The main character of The Buddha in the Attic (Knopf, $22) is “we.” In her remarkable second novel, Julie Otsuka, author of the acclaimed When the Emperor was Divine, uses the first-person plural to tell the story of the hundreds of Japanese picture brides, ages 12 to 37, who came to America in the early 1900s. The book is divided into sections focusing not on different protagonists, but on stages of the community’s life cycle: there’s the crossing, the meeting of the husband, work, childbirth, the second generation, more work, and World War II. Otsuka conveys the diverse experience of the group from its ongoing struggle as an “invisible world” within the mainstream culture to its literal disappearance after Pearl Harbor. This makes for a rich tapestry, and the events gain emotional depth from a rhythmic, incantatory prose built of lists and litanies, names and concrete details. 

The Buddha in the Attic Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780307700001
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - August 23rd, 2011

The Buddha in the Attic Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780307744425
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - March 20th, 2012

Chuck Klosterman’s second novel, The Visible Man (Scribner, $25), is half science-fiction thriller and half cultural satire. It tells the story of Victoria Vick, a psychotherapist, and Y__, a patient who has developed a cloak that renders him invisible. In their sessions, Y__ recounts how he has observed people when they think they’re alone—he believes these observations reveal something essential about humanity. Victoria becomes infatuated with Y___,  a genius and real-life Invisible Man, and works to unravel the mystery of his inner life.  Is he a scientist doing important research that blurs a moral line, or is he a sick voyeur with a high IQ and an invisibility cloak? Klosterman uses his trademark wit to comment on the personal disconnect in the digital age via Y__’s many monologues, yet the book’s strength comes from Y__’s very unreliability. In the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut, Klosterman uses the fantastic not as a means to escape reality, but as a way to face it head on. 

The Visible Man: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781439184479
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 5th, 2012

In prose that is sleek, stylish, and ever so smart, investment-banker-turned-novelist Amor Towles delves into the glitter and the grit of late-1930s Manhattan. His protagonists are transplants (from the Midwest, New England, Brooklyn), desperate to drop their provincial backstories and emerge as flawless, archetypal “bright young things.” They are armed only with their wits, their observational acuity, and etiquette guides such as George Washington’s charmingly earnest Rules of Civility (Viking, $26.95). The novel belongs to wry, sardonic Katey Kontent (born “Katya,” to Russian immigrants), who claws her way up from a women’s boardinghouse and meager secretarial pools to the elite editorial offices of Condé Nast. The other star is Towles himself—he revels in the snappy, joyful, jazzy colloquialisms of the era, making every snippet of dialogue a treat.

Rules of Civility Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670022694
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking Books - July 26th, 2011

Rules of Civility: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143121169
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - June 26th, 2012

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