The American Dream has always been elusive, but today you’d better make sure it includes health insurance. So Much For That (Harper Perennial, $14.99), Lionel Shriver’s sharp, direct novel about making a million and watching it evaporate, chronicles the fortunes of Shep Knacker, a successful entrepreneur who sells his business and plans to live on the proceeds in some idyllic—and cheap—exotic locale. While he dreams of the future, his wife develops cancer, and suddenly the nest egg is needed for health-care expenses. But, this being America, there are other ways to make money, and the Knackers bring a suit against Glynis’s former employer, claiming negligence with toxic materials caused her illness. No matter what their plight, Shriver’s characters are consistently lively and outspoken, cracking jokes, however dark, when you least expect them. They say things the rest of us only wish we could say—and they get away with it.

So Much for That: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061458590
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 8th, 2011

The stories in Caitlin Horrocks’s masterful debut collection, This Is Not Your City (Sarabande, $15.95), start in familiar places and go into deftly imagined elsewheres. A woman feels uneasy while expecting her first child. Why? Because she can remember her own and others’ previous incarnations and recognizes the old soul in the new baby.  A story in the form of a term paper shifts yet again to become a high school senior’s poignant autobiography, documenting her mother’s illness and the family’s poverty. A couple on a cruise is by turns childless and the parents of a brood of overachievers—both smokescreens to deflect inquiries about their only son, born severely brain damaged. When pirates board the ship, it’s the least of the dramas going on here. Other characters find love, but not understanding, and work doggedly at jobs or relationships despite ambivalence. Widely published in the top literary journals, Horrocks, whose prose carves a clear, sharp picture of people of all ages and of places from the American Midwest to Finland, is a writer to watch.

This Is Not Your City Cover Image
ISBN: 9781932511918
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sarabande Books - June 28th, 2011

The Hare With Amber Eyes (Picador, $16) was one of 264 Japanese netsuke Edmund de Waal inherited in 1994. Feeling “a responsibility to them and to the people who had owned them,” de Waal set out to tell the stories of these figures and of the remarkable Ephrussis. His family memoir follows the netsuke from 1871, when Charles Ephrussi (a model for Proust’s Charles Swann) purchased them in Paris during a wave of japonisme. The collection next went to the Vienna branch of the family, gracing a dressing room in the Palais Ephrussi on the Ringstrasse. Barely surviving the First World War, the banking dynasty was shattered by the Second. The netsuke disappeared. Then resurfaced after the War, emigrating with de Waal’s grandmother to England. De Waal is a ceramicist, concerned with how things feel; he has endowed his narrative with the heft and texture of objects, conveying both the fine detail of the lives and the tremendous sweep of the times. His evocation of the Anschluss, for instance, is a pulse-quickening, heart-breaking account of events, told as family history.

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312569372
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - August 2nd, 2011