Starred Review


by Scholastique Mukasonga, trans. by Jordan Stump

A Rwandan exile living in France, Scholastique Mukasonga pulled from her extraordinary life to write two notable memoirs, Cockroaches and The Barefoot Woman. Autobiographical elements continue to haunt her exquisite collection, Igifu, through five wrenching stories. Born in 1956, Mukasonga had a tumultuous childhood marked by horrific anti-Tutsi violence that forced her family from their home village. The ongoing expulsions and persecutions culminated for Mukasonga during the 1994

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Homeland Elegies

by Ayad Akhtar

In Homeland Elegies, Ayad Akhtar's impressive whirlwind of a second novel, the author turns his own phenomenally successful American story inside out, eloquently exposing fault lines that persist for those viewed as outsiders in their country of birth. Taking the literary form of a reality drama, Homeland Elegies explores the socio-economic upheavals that created Trump's America through the astonishing family saga of an American Muslim playwright of Pakistani ancestry.

A narrator named Ayad, born in New York

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Skunk and Badger

by Amy Timberlake, illus. by Jon Klassen

Things start out badly for accidental roommates Skunk and Badger and only get worse in this sweet (though occasionally stinky) story featuring an all-new literary theme--badger meets skunk, badger loses skunk, badger gets skunk back. Amy Timberlake writes with whimsical humor reminiscent of A.A. Milne, Arnold Lobel and Kenneth Grahame, which is reinforced by Jon Klassen's splendid illustrations. Working together, they build a world that is both authentic and fantastically original.

When curmudgeonly Badger,

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Shelf Discovery

A World Between

by Emily Hashimoto

An irresistibly messy romance ebbs and flows across the years between two queer women whose identities clash, shift, align, stagnate and evolve.

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by Philippe Djian, trans. by Mark Polizzotti

Two combat veterans struggling to fit into their lives at home are pushed to the brink when the sister-in-law of one of them comes to town.

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by Tiffany D. Jackson

A gritty murder mystery unfolds as an aspiring singer attempts to escape an abusive relationship with a famous R&B mogul.

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Miss Meteor

by Tehlor Kay Mejia, Anna-Marie McLemore

Two Latinx ex-best friends are determined to win their local beauty pageant despite poor odds and otherworldly obstacles, in Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia's fresh YA novel.

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Media Heat

Thursday, September 24, 2020

KCRW's Bookworm: Jay Parini, author of Borges and Me: An Encounter (Doubleday, $27.95, 9780385545822).

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The View: Desus & Mero, authors of God-Level Knowledge Darts: Life Lessons from the Bronx (Random House, $26, 9780525512332).

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Fresh Air: Dan Alexander, author of White House Inc.: How Donald Trump Turned the Presidency into a Business (Portfolio, $28, 9780593188521).

Good Morning America: Ayesha Curry, author of The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled, Easy Recipes for Families with No Time and a Lot to Do (Voracious, $30, 9780316496179).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Desus & Mero, authors of God-Level Knowledge Darts: Life Lessons from the Bronx (Random House, $26, 9780525512332).

Monday, September 21, 2020

Good Morning America: Sunny Hostin, co-author of I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds (HarperOne, $27.99, 9780062950826).

Also on GMA: H.R. McMaster, author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World (Harper, $35, 9780062899460).

Thursday, September 17, 2020

KCRW's Bookworm: Aracelis Girmay, editor of How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton (BOA Editions, $28, 9781950774142).
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