In This Issue

Among the stellar fiction reviewed this week: Alice McDermott's "smart and memorable" novel Absolution, which explores the question of whether help is consequential, or merely the feel-good actions of the well-meaning but misguided; deftly integrated into a familiar narrative of discordant strangers bonding, The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez is a "penetrating interrogation" of the nature of reading, writing, and creating fiction; and in the "breathtaking" middle-grade adventure Three Tasks for a Dragon by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, young Prince Lir must choose between banishment and a dangerous quest. Plus so many more!

In The Writer's Life, Girlfriends author Emily Zhou talks about the writers that influenced not only the way she thinks about writing, but also where to live.

--Jennifer M. Brown, senior editor, Shelf Awareness
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