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Sunday, December 02, 2018

11 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

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Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books.

Some fiction writers try to capture reality, using stories to illuminate social conditions or plumb interior lives. Others just like to make up crazy things. (And also illuminate social conditions and interior lives, yes! Don’t @ us.) We like both kinds of fiction around here, but our picks this week decidedly, and determinedly, range beyond the bounds of conventional realism. There’s an austere little fairy tale about the chaos of sexual desire, “The Governesses.” There’s a turbulent, myth-inflected debut that made its author the youngest-ever finalist for the Booker Prize, “Everything Under.” There’s a dystopian New York story about consumerism and immigration, “Severance,” and a surreal Japanese story collection, “The Lonesome Bodybuilder,” that shakes up narrative expectations right alongside social expectations about gender and marriage and body image. And while Louisa Hall’s “Trinity” would seem to be more traditional than any of those — it’s a biographical, historical novel about Robert Oppenheimer and his work on the atomic bomb — even that goes about it in a nontraditional way.

In nonfiction, we offer a prismatic history of Los Angeles, a life of Chopin and a memoir of hard-won success, along with three books rooted in war: a damning history of the Vietnam conflict, a biography of the combat journalist Marie Colvin and a study of the violent tensions over slavery that led America into the Civil War.

Source: New York Time