Recent Arrivals in Fiction
By Diane Gravell
Compelling, beautiful, and poetic are some of the words used to describe Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen, a story set in the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, where daughters are disguised as boys to protect them. This book is just one of the outstanding novels recently added to the English collection of La Biblioteca de San Miguel Allende. Also found on the Recent Arrivals shelves are The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa; God Loves Haiti, by Dimitry Elias Léger, a novel reminiscent of Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera; In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen; On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee; I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin; A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman; and Street of Thieves, a coming-of-age novel set in Barcelona during Spain’s financial collapse and the Arab Spring, by Mathias Enard.
The list continues with Boy, Snow, Bird, a reimagining of Snow White set in the United States during the 1950s and 60s by Helen Oyeyemi; King Solomon’s Mines, the classic by H. Rider Haggard; Nobody Is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey; Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill; Sweetland, an epic tale set in Newfoundland by Michael Crummey; Noontide Toll, a portrait of postwar Sri Lanka by Romesh Gunesekera; The Invention of Exile by Vanessa Manko; Family Life by Akhil Sharma; 10:04 by Ben Lerner; Arctic Summer, a fictionalized biography of E. M. Forster by Damon Galgut; The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson; Redeployment, short stories portraying the effects of war and its aftermath by Phil Klay (winner of the National Book Award in 2014 for this book); and Bark: Stories, a New York Times Notable Book by Lorrie Moore.
New mysteries and thrillers include Frog Music by Emma Donoghue; A Dangerous Place, a Maisie Dobbs story by Jacqueline Winspear; Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman; The Ice Queen by Nele Neuhaus; Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz; My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni; Robert Parker’s Blind Spot by Reed Farrel Coleman; A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin; Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin; The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid; The Accident by Christopher Pavone; and By Its Cover by Donna Leon.
Finally, among the new books is a bit of historical fiction: The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami; In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds; The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver; Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, a story of love, art, and betrayal by Francine Prose; The Kept by James Scott; and Bella Cora by Phillip Margulies.
“I have always held the old-fashioned opinion that the primary object of a work of fiction should be to tell a story.” –Wilkie Collins