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Shelf-Awareness

New, notable and buzz-worthy titles in literature

Something is creepily amiss in a video rental store in “Universal Harvester” by National Book Award nominee and Mountain Goats band member John Darnielle. It's a Midwestern horror story for the Y2K era, with lots of suspense and a humanistic undercurrent of loneliness and loss.

Argentinian author Mariana Enriquez chronicles various strains of street life in Buenos Aires with “Things We Lost in the Fire,” a visceral, deeply disturbing collection of surreal stories reminiscent of both Shirley Jackson and Roberto Bolaño and equally haunting. 

One part cultural criticism, one part biography, one part memoir, Lauren Elkin’s “Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London” provides an inspiring and informative glimpse into lives of female artists and their relationships to the cities that inspired them.  

Former MacArthur fellow and award-winning author of “The Vagrants,” Yiyun Li writes about her lifelong struggles with depression and life as a Chinese immigrant in the essay collection “Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life.” Just like her fiction, the prose teems with beauty, melancholy and emotional subtleties.  

In his ambitious debut novel, “All Our Wrong Todays,” Canadian screenwriter Elan Mastai offers up a humorous tale of time travel and alternate realities, as a mishap sends the main character to a dystopian version of the world that looks exactly like the one we’re living in. 

Something is creepily amiss in a video rental store in “Universal Harvester” by National Book Award nominee and Mountain Goats band member John Darnielle. It’s a Midwestern horror story for the Y2K era, with lots of suspense and a humanistic undercurrent of loneliness and loss. 

One of America’s most beloved short story writers, George Saunders, goes long with his highly anticipated first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo.” Told through a collage of voices, this historical fiction takes place during the Civil War and follows President Abraham Lincoln into the spirit world in the midst of grief over the death of his young son. An American hero meets existential crisis. 


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