In addition to her Cromwell novels, both of which focus on the same protagonist, Hilary Mantel’s work shows off a range of styles and a rich diversity of subjects. Consistent throughout, however, is a commitment to quality. Her new collection of short fiction, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (Holt, $27), is as dazzling as her previous work. The opening story, “Sorry to Disturb,” is a complex sketch of an English woman living in Saudi Arabia. She is frustrated and bored by the strictures of Saudi customs and the complications that arise when simple courtesy encourages unwanted advances. The story “How Shall I Know You?” recounts the overnight adventure of an author who agrees to speak before a neighborhood literary society; Mantel describes how expectations crash into reality with very funny results. These fictions are rich in predicament and flawless in execution.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627792103
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - September 30th, 2014

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250074720
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - September 2015

The title of Michael Pitre’s Fives and Twenty-Fives (Bloomsbury, $27) refers to the perimeters Marines try to maintain around possible roadside bombs to keep themselves safe from explosives. At the heart of Pitre’s novel is Lieutenant Donovan, commander of a platoon of combat engineers tasked with fixing potholes and defusing bombs on Iraqi roads. The story alternates between the lives of Marines in the years immediately following their discharge and that of their time in combat, during which a tragic event overshadowed their war experiences. It haunts them still. Like so many stories born of recent wars, this one is deeply affecting. Pitre himself was a combat engineer in Iraq and the vividness of his novel’s details testifies to the depth of their meaning for him. The strengths and vulnerabilities displayed by young men and women in impossible situations are heartbreaking and unmistakably real.

Fives and Twenty-Fives: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781620407547
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - August 26th, 2014

Fives and Twenty-Fives: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781620407554
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 5th, 2015

In his award-winning series, The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and Lay of the Land, Richard Ford evolved his wise but hapless protagonist, Frank Bascombe. Let Me Be Frank with You (Ecco, $27.99), four inter-connected novellas, finds Frank on the New Jersey shore in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Sixty-eight and a retired realtor, Frank has escaped the devastation suffered by so many because he sold his ocean front property, opting for a simpler life in the small town of Haddam. Viewing the ruins of the area’s once grand houses offers Frank the opportunity to comment on wealth, race, politics, commercialization, and the general decline of the quality of life in twenty-first century America. This might be depressing if Ford wasn’t so eloquent and if Frank wasn’t so clear-eyed and hilarious.

Let Me Be Frank With You: A Frank Bascombe Book Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780061692062
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - November 4th, 2014

Let Me Be Frank With You: A Frank Bascombe Book Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061692079
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ecco - October 13th, 2015

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