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WINNER OF THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
“Electrifying” (People) • “Masterly” (The Guardian) • “Dramatic and memorable” (The New Yorker) • “Magic” (TIME) • “Ingenious” (The Financial Times) • "A gonzo literary performance” (Entertainment Weekly) • “Rare and splendid” (The Boston Globe) • “Remarkable” (USA Today) • “Delicious” (The New York Times) • “Book groups, meet your next selection" (NPR)
In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed—or untoyed with—by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley.
The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls—until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true—though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place—revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence.
As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Susan Choi's Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults.
Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty—or his charismatic, volatile wife.
My Education is the story of Regina’s mistakes, which only begin in the bedroom, and end—if they do—fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.
“Susan Choi…proves herself a natural—a writer whose intelligence and historical awareness effortlessly serve a breathtaking narrative ability. I couldn’t put American Woman down, and wanted when I finished it to do nothing but read it again.” —Joan Didion
A novel of impressive scope and complexity, “American Woman is a thoughtful, meditative interrogation of…history and politics, of power and racism, and finally, of radicalism.” (San Francisco Chronicle), perfect for readers who love Emma Cline’s novel, The Girls.
On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, 25-year-old Jenny Shimada agrees to care for three younger fugitives whom a shadowy figure from her former radical life has spirited out of California. One of them, the kidnapped granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity for embracing her captors' ideology and joining their revolutionary cell.
"A brilliant read...astonishing in its honesty and confidence,” (Denver Post) American Woman explores the psychology of the young radicals, the intensity of their isolated existence, and the paranoia and fear that undermine their ideals.
East Side? Philip Roth's chronically tormented alter ego Nathan Zuckerman has just moved there, in "Smart Money." West Side? Isaac Bashevis Singer's narrator mingles with the customers in "The Cafeteria" (who debate politics and culture in four or five different languages) and becomes embroiled in an obsessional romance. And downtown, John Updike's Maples have begun their courtship of marital disaster, in "Snowing in Greenwich Village."
Wonderful Town touches on some of the city's famous places and stops at some of its more obscure corners, but the real guidebook in and between its lines is to the hearts and the minds of those who populate the metropolis built by its pages. Like all good fiction, these stories take particular places, particular people, and particular events and turn them into dramas of universal enlightenment and emotional impact. Each life in it, and each life in Wonderful Town, is the life of us all.
Including these stories from the magazine's most iconic writers:
“The Five-Fourty-Eight” by John Cheever
“Distant Music” by Ann Beattle
“Sailor off the Bremen” by Irwin Shaw
“Physics” by Tama Janowitz
“The Whore of Mensa” by Woody Allen
“What it was Like, Seeing Chris” by Deborah Eisenberg
“Drawing Room B” by John O’Hara
“A Sentimental Journey” by Peter Taylor
“The Balloon” by Donald Barthelme
“Another Marvellous Thing” by Laurie Colwin
“The Failure” by Jonathan Franzen
“Apartment Hotel” by Sally Benson
“Midair” by Frank Conroy
“The Catbird Seat” by James Thurber
“I See You, Bianca” by Maeve Brennan
“You’re Ugly, Too” by Lorrie Moore
“Signs and Symbols” by Vladimir Nabokov
“Poor Visitor” by Jamaica Kincaid
“In Greenwich, There Are Many Gravelled Walks” by Hortense Calisher
“Some Nights When Nothing Happens Are the Best Nights in this Place” by John McNulty
“Slight Rebellion Off Madison” by J. D. Salinger
“Brownstone” by Renata Adler
“Partners” by Veronica Geng
“The Evolution of Knowledge” by Niccolo Tucci
“The Way We Live Now” by Susan Sontag
“Do the Windows Open?” by Julie Hecht
“The Mentocrats” by Edward Newhouse
“The Treatment” by Daniel Menaker
“Arrangement in Black and White” by Dorothy Parker
“Carlyle Tries Polygamy” by William Melvin Kelley
“Children Are Bored on Sunday” by Jean Stafford
“Notes from a Bottle” by James Stevenson
“Man in the Middle of the Ocean” by Daniel Fuchs
“Me Spoulets of the Splendide” by Ludwig Bemelmans
“Over by the River” by William Maxwell
"This wonderful hybrid of a novel--a love story, a war story, a novel of manners--introduces a writer of enchanting gifts, a beautiful heart wedded to a beautiful imagination. How else does Susan Choi so fully inhabit characters from disparate backgrounds, with such brilliant wit and insight? The Foreign Student stirs up great and lovely emotions." — Francisco Goldman, author of The Ordinary Seaman
The Foreign Student is the story of a young Korean man, scarred by war, and the deeply troubled daughter of a wealthy Southern American family. In 1955, a new student arrives at a small college in the Tennessee mountains. Chuck is shy, speaks English haltingly, and on the subject of his earlier life in Korea he will not speak at all. Then he meets Katherine, a beautiful and solitary young woman who, like Chuck, is haunted by some dark episode in her past. Without quite knowing why, these two outsiders are drawn together, each sensing in the other the possibility of salvation. Moving between the American South and South Korea, between an adolescent girl's sexual awakening and a young man's nightmarish memories of war, The Foreign Student is a powerful and emotionally gripping work of fiction.
Professor Lee, an Asian-born mathematician near retirement age would seem the last person to attract the attention of FBI agents. Yet after a colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee must endure the undermining power of suspicion and face the ghosts of his past.
With its propulsive drive, vividly realized characters, and profound observations about soul and society, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Susan Choi's third novel is as thrilling as it is lyrical, and confirms her place as one of the most important novelists chronicling the American experience. Intricately plotted and psychologically acute, A Person of Interest exposes the fault lines of paranoia and dread that have fractured American life and asks how far one man must go to escape his regrets.
Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book of 2019
A 2019 New York Public Library Best Book for Kids
Imagination meets reality in this poetic and tender ode to childhood, illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner, John Rocco.
Every year, a boy and his family go camping at Mountain Pond.
Usually, they see things like an eagle fishing for his dinner, a salamander with red spots on its back, and chipmunks that come to steal food while the family sits by the campfire.
But this year is different. This year, the boy is going into first grade, and his mother is encouraging him to do things on his own, just like his older brother. And the most different thing of all . . . this year, a tiger comes to the woods.
With lyrical prose and dazzling art, Pulitzer Prize finalist Susan Choi and Caldecott-honor winning artist John Rocco have created a moving and joyful ode to growing up.