John G. Matthews

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PREMIUM

Actress

Enright’s sixth novel (The Gathering) presents a subtle, nuanced portrait of a complicated relationship. Norah’s voice is credibly pitched to transmit yearning, resignation, and understanding in varying intensities, always amplifying her compassion for Katherine and the people pulled into her orbit.

Apeirogon

Organized into 1,001 sections, this novel from McCann (Let the Great World Spin) beautifully re-creates Rami and Bassam’s real-life relationship while offering a sweeping range of counterbalancing narratives, ultimately conveying the profound essentiality of their friendship. An important book; McCann’s considerable creative powers astound. [See Prepub Alert, 7/21/19.]

Follow Me to Ground

In this exhilaratingly original work, lyrical prose gives voice to the strange and alluring Ada, whose spellbinding account alternates with the Cures’ testimonials. Seductive and finally horrific; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]

Threshold

Confidently told, this second long-form work from Doyle (after Here Are the Young Men) alternates 11 vignettes with letters to an anonymous correspondent as the masterly narrative pacing brilliantly counterbalances lurid episodes and sometimes terror with devastating wit and epiphany. As ever, Doyle’s prose is compulsively readable, and his insights always credible and occasionally astonishing.

Girl

This latest from PEN/Nabokov Award winner O’Brien (The Little Red Chairs) bears witness to and powerfully indicts the atrocities experienced by women. The extremities of Maryam’s experience, suggests O’Brien, are particularly horrific instances of the sexism, chauvinism, and cruelty that circumscribe the existence of all women, and to be a girl in the world is to experience these sinister forces over the course of a lifetime. Tough but rewarding reading.
PREMIUM

Savage Gods

Kingsnorth wrote his brilliant first novel, The Wake, in a language he created. This book provides a startling and instructive account of an uncommonly creative consciousness in a state of profound doubt.

Night Boat to Tangier

This third novel (following Beatlebone) by IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner Barry is deeply satisfying. Stylistically, it advances the author’s talent for lyrical prose, with the dialog between Maurice and Charlie particularly magical. Similarly, Barry’s narrative pacing creates and then brilliantly settles the tensions between his characters. For all readers of literary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 3/4/19.]

Normal People

This brilliantly nuanced second novel fulfills the promise evident in the stunning debut, Conversations with Friends, as Rooney once again portrays to dazzling effect intelligent young adults who negotiate social roles and scenarios reinforcing power structures that, for better or worse, define relationships. Marianne and Connell are unforgettable characters, alluring and sympathetic, and Rooney is a formidable talent. A major literary achievement. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/18.]

When All Is Said

Highly recommended; this unforgettable first novel introduces Griffin as a writer to watch. [See Prepub Alert, 9/24/18.]

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