GIRL THEY LEFT BEHIND, by Veletzos NOTE: Meeting Online

Evening Fiction
Tuesday, April 12, 7:00 pm

Evening Fiction Book Group meets 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. on zoom online. Please email bookgroups@politics-prose.com to sign up for online info. The group is led by Mark Laframboise.

The Girl They Left Behind: A Novel Cover Image

The Girl They Left Behind: A Novel (Paperback)

$17.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
5 on hand, as of Jan 26 1:20pm
A sweeping historical romance that is “gripping, tragic, yet filled with passion and hope” (Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author), offering a vivid and unique portrayal of life in war-torn 1941 Bucharest during World War II and its aftermath—perfect for fans of Lilac Girls and Sarah’s Key.

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger so the girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind.

As a young woman in Soviet Romania, Natalia crosses paths with Victor—an important official in the Communist regime that she used to know as an impoverished young student. Now they are fatefully drawn into a passionate affair despite the obstacles swirling around them and Victor’s dark secrets.

When Natalia is suddenly offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonizing decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she has come to love, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms, and to confront the painful enigma of her past.

The Girl They Left Behind “is a vividly told, beautifully written, impossible-but-true story” (Helen Bryan, internationally bestselling author of War Brides) that you won’t soon forget.
Roxanne Veletzos was born in Bucharest, Romania, and moved to California with her family as a young teen. Already fluent in English and French, she began writing short stories about growing up in her native Eastern Europe, at first as a cathartic experience as she transitioned to a new culture. With a bachelor’s degree in journalism, she has worked as an editor, content writer, and marketing manager for a number of Fortune 500 companies. Her debut novel, published in multiple languages, is an international bestseller. Roxanne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Product Details ISBN: 9781501187698
ISBN-10: 1501187694
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019
Pages: 368
Language: English
“A fresh, original debut, twining personal family drama together with the lesser-known history of World War II Romania. Even readers saturated with Second World War dramas will be enthralled by this moving tale of two ferociously-devoted mothers, the daughter they share, and the sacrifices they are willing to make for a new future. Gripping, tragic, yet filled with passion and hope—I couldn't put it down!”

—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

"Love in all its forms – parental, filial and romantic – renders each character's life through a prism of deeply felt humanity in The Girl They Left Behind as unforgettable men and women face devastating choices during WWII and its aftermath. The political is personal, and Roxanne Veletzos shows us how lives shatter when ideology devolves into chaos and brutality behind the Iron Curtain. This is an important book for these times."

Laurie Lico Albanese, author of Stolen Beauty 

“Based on the life of Roxanne Veletzos’ mother, The Girl They Left Behind is a vividly told, beautifully written, impossible-but-true story. This novel is a moving testament to the power of the human spirit and to those who defied impossible odds to allow the light of humanity to shine in the darkest of times.”

—Helen Bryan, internationally bestselling author of War Brides

"There are stories that must be told because in doing so, they shed light on the irreparable consequences of war in the lives of so many innocents. The Girl They Left Behind, written with flawless historical detail, is a page-turner. In its first pages, it narrates the desperation of a young couple as they leave their four-year-old daughter on the steps of a building. The tale of that girl's destiny, like those of thousands of others, are a necessary testimony for humanity."

Armando Lucas Correa, author of The German Girl

"Never flinching from the bleak, this sweeping historical romance pieces together hope from the ruins."

Kirkus Reviews

"Written in the gripping style of Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, Veletzos's powerful, heartbreaking story, and fluid writing style will transport readers."

— Library Journal

"Veletzos expertly weaves historical detail into a rich story about the endurance of the human spirit in the face of adversity."

 Publishers Weekly

"[The Girl They Left Behind], which Veletzos based on her mother's life, is worth reading for its Romanian setting, and questions regarding Natalia's real parents and whether she will ever be reunited with them add an element of suspense."

— Booklist 

"A gripping story of endurance; of a childhood lived under a state of relentless war; and of goodness, courage, sheer will, and the fierce, selfless love that binds parent to child. Highly recommended."— Historical Novel Society

"A beautiful story." —Good Housekeeping

HAMNET, by O'Farrell NOTE: Meeting Online

Evening Fiction
Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 pm

Evening Fiction Book Group meets 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. on zoom online. Please email bookgroups@politics-prose.com to sign up for online info. The group is led by Mark Laframboise.

Hamnet Cover Image

Hamnet (Paperback)

$16.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
28 on hand, as of Jan 26 1:20pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
6 on hand, as of Jan 26 1:33pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
5 on hand, as of Jan 26 2:33pm

August 2020 Indie Next List


“I loved Hamnet in very much the same way I loved Lincoln in the Bardo. This novel explores the way the dead haunt the living—especially how the death of a child haunts their parents—and does it in the context of a fascinating historical figure and time. But we know so much about the Lincolns, and so little about the Shakespeares. Maggie O’Farrell’s ability to construct a palpably real emotional life for all the members of the Shakespeare family—but especially for Shakespeare’s wife—is just magical. This is a powerful and haunting novel.”
— Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, IL

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare’s life ... here is a novel ... so gorgeously written that it transports you." —The Boston Globe

England, 1580: The Black Death creeps across the land, an ever-present threat, infecting the healthy, the sick, the old and the young alike. The end of days is near, but life always goes on. A young Latin tutor—penniless and bullied by a violent father—falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family’s land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon, she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is just taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever.
Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, Maggie O’Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland. She is the author of eight novels: After You’d Gone (winner of the Betty Trask Award); My Lover’s Lover; The Distance Between Us (recipient of a Somerset Maugham Award); The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox; The Hand That First Held Mine (winner of the Costa Book Award); Instructions for a Heatwave; This Must Be the Place; and Hamnet, which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has also written a memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, and a picture book for children, Where Snow Angels Go. She lives in Edinburgh.
Product Details ISBN: 9781984898876
ISBN-10: 1984898876
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: May 18th, 2021
Pages: 320
Language: English
ONE OF BILL GATES'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

"O'Farrell has a melodic relationship to language. There is a poetic cadence to her writing and a lushness in her descriptions of the natural world. . . . We can smell the tang of the various new leathers in the glover's workshop, the fragrance of the apples racked a finger-width apart in the winter storage shed. . . . As the book unfolds, it brings its story to a tender and ultimately hopeful conclusion: that even the greatest grief, the most damaged marriage, and most shattered heart might find some solace, some healing."
—Geraldine Brooks, the New York Times Book Review

“All too timely . . . inspired. . . . [An] exceptional historical novel ”
The New Yorker

"Magnificent and searing. . . . A family saga so bursting with life, touched by magic, and anchored in affection. . . . Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare’s life, about whether he even wrote his own plays, here is a novel that matches him with a woman overwhelmingly more than worthy."
The Boston Globe

"A tour de force. . . . Hamnet vividly captures the life-changing intensity of maternity in its myriad stages—from the pain of childbirth to the unassuagable grief of loss. Fierce emotions and lyrical prose are what we've come to expect of O'Farrell."
—NPR

"O'Farrell moves through the family's pain like a master of signs and signals. . . . In Hamnet, art imitates life not to co-opt reality, but to help us bear it."
Los Angeles Times

"Wholly original, fully engrossing. . . . Agnes is a character for the ages—engimatic, fully formed and nearly literally bewitching to behold in every scene she's in."
San Francisco Chronicle

“A moving portrait of a mother’s grief. . . . O’Farrell’s prose is characteristically beautiful.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Evocative. . . . [Hamnet] is also life-affirming as it suggests ways art can transcend misfortune.” 
National Review

“Superb. . . . O’Farrell’s exquisitely wrought eighth novel proves once again what a very fine writer she is.”
Financial Times
 
“Elliptical, dreamlike. . . . [Hamnet] confirms O’Farrell as an extraordinarily versatile writer, with a profound understanding of the most elemental human bonds—qualities also possessed by a certain former Latin tutor from Stratford.” 
The Observer (UK)
 
“A remarkable piece of work. . . . O’Farrell is one of the most surprisingly quiet radicals in fiction.” 
The Scotsman (UK)
 
“[A] portrayal of grief and pain. . . . O’Farrell describes these agonies with such power that Hamnet would resonate at any time.” 
The Guardian
 
“[O’Farrell is] a writer of rare emotional intelligence whose personal intimations of mortality bear rich fruit in this, her eighth novel.” 
Evening Standard

“This artfully paced novel is an anatomy of grief. . . . Just when the novel’s second part seems to be moving to a tragic conclusion, it mounts a stunning redemptive volte-face.” 
The Times Literary Supplement

NICKEL BOYS, by Whitehead NOTE: Meeting Online

Evening Fiction
Tuesday, February 8, 7:00 pm

Evening Fiction Book Group meets 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. on zoom online. Please email bookgroups@politics-prose.com to sign up for online info. The group is led by Mark Laframboise.

The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image

The Nickel Boys: A Novel (Paperback)

$15.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
7 on hand, as of Jan 26 1:20pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
2 on hand, as of Jan 26 1:33pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
3 on hand, as of Jan 26 2:33pm

August 2019 Indie Next List


“With every book, Colson Whitehead proves his ever-growing genius. He’s a master of the written word and truly one of the greatest living American novelists of our time. I didn’t think it was possible for him to write something better than Underground Railroad, but he most certainly has — The Nickel Boys grabbed me at page one. It’s a mystery and a thriller, a treatise on race and social injustice, and a literary masterpiece all rolled into one. Ellwood and Turner are characters that will stay with me forever. This should be mandatory reading in every classroom.”
— Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ

Winter 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List


The Nickel Boys is more proof that Colson Whitehead is an essential American author. Based on the true story of Florida’s infamous Dozier School for Boys, in The Nickel Boys, Whitehead continues his reckoning with the violence endured by African Americans, which he began with The Underground Railroad. The Nickel Boys is a bare, unvarnished, and unblinking coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and an all-too-real horror from our nation’s history. It’s a story that must be told by the only writer who can tell it.”
— Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In this Pulitzer Prize-winning follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
 
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.
 
Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best" (Entertainment Weekly).

Look for Colson Whitehead’s bestselling new novel, Harlem Shuffle!
Colson Whitehead is the number one New York Times bestselling author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Underground Railroad, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. He is also a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2020, he won his second Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Nickel Boys. He lives in New York City.
Product Details ISBN: 9780345804341
ISBN-10: 0345804341
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Pages: 224
Language: English
WINNER OF THE 2020 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Time, Esquire, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Slate, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Vox, Variety, Christian Science Monitor, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, Literary Hub, BuzzFeed, The New York Public Library, Publishers Weekly

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST

ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 10 BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE

WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE

LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION 2020 

"A necessary read." —President Barack Obama

"This is a powerful book by one of America's great writers. . . . Without sentimentality, in as intense and finely crafted a book as you'll ever read, Whitehead tells a story of American history that won’t allow you to see the country in the same way again." —Toronto Star

"Colson Whitehead continues to make a classic American genre his own. . . . The narration is disciplined and the sentences plain and sturdy, oars cutting into water. Every chapter hits its marks. . . . Whitehead comports himself with gravity and care, the steward of painful, suppressed histories; his choices on the page can feel as much ethical as aesthetic. The ordinary language, the clear pane of his prose, lets the stories speak for themselves. . . . Whitehead has written novels of horror and apocalypse; nothing touches the grimness of the real stories he conveys here" —The New York Times

"Inspired by a real school in Florida, The Nickel Boys is a haunting narrative that reinforces Whitehead's prowess as a leading voice in American literature." —TIME

"[The Nickel Boys] should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best." —Entertainment Weekly 

"Were Whitehead’s only aim to shine an unforgiving light on a redacted chapter of racial terrorism in the American chronicle, that would be achievement enough. What he is doing in his new novel, as in its immediate predecessor, is more challenging than that. . . . He applies a master storyteller’s muscle. . . . The elasticity of time in The Nickel Boys feels so organic that only when you put the book down do you fully appreciate that its sweep encompasses much of the last century as well as this one. . . . A writer like Whitehead, who challenges the complacent assumption that we even fathom what happened in our past, has rarely seemed more essential.” —The New York Times Book Review

"A masterpiece squared, rooted in history and American mythology and, yet, painfully topical in its visions of justice and mercy erratically denied . . . a great American novel."  —Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org

"Whitehead's brilliant examination of America's history of violence is a stunning novel of impeccable language and startling insight." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Whitehead's magnetic characters exemplify stoicism and courage, and each supremely craftedscene smolders and flares with injustice and resistance, building to a staggering revelation. Inspired by an actual school, Whitehead's potently concentrated drama pinpoints the brutality and insidiousness of Jim Crow racism with compassion and protest. . . . A scorching work." —Booklist, starred review

"[A] stunning new novel. . . . The understated beauty of his writing, combined with the disquieting subject matter, creates a kind of dissonance that chills the reader. Whitehead has long had a gift for crafting unforgettable characters, and Elwood proves to be one of his best. . . . The final pages of the book are a heartbreaking distillation of the story that preceded them; it's a perfect ending to a perfect novel. The Nickel Boys is a beautiful, wrenching act of witness, a painful remembrance of an 'infinite brotherhood of broken boys,' and it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Whitehead is one of the most gifted novelists in America today." —NPR

"Magnificent. . . . Whitehead's prose is meticulous; he nimbly shifts between the 1960s and present day, creating a fully fleshed-out picture of violence and (in)justice." —Buzzfeed

"Colson Whitehead's follow-up to The Underground Railroad is devastating and powerful, a harrowing novelization on another dark aspect of American history. . . . Never didactic, but always illuminating—even in those darkest of places in our collective story—The Nickel Boys is a brilliant, horrifying look into the legacy of Jim Crow, and the ways in which racism and oppression don't exist in defiance to the American Dream, but rather as its fuel." —NYLON

"[The Nickel Boys's] dialogue, the efficient character sketches and the unobtrusive but always-advancing plot are evidence of mature ability . . . spry and animated and seamed with dark humor . . . [with] a dazzling final twist that Mr. Whitehead stages with such casual skill that one only begins to unpack its meanings well after the book has ended. . . . The excellence of The Nickel Boys carries an added feeling of hope because it's evidence of a gradual, old-fashioned artistic progression that fewer and fewer writers are allowed the time to pursue. . . . The Nickel Boys demonstrate the versatile gifts of a writer who is rounding into mastery. The impression left is that Mr. Whitehead can succeed at any kind of book he takes on. He has made himself one of the finest novelists in America." —The Wall Street Journal

"Whitehead's new novel . . . is in many ways a continuation of his reassessment of African American history. But The Nickel Boys is no mere sequel . . . it's a surprisingly different kind of novel. . . . Whitehead reveals the clandestine atrocities of Nickel Academy with just enough restraint to keep us in a state of wincing dread. . . . It shreds our easy confidence in the triumph of goodness and leaves in its place a hard and bitter truth about the ongoing American experiment." —The Washington Post

"Again [Whitehead is] wrestling with American history's reverberations. . . . Since its moral concern is multigenerational anguish, the sense of mourning in The Nickel Boys is subvisceral—not detached, but restrained. . . . We are called to remember, 'The past is never dead. It's not even past.'" —O: The Oprah Magazine

"Possibly the single most anticipated novel of the year." —Los Angeles Times

"A powerful meditation on suffering and injustice. . . . His subject could not be more demanding, but Whitehead's writing is spare and stately. He handles Elwood's and Turner's suffering—and questions—gently. And he holds the reader carefully. . . . For the darkest of tales, that is the most a writer can do." —Winnipeg Free Press

"Whitehead's signature knack for creating unforgettable characters and spinning compelling stories out of even the darkest places is on display once again—and while it's not always an easy story to read, we'd venture to say it's essential." —Town and Country

"If you thought Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad was a tour de force, wait until you get your hands on The Nickel Boys." —Harper’s Bazaar

"The Nickel Boys is straight-ahead realism, distinguished by its clarity and its open conversation with other black writers: It quotes from or evokes the work of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and more. Whitehead has made an overt bid to stand in their company—to write a novel that’s memorable, and teachable, for years to come. The Nickel Boys is its fulfilment." —USA Today

"The Nickel Boys is a strictly realist work, albeit still ripe with Whitehead's signature deadpan wit. . . . The heart of The Nickel Boys is this extended dialogue between Elwood and Turner . . . [and] often feels like Whitehead’s conversation with both the idealistic forerunners of the civil rights generation and, by implication, the woke youth of today. Like perhaps his single greatest influence, Ralph Ellison, Whitehead negotiates a tightrope walk between the need to depict the experience of race and racism and a stubborn individualistic resistance to the claims of collective identity." —Slate

"[Whitehead's] prose here is elegant yet straightforward . . . these short sentences spur the action on, creating a pace that's almost as breath-taking as the novel's depiction of cruelty. . . . Whitehead's novel is certainly revelatory, but more for the ways in which it traces these atrocities to the past and present, weaving tragedy into multiple lifetimes. The Nickel Boys isn't just a testament to systemic racism; it’s an archaeology of pain." —A.V. Club

"[The Nickel Boys is] a marvellous play between the real situation and a novelistic artifice—one which, in the end, proves to be inherent in the human story. . . . This is a heartbreakingly good novel. Its excellence doesn't lie in the attitude it takes to a social problem. . . . Rather, this is a book which should last because of the elegant refinement of its treatment, and the harmonious and deeply affecting balance it strikes between real-life conditions, and the requirements of the finest and most penetrating art." —The Spectator

"[A] remarkable novel." —Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Bad Feminist

"A gripping and brilliant novel based on a true story about a boys' reformatory school in Florida in the 1960s. Whitehead is one of the most daring and gifted authors writing these days, and I will never miss one of his books."Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls

"[Whitehead] is a splendidly talented writer, with more range than any other American novelist currently working—he can be funny, lyrical, satirical, earnest—whatever is needed by the work." —George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo,

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