We asked some of our favorite novelists and poets to tell us about three recent works of fiction that speak to them in a deep way.
Anne Tyler's 20th novel is, like her previous 19, about a mildly dysfunctional Baltimore family of loyal yet infuriating people who love one another, but not always helpfully.
In her 11th novel Toni Morrison returns to the foundation of most of her fiction: childhood and its traumatic effects.
Paul Elie has lamented the absence of serious engagement with Christianity in contemporary fiction. He should read Stacia Brown.
In a crucial scene of Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, Lila spends the morning thinking, has lunch, then thinks some more. Why isn’t this boring?
This is a book about deep, protracted, unrelenting sadness, and it knows it.
J. M. Coetzee reportedly wanted readers to discover the title of The Childhood of Jesus after reading it. I thought of this often as I read it.
Owuor's novel wrestles with Kenya's bitter remnants of colonialism. Yet it suggests that the future can be shaped by people who are willing to incorporate the past with honesty and integrity.
Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch connects to both head and heart, while Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit tells of Theodore Roosevelt, an endlessly fascinating figure.
The title of Nathaniel Philbrick’s slim new meditation foregrounds the questions at the heart of every assignment made by every English teacher: Why read this book? Or that book? For that matter, why do we assign reading in the first place?
Franzen has turned his considerable novelistic talents to a kind of inquisitorial examination of the American ideal of freedom. He shows how freedom is negatively construed—focused on what we are free from and not on what freedom might be for, what worthy ends it might be used to pursue.