Ferris, Hadley, Khadivi, & More | Literary Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 5

Craig, Charmaine. Miss Burma. Grove. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780802126450. $25. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Fifteen years after her internationally best-selling debut, The Good Men, Craig returns to tell the story of Burma from the 1940s to the 1960s from the perspective of Benny, Khin, and their daughter, Louisa. Intriguingly, she draws from the life of her own mother, part of Burma’s Karen ethnic minority, the country’s first beauty queen, and later a revolutionary fighting for Karen independence. With a six-city tour to Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San ferrisFrancisco, and Seattle. Ferris, Joshua. The Dinner Party: Stories. Little, Brown. May 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780316465953. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316465977. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316466387. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. SHORT STORIES One of The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" writers and a National Book Award finalist, Ferris piques our interest by going short for the first time. These pieces explore what happens after the big crash-and-burn moments in our lives, especially as characters struggle to connect with others. With a 40,000-copy first printing. Gray, Amelia. Isadora. Farrar. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780374279981. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374712587. LITERARY/HISTORICAL An FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction prize winner and PEN/Faulkner and NYPL Young Lions finalist, Gray shows her stuff with a distinctive reenvisioning of Isadora Duncan. No, it's not modern-dance genius Isadora brimming onstage but mourning the death of her two children after a drowning accident in Paris. How does she keep performing? Hadley, Tessa. Bad Dreams and Other Stories. Harper. May 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780062476661. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062476685. SHORT STORIES Winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction, the estimable Hadley returns after a tautly strung family tale, The Past, with a collection of short stories that show the hidden depths and tensions in the simplest moments. Two sisters quarreling, a sleepless child exploring her dark bedroom, a jacket left behind—such scenarios are cause for drama. With a 20,000-copy first printing. Khadivi, Laleh. A Good Country. Bloomsbury USA. May 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781632865847. $27. LITERARY In 2009, 14-year-old Alireza Courdee lights up a joint and becomes an immediate convert to stoner khadiviculture while maintaining the kind of grades that make his ambitious immigrant parents proud. By 2013, calling himself Reza al Alawah, he’s in Syria with 200 other ISIS fighters and beginning to wonder what he’s done. Boasting Pushcart, Whiting, and Discover Great New Writers honors (that last one for The Age of Orphans), Khadivi promises to unfold a tale of the choices we make—or that get made for us. Kiernan, Stephen P. The Baker’s Secret. Morrow. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062369581. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062369604. LITERARY/HISTORICAL After a distinguished journalism career, Kiernan won good attention for his first two novels, The Curiosity and The Hummingbird. Here, Emmanuelle is forced to bake bread for the German troops occupying her Norman village but holds back some flour to mix with ground straw, making extra loaves to feed the desperate villagers. With D-day on the horizon, things will change. With a 35,000-copy first printing. Libaire, Jardine. White Fur. Hogarth: Crown. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780451497925; ebk. ISBN 9780451497949. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY In this new novel from Libaire (Here Kitty Kitty), high school dropout Elise Perez winds up living next libairedoor to wealthy Yale junior Jamey in New Haven. Sure, they find love, but can it survive their move as a couple to glittery 1980s New York and the intervention of his hard-edged family? And what happens when events put not just their love but their lives at risk? With a 75,000-copy first printing. Louis, Édouard. The End of Eddy. Farrar. May 2017. 208p. tr. from French by Michael Lucey. ISBN 9780374266653. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374716394. LITERARY Like his creator (and in fact bearing his birth name), Eddy Bellegueule was born in a rough factory town in northern France and struggles with his reputation for precocity and his attraction to men. How can he meet narrow-minded familial and community expectations? This first novel has made Louis a star in France and an international sensation (it's been translated into 20 languages), so time to catch up on world reading. Patrick, Phaedra. Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone. Park Row: Harlequin. May 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780778319993. $24.99. LITERARY Patrick follows up her attention-getting debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, with the story of Benedict Stone, whose marriage and jewelry store in the village of Noon Sun are both clattering downward. Redemption arrives in the form of gutsy teenage niece Gemma, daughter of his estranged brother, who upends Benedict's life while proving that moonstones are for empathy and lapis lazuli for truth. With a 100,000-copy first printing. Satyal, Rakesh. No One Can Pronounce My Name. Picador. May 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781250112118. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781250112132. LITERARYsaytal Winner of a Lambda Literary Award and the Prose/Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies, Satyal sets this new novel in an Indian American community outside of Cleveland. Here, mid-forties Harit tries to help his mother, who's mourning the death of her daughter, by dressing up in a sari each night, while Ranjana copes with an empty nest and her fears that her husband is unfaithful by secretly writing paranormal romances. Their paths meet with unexpected results.

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