Not since the Litvinoffs of Zoë Heller’s The Believers has a family so charmed me with its unforgiving humanity as have the Foxmans in Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You (Plume, $15). When straight-man Judd is suddenly called back to his childhood home to sit shiva following both the dissolution of his marriage and his father’s death, an almost farcical tale of grief and forgiveness ensues. Tropper writes with vivid honesty about jealousy of an older sibling, alienation from a younger one, and embarrassment by a parent. This Is Where I Leave You has something for anyone who’s ever struggled for solace. Equal parts biting wit and deep compassion, Tropper’s style achieves poignancy without being cheesy, and promises a heartening ending.

This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780452296367
Availability: Backordered
Published: Dutton - July 6th, 2010

Wanting (Grove Press, $14), Australian author Richard Flanagan’s latest historical novel, is a poignant work about the varied objects, yet unified nature, of human desire. Set in 19th-century London and Tasmania, the narrative follows the explorer Sir John Franklin and his wife Jane’s crusade, abetted by a Christian priest, to “civilize” Mathinna, an aboriginal girl. The plot quite literally thickens as Flanagan adds layers of fact and fiction; years later, Charles Dickens re-tells the Franklins’ story. Flanagan extrapolates intimate tales of brutality, betrayal, and hubris from the brief historical relationship between the Franklins and Dickens. Wanting reads like one part biography, two parts fable; it’s a vibrant, dynamic portrait of our drive for fulfillment, and the things—mostly ourselves— that get in the way.

Wanting Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802144775
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - June 8th, 2010