Katy is heartbroken when her mother dies, and decides to take their planned mother-daughter trip to Italy on her own. As she revisits the Amalfi Coast where her mother traveled as a young woman, she comes across an unexpected person: her mother, as she was 30 years ago. This novel also serves as a vacation to Italy, with beautiful descriptions of the places Katy visits.
You will remember the author’s award winning previous short, spare novels, The Buddha in the Attic and When the Emperor Was Divine. In the same vein, her latest takes a spare environment as a metaphor for the fading of the mind of a mother and the daughter that visits too late.
“A quick and tender story of a group of swimmers who cope with the disruption of their routines in various ways . . . Otsuka cleverly uses various points of view: the swimmers’ first-person-plural narration effectively draws the reader into their world, while the second person keenly conveys the experiences of Alice’s daughter, who tries to recoup lost time with her mother after Alice loses hold of her memories and moves into a memory care facility. It’s a brilliant and disarming dive into the characters’ inner worlds.” –Publishers Weekly [starred review]
“Award-winning, best-selling Otsuka is averaging one book per decade, making each exquisite title exponentially more precious. Here she creates a stupendous collage of small moments that results in an extraordinary examination of the fragility of quotidian human relationships . . . Once more, Otsuka creates an elegiac, devastating masterpiece.” –Booklist [starred review]
“The Swimmers is a slim brilliant novel about the value and beauty of mundane routines that shape our days and identities; or, maybe it’s a novel about the cracks that, inevitably, will one day appear to undermine our own bodies and minds; and — who knows? — it could also be read as a grand parable about the crack in the world wrought by this pandemic . . . Otsuka’s signature spare style as a writer unexpectedly suits her capacious vision . . . The Swimmers has the verve and playfulness of spoken word poetry.” –Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air/NPR
“Michelle Zauner has written a book you experience with all of your senses: sentences you can taste, paragraphs that sound like music. She seamlessly blends stories of food and memory, sumptuousness and grief, to weave a complex narrative of loyalty and loss.” —Rachel Syme
“I read Crying in H Mart with my heart in my throat. In this beautifully written memoir, Michelle Zauner has created a gripping, sensuous portrait of an indelible mother-daughter bond that hits all the notes: love, friction, loyalty, grief. All mothers and daughters will recognize themselves—and each other—in these pages.” —Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance
“Crying in H Mart is a wonder: A beautiful, deeply moving coming-of-age story about mothers and daughters, love and grief, food and identity. It blew me away, even as it broke my heart.” –Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me
“Poignant . . . A tender, well-rendered, heart-wrenching account of the way food ties us to those who have passed. The author delivers mouthwatering descriptions of dishes like pajeon, jatjuk, and gimbap, and her storytelling is fluid, honest, and intimate. When a loved one dies, we search all of our senses for signs of their presence. Zauner’s ability to let us in through taste makes her book stand out—she makes us feel like we are in her mother’s kitchen, singing her praises.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Pulitzer Prize–winner Natasha Trethewey was U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012 and 2013. While this is a compelling memoir of her immutable love for her mother with whom she traveled down the same road of horrible outcome and of her delicate straddling of the white/black worlds they both shared, it’s her choice of words, her rhythm, her pacing through a “too-short” 211 pages that registers in the reader’s heart and mind. This makes it a superior read.
“Natasha Trethewey has composed a riveting memoir that reads like a detective story about her mother’s murder by a malevolent ex-husband. It reads with all the poise and clarity of Trethewey’s unforgettable poetry—heartrending without a trace of pathos, wise and smart at once, unforgettable. The short section her mother penned as she was trying to escape the marriage moved me to tears. I read the book in one gulp and expect to reread it more than once. A must-read classic.” (Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club; Cherry; and Lit)
“Beautifully composed, achingly sad…This profound story of the horrors of domestic abuse and a daughter’s eternal love for her mother will linger long after the book’s last page is turned.” (Publishers Weekly)
“In Memorial Drive, Natasha Trethewey has transformed unimaginable tragedy into a work of sublimity. There’s sorrow and heartbreak, yes, but also a beautiful portrait of a mother and her daughter’s enduring love. Trethewey writes elegantly, trenchantly, intimately as well about the fraught history of the south and what it means live at the intersection of America’s struggle between blackness and whiteness. And what, in our troubled republic, is a subject more evergreen?” (Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math)
If our family stories shape us, what happens when we learn those stories were never true? Who do we become when we shed our illusions about the past? (Amazon)
“A gorgeous memoir about mothers, daughters, and the tenacity of the love that grows between what is said and what is left unspoken.”—Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk
“A profoundly moving memoir about secrets and trauma . . . In exquisite prose, Maya Shanbhag Lang writes about her extraordinary mother and the cruel circumstances that complicate their relationship. At its heart, What We Carry is about one of the greatest gifts any parent can give a child: the power to save yourself.”—Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club
“Part self-discovery, part family history. . . [Lang’s] analysis of the shifting roles of mothers and daughters, particularly through the lens of immigration, help[s] to challenge her family’s mythology. . . . Readers interested in examining their own family stories . . . will connect deeply with Lang’s beautiful memoir.”—Library Journal (Starred Review)
“With strong female characters, author See deftly confronts the changing role of minority women, majority-minority relations, East-West adoption, and the economy of tea in modern China. Fans of See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan will appreciate this novel.”—Library Journal
“The story begins small, plunging us into the immersive detail of a single grueling day picking tea with the young girl, Li-yan, her mother, A-ma, and the rest of their ethnic minority Akha family…What makes life bearable for the Akha is their belief system, which infuses every aspect of their daily lives. The full sweep of their practices is flawlessly embedded in See’s prose…The hardships that confront Li-yan in her life are as compelling as the fog-shrouded secret groves where she and her mother cultivate a special healing tea. I could have hung out here in remote China forever, but See has wider ground to cover, including Chinese adoption, the international fine tea market and modern Chinese migration to the United States… A lush tale infused with clear-eyed compassion, this novel will inspire reflection, discussion and an overwhelming desire to drink rare Chinese tea.”–Helen Simonson, The Washington Post
“One of the fascinating elements of See’s epic novel is the contrast between the isolated lives of the Akha and the globalized world of China’s larger cities — a contrast bridged by tea…Fans of the best-selling Snow Flower and the Secret Fan will find much to admire in The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, as both books closely illuminate stories of women’s struggles and solidarity in minority-ethnic and rural Chinese cultures…In rendering the complex pain and joy of the mother-daughter bond, Lisa See makes this novel — dedicated to her own mother, author Carolyn See, who died last year — a deeply emotional and satisfying read.”—Emily Gray Tedrowe, USA Today
A pleasure to read, deliberate writing – short crisp chapters, surprising twists of good storytelling, memorable characters, and compassionate and tender scenes of mother and daughter. What else does one need to recommend this a fine book?
“Singer’s novel travels up and down the scale of sorrow, reflecting the musical and psychological connotations of her title…This haunting story…feels suspended in a murky state between memory and presence, happiness and despair.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“An unusually layered debut. In short, taut chapters, [Underground Fugue] alternates between two families who have suddenly become neighbors…When terror strikes, the plot accelerates and the novel’s strands converge brilliantly.” —Publishers Weekly
“I haven’t been able to get Underground Fugue out of my mind. Haunting and breathtaking, this debut sticks, the way good literature always does, because it awakens us to the majesty—all the pain, all the joy—our lives contain.” —Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever
Hang-on! Debut sister writers! 17 year old Alaine has stepped off the path to college for now after “the incident”. Join her on her punishment suspension doing community service in her mother country Haiti to which she has never visited. It is a roller coaster of surprises, family secrets, and even a family curse!
“…. Alaine Beauparlant is that rare character who feels like your complicated but indispensable friend, one you wish you could stay in touch with and hear more fascinating and absorbing stories from long after finishing the book.” -Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory
“The Moulite sisters’ well-conceived debut is an alternately funny and bittersweet story of loss, regret, love, and sacrifice… Seamlessly blending story lines and allusions to Haiti’s history and culture, the authors create an indelible, believable character in Alaine-naive, dynamic, and brutally honest-who stretches and grows as her remarkable, affectingly rendered family relationships do.”-Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“Alaine’s adventures in Haiti were so intense and engaging, I could almost feel the dirt beneath my fingernails, could almost smell the peanuts and plantains. But I think my favorite part was ultimately the female empowerment that permeated every part of this tale, past and present. It left me with a sort of Practical Magic feeling, and that is never a bad thing. Maika and Maritza Moulite have created quite the masterpiece here. I look forward to seeing what they do next!” –Alethea Kontis, NPR
This is her 4th memoir about her eccentric English family growing up in Africa. I recommend all the earlier ones: Don’t Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, and Leaving Before the Rains Come. This one is her good-by to her father. Try them all. Gutsy, humorous, not a bit sentimental.
“Travel Light, Move Fast is a sensitive, meticulously wrought portrait of one family’s sometimes-challenging dynamics, set against an unforgiving African backdrop. Fuller’s beautiful prose juxtaposes the grieving process with the lessons she learned from the man whose adventures shaped her.” —BookPage
“[Fuller’s] family remains endlessly fascinating and delightful companions for long-time readers and new ones alike. . . A gorgeously written tribute to a life well lived and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable loss and grief.” — Booklist, starred review
“[Fuller] sifted through a lifetime of memories in order to pen this celebration of the man whose profound influence helped shape her own worldview. [She]writes gracefully about embracing grief as an indelible part of the human experience. Another elegant memoir from a talented storyteller.” — Kirkus Reviews
Yale is working at an art museum in 1980s Chicago when he is called to meet an elderly woman who claims to have a priceless collection of art to donate. At the same time, Yale, his boyfriend, and their group of male friends are feeling the devastating effects of the developing AIDS crisis. Years later, one of their friends reflects on this time period as she tries to track down her missing daughter in Paris. This is a beautiful, sad, engaging novel.
FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE IN FICTION
WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL
WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler
As her intimately portrayed characters wrestle with painful pasts and fight to love one another and find joy in the present in spite of what is to come, Makkai carefully reconstructs 1980s Chicago, WWI-era and present day Paris, and scenes of the early days of the AIDS epidemic. A tribute to the enduring forces of love and art, over everything.”—Booklist (starred review)
“To believe in something is to have faith, and Makkai dispenses it fiercely, in defiance of understandable nihilism and despair—faith in what’s right, in the good in others, in better outcomes, in time’s ability not to heal but to make something new.”—National Book Review