Marisa Silver brings a filmmaker’s well-paced plotting and vivid dialogue to her first novel. Set in 1978 and narrated by twelve-year-old Ares, ironically named after The God Of War (Simon & Schuster, $14), this is the story of two unconventional families and assorted strays living on the harsh edge of the California desert; a military testing ground on one side, the austere natural beauty of the Salton sea on the other, it’s a place where “there’s no such thing as careful. There’s luck. Good and bad.” Ares, however, tries hard to be careful. He struggles to protect his autistic younger brother, though he believes he is Malcolm’s greatest danger, sure that he caused his brother’s condition in an accident five years earlier. As Ares yearns for stability and for “possibilities instead of consequences,” Silver deftly dramatizes the confusions and frustrations of adolescence, and tells a riveting tale of lives lived in unforgiving terrain.

The God of War: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781416563174
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Published: Simon & Schuster - April 14th, 2009

A man comes home and finds that his wife is missing. A woman who looks like her is in her place, but Leo is sure that this Rema is an imposter—“a simulacrum.” Rivka Galchen’s ingenious first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances (Picador, $14), isn’t so much about identity theft as it is about identity slippage. How do we recognize people? How do we know those we think we know—and how do we know what we know? Leo is a psychiatrist and he narrates his quest for the real Rema with utter rationality. He has evidence, explanations, theories. Yet what looks like a reasonable approach to his problem could as plausibly be delusion or a breakdown. Is Leo detached from reality, or has he discovered a new level of it in the messages from the secretive (and deceased) Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen and the Royal Academy of Meteorology? This is a complex and fascinating riddle of a novel, with prose as startling as the story.

Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780312428433
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Published: Picador - April 27th, 2009

Aleksandar Hemon’s compelling dual narrative, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead, $16)  focuses on the killing of Lazarus Averbuch by Chicago police in 1908, and on the efforts of a Bosnian émigré to tell Averbuch’s story a century later. Can Brik raise this Lazarus from the dead? Should he even try, or is life already too preoccupied with death? With death, violence, and paranoia, that is. The 1908 murder was part of a response to the anarchist threat (“anarchist” defined largely by a foreign accent and poverty), and parallels the post-9/11 terrorist alert. Brik’s struggle with these issues takes him to Ukraine, Averbuch’s birthplace, and, finally, to his own home, Sarajevo, a city both strange and familiar, where he feels like a ghost. Hemon is a powerful writer, and his novel is laced with wit, satire, anger, and moments of lyric grace. 

The Lazarus Project Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594483752
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Published: Riverhead Books - May 5th, 2009

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