Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Power and politics, horror and heartbreak mark this epic saga detailing the civil war that erupted during Biafra’s quest for independence from Nigeria.
Inés of My Soul
A sweeping historical tale of the Spanish conquest of Chili, based on documented events in the life of the woman who helped co-found the fledgling nation.
This bawdy tale captures a family and a country (Peru) at the height of the Depression, caught between the old ways and the new and a “plague” of truth.
Vivid account of a middle-aged Irishman who, while mourning his wife's recent death, retreats to a seaside town and recalls formative childhood events. Winner of the Man Booker Prize.
T. Coraghessan Boyle
A young deaf woman is the victim of identity theft in this literary tale of love and suspense.
The Brief History of the Dead
Perhaps the sole survivor of a virulent pandemic, a research scientist clings to life in an Antarctic research station, while residents of a metropolis known as “The City” exist only so long as they exist in the memory of at least one living soul.
The Madonnas of Leningrad
A Russian émigré recalls how she survived the tortuous siege of Leningrad during World War II in this poignant portrait of war, memory, love and art.
The Inheritance of Loss
Set in mid-1980s India, the characters struggle with their cultural identity and the forces of modernization while trying to maintain their emotional connection to one another in this contemplative novel.
The Whistling Season
Wonderful writing and unforgettable characters fill this story of a recently widowed father who hires a housekeeper, sight unseen, to help raise his three sons in rural Montana.
In the Company of the Courtesan
A celebrated courtesan flees the sacking of Rome and reinvents herself amid the intrigue and superstitions of Renaissance Venice with the aid of a wily dwarf and a mysterious blind healer.
What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng
This fictionalized memoir of a refugee from the Sudanese civil war is often harrowing, but is also a lyrical account of the search for home and self in a world of upheaval.
The Lay of the Land
The third installment in Ford’s “Frank Bascombe” trilogy finds his hapless protagonist confronting health issues, marital discord, and other social issues in the wake of the 2000 presidential election.
The Foreign Correspondent
An understated hero shines in this historical thriller about the underground resistance in Paris on the eve of World War II.
The World to Come
A former child prodigy stealing a Chagall painting from a museum provides the starting point for this novel filled with deftly-handled subplots ranging from Chagall’s life to the persecution of the Russian Jews and the paradox of American suburbia.
All Aunt Hagar’s Children
Edward P. Jones
A complex collection of short stories covering a wide range of experiences and African-American perspectives.
Ward S. Just
When his wife is murdered by Middle Eastern terrorists in a village in the French Pyrenees, a former US CIA operative is invited to witness her killer’s interrogation.
Birds in Fall
An international gathering of the families of victims of an airplane crash off the coast of Nova Scotia gather at a quaint bed-and-breakfast inn to confront their grief and contemplate their future.
When an Arab Israeli surgeon at a Tel Aviv hospital learns his modern, secular wife is responsible for a suicide bombing, he searches to understand the forces that motivated his loving spouse to commit such an atrocity.
The contradictory longings for independence and togetherness fill this story of conjoined twins and their experiences growing up in Ontario.
An “Oprah selection,” McCarthy’s vision of a post-apocalyptic America follows the harrowing journey of a father and son to find a place of safety and renewal.
An Irish-Catholic family deals with the loss of innocence typical of suburban America in the late 1950s and 1960s.
The Boy Detective Fails
After an extended stay in a mental hospital where he was sent after his sister’s suicide, Billy searches for truth and redemption in this melancholy but absorbing tale.
The Emperor’s Children
Intellectual, social, and sexual class distinctions are explored in Messud’s withering satire of the lofty world of East Coast media celebrity.
Black Swan Green
In this wonderful novel, thirteen-year-old Jason narrates a year of his life in 1982 England and all the adventures, misunderstandings and tragedies that typify adolescence.
The View from Castle Rock: Stories
Vibrant prose and seductive, suspenseful storytelling characterize this collection of stories filled with indelible characters and deep insights about human behavior and relationships,.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: Twenty-Four Stories
A collection of 25 imaginative, almost “other-worldly” stories, many of which have appeared in the New Yorker and other publications.
This moving look at life in France under Nazi occupation was left unfinished as the author was arrested in 1942, and deported to Auschwitz.
Black Girl / White Girl
Joyce Carol Oates
Two girls – one black, one white – struggle as roommates while dealing with issues of race, class and family on an “enlightened” 1975 college campus.
The Echo Maker
Complex issues of family and identity are intricately explored in Powers’ tale of a young man who suffers severe brain damage following an accident in the desolate Nebraska plains.
Against the Day
Difficult, nutty, raunchy, and shining with surreal incandescence, Pynchon's novel reads like half a dozen books are duking it out for the reader's attention.
The Thirteenth Tale
The beloved (but highly reclusive) author Vida Winter chooses an unknown girl to write her biography, and the resulting interviews unearth ghostly secrets about both women in this atmospheric and mesmerizing mystery.
Digging to America
Touching, humorous story about the collision of cultures and the daily dramas of modern family life.