Editorial reviews

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The Lost Daughter: A Memoir

A compassionate tale of soul-searching and family love.

The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement

Resolutely, proudly left wing/radical/anarchic with an exuberant optimism that usually keeps the tendentious text aloft.

Altai: A Novel

If you like your historical fiction with plenty of explosions and Turkish-inflected interjections (“I do not doubt that our Muezzinzade Ali Pahsa...will be able to stand up to the infidels”), this is right up your alley.

When She Came Home

Ultimately, in this heart-wrenching tale, Frankie figures out what she must do to help herself and her family.

The City of Devi: A Novel

Readers of The City of Devi are encouraged to look beyond the sordid details, like queasy museum visitors being reassured by the curator that apparently pornographic sculpture really only represents the harmony of the cosmos.

How Literature Saved My Life

This manic thirst for literary insight undiluted by novelistic trappings gives this book an unseemly enthusiasm that is more reminiscent of a speed-freak than the work of the fiftysomething university professor who actually wrote it.

Simpler: The Future of Government

Simplicity is a sound ambition but in a complex world we should also check for unintended consequences.

The Burgess Boys: A Novel

Somehow, in writing a novel, Strout has lost the story.

Life After Life: A Novel

There is a delight in the essence of this unusual fiction.

The Burgess Boys: A Novel

Strout is too gifted a writer to settle for a pat ending, and so some questions remain for the Burgess clan. What is never in doubt is how impeccably Strout brings these flawed people to life.

The Flamethrowers: A Novel

The Flamethrowers is a high-wire performance worthy of Philippe Petit. On lines stretched tight between satire and eulogy, she strolls above the self-absorbed terrain of the New York art scene in the 1970s, providing a vision alternately intimate and elevated.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Go ahead and put this one in your carry-on. You won’t regret it.

Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World

“Sex and the Citadel” is as much a work of ill-supported optimism as it is an exposé, with a political context that does not extend far beyond the Arab Spring of 2011.

The Flamethrowers: A Novel

It succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive.

The Smart One

Close’s gift as a writer is her spare but delicious prose and unflinching way of describing her characters.

Life After Life: A Novel

Art is long and life is short, but not too short to treat yourself to the pleasures of Kate Atkinson’s prose along the way.