Madison Smartt Bell's picture

Madison Smartt Bell

USA flag (b.1957)

Madison Smartt Bell is a critically acclaimed writer of more than a dozen novels and story collections, as well as numerous essays and reviews for publications such as Harper's and the New York Times Book Review. His books have been finalists for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, among other honors.

Genres: Mystery
Non fiction
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National Book Award for Fiction Best Book nominee (1995) : All Souls' Rising
PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction Best Book nominee (1996) : All Souls' Rising

Madison Smartt Bell recommends
River Dogs (1987)
Robert Olmstead
"Olmstead has the skill for lending every present moment an extraordinary, sensuous glow."
Jack (1989)
A M Homes
"Honest, uncompromising and savagely funny."
Some Girls (1994)
Kristin McCloy
"Electric from the first page on... tingingly erotic... McCloy's sence of place is fantastically vivid."
Dogfight (1998)
Michael Knight
"Michael Knight's stories are tempered with both pathos and humor, and seasoned with many an unexpected twist. Dogfight and Other Stories has a bite more than equal to its bark."
The True History of Paradise (1999)
Margaret Cezair-Thompson
"Fascinating . . . Cezair-Thompson writes with such talent, grace, and confidence."
The Madam (2003)
Julianna Baggott
"Profoundly different from anything she has done before, The Madam is an extraordinary novel which will open a whole new phase of what already looks like a brilliant career."
The Night Birds (2007)
Thomas Maltman
"We all set our sights on the Great American Novel. . . . [Thomas Maltman] comes impressively close to laying his hands on the grail."
Sweetsmoke (2008)
David Fuller
"With Sweetsmoke, David Fuller gives an extraordinarily nuanced, privileged, and convincing view of the world of slavery during the American Civil War, and of the hearts and minds of the men and women who had to live in that world."
A Detailed Man (2011)
David Swinson
"A relentless tour of DCs most crime-ridden streets, with many beautifully written surprises, and darker than the deepest noir."
The Black Painting (2018)
Neil Olson
"Neil Olson's The Black Painting is an expertly confected, delicious mystery/thriller, and also a deeper study of the family romance, with echoes of Cheever's 'Goodbye, My Brother'."
The Removes (2018)
Tatjana Soli
"Tatjana Soli’s The Removes breathes new life into a story I thought I already knew inside out - the tale of George Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, a century-old icon of American history, and exhaustively covered by Evan S. Connell’s Son of the Morning Star. Any writer entering these lists must be both bold and strong, and Soli proves herself all that, finding fresh blood in the strangely vexed, compelling romance between Custer and his wife Libbie, real pathos in the plight of captives both before and after ‘rescue,’ and surprising sympathy for the man who wanted - fatally too much - to be a hero."
Horse (2018)
Talley English
"Horse, by Talley English, might look like another story about a girl and her horse, which it is and is more: an unflinching examination of what it is to be an animal, what it is to be human, the difference and overlap between the two, and how to manage that intersection. Anyone who’s ever tried to care for a creature from a hamster on up will love it and learn from it. Brilliantly written, and ruthlessly felt, this novel marks the debut of a talent strong for the long haul."

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