The celebrated Pulitzer finalist and prize-winning author of Dinner at the Center of the Earth and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank delivers his best work yet, a streamlined comic masterpiece about a son's failure to say Kaddish for his father. Larry is the secular son in a family of Orthodox Brooklyn Jews. When his father dies, it's his responsibility to recite the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, every day for eleven months. To the horror and dismay of his sister, Larry refuses--imperiling the fate of his father's soul. To appease her, Larry hatches an ingenious if cynical plan, hiring a stranger through a website called kaddish.com to recite the prayer and shepherd his father's soul safely to rest. Sharp, irreverent, hilarious, and wholly irresistible, Englander's tale of a son who makes a diabolical compromise ingeniously captures the tensions between tradition and modernity--a book to be devoured in a single sitting whose pleasures and provocations will be savored long after.
'She was the golden beast, an unconscious force, the very scent of her could bring the world to ruin.'Nana, daughter of a drunk and a laundress, is the Helen of Troy of Paris. A sexually magnetic high-class prostitute and actress, she becomes a celebrity, rapidly conquering society, ruining all men who fall under her spell-especially Count Muffat, Chamberlain to the Empress. Nana herself meets aterrible fate, consumed by her own dissipation and extravagance, just as the disastrous war with Prussia is declared.Nana is the ninth instalment in the twenty volume Rougon-Macquart series. The novel opens in 1867, the year of the World Fair, when Paris, thronged by a cosmopolitan elite, was la Ville Lumiere, the glittering setting - and object - of Zola's scathing denunciation of society's hypocrisy and moralcorruption. Nana comes to symbolize the Second Empire regime itself in all its excesses; but in the final chapters, the narrator seems to suggest that the coming disaster not so much as a result of the corruption of the Empire, as of rampant female sexuality.
In this intimate collection, the beloved author of The Poisonwood Bible and more than a dozen other New York Times bestsellers, winner or finalist for the Pulitzer and countless other prizes, now trains her eye on the everyday and the metaphysical in poems that are smartly crafted, emotionally rich, and luminous. In her second poetry collection, Barbara Kingsolver offers reflections on the practical, the spiritual, and the wild. She begins with "how to" poems addressing everyday matters such as being hopeful, married, divorced; shearing a sheep; praying to unreliable gods; doing nothing at all; and of course, flying. Next come rafts of poems about making peace (or not) with the complicated bonds of friendship and family, and making peace (or not) with death, in the many ways it finds us. Some poems reflect on the redemptive powers of art and poetry itself; others consider where everything begins. Closing the book are poems that celebrate natural wonders--birdsong and ghost-flowers, ruthless ants, clever shellfish, coral reefs, deadly deserts, and thousand-year-old beech trees--all speaking to the daring project of belonging to an untamed world beyond ourselves. Altogether, these are poems about transcendence: finding breath and lightness in life and the everyday acts of living. It's all terribly easy and, as the title suggests, not entirely possible. Or at least, it is never quite finished.
Bestselling author Walter Mosley has proven himself a master of narrative tension, both with his extraordinary fiction and gripping writing for television.The Awkward Black Man collects seventeen of Mosley's most accomplished short stories to showcase the full range of his remarkable talent. Mosley presents distinct characters as they struggle to move through the world in each of these stories--heroes who are awkward, nerdy, self-defeating, self-involved, and, on the whole, odd. He overturns the stereotypes that corral black male characters and paints a subtle, powerful portrait of each of these unique individuals. In "The Good News Is," a man's insecurity about his weight gives way to a serious illness and the intense loneliness that accompanies it. Deeply vulnerable, he allows himself to be taken advantage of in return for a little human comfort in a raw display of true need. "Pet Fly," previously published in theNew Yorker, follows a man working as a mailroom clerk for a big company--a solitary job for which he is overqualified--and the unforeseen repercussions he endures when he attempts to forge a connection beyond the one he has with the fly buzzing around his apartment. And "Almost Alyce" chronicles failed loves, family loss, alcoholism, and a Zen approach to the art of begging that proves surprisingly effective. Touching and contemplative, each of these unexpected stories offers the best of one of our most gifted writers.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR "Bennett's tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it's especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison's 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye." --Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal "A story of absolute, universal timelessness ...For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be...." - Entertainment Weekly From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
I'm gonna tell you a story about a school. It was a mad crazy place at first, kids just comin' 'n goin' whenever they want and not much learning happening neither. There was gangstas and playahs and fights 'n stuff like that. But then some big politician got involved and it must've been an election year or something 'cause all of a sudden we're on that skinny white dude's radar. He's on the radio and TV telling everyone how he's gonna fix my school. Huh.