Joel Litvinoff is defending a group of Arabs (one year after 9/11) in court when he keels over from a stroke. His years as a radical lawyer end as he lies in the hospital hooked up to tubes. His British-born wife Audrey, who has shared forty years with him, finds it impossible to leave his bedside or imagine life without him. Their daughters Karla and Rosa have troubles of their own. Karla, overweight and suffering from low self-esteem, is so grateful for a husband that she never considers whether or not she’s happy. Rosa has just returned from four years in Cuba where she grew disillusioned by the regime and now attends services at an Orthodox Synagogue. Lenny, the adopted brother, son of a radical serving a life prison sentence, is always stoned or cadging money to get stoned. Zoë Heller writes with such zest about the family secrets. Once I finished The Believers (HarperCollins, $25.99), I wanted to go back and reread it to enjoy Heller’s humor and her commentary on family and politics.

The Believers: A Novel Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061430213
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - January 19th, 2010

I can’t imagine a kid on the last day of school who isn’t eager for what summer will bring. For most kids, it’ll bring a week or two of vacation or family visits. For a lucky few, there’s the whole summer spent someplace special. For Benji in Colson Whitehead’s very funny new novel, that place is Sag Harbor (Doubleday, $24.95), the enclave where the families of New York’s black professionals go. Benji and his younger brother arrive and seek out their friends. The two are thought of as a single entity, but during this summer of 1985, 15-year-old Benji states that he’s now Ben. Yet as much as he wants to declare his independence, he also wants to connect with his friends. As one of the few black kids at a Manhattan prep school, he decides it’s time to learn the latest slang, the hand jive, the newest dances. None of this is easy for Ben because he’s a geek more comfortable with playing Dungeons and Dragons than getting down. Whitehead’s great at showing how Benji navigates through the summer, from his explanation of the newest slang to his realization that the haircuts his dad has given him and his brother are lame, to his job at the waffle shop where he’s covered in more batter than his co-workers are. This is a great book for reminiscing and for laughing out loud! Happy summer!

For a lucky few kids, summer means going someplace special. For Benji in Colson Whitehead’s very funny novel, that place is Sag Harbor (Anchor, $15.95), the enclave where the families of New York’s black professionals go. Benji and his younger brother are treated as a single entity by their friends, but during this summer of 1985, 15-year-old Benji states that he’s now Ben. Yet as much as he wants to declare his independence, he also wants to connect with his friends. As one of the few black kids at a Manhattan prep school, he decides it’s time to learn the latest slang, the hand jive, the newest dances. None of this is easy for Ben because he’s a geek more comfortable with playing Dungeons and Dragons than with getting down. Whitehead shows how Benji navigates through the summer with his pals and his job at the waffle shop, where he’s always covered in more batter than his co-workers are.

Sag Harbor Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307455161
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - June 15th, 2010

In Tasmania, Mattina, a young aboriginal girl, is removed from her tribe to be raised as a proper English girl by Lady Franklin and her husband, the explorer Sir John Franklin.  Later, in England, Lady Franklin enlists Charles Dickens to help restore the good name of her husband after his arctic expedition fails and London buzzes with rumors that his crew has resorted to cannibalism.  In Wanting (Atlantic Monthly, $24) Richard Flanagan uses this extraordinary history to tell a story of desire, deceit, and betrayal, juxtaposing the brutally colonized wilds of Tasmania and the crowded, polluted environs of Dickens’s London. 

Wanting Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780802144775
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Grove Press - June 8th, 2010

Pages