Starred Review

The Refugees

by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Following his Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen shares eight short stories in The Refugees. Each entry in the collection examines a snapshot in the life of an individual straddling two disparate spheres--their homeland and their adopted country. Nguyen's penetrating gaze will mesmerize readers and open windows to the particular nuances of a population struggling to find its identity.

Nguyen constructs intricate relationships among his characters, whether it is

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The Possessions

by Sara Flannery Murphy

Sara Flannery Murphy's debut novel, The Possessions, resists easy genre classification. The protagonist, Eurydice, a shy young woman with a troubled past, works as a "body" for the Elysian Society. Her job involves channeling dead wives, daughters and girlfriends for their grieving loved ones by taking a pill called a "lotus." Eurydice's life is one of routine and numb efficiency, interrupted by a new client, Patrick Braddock, who forges a more intimate connection with her as she channels his deceased

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Great, Now We've Got Barbarians!

by Jason Carter Eaton, illus. by Mark Fearing

Parents are always nagging their kids to clean up their rooms. One messy little boy's mom is no different. She tells him, "If you don't clean up after yourself, we're going to have pests!" But really, what's the harm if his abandoned food scraps attract a few ants or a "little bitty mouse?" "What was the worst that could happen?"

As it happens, there is something worse than tiny pests, hence the book's title Great, Now We've Got Barbarians! When the crumbs and sticky messes around the house reach critical

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Shelf Discovery

American Street

by Ibi Zoboi

In this compelling YA debut, Fabiola Toussaint gets separated from her mother during their journey from Haiti to Detroit and learns that the American dream is hardly guaranteed.

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The Twenty Days of Turin

by Giorgio De Maria, trans. by Ramon Glazov

The Twenty Days of Turin is the dystopian foreshadowing of the emotional and societal chaos when secrets become fetishes and personal interaction is discouraged.

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by Ali Smith

Ali Smith's first of a projected quartet of seasonal novels is a triumphant story of a May-December friendship within a divided Britain.

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Media Heat

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel (Random House, $28, 9780812995343).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Takeaway: Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501126390).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fresh Air: Joseph Turow, author of The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power (Yale University Press, $30, 9780300212198).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

KCRW's Bookworm: Michael Tolkin, author of NK3: A Novel (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25, 9780802125439).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Refugees (Grove Press, $25, 9780802126399).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Fresh Air: Sheelah Kolhatkar, author of Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street (Random House, $28, 9780812995800).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Anderson Cooper, co-author of The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss (Harper Paperbacks, $15.99, 9780062454959).
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