks of following one's own Personal Legend. In Aleph, Coelho - as the protagonist of this novel - takes his own advice, setting out for a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. But the journey is much larger than even Coelho at first perceives.
In 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7) Voldemort's followers have been released from Azkaban as have the Dementors, who now serve the Dark Lord's purposes as well. The Ministry of Magic, now controlled by Death Eaters, has instituted a campaign against muggle-borns that smacks of Nazi Germany, and Harry Potter is dubbed
In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fourth novel, a young Nigerian woman finds reinvention in America, where she learns what it means to be a Nigerian immigrant.
The history of Afghanistan is marked by death, loss and unimaginable grief. And, yet, people find a way to survive, to go on. Ultimately, this is more than a story of survival in the face of what seem to be insurmountable odds. It is a story of the unconquerable spirit of a people seen through the eyes of two indomitable women. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, is a must read for those who wish to understand the modern history (1964 - 2003) of Afghanistan.
The Giller Prize is Canada's largest literary prize for fiction, awarding excellence in Candian fiction - long format or short stories - with a purse of $70,000 to the winner and $5,000 to each of the four finalists.
Miriam Toews' darkly funny novel, A Complicated Kindness, is the world according to Nomi Nickel, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of her eccentric family as it falls apart, each member on a collision course with the only community they have ever known. It is a work of fierce humor and tragedy by a Canadian writer poised to take the American market by storm.
Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller, 'The Tipping Point,' has exhibited such enormous staying power on the bestseller lists that one supposes that Gladwell harnessed the very principles of social epidemics that he outlines therein. 'The Tipping Point' purports to answer two questions,
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky tells the story of a single year in the life of Charlie, a 15-year-old boy, through the poignant letters that he writes to an anonymous friend.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
Amidst disillusioned saints hiding in wrestling rings, mothers burnt by glowing halos, and a Baby Nostradamus who sees only blackness, a gang of flower pickers heads off to war, led by a lonely man who cannot help but wet his bed in sadness. Part memoir, part lies, The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia is a book about the wounds inflicted by first love and sharp objects.
In <i>Blink</i>, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. <i>Blink</i> is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work? Page 2.
Atticus Books, July 2011 John Jacobs is bored with his life. He's bored with his pretty but vacuous wife,
Mark Helprins Winter's Tale is the story of love, larceny and flying horses during New York’s Belle Epoque,a tale of criminal gangs, indigenous marsh-dwelling tribes and immortal architects delivered inimitably by one of the best storytellers of our time.
When Mark Salzman is invited to visit a writing class at Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for Los Angeless most violent teenage offenders, he scrambles for a polite reason to decline. He goesexpecting the worstand is so astonished by what he finds that he becomes a teacher there himself. True Notebooks is an account of Salzmans first years teaching at Central. Through it, we come to know his students as he did: in their own words.
Farce is literature that combines exaggeration with an improbable plot and stereotyped characters to achieve humor.
Sue Monk Kidd is the author of three spiritual memoirs and the modern classic bestseller, 'The Secret Life of Bees,' the coming-of-age spiritual story of a fourteen-year-old girl in the South in 1964 and her black housekeeper.
At First Sight needs two grades. The first, 2.5 stars, is for its literary merit. The second, 4.0 for it's appeal to Sparks' legion of fans.
Ten books that have withstood the test of time, yet are recent enough to be called Contemporary Literature, these Contemporary Classics are a bare-bones reading list, essentials or must-reads. Any such list is purely subjective, of course, and one must soon choose for him or herself what makes the top ten, but this list would start you on your way to a solid background in Contemporary Literature.
'Little Bee' is the story of a tenuous friendship that emerges between a Nigerian refuge girl and a white British magazine editor.
Malcolm Gladwell's phenomenal bestseller 'The Tipping Point' (2000) captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effect; 'Blink' (2005) is about how we think without thinking; and 'Outliers' (2008) considers the role of environment and cultural heritage in the success of high achievers.
Nick Flynn met his father when he was twenty-seven years old, working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in Boston. Nick, his own life unsettled, was living alternatively in a ramshackle boat and in a warehouse that was once a strip joint. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City tells the story of two lives, the story of Nick's boyhood in Scituate, Massachusetts, with his brother and young mother who struggled to keep the family together and that of his father who refused to play by the rules.
Known for sharp social commentary delivered via science fiction or speculative fiction, Margaret Atwood's books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays.
A woman finds an ancient book that take her down a path of inquiry trod by her father years before. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler of Wallachia, present day Romania, whose gruesome reign Bram Stoker based his legend of Dracula upon. What lies at the heart of the connection between the historical Vlad and the mythical vampire?
A thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London-and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.
In his new book of stories, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, David Sedaris proves that he's a master at pushing the limits of whatever genre he chooses to write. This time - it's fiction, and in this wacky world that only Sedaris could dream up, animal characters take vacations, go on dates, and go to jail.
Young adult literature is usually characterized by having a young protagonist, a limited number of characters, few subplots, a compressed timespan, and a positive resolution. The YA audience is typically thought to be between the ages of 12 to 19 years, but much YA literature written today, including the Harry Potter books, and Philip Pullman's and Cornelia Funke's work has had crossover appeal to an adult audience.
From the Chatham Isles in 1850 to 1931 Belgium, from the West Coast in the 1970s to present-day England, and from a Korean superstate of the near future to a post-apocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas ricochets it's way through time, space, and literary genres.
These ten funny books will have you laughing out loud, laughing the milk right through your nose.
Anchor Books August 2003 ISBN: 1400031869 Fugui, the prodigal son of a wealthy country Chinese landowner,
The Round House, Louise Erdich's fourteenth novel and the winner of the 2012 National Book Award for fiction, is the story of a Native American teenager's investigation of his mother's attack on a North Dakota reservation.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Palgrave MacMillan
Internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho's latest novel, The Winner Stands Alone, is like his bestselling The Alchemist, but with a murderer on the loose. In this psychological thriller, the action takes place during twenty-four hours at the Cannes Film Festival, where supermodels, film producers, and fashionistas are all vying for their fifteen minutes of fame. And one man is there to thwart that moment in the spotlight. Read more.
In cities around the world, men meet in underground
Zadie Smith, well known for her internationally-acclaimed debut, White Teeth, is the author of three novels and numerous essays and short stories. She lives part-time in New York and part-time in London with her husband, writer Nick Laird, and their daughter, Katherine.
Tom Langdon, a weary and cash-strapped journalist, is banned from flying when a particularly thorough airport security search causes him to lose his cool. Now, he must take the train if he has any chance of arriving in Los Angeles in time for Christmas. To finance the trip, he sells a story about a train ride taken during the Christmas season. Along the way, Tom encounters a ridiculous cast of characters, unexpected romance, and an avalanche that changes everyone's Christmas plans.
A review of Nicholas Spark's novel of a life-long bachelor who fears falling in love with a woman who moves in next door.
After Toru Okada loses his cat, his job, and his wife, things go from bad to weird. Surreal visitations from beautiful women, gruesome stories from wartime Japan, and an entryway into a different world deep at the bottom of a well combine with the usual lost cats, jazz music and enigmatic characters in Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
Chilean Author, Isabelle Allende was born on August 2, 1942 in Peru. In the 1960s and 1970s, Allende
Anthony Doerr is an award-winning American writer whose short stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. His second story collection, Memory Wall, was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Story Prize.
In 'The Tipping Point,' Malcolm Gladwell dissected the phenomena of social epidemics; and in 'Blink,' he discussed the nature of split-second decision-making. In 'Outliers,' Gladwell, the founding father of pop-sociology, examines high-achieving individuals and questions what makes them different from everyone else.
Hyperion, April 2008 Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less time than you
A sexy assassin steps out of a traffic jam and into an alternative world which is seemingly being crafted by a young ghost writer in love with this shadowy heroine. Dual moons fille the sky, little people emerge from the mouth of a goat, and time and space bend altogether in Haruki Murakami's opus 1Q84.
Haruki Murakami is known for his blending of the fantastic realism in his novels, and it's this magical realism, in combination with his flowing use of language, that gives Murakami's novels an ethereal, dreamlike quality.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter 2) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? How well do you recall Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Birth: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born September 15, 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria.
: Literally "god in the machine" (or "ghost in the machine" as The Police put it), deus ex machina is
Plume, 2005 In A New Earth , spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle ( The Power of Now ) advocates
: Point of view is the vantage point from which a story is told. In the first-person point of view, the
Dave Eggers is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity, and What is the What. He is the founder of McSweeney's independent publishing house and the 826 Valencia writing lab, which has since expanded to 826 National, writing workshops for teens around the U.S.
It is a unique sort of humor that will find as much appeal with me as it does with my mother-in-law,
Monica Ali is like a magician revealing all her secrets. In a time when every Western country is facing off with its Muslim populations, Brick Lane provides its readers a look at a community that, frankly, frightens them. It is, in short, an education.
The National Book Awards are presented each year to American authors for work published the previous year in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature. These are the past ten years' winners in the fiction category.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone these words could not be truer. Harry was only an infant when a
Norwegian Wood (Noruwei no Mori) stands out among Haruki Murakami’s novels not only because it was the novel that launched Murakami into the literary stratosphere, but because it is a straightforward love-story / bildungsroman devoid of the elements of magical realism typical of a Haruki Murakami novel.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Excerpt
Jonathan Franzen's recent novels have been hailed as literary masterpieces. Both The Corrections and Freedom are sprawling, realist novels about the deterioration of the family in suburban, middle class America, as was his 1988 debut novel, The Twenty-Seventh City.
Marilynne Robinson is the author of three highly acclaimed novels, 'Housekeeping,' 'Gilead,' and 'Home,' all of which are written in clear, spare prose about the struggles of life in the Midwest.
'He's Just Not That Into You' is not a guide to dating. Aimed at women of a certain class and lifestyle and filling a slim 165 pages, the book serves merely as a calling card for its authors, five-years-out-of-the-dating-pool Sex and the City consultant Greg Behrendt and 41-years-old-and-single SatC] executive story editor Liz Tuccillo.
Twenty contemporary literature must-reads, essentials! If you've read all of these, you are well on your way to an honorary contemporary literature degree. This contemporary literature reading list is comprised largely of titles published since 1970. Please visit my Contemporary Classics Reading List for older and more classic contemporary titles.
Act One , perhaps the premiere theatre biography, and one of the very best biographies period. Nor is
As the most celebrated European to explore Asia, Marco Polo was the original global traveler and the earliest bridge between East and West. A universal icon of adventure and discovery, he has inspired six centuries of popular fascination and spurious mythology. Here is the first fully authoritative biography of one of the most enchanting figures in world history.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Time Warner Books
David Baldacci is the author of ten previous consecutive New York Times bestsellers and #1 international bestsellers: Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, and Hour Game, as well as his Freddy and the French Fries children's series. In The Camel Club, David Baldacci paints a frightening portrait of a world that could be our own soon.
Born in Bombay in 1947, Salman Rushdie is the author of numerous novels, including 'Midnight's Children,' 'The Satanic Verses,' 'The Moor's Last Sigh,' and 'The Enchantress of Florence.' His numerous literary prizes include the Booker Prize for 'Midnight's Children' and the Whitbread Prize for 'The Satanic Verses.'
T.C. Boyle is known for his humor and his biting satire. Over the course of his career as a novelist, he has shown a propensity for writing about famous and fascinating American eccentrics such as sexual-behavior scientist Alfred Kinsey in 'The Inner Circle' (2004), cereal inventor John Harvey Kellogg in 'The Road to Wellville,' and most recently, Frank Lloyd Wright in 'The Women.'
Zadie Smith made a literary splash as a twenty-five-year-old with her debut novel White Teeth. Five years and two novels later, Smith has all but solidified herself a spot among the modern literary canon as one of a handful of truly important young novelists at work today. Smith's latest is On Beauty, a modern twist on E. M. Forster's Howard's End, updated to the still-stiff-collared world of twenty-first-century ivy-league academia.
Mars astronaut Mark Watney awakens to find that he has been left for dead by his crew. Now he must find a way to survive on Mars until the arrival of Ares 4 in four years.
Mark Helprin's epic story of time, love and justice is chock full of quote-worthy passages. Here are a few that I pulled out during my second reading of this masterpiece.
In 'The Secret Life of Bees,' Sue Monk Kidd wraps a coming-of-age tale around a search for one's mother, plunks it down into the racially-charged South Carolina of the 1960s and sets it all alight with a dose of feminine spirituality. . It is an inspirational feminist tale with strong female characters.
In Linchpin, Seth Godin traces the evolution of the workplace, discusses how your own brain sometimes conspires against you, and enlightens us as to the nature of art and gifts.
Foreshadowing is the presentation in a work of literature of hints and clues that tip the reader off as to what is to come later in the work.
Rising action is tha series of events that lead to the climax of the story, usually the conflicts or struggles of the protagonist.
Climax is the point of greatest tension in a work of literature and the turning point in the action. In a plot line, the climax occurs after the rising action and before the falling action.
Lamb is Christopher Moore's irreverent, iconoclastic, and hilarious tale of the early life of Jesus Christ as witnessed by his boyhood pal Levi bar Alphaeus (a.k.a. Biff).
Anthony Doerr's language and characters are gripping and pull you quickly into their world as the build-up to World War II looms on the horizon.
In Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami delivers a tour de force of metaphysical reality, powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.
Ken Follett has created another blockbuster in the vein of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, both of which anchored the bestsellers lists in their time. Fall of Giants is the first book in what Follett has described as
Certainly "Best" is Subjective, but here they are - the best novels published in This Century! 1. The
In The Good Lord Bird, James McBride follows abolitionist John Brown through the last half of the 1850s, culminating in Brown’s raid of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" > Alfred A Knopf,
What if America had adopted an isolationist stance during World War II? Or, worse, what if the American
British novelist David Mitchell is known for his non-linear, structurally experimental novels such as Cloud Atlas and number9dream , both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His 2010 novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is an historical novel set at a Dutch East Indies Company trading post in early nineteenth century Japan.
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel of addiction and recovery, popular entertainment, and tennis has been hailed as a work of genius, one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. It is a long and complex work bearing the labyrinthine threads of plot and stylistic intricacies for which Wallace was famous, and certainly one of the most engrossing novel I have ever read.
It is one of the central ironies of my career that as soon as I got off heroin things started getting
A quest is an adventurous journey undergone by the main character or protagonist of a story. The protagonist usually meets with and overcomes a series of obstacles, returning in the end with the benefits of knowledge and experience.
Hilola Bigtree, matriarch of the Bigtree Clan and star of the alligator wrestling show at the family-operated
Sarah Blake's debut novel is composed of intertwined stories of three woman during World War II - a Cape Cod postmistress, a radio gal in London, and a young bride who awaits her husband's return from the war.
Vintage, 2009 The Collected Works of Billy the Kid was Michael Ondaatje's first novel, originally published
Audrey Niffenegger's debut novel, 'The Time Traveler's Wife,' is one part science fiction and one part love story. It is the compelling tale of Henry DeTamble, a man afflicted with a genetic disorder which causes him to slip sporadically through time, without warning and naked. It is also the story of Clare Abshire, the woman who loves him. Read the prologue.
David Mitchell's gloriously ambitious novel follows 60 years of Holly Sykes's life, from 1980 to the 2040, and tells a larger story about mortality and controlling one's destiny.
A few years ago Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Tony Horwitz found himself at Plymouth Rock
As an artist, Miranda July defines eclectic. In 2005 she won the Camera d'Or prize at Cannes for her
The Kite Runner is Afghanistani-American novelist, Khaled Hosseini's best-selling debut novel, a tale of betrayal and redemption that rises above time and place while simultaneously remaining firmly anchored against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.
One night Meggie's father, Mo, reads aloud from a book called 'Inkheart,' and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.
In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.
There are three common things that every true New Yorker knows: The subways never run regular on the
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" > Grand Central
In Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, readers meet for the first time 11-year-old Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own - nor is her world. In Lyra's world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.
'A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again,' a collection of essays that David Foster Wallace wrote for various publications during the early 1990's. It's a mixed bag of compositions, two of which are absolute must-reads.
There's an aside vignette in Hari Kunzru's Transmission , in which the international communication infrastructure
Knopf, March 2008 Author and journalist Pico Iyer was seventeen and on a trip to India with his father
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Viking Press October
Love, love, love. All together now. "All you need is love." "Love hurts." "Love is a many splendored
Margaret Atwood is famous for dystopic novels, including the Booker Prize-Winning 'The Handmaid's Tale.' Fans of Atwood's won't be disappointed by 'The Year of the Flood,' which explores environmental and Biblical themes. The plot follows a religious group called the Gardeners who are waiting for what their scripture calls the Waterless Flood.
Philip Roth is a prolific and award-winning American author of novels and novellas centered thematically around the modern Jewish-American experience. From his National Book Award winning debut 'Goodbye Columbus' in 1959 to his alternate American history, 'The Plot Against America' (2004), Roth's oftentimes self-referential work has made him one of the most important contemporary American authors today.
Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than fifty novels and hundreds of short stories. Her work is often violent, and her topics often include rural poverty, sexual abuse, and female childhood and adolescence.
Stephen King's On Writing is half memoir, half instruction to writers, and all love for the craft of writing. As good now in its 10th Anniversary edition as it was when King penned it in 2000, On Writing recounts King's childhood writing efforts and his initial successes, and within its pages, King lays open a toolbox full of advice for writers.
Allegory is a story in which things and people represent something entirely other -- perhaps an idea or a philosophy. Allegories typically contain within a moral or lesson.
People make enemies easily in Hollywood. To track down a merciless killer, Alex must navigate a world where the stars and players sip San Pellegrino at the Ivy as hopefuls hover around studio gates armed with 8 x 10 glossies. Everyone is desperate for a close-up, but this is one fan Hollywood could do without. Members of the A-list fear they're next on Mary's list, and the case catapults into blockbuster proportions as Cross and the LAPD scramble to find a pattern.
A fusion of magical realism, Southern literature and time-travel, Kiese Laymon's Long Division is a novel like no other and one of the best you'll read this year.
Stephen Clarke is an English businessman who was sent to Paris by his company in September 2002. He was
'Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix' (Harry Potter 5) may be the most anticipated after the last cliffhanger ending. The fourth book marked a turning point, as Lord Voldemort (think Darth Vader meets Hitler) returned to human form to rebuild his army and start a second uprise to power, determined to let only pure blood wizards remain. Compared to the first three books, the fourth was much darker, more compelling, and only led to the greatness of book five.
In The Angel Esmeralda, Don DeLillo collects nine stories that he wrote between 1979 and 2011. Individually taken, these nine narratives are tightly-woven masterpieces, but ordered chronologically, they tell a global tale that is simultaneously about how far we've come and how bad it's gotten.
Things That Are is a slim collection of nonfiction essays in which Amy Leach turns a playful and poetic lens on the natural world. Leach's writing and Nate Christopherson's accompanying pen and ink drawings are delightful.
In Between Parentheses - essays, articles, and speeches that Roberto Bolano wrote from 1998 to 2003, during the last five years of his life - the reader learns more about Roberto Bolano than any of the ostensible subjects about which the acclaimed Chilean novelist and poet writes.
American author Paul Auster was born and raised in Newark, NJ. He graduated from Columbia University in 1970 and moved to Paris, where he made his living translating the works of French authors. He returned to the states in 1974 to begin writing essays, poems, and novels of his own.
Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English tells the coming-of-age story of a boy from Ghana who has recently emigrated to London's housing projects.
It is 1970, and a California commune devoted to peace, free love, and the simple life has decided to relocate to the last frontier - the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska. Armed with the spirit of adventure and naive optimism, the inhabitants of Drop City arrive in the wilderness of Alaska only to find their utopia already populated by other homesteaders.
Lee Smith's Guests on Earth revisits the infamous 1948 fire at Asheville's Highland Hospital which took the lives of seven female patients, including Zelda Fitzgerald.
Nine is a much funnier number than eleven, explained Sherman Alexie in a recent book signing for Ten Little Indians, a collection of nine contemporary Native American tales. This much-anticipated work dances the line between banality and classic Alexie brilliance at its best, leaving the reader exuberate at its finish, but almost wishing they hadnt read those first few.
John Updike wrote and published over 60 books, including novels and collections of short stories, poetry, and essays. Throughout his career, he won nearly every literary award available. The Early Stories 1953-1975, a large anthology of the author's short stories published in 2003, won him the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and in 2006 he was awarded the Rea Award for the Short Story. John Updike died of lung cancer in January 2009. He was 76
Mislabeled boxes, problems with visiting nurses, and confusing notes - such are the obstacles of an unnamed narrator as she tries to organize her memories of a love affair into a novel.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter 3) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Prepare to test your wits against the Dementors, the boggart, and Sirius Black.
Joan Didion, born in California in 1934 and a graduate from Berkeley in 1956, wrote her first novel in the early 1960's and has written four since then. Her most highly esteemed work - that which made her famous as a chronicler of American culture and politics - is her narrative nonfiction.
The Unknown University, an 800-page omnibus of Roberto Bolano's poetry, is the latest in a string of posthumously translated works from the Chilean author.
Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encountersometimes all at once. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finestwhich means his most extreme and his most provocative.
Ken Follett is a master of the engaging tale, and in 'World Without End' there is plenty going on. If you liked 'The Pillars of the Earth,' you'll love this sequel. Follett is terrific at drawing characters who are compelling, funny, sexy, dramatic, and very human. Although the book is set in the fourteenth century, modern readers will immediately identify with the emotions and goals of its characters.
Something about Mike Engleby is not quite right. When he becomes fixated on a classmate and she goes missing, we are left with the looming question: Is Mike Engleby involved? Mike becomes more and more detached from those around him in an almost anti-coming-of-age. His inability to relate to others and his undependable memory lead the reader down an unclear and often darkly humorous path where one is never completely comfortable or confident about what is true.
Lionel Shriver is the American author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, So Much for That, and The New Republic among many other novels. She is a journalist who has been published in numerous publications including The Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Economist. She lives in London and Brooklyn with her husband, jazz drummer Jeff Williams.
Daniel Klein (Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates) examines the possibilities of old age in this short meditation.