Category Archives: Fiction

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Picador
Paperback
416 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-09455-1

A Novel

Jennine Capó Crucet

“Crucet’s smart, scathing, and hilarious depiction of a Cuban-American girl at a fancy northeastern university is set in 1999—and involves and Elián González-inspired subplot—but its incisive take on race and class makes it both urgently of-the-moment and destined to be a classic.”—Vanity Fair

When Lizet—the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school—secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she’s set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy—Lizet’s older sister, a brand-new single mom—without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet’s entire family, especially her mother. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it’s the new story of what it means to be American today.

(c) Monica McGivern

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of the story collection How to Leave Hialeah, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, John Gardner Book Prize, and Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award. She was raised in Miami and is currently assistant professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Make Your Home Among Strangers has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Albion College (MI); California State University Channel Islands; Elon University (NC); College of the Holy Cross (MA); George Mason University (VA); Hollins University (VA); Holy Names University (CA); Knox College (IL); New College of Florida; Northern Illinois University; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of North Carolina, Asheville; Ventura College (CA); Whitman College (WA)

The Sellout

The Sellout

Picador
Paperback
304 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-08325-8

A Novel

Paul Beatty

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

The Sellout is a comic masterpiece, but it’s much more
than just that—it’s one of the smartest and most honest reflections on race and identity in America in a very long time, written by an author who truly understands what it means to talk about the history of the country.”—NPR

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. Born in the “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians. Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

Paul Beatty

© Hannah Assouline

Paul Beatty is the author of the novels TuffSlumberland, and The White Boy Shuffle, and the poetry collections Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He was the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.

The Nightingale

The Nightingale

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
592 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-08040-0

A Novel

Kristin Hannah

“A heart-wrenching tour de force that examines the bravery of two sisters in occupied France during WWII.”—Chicago Tribune 

France, 1939. In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France . . . but invade they do. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive. Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can—completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others. Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.

© Deborah Feingold

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels. A former lawyer turned writer, she lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her family.

The Nightingale has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Notre Dame of Maryland University

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Purity

Purity

Picador
Paperback
608 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-09710-1

A Novel

Jonathan Franzen

“As he did in The Corrections and Freedom, Franzen once again begins with a family, but his ravenous intellect strides the globe, drawing us through a collection of cleverly connected plots infused with Major Issues of the Day.” —The Washington Post

Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother—her only family—is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she’ll ever have a normal life. Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world—including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong. Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters—Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers—and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.

© Shelby Graham

Jonathan Franzen is the author of four other novels, most recently The Corrections and Freedom, and five works of nonfiction and translation, including Farther Away and The Kraus Project, all published by FSG. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the German Akademie der Künste, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

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Lila

Lila

Picador
Paperback
272 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-07484-3

A Novel

Marilynne Robinson

National Book Award Finalist
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner

“No writer can see life whole. There’s too much of it, too many sides, to be comprehended by a single vision. But some books give us a sense of such wholeness, and they are precious for it. Lila is such a book.”—Chicago Tribune

Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder. Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church—the only available shelter from the rain—and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand to mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves. Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Robinson’s Gilead and HomeLila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence that is destined to become an American classic.

Marilynne Robinson

© Alec Soth/Magnum Photos

Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels Home, Gilead (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), and Housekeeping, and four books of nonfiction, When I Was a Child I Read BooksMother Country, The Death of Adam, and Absence of Mind. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Lila has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

The University of Scranton (PA)

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Here I Am

Here I Am

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover
592 pages • $28.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-28002-4

A Novel

Jonathan Safran Foer

“Dazzling and draining, dazzling and draining—that’s how my response seesawed for most of the time I was reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s new novel . . . Here I Am is a profound novel about the claims of history, identity, family and the burdens of a broken world that weigh upon even the most cleverly evasive people.”—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR

In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am—his first novel in eleven years. Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home—and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.

© Jeff Mermelstein

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of two bestselling, award-winning novels, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and a bestselling work of nonfiction, Eating Animals. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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The Good Lieutenant

The Good Lieutenant

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover
288 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-16473-7

Paperback available in June 2017

A Novel

Whitney Terrell

“Terrell writes an unsettling story about a female soldier’s operation to recover the corpse of a kidnapped sergeant during the Iraq War . . . What he also brings to The Good Lieutenant are the hard-to-get perspectives of people who don’t necessarily dominate the cable TV news: female soldiers in combat and ordinary Iraqis manipulating—and being manipulated by—the U.S. military.”—The Washington Post

The Good Lieutenant literally starts with a bang as an operation led by Lieutenant Emma Fowler of the Twenty-seventh Infantry Battalion goes spectacularly wrong. Men are dead—one, a young Iraqi, by her hand. Others were soldiers in her platoon. And the signals officer, Dixon Pulowski. From this conflagration, The Good Lieutenant unspools backward in time as Fowler and her platoon are guided into disaster by suspicious informants and questionable intelligence, their very mission the result of a previous snafu in which a soldier had been kidnapped by insurgents. And then even further back, before things began to go so wrong, we see the backstory unfold from points of view that usually are not shown in war coverage—a female frontline officer, for one, but also jaded career soldiers and Iraqis both innocent and not so innocent. Ultimately, as all these stories unravel, what is revealed is what happens when good intentions destroy, experience distorts, and survival becomes everything. Whitney Terrell’s The Good Lieutenant is a gripping, insightful, necessary novel about a war that is proving to be the defining tragedy of our time.

© Leslie Many

Whitney Terrell is the author of The Huntsman and The King of Kings County. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq and covered the war for the Washington Post Magazine, Slate, and NPR. His nonfiction has additionally appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Observer, The Kansas City Star, and other publications. He teaches creative writing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and lives nearby with his family.