New At­wood, Rushdie top fall books

The Prince George Citizen - - A & e -

This fall, some of the timeli­est and most top­i­cal books will be found in the fic­tion sec­tion.

From Mar­garet At­wood’s The Tes­ta­ments, her se­quel to The Hand­maid’s Tale, to Lucy Ell­mann’s epic Ducks, New­bury­port and Salman Rushdie’s Qui­chotte, nov­el­ists and short story writ­ers are ad­dress­ing the news of the mo­ment through imag­ined nar­ra­tives.

Some are set in the present, oth­ers in the dis­tant past and oth­ers in the un­de­ter­mined fu­ture.

“Fic­tion at its best is a jour­ney to­ward the truth by an in­di­rect route,” said Rushdie, whose novel brings the tale of Don Quixote into the age of YouTube and real­ity tele­vi­sion. “If done prop­erly, (it) can cap­ture a mo­ment in such a way that read­ers in the present can gain ‘recog­ni­tion plea­sure’ – ‘Yes, this is how things are.”’

At­wood has said the rise of Don­ald Trump helped con­vince her to write The Tes­ta­ments, which re­turns read­ers to the ruth­less pa­tri­archy of Gilead and to those re­sist­ing it.

Ducks, New­bury­port is a 1,000page jour­ney through the wor­ried mind of an Ohio housewife who makes pies and de­spairs about Trump.

Jea­nine Cummins’ highly an­tic­i­pated Amer­i­can Dirt tells of a book­seller in Mex­ico who is threat­ened by a drug car­tel and at­tempts to flee to the United States.

Rob Hart sets his thriller The Ware­house within a gi­ant tech com­pany called “The Cloud,” a story billed as “Big Brother meets Big Busi­ness.”

“Jour­nal­ism is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant, and data is great at mak­ing peo­ple an­gry, but a story sits with you the way data doesn’t,” Hart says. “Sto­ries are about em­pa­thy. I think we’ve col­lec­tively de­cided our com­fort is more im­por­tant than some­one else’s dis­com­fort, and putting peo­ple in some­one else’s shoes for a bit seems a good way to counter that.”

Ta-Ne­hisi Coates’ first novel, The Wa­ter Dancer, is the story of a slave’s ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal jour­ney; the au­thor has called the work a “myth” to coun­ter­act the racist be­liefs of the present, ex­plain­ing dur­ing last spring’s book­sell­ers con­ven­tion that fic­tion can change minds by tak­ing us to a “bone-deep level.”

New fic­tion also will come from Ann Patch­ett (The Dutch House), Stephen King (The In­sti­tute) and Zadie Smith (Grand Union) and Monique Truong (The Sweet­est Fruits).

Stephen Ch­bosky’s Imag­i­nary Friend is his first novel since his mil­lion-sell­ing de­but, The Perks of Be­ing a Wall­flower and An­dre Aci­man’s Find Me is a se­quel to his novel that was adapted into an Os­car-win­ning movie, Call Me By Your Name.

Prize-win­ning poet Robert Hass will re­lease his first new col­lec­tion since 2010, Sum­mer Snow.

Po­etry also is com­ing from Sharon Olds, Nick Flynn, Anne Simp­son, Daniel Pop­pick and the coun­try’s new poet lau­re­ate, Joy Harjo.

Cut­ting Edge, a crime and mys­tery an­thol­ogy edited by Joyce Carol Oates, fea­tures po­ems and sto­ries from At­wood, Ed­widge Dan­ti­cat and Aimee Ben­der, among other women.

“In noir, women’s place un­til fairly re­cently has been lim­ited to two: muse, sex­ual ob­ject,” Oates writes in the in­tro­duc­tion. “The par­tic­u­lar strength of the fe­male noir vi­sion isn’t a rec­og­niz­able style but rather a de­fi­antly fe­male, in­deed fem­i­nist, per­spec­tive.”

Cur­rent events will be ad­dressed di­rectly in such non­fic­tion as Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be an An­tiracist, Naomi Klein’s On Fire: The (Burn­ing) Case for a Green New Deal and Stephen Green­house’s Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Fu­ture of Amer­i­can La­bor.

Ed­ward Snow­den, the former gov­ern­ment em­ployee famed for leak­ing doc­u­ments that re­vealed a mas­sive gov­ern­ment surveil­lance sys­tem, has writ­ten the mem­oir Per­ma­nent Record.

Jonathan Safran Foer, known for such nov­els as Ev­ery­thing is Il­lu­mi­nated, of­fers a daily ap­proach to cli­mate change in We Are the Weather: Sav­ing the Planet Be­gins at Break­fast.

He says the book came out of a con­ver­sa­tion with an en­vi­ron­men­tal phi­lan­thropist about an ex­pres­sion both had heard too of­ten, “We have to do some­thing.” Foer said the most di­rect and tan­gi­ble ac­tion is cut­ting down on meat con­sump­tion, a point he felt he couldn’t make through fic­tion.

“I was aim­ing to make some quite spe­cific fac­tual claims,” he says. “I wanted to make a point about how we can make a huge dent in the en­vi­ron­ment by some rel­a­tively small changes in how we eat.”

The Pulitzer Prize win­ners who helped re­launch #MeToo have books out: The New Yorker’s Ro­nan Far­row has writ­ten Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Con­spir­acy to Pro­tect Preda­tors and Jodi Kan­tor and Me­gan Twohey re­flect on their New York Times cov­er­age in She Said: Break­ing the Sex­ual Ha­rass­ment Story That Helped Ig­nite a Move­ment.

The woman sex­u­ally as­saulted by Stan­ford Univer­sity stu­dent Brock Turner, her name still un­known to the gen­eral public, has a mem­oir out in Septem­ber.

Me­moirs also are com­ing from former UN Am­bas­sadors Su­san Rice and Sa­man­tha Power, Olympic fig­ure skater Adam Rip­pon, ac­tresses Julie An­drews and Demi Moore, and chef Jean-Ge­orges Von­gerichten.

Supreme Court Jus­tice Neil Gor­such’s A Repub­lic, If You Can Keep It col­lects speeches and es­says and is ex­pected to touch on his con­tentious con­fir­ma­tion to the court in 2017. Former De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis looks back on his ca­reer in Call Sign Chaos.

Mu­sic lovers again can look for­ward to a new round of me­moirs. El­ton John’s Me is ex­pected this fall, along with Deb­bie Harry’s Face It, Flea’s Acid for the Chil­dren and An­drew Ridge­ley’s Wham!: Ge­orge Michael and Me.

Prince’s The Beau­ti­ful Ones”is built around a manuscript he and co-au­thor Dan Piepen­bring were work­ing on at the time of his death.

A former Prince col­lab­o­ra­tor, Mor­ris Day, tells his story in On Time: A Princely Life in Funk.

Liz Phair’s Hor­ror Sto­ries is less a rock star mem­oir than a mem­oir that hap­pens to be writ­ten by a rock star.

It’s a col­lec­tion of per­sonal es­says re­flect­ing on ev­ery­thing from di­vorce to the birth of her son to climb­ing trees on her grand­par­ents’ prop­erty.

The singer-song­writer known for her clas­sic Ex­ile in Guyville al­bum told The As­so­ci­ated Press in a re­cent tele­phone in­ter­view that Prince’s death was one rea­son she de­cided to write the book.

“When these great mu­sic leg­ends die, you re­al­ize how much they meant to you and how much they shaped your ca­reer... And it gets you think­ing about your own legacy,” she said, adding that her book also was a way of con­fronting the “hor­ror” of the daily head­lines.

“I be­lieve there’s a power to be­ing open and con­nected to your emo­tions, ac­knowl­edg­ing what’s hap­pened to you. I don’t think it shows weak­ness. I think it for­ti­fies you against a whole lot of hot air,” she said.


This com­bi­na­tion of pho­tos shows cover im­ages from an­tic­i­pated re­leases, from left, The Tes­ta­ments, by Mar­garet At­wood, The In­sti­tute, by Stephen King, Qui­chotte, by Salman Rushdie and The Wa­ter Dancer, by Ta-Ne­hisi Coates.

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