Beyond Bestsellers - Fiction
July - September 2011 Issue
Atkinson, Kate. Started Early, Took My Dog.
In this fourth mystery novel in a series, a semi-retired police detective from Yorkshire is hired to trace the biological parents of an Australian woman, at the same time he is trying to deal with his difficult relationships with his own children.
Bezmozgis, David. The Free World.
This novel set in the late 1970's portrays the personal problems and political difficulties of a family of Soviet Jews who flee Latvia for the west.
Bhattacharya, Rahul. The Sly Company of People Who Care.
An Indian sportswriter travels through Guyana, describing its history and geography, and encounters a variety of characters, each speaking a peculiar mix of languages.
Bronsky, Alina. The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine.
This darkly humorous novel tells the story of a manipulative grandmother, her daughter, and granddaughter, in a Tartar family living in post-Soviet Russia.
Conlon, Edward. Red on Red.
In this gritty police procedural, two detectives, one Irish American and one Latino, work together to investigate a suicide, murders, and a serial rapist in Manhattan's Washington Heights.
Dean, Louise. The Old Romantic.
In this comic British novel, a crotchety old working-class man searches out his older son, now a well-to-do lawyer, to help him divorce his second wife and find his first wife.
DeWoskin, Rachel. Big Girl Small.
In this coming-of-age novel, a talented 16-year-old girl who is three feet nine inches tall transfers from a public school to an arts academy, and then is betrayed by an older boy.
Ducornet, Rikki. Netsuke.
The main character of this novel is a sexually compulsive psychoanalyst who sleeps with his more desirable patients and leaves clues for his Japanese wife about his infidelities, until two new patients bring an end to his affairs.
Goldman, Francisco. Say Her Name.
This is essentially the true story of the author's life with his beloved wife, who drowned at a beach in Mexico in 2007, and his struggles afterwards to come to terms with her loss.
Gordon, Mary. The Love of My Youth.
Two sixty-year-olds, who were in love in their youth but broke up and married other people, meet again in Rome for the first time in more than three decades.
Hagedorn, Jessica. Toxicology.
This edgy urban literary novel is set among artists in the West Village in New York City, and centers on an avant-garde filmmaker, her family, and her elderly neighbor.
Haigh, Jennifer. Faith.
An Irish-American priest in Boston is accused of abusing an 8-year-old boy and removed from his duties, but his younger half-sister believes in his innocence.
Heathcock, Alan. Volt: Stories.
This is a collection of eight dark and suspenseful stories set in an imaginary American prairie town.
Krivak, Andrew. The Sojourn.
A man and his young son leave a Colorado mining town and return to his native Austria after a family tragedy; later, the son and a cousin join the Austrian army and fight on the Italian front in World War I.
Mukherjee, Bharati. Miss New India.
A young woman from a small town in India leaves home to escape an arranged marriage and to find her fortune in the booming city of Bangalore.
O'Nan, Stewart. Emily Alone.
In this sequel to "Wish You Were Here", Emily Maxwell, an elderly widow, has learned to cope with her single life, but her sister-in-law's collapse and her difficult relationships with her grown children lead her to think about the past and her losses.
Pearlman, Edith. Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories.
This is a collection of short stories with self-sufficient and strong characters, set in Massachusetts and the Northeast.
Pearson, Allison. I Think I Love You.
A Welsh teenager, obsessed with the American pop star, David Cassidy, enters a contest, in hopes of meeting her idol. It isn't until 25 years later that she discovers that her mother hadn't told her she had actually won, and she sets out belatedly to claim her prize.
Phillips, Arthur. The Tragedy of Arthur.
This playful novel, which contains a great deal of autobiographical material, presents a long lost play by William Shakespeare, which had been discovered and stolen by the novelist's father, a great Shakespeare enthusiast and convicted forger.
Pletzinger, Thomas. Funeral for a Dog.
This German novel begins with a series of postcards sent by a journalist to his estranged wife, a newspaper editor who has sent him to interview a famous but reclusive children's book author who lives near Milan with his three-legged dog.
Revoyr, Nina. Wingshooters.
A nine-year-old girl, with an American father and a Japanese mother, moves from Japan to live with her grandparents in a blue-collar town in Wisconsin, where her adjustment is made more difficult by racial prejudice.
Roy, Lori. Bent Road.
In this dark and suspenseful story set in the 1960's, a man living in Detroit leaves the city and takes his family to the small Kansas town where he grew up, which he had left after his sister's murder. While his family members attempt to adjust to their new life and their dysfunctional relatives, another murder takes place.
Shin, Kyung-sook. Please Look After Mom.
In this best-selling book from South Korea, a woman disappears, and her daughter, her son, her husband, and the woman herself look at the Mom they have taken for granted.
Wolitzer, Meg. The Uncoupling.
After a new high school drama teacher in a small New Jersey town selects the Greek play, Lysistrata, for her students to perform, a spell is cast which causes all of the women in town, like the women in the play, to stop having sex with their men.