Tag Archives: Fiction Books

Reviews: 2022 National Book Award Winner & Finalists For Fiction

“The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty book cover, featuring a hot pink background with a cutout showing an illustration of a woman inside.

Winner: “The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty

Set during an oppressively hot week in July, this contemporary coming-of-age novel is about four teens who have aged out of the foster care system and are living together in a once-bustling industrial city in Indiana. As one of the teens tries to escape the people and systems that have harmed her, this novel shines as a story about community and loneliness, cumulating with a devastating act of violence. “The Rabbit Hutch” is Tess Gunty’s debut novel and she was one of three authors nominated this year for their first published book.

Fiction Finalists

“The Birdcatcher” by Gayl Jones

Called “a study in Black women’s creative expression,” “The Birdcatcher” is told from the perspective of writer Amanda Wordlaw whose best friend is being repeatedly institutionalized for trying to kill her husband. Jones was first discovered and edited by Toni Morrison and her last novel, “Palmares,” was a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

“The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories” by Jamil Jan Kochai

This collection of short stories explores heritage, home, and the ghosts of war, with elements of horror, magical realism, and more woven throughout the anthology. With unforgettable Afghan characters, these stories range from the connection between a young man’s video game and his father’s real memories of war to a doctor couple that decides to stay in their home even as violence grows and their son disappears.

“All This Could Be Different” by Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sneha is a queer Indian woman who has just graduated from college into a recession and moved to Milwaukee to start an entry-level corporate job that offers the financial security she needs, opening more doors than ever before. But as challenges rise and her world begins to spin out of control, Sneha throws herself into a new relationship while her friend tries to find a radical solution to their problems.

“The Town of Babylon” by Alejandro Varela

In the wake of his husband’s infidelity, Andrés returns to his hometown and decides to go to his 20-year high school reunion, rekindling old friendships and reuniting with an old love. As he cares for his aging parents, navigates his old neighborhood, and revisits old friends, Andrés must face old wounds, systems, and people who shaped his life in many different ways.

2022 Pen/Faulkner: Rabih Alameddine’s ‘The Wrong End Of The Telescope’

WINNER OF THE 2022 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FOR FICTION

Mina Simpson, a Lebanese doctor, arrives at the infamous Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece, after being urgently summoned for help by her friend who runs an NGO there. Alienated from her family except for her beloved brother, Mina has avoided being so close to her homeland for decades. But with a week off work and apart from her wife of thirty years, Mina hopes to accomplish something meaningful, among the abundance of Western volunteers who pose for selfies with beached dinghies and the camp’s children. Soon, a boat crosses bringing Sumaiya, a fiercely resolute Syrian matriarch with terminal liver cancer. Determined to protect her children and husband at all costs, Sumaiya refuses to alert her family to her diagnosis. Bonded together by Sumaiya’s secret, a deep connection sparks between the two women, and as Mina prepares a course of treatment with the limited resources on hand, she confronts the circumstances of the migrants’ displacement, as well as her own constraints in helping them.

Best New Fiction Books: 57-Year Old Author Lily King’s “Writers & Lovers” – On The Road To Happiness

Writers & Lovers Lily King March 2020Writers & Lovers follows Casey―a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist―in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Euphoria Lily KingLily King returns with another instant New York Times bestseller: an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

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Lily King is the author of five award-winning novels. Her most recent novel, Writers & Lovers, will be published on March 3rd, 2020. Her 2014 novel Euphoria won the Kirkus Award, The New England Book Award, The Maine Fiction Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. Euphoria was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times Book Review. It was included in TIME’s Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014, as well as on Amazon, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and Salon’s Best Books of 2014.

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New Fiction Books In 2020: “The New Life Of Hugo Gardner” By Louis Begley

With an ominous oncologist’s report hanging over his head, Hugo decides to get away for a bit, to a conference in Paris. There, a new romance blooms and HugThe New Life of Hugo Gardner by Louis Begley March 2020 releaseo finds himself wondering if growing old in Paris might be the perfect antidote to the drama he left behind in New York. Unflinching, witty, and urbane as ever, Louis Begley delivers a spot-on satire of the world of New York’s aging elite, and uncovers the unexpected delights a late-in-life change can offer.

After four decades of what he believes to be a happy, healthy partnership, Hugo Gardner’s world is overturned when he learns that his wife, Valerie, is not only requesting a divorce but has left him for a younger, more vital man. Hugo, an octogenarian political writer and retired journalist for Time, must rethink the way he’s lived, and reassess how he’d like to spend his remaining years.

Reconsidering past relationships in his mind, with years of distance, Hugo begins to see things in a new light: Valerie, whose youth and ambition eventually came between them; his children, whose support might be more financially than emotionally motivated; and his friends, who, like him are rapidly aging before his very eyes.

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