In the days following his son's death, not long into the Civil War, a stricken President Lincoln goes "alone" to the cemetery to spend a night at the crypt. But we are never alone. Lincoln is surrounded by the loves and lives of those buried near his son, and carries within him the loves and lives of those he governs. Saunders' first novel, novel in format but true to form: humane, jocular, generous.
Laymon's is a new and fresh and vulnerable voice. In post-Katrina, Civil Rights-era, and 1980s' Mississippi, teenagers wrestle with race, time, autonomy, celebrity, power, and violence. Though the themes are heavy, the characters are drawn with dynamic intensity and wit. A bit of time travel compels and propels.
Davis is a marvel, a genius of economy. These stories are potent nuggets, somehow both pedestrian and Herculean. This is one to keep returning to, revisiting when you desire a few degrees' shift in perspective.
This is a must read. Truly. Morrison deftly, gracefully confronts race and beauty, and forces us to consider the currency of both. These aren't theoretical considerations for any of us, but they're decidedly more urgent for Pecola, Claudia, and Frieda, three young black girls living in Ohio during the Great Depression. Their stories and voices are so stark, so pleading, so sympathetic that we cannot look away.
A ferocious investigation into, and reckoning with, a true American religion told both through historical record and through one family's experience of the sometimes violent ends of faith's strangehold. This book is riveting.
Family, longing for ourselves, and naked humanity. The characters here are so lovingly and intricately drawn, and their stories are told from the perspective of an omniscient chorus, the titular "We." This much we do know: Crane's gift for reflecting back to us ourselves and our relationships is immense.