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Sunday, January 21, 2018

10 New Books We Recommend This Week| New York Times - Book Review - Editors’ Choice

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"Among our recommended works of fiction this week is Ali Smith’s “Winter,” an “insubordinate folk tale” that continues her projected quartet tied to the seasons" summarizes John Williams, Daily Books Editor and Staff Writer.

Two classic novels, Nella Larsen’s “Passing” (1929) and George S. Schuyler’s “Black No More” (1931), have been reissued in time for Black History Month. Ruby Namdar’s “The Ruined House” is an intense novel about Jewish life that won Israel’s most lucrative literary award. And Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s “The World Goes On” is full of the sprawling sentences for which the Hungarian writer has become known. In nonfiction, a wide array of subjects: threats to democracy, ancient crafts, strategy during the Vietnam War, Ezra Pound in confinement and the Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee’s literary criticism.


How Democracies Die
HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. (Crown, $26.)
In this “lucid and essential” guide, two political scientists write about the norms that have sustained American democracy, and argue that President Trump has tried to eviscerate more than one of those norms. Our critic Jennifer Szalai, summarizing the book’s circumspect conclusion, writes: “There is no democratic paradise, no easy way out. Democracy, when it functions properly, is hard, grinding work. This message may not be as loud and as lurid as what passes for politics these days, but it might be the one we need to hear.” 

Late Essays: 2006-2017
LATE ESSAYS: 2006-2017, by J. M. Coetzee. (Viking, $28.)  
In his own work, the Nobel Prize-winning author may reinvent the rules of fiction, but his literary criticism hews to more traditional formulas, enriched with fascinating biographies of writers and brilliant psychologizing of their characters. The subjects of these 23 essays include Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” and Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych.” 

Source: New York Times