I found Gilead such a complete experience that I didn’t feel a need to know more about Lila, a secondary character in the book. But in Marilynne Robinson’s new book, Lila, her occupation of this young woman’s thoughts and experience is so musical and convincing that I’ve read the novel twice and recommend it far and wide.
Lev Grossman has written The Magician’s Land, the conclusion to his Magicians trilogy. Grossman’s take on fantasy and schools of magic is dark, smart, and atheistic in a heartbreaking way. Give the trilogy to someone who wants to hope but has lost that Narnia magic.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).