Rivka Galchen recommends
The Night Ocean (2017)
Paul La Farge
"It has been years since I read a novel with so much joy, impatience and awe."
One of the Boys (2017)
"Daniel Magariel's absolutely brilliant and beautiful novel is that rarest thing: an incredibly mature book about kids. Not since I read Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping have I felt so at once in the presence of the magic-logic terrors of childhood and the too real and consequential realms of adults."
"Heartbreaker makes high and hilarious art from the emotional Pop Rocks and glittery junk of a certain way of being young. And vulnerable. Also, it has one of the most awesome dogs in literature. . . . A thrillingly original, wholly spellbinding, and luminous novel."
The Falconer (2019)
"Told with a poet's ear and a basketball player's eye and reflexes, The Falconer is an extraordinary book. Czapnik is refreshingly honest and open-eyed about the way money, gender and the demands of the body steer the overwhelming longings and frustrations of being a young woman growing up in the city. Every detail feels true and important, every small observation tells a larger story. A wonderful new talent."
Such Good Work (2019)
"I honestly can't think of a novel I would more want to be reading in the very particular now of our world. Lichtman’s narrator is an everyman (albeit a singular one) who just wants to be goodthat slipperiest of ambitionsand yet his efforts pretty much always go wrong. But also they don't. Wisely comic and tremendously moving, Such Good Work thinks in detail about immigration, addiction, privilege, power and loneliness; but it does so by mining the seemingly inconsequential for its true profundity. Lichtman never falls for the siren song of self-seriousness, and that is part of what makes his novel feel so accurate, and so important. In being open to complexity, and sensitive to absurdity, Such Good Work gets at the wholeness and difficulty and beauty of lives both ordinary and extraordinary."
"These stories by Asako Serizawa are tremendous, intimate, startling and essential; they show us how the past is so often the most powerful force in what we idly call the present."
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