Litstack Recs: An Unnecessary Woman & Lethal White

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An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine   “I like outsiders,” Aaliya Sohbi tells us, “phantoms wandering the cobwebbed halls of the doomed castle where life must be lived.” The narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, is herself an outsider, a reclusive, seventy-two year old bibliophile who lives alone in the Beirut apartment she’s inhabited [….]

Litstack Recs: Two New Titles from WTAW Press & Us

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Two New Titles from WTAW Press Northern California’s newest independent press has just released its 2018 titles: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, a debut collection by Angela Mitchell, and Hungry Ghost Theater:  A Novel, by Sarah Stone. From the publisher: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, by Angela Mitchell This collection of seven connected stories set [….]

Litstack Rec: Bridge & The Stargazer’s Sister

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Bridge, by Robert Thomas “Welcome to the prayer-strewn pews of my brain,” Alice, the narrator of Bridge tells us, and quickly, we understand that this intellectually gifted young woman sees the world, and herself, in unconventional, and often dangerous ways. Robert Thomas’s powerful debut novel (BOA Editions 2014) takes place in fifty-six brief chapters that [….]

LitStack Rec: Life Drawing & A City Dreaming

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Life Drawing, by Robin Black “Nobody outside a marriage can understand it,” the narrator of Life Drawing tells us. In Robin Black’s first novel, Augusta Edelman is a painter, married to Owen, a writer, and they have moved to the Pennsylvania countryside to live in the quiet and pursue their work. The Edelmans have been [….]

LitStack Recs: By Nightfall & The Wanderers

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By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham Peter and Rebecca Harris are forty-something New Yorkers, well-off, hip, empty-nesters. Peter is an art dealer, Rebecca an editor, and their twenty year-old daughter Beatrice has fled her parents’ downtown loft for an unstylish life in Boston, working in a hotel bar and living with a puzzling roommate, a middle-aged [….]

LitStaff Rec: A House for Mr Biswas & Pride’s Spell

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A House For Mr Biswas, by V.S. Naipaul This past week, we lost a giant when V.S. Naipaul died in London at the age of 85. My rec this week looks at his 1961 novel, “A House for Mr Biswas,” which has appeared in different posts here at LitStack over the years. “A House for [….]

LitStack Rec: Cutting Teeth & Wait Till Next Year

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Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro When my daughter was little, there was a sentiment among the parents I knew. We referred to  summer as the busy season, when the steady routine of the school year fell away and the schedule went overtime. Still, when your kids are small, there’s a lovely innocence to summer—its sprinklers [….]

LitStack Recs: The Death of the Heart & God’s War

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The Death of the Heart, by Elizabeth Bowen Even though it’s spring, there may be snow and frigid temperatures outside your window, and in Elizabeth Bowen’s 1938 novel, there’s likewise cold temperatures, of the emotional sort: “That morning’s ice, no more than a brittle film, had cracked and was now floating in segments. These tapped [….]

LitStack Recs: Life Drawing & Viva Frida

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Life Drawing, by Robin Black “Nobody outside a marriage can understand it,” the narrator of Life Drawing tells us. Augusta Edelman is a painter, married to Owen, a writer, and they have moved to the Pennsylvania countryside to live in the quiet and pursue their work. The Edelmans have been together for over two decades, [….]

LitStack Recs: Top reads & Winterdance

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Are books, and stories, getting better? That is, are they getting richer, stronger, and more compelling? My answer is an unequivocal yes. Stories and voices we haven’t heard before are being published, and familiar stories, like those of love and relationships, are being told in a new way, with fresh eyes. This year contained all [….]