ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2020 Finalist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction A Best Book of 2020 * Washington Post * O Magazine * New York Times Book Review * Publishers Weekly A "profound and provocative" new work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced and American Dervish: an immigrant father and his son search for belonging -- in post-Trump America, and with each other (Kirkus Reviews). "Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable." -- Salman Rushdie A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one -- least of all himself -- in the process.

Author ,
Isbn 031649643X
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-09-15
Pages 384
Language English
File format PDF

From the author of Homeland Elegies and Pulitzer Prize winner Disgraced, a stirring and explosive novel about an American Muslim family in Wisconsin struggling with faith and belonging in the pre-9/11 world. Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes. American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life.

Author Ayad Akhtar
Isbn 0316192821
Genre Fiction
Year 2012-01-09
Pages 384
Language English
File format PDF

“A continuously engaging, vitally engaged play about thorny questions of identity and religion in the contemporary world, with an accent on the incendiary topic of how radical Islam and the terrorism it inspires have affected the public discourse.” New York Times New York. Today. Corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor is happy, in love, and about to land the biggest career promotion of his life. But beneath the veneer, success has come at a price. When Amir and his artist wife, Emily, host an intimate dinner party at their Upper East Side apartment, what starts out as a friendly conversation soon escalates into something far more damaging. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 2013, Disgraced premiered in Chicago before transferring to New York's Lincoln Center in 2012. This new Modern Classics edition features an introduction by J.T Rodgers.

Author Ayad Akhtar
Isbn 1350146501
Genre Drama
Year 2021-01-14
Pages 104
Language English
File format PDF

On February 14, 1986, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini, a voice reaching across the world from Iran to kill him in his own country. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran.” So begins the extraordinary, often harrowing story—filled too with surreal and funny moments—of how a writer was forced underground, moved from house to house, an armed police protection team living with him at all times for more than nine years. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. He became “Joe.” How do a writer and his young family live day by day with the threat of murder for so long? How do you go on working? How do you keep love and joy alive? How does despair shape your thoughts and actions, how and why do you stumble, how do you learn to fight for survival? In this remarkable memoir, Rushdie tells that story for the first time. He talks about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and of the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; of friendships (literary and otherwise) and love; and of how he regained his freedom. This is a book of exceptional frankness and honesty, compelling, moving, provocative, not only captivating as a revelatory memoir but of vital importance in its political insight and wisdom. Because it is also a story of today’s battle for intellectual liberty; of why literature matters; and of a man’s refusal to be silenced in the face of state-sponsored terrorism. And because we now know that what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that would rock the whole world on September 11th and is still unfolding somewhere every day.

Author Salman Rushdie
Isbn 0307401383
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2012-09-18
Pages 672
Language English
File format PDF

*Now on Broadway at Lincoln Center starring Steven Pasquale* From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced, a fast-paced economic thriller that exposes the financial deal making behind the mergers and acquisitions boom of the 1980s. Set in 1985, Junk tells the story of Robert Merkin, resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell. Hailed as "America's Alchemist," his proclamation that "debt is an asset" has propelled him to a dizzying level of success. By orchestrating the takeover of a massive steel manufacturer, Merkin intends to do the "deal of the decade," the one that will rewrite all the rules. Working on his broadest canvas to date, Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar chronicles the lives of men and women engaged in financial civil war: insatiable investors, threatened workers, killer lawyers, skeptical journalists, and ambitious federal prosecutors. Although it's set 40 years in the past, this is a play about the world we live in right now; a world in which money became the only thing of real value.

Author Ayad Akhtar
Isbn 0316550906
Genre Drama
Year 2017-11-07
Pages 176
Language English
File format PDF

Since her debut in 1989, A. M. Homes has been among the boldest and most original voices of her generation, acclaimed for the psychological accuracy and unnerving emotional intensity of her storytelling. Her ability to explore how extraordinary the ordinary can be is at the heart of her touching and funny new novel, her first in six years. This Book Will Save Your Life is a vivid, uplifting, and revealing story about compassion, transformation, and what can happen if you are willing to lose yourself and open up to the world around you.

Author A. M. Homes
Isbn 1440679517
Genre Fiction
Year 2007-04-03
Pages 384
Language English
File format PDF

A chilling examination of how far we will go to survive and the consequences of the choices we make. In remote Pakistan, Nick Bright awaits his fate. A successful financial trader, Nick is kidnapped by an Islamic militant group, but with no one negotiating his release, he agrees to an unusual plan. He will earn his own ransom by helping his captors manipulate and master the world commodities and currency markets. "[A] tense, provocative thriller about the unholy nexus of international terrorism and big bucks...." (Seattle Times). "Ahktar again turns hypersensitive subjects into thought-provoking and thoughtful drama" (Newsday). "The prime theme is pulsing and alive: when human lives become just one more commodity to be traded, blood eventually flows in the streets" (Financial Times). "Whip-smart and twisty" (Time Out New York), "The Invisible Hand offers genuine insight into the future of the West" (Village Voice).

Author Ayad Akhtar
Isbn 0316324507
Genre Fiction
Year 2015-08-25
Pages 144
Language English
File format PDF

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by Apple Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and The Week An indelible novel of teenage alienation and adult complacency in an unraveling world. Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s sublime new novel—her first since the National Book Award long-listed Sweet Lamb of Heaven—follows a group of twelve eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their families at a sprawling lakeside mansion. Contemptuous of their parents, who pass their days in a stupor of liquor, drugs, and sex, the children feel neglected and suffocated at the same time. When a destructive storm descends on the summer estate, the group’s ringleaders—including Eve, who narrates the story—decide to run away, leading the younger ones on a dangerous foray into the apocalyptic chaos outside. As the scenes of devastation begin to mimic events in the dog-eared picture Bible carried around by her beloved little brother, Eve devotes herself to keeping him safe from harm. A Children’s Bible is a prophetic, heartbreaking story of generational divide—and a haunting vision of what awaits us on the far side of Revelation.

Author Lydia Millet
Isbn 1324005041
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-05-12
Pages 224
Language English
File format PDF

From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world's most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic. Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there's something sinister--almost otherwordly--afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes. Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark's presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past--as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over. Brilliantly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.

Author Alma Katsu
Isbn 0525537910
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-03-10
Pages 432
Language English
File format PDF

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IS NOW A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD AND STARRING AMY ADAMS, GLENN CLOSE, AND GABRIEL BASSO "You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist "A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal "Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Author J. D. Vance
Isbn 0062872257
Genre Social Science
Year 2018-05-01
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF

From one of our most preeminent writers, a tale that captures the shifting meanings of the past, and how our experience colors those meanings. Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, one of the seven elderly trustees of the now defunct (for thirty-four years) Temple Academy for Boys, is preparing a memoir of his days at the school, intertwined with the troubling distractions of present events. As he navigates, with faltering recall, between the subtle anti-Semitism that pervaded the school's ethos and his fascination with his own family's heritage--in particular, his illustrious cousin, the renowned archaeologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie--he reconstructs the passions of a childhood encounter with the oddly named Ben-Zion Elefantin, a mystifying older pupil who claims descent from Egypt's Elephantine Island. From this seed emerges one of Cynthia Ozick's most wondrous tales, touched by unsettling irony and the elusive flavor of a Kafka parable, and weaving, in her own distinctive voice, myth and mania, history and illusion.

Author Cynthia Ozick
Isbn 0593318838
Genre Fiction
Year 2021-04-13
Pages 192
Language English
File format PDF

Following his acclaimed New York Times bestseller Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg returns with a “delicate, deeply observed, and deftly crafted” (Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs) second novel about the complicated bonds and breaking points of friendship, the corrosive forces of secrets, the heartbeat of longing, and the redemption found in forgiveness. A retired widow in rural Connecticut wakes to an unexpected visit from her childhood best friend whom she hasn’t seen in forty-nine years. A man arrives at a Pennsylvania hotel to introduce his estranged father to his newborn daughter and finds him collapsed on the floor of the lobby. A sixty-seven-year-old taxi driver in Kauai receives a phone call from the mainland that jars her back to a traumatic past. These seemingly disconnected lives come together as half-century-old secrets begin to surface. It is in this moment that Bill Clegg reminds us how choices—to connect, to betray, to protect—become our legacy. “Written in lyrical, beautiful prose that makes even waking up seem like a poetic event” (Good Morning America), this novel is a feat of storytelling, capturing sixty years within the framework of one fateful day.

Author Bill Clegg
Isbn 1476798222
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-09-29
Pages 320
Language English
File format PDF

A 2019 NPR Staff Pick “Written ‘in sorrow and anger,’ this is a brilliant and urgently necessary book, eloquently making the case against bigotry and for all of us migrants—what we are not, who we are, and why we deserve to be welcomed, not feared.” —Salman Rushdie A timely argument for why the United States and the West would benefit from accepting more immigrants There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. But do we really understand it? In This Land Is Our Land, the renowned author Suketu Mehta attacks the issue head-on. Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City and on years of reporting around the world, Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. As he explains, the West is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. Mehta juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of laborers, nannies, and others, from Dubai to Queens, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before. As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous. But Mehta also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swaths of the world: When today’s immigrants are asked, “Why are you here?” they can justly respond, “We are here because you were there.” And now that they are here, as Mehta demonstrates, immigrants bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish. Impassioned, rigorous, and richly stocked with memorable stories and characters, This Land Is Our Land is a timely and necessary intervention, and a literary polemic of the highest order.

Author Suketu Mehta
Isbn 0374719357
Genre Social Science
Year 2019-06-04
Pages 320
Language English
File format PDF

A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 • Named a Best Book of the Year by Slate and NPR One of our most important public intellectuals reveals the hidden history of our current global crisis How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world—from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present. He shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises—of freedom, stability, and prosperity—were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world—or were left, or pushed, behind—reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose—angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today, just as then, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more billions adrift in a demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity—with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.

Author Pankaj Mishra
Isbn 0374715823
Genre History
Year 2017-01-20
Pages 416
Language English
File format PDF

In this brilliant, laugh-out-loud satire, image-conscious parents on a Beverly Hills junior soccer team struggle to keep up appearances as their private lives careen out of control. "You'll wince, laugh out loud, relate to, and relish this unsparing satirical send up."---Wednesday Martin, New York Times bestselling author Coach Randy is working mightily to keep it together, and not simply with his vaguely unhappy wife, distant child, and a new boss who's eliminating half the sales force. This season's soccer parents are a demanding bunch. Diane's wine-fueled group e-mails are almost unintelligible; team mom Jacqui's enthusiasm for the league verges on manic; a divorced couple can barely conceal their murderous rage at each other; and another mom is laser-focused on schooling everyone on what constitutes a healthy snack option. All the secrets and lies bubbling below the surface of their membrane-thin civility threaten to combust when Alejandro, a young, foreign assistant coach refuses to play by the Beverly Hills code, which is to mind your own business and don't look too deeply into anyone's soul. Especially your own. Brett Paesel brings hilarity and huge heart to a world that looks enviable and shiny on the outside but is, in truth, filled with aching for connection on the inside. In the vein of Perotta and Semple, everyday life in Paesel's deft rendering is anything but.

Author Brett Paesel
Isbn 1538745631
Genre Fiction
Year 2019-04-09
Pages 432
Language English
File format PDF

After his father's heart attack in 1984, Peter Godwin began a series of pilgrimages back to Zimbabwe, the land of his birth, from Manhattan, where he now lives. On these frequent visits to check on his elderly parents, he bore witness to Zimbabwe's dramatic spiral downwards into the jaws of violent chaos, presided over by an increasingly enraged dictator. And yet long after their comfortable lifestyle had been shattered and millions were fleeing, his parents refuse to leave, steadfast in their allegiance to the failed state that has been their adopted home for 50 years. Then Godwin discovered a shocking family secret that helped explain their loyalty. Africa was his father's sanctuary from another identity, another world. When a Crocodile Eats the Sun is a stirring memoir of the disintegration of a family set against the collapse of a country. But it is also a vivid portrait of the profound strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.

Author Peter Godwin
Isbn 0316032093
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2008-04-10
Pages 368
Language English
File format PDF

The basis for HBO's Patria, named one of the "Best TV Shows of 2020" by The New York Times In the heart of Spain’s Basque Country, two friends, Miren and Bittori, find their worlds upended by violence. When Bittori’s husband runs afoul of the separatist organization ETA, a terrorist group of which Miren’s son, Joxe Mari, is a member, both women must choose between their friendship and their families. Moving back and forth in time and told through the eyes of a rich cast of characters from all walks of life, Fernando Aramburu’s dazzling novel probes the lasting legacy of conflict. A work of nearly unbearable suspense, Homeland is a searing examination of truth, reconciliation, and coming to terms with history.

Author Fernando Aramburu
Isbn 1524747130
Genre Fiction
Year 2019-03-05
Pages 608
Language English
File format PDF

The magnificent new novel from Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro--author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day. “The Sun always has ways to reach us.” From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

Author Kazuo Ishiguro
Isbn 0735281254
Genre Fiction
Year 2021-03-02
Pages 272
Language English
File format PDF

One of President Obama's Favorite Books of the Year A New York Times Notable Book One of the Wall Street Journal Ten Best Books of the Year “Mr. Klay’s bravura novel homes in on the ground-level consequences of American interference in Colombia’s ongoing civil war and tumultuous peace process. But the engrossing local conflict is only part of the book’s revelatory, panoramic portrayal of the remote yet interconnected ways that American-sponsored wars are waged across the globe.” —Wall Street Journal The debut novel from the National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment A group of Colombian soldiers prepares to raid a drug lord's safe house on the Venezuelan border. They're watching him with an American-made drone, about to strike using military tactics taught to them by U.S. soldiers who honed their skills to lethal perfection in Iraq. In Missionaries, Phil Klay examines the globalization of violence through the interlocking stories of four characters and the conflicts that define their lives. For Mason, a U.S. Army Special Forces medic, and Lisette, a foreign correspondent, America's long post-9/11 wars in the Middle East exerted a terrible draw that neither is able to shake. Where can such a person go next? All roads lead to Colombia, where the US has partnered with local government to keep predatory narco gangs at bay. Mason, now a liaison to the Colombian military, is ready for the good war, and Lisette is more than ready to cover it. Juan Pablo, a Colombian officer, must juggle managing the Americans' presence and navigating a viper's nest of factions bidding for power. Meanwhile, Abel, a lieutenant in a local militia, has lost almost everything in the seemingly endless carnage of his home province, where the lines between drug cartels, militias, and the state are semi-permeable. Drawing on six years of research in America and Colombia into the effects of the modern way of war on regular people, Klay has written a novel of extraordinary suspense infused with geopolitical sophistication and storytelling instincts that are second to none. Missionaries is a window not only into modern war, but into the individual lives that go on long after the drones have left the skies.

Author Phil Klay
Isbn 1984880667
Genre Fiction
Year 2020-10-06
Pages 416
Language English
File format PDF

"An extraordinary saga." —David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon The mesmerizing account of a granddaughter's search for a World War II family history hidden for sixty years Growing up in Paris as the daughter of a German mother and an Irish father, Svenja O'Donnell knew little of her family's German past. All she knew was that her great-grandparents, grandmother, and mother had fled their home city of Königsberg near the end of World War II, never to return. But everything changed when O'Donnell traveled to the city—now known as Kaliningrad, and a part of Russia—and called her grandmother, who uncharacteristically burst into tears. "I have so much to tell you," Inge said. In this transporting and illuminating book, the award-winning journalist vividly reconstructs the story of Inge's life from the rise of the Nazis through the brutal postwar years, from falling in love with a man who was sent to the Eastern Front just after she became pregnant with his child, to spearheading her family's flight as the Red Army closed in, her young daughter in tow. Ultimately, O'Donnell uncovers the act of violence that separated Inge from the man she loved; a terrible secret hidden for more than six decades. A captivating World War II saga, Inge's War is also a powerful reckoning with the meaning of German identity and inherited trauma. In retracing her grandmother's footsteps, O'Donnell not only discovers the remarkable story of a woman caught in the gears of history, but also comes face-to-face with her family's legacy of neutrality and inaction—and offers a rare glimpse into a reality too long buried by silence and shame.

Author Svenja O'Donnell
Isbn 1984880225
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2020-04-28
Pages 320
Language English
File format PDF