arts 11.5.14

Book Land

The first novel from Washington Post journalist Neely Tucker, The Ways of the Dead is a suspenseful mystery set in 1990s Washington D.C., from its centers of power to its grittiest corners.

European bestseller The End of Days is by German author Jenny Erpenbeck, a novel in which a child dies in one chapter, only to have an alternate life in the next chapter, and another after that. It's a conceit not unlike Kate Atkinson's Life After Life; Erpenbeck's compelling book reflects provenance and mortality and time throughout the 20th century.

While we're in Germany, Robert Beachy makes the case in Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity that the very idea of being gay has its roots in that country, well before the Weimar Republic.

Meghan Daum, noted essayist and L.A. Times columnist, amply demonstrates in the collection titled The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, that she's one the most incisive minds around. Her writing is also funny and touching.

In Nora Webster, about a young widow in 1960s Ireland, author Cólm Toibín heightens the title character's daily pain, her setbacks and progress, by stripping out even the merest hints of sentimentality. A subtle and beautiful work.

Here by Richard McGuire takes up the conceit of his groundbreaking 1989 comic of the same name, set in a New Jersey living room, depicting things that have happened in that space over eons. In advance of the book's publication on December 9, the Morgan has an exhibition of McGuire's work (through Sunday) on the process that led to this graphic novel.

Prospect Park

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