"The Afterlife of Stars moved me more than any other novel I've read in recent memory." --Tim O'Brien
When Russian tanks roll into the public squares of Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution, brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee with their family to the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina. The year is 1956 and as their country changes forever, these two boys transform as well, confronting danger and wonders previously unknown. As they travel through minefields both real and imagined, Robert and Attila grapple with sibling rivalry, family secrets and incalculable loss. Along the way they encounter mysterious fellow travelers, bewildering sights of a nation in transition and surprising hilarity, all in pursuit of the one place they thought they'd lost forever: home. Elegant, tender and deeply funny, Joseph Kertes has crafted a journey filled with adventure and heartbreak. A meditation on both family and displacement, The Afterlife of Stars is a tale of perseverance, faith and the unbreakable bond of brotherhood.
The stunning second novel from National Book Award finalist Andrew Krivak--a heartbreaking, captivating story about a family awaiting the return of their youngest son from the Vietnam War. In a small town in Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains Hannah and her son Bo mourn the loss of the family patriarch, Jozef Vinich. They were three generations under one roof. Three generations, but only one branch of a scraggy tree; they are a war-haunted family in a war-torn century. Having survived the trenches of World War I as an Austro-Hungarian conscript, Vinich journeyed to America and built a life for his family. His daughter married the Hungarian-born Bexhet Konar, who enlisted to fight with the Americans in the Second World War but brought disgrace on the family when he was imprisoned for desertion. He returned home to Pennsylvania a hollow man, only to be killed in a hunting accident on the family's land. Finally, in 1971, Hannah's prodigal younger son, Sam, was reported MIA in Vietnam. And so there is only Bo, a quiet man full of conviction, a proud work ethic, and a firstborn's sense of duty. He is left to grieve but also to hope for reunion, to create a new life, to embrace the land and work its soil through the seasons. The Signal Flame is a stirring novel about generations of men and women and the events that define them, brothers who take different paths, the old European values yielding to new world ways, and the convalescence of memory and war. Beginning shortly after Easter in 1972 and ending on Christmas Eve this ambitious novel beautifully evokes ordinary time, a period of living and working while waiting and watching and expecting. The Signal Flame is gorgeously written, honoring the cycles of earth and body, humming with blood and passion, and it confirms Andrew Krivak as a writer of extraordinary vision and power.
The was the first person to see me as I had always wanted to be seen. It was enough to indebt me to her forever. In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their twenties ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether. Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel's difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon's home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known--her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy--reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming. A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.
Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she's otherwise invisible. Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can't get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya's care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else's child. " Nacho" to Soli, and " Iggy" to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him. Lucky Boy is a moving and revelatory ode to the ever-changing borders of love.
In the seventh installment of the Hanne Wilhelmsen series, the brilliant female detective must untangle the complex and bitter history of one of Oslo's wealthiest families after a celebratory get together at their home ends in a multi-victim homicide. Shortly before Christmas, four people are found shot dead at the home of the Stahlbergs, a wealthy family of shipping merchants notorious for their miserliness and infighting. Three of the victims are members of the family, and the fourth is an outsider, seemingly out of place. Cake had been set out in the living room and a bottle of champagne had been opened but not yet poured. Yes, family gatherings during the holidays can be difficult, but why did this one become a bloodbath? As Hanne Wilhelmsen investigates the case alongside her longtime police partner, Billy T., motives for the murders emerge in abundance; each surviving member of the Stahlberg family had good reason to want the victims dead. As she searches for the killer, Hanne will once again risk everything to find out the truth. But this time, will she go too far?
A prominent figure in the entertainment world who has turned to fiction in the last decade, Kevin Morris received wide literary acclaim with his story collection White Man's Problems, praised by David Carr as "remarkable" and Tom Perrotta as "revelatory." Now Morris cements his place as a bold new voice in American literature with his muscular debut novel, All Joe Knight.
1961. Outside Philadelphia, a soon-to-be father runs into a telephone pole while driving drunk; nine months later, his widow dies in a smashed up T-Bird. From the start, the orphaned Joe Knight is a blank slate. Taken in by a kindly aunt in a tough-skinned suburb, Joe finds his family in high school with the Fallcrest basketball team--the kind of team that comes around once in a lifetime. White guys, black guys, speed, height, raw athleticism, every element is perfectly in synch. All these kids want, all they dream of, is to make it to the Palestra, UPenn's cathedral of college basketball. Fast-forward thirty years. Joe is newly divorced with one kid and certain he is unfit for love. Ever since selling the ad firm he built from the ground up for millions, he's had time on his hands, and now he wiles it away in strip clubs, the only place where he can quiet his mind. But then he hears from Chris Scully, a former Fallcrest teammate who is now District Attorney. It seems the Justice Department is sniffing around the deal that got Joe rich years ago--a deal he cut everymember of the basketball team into, except for Scully. As the details about Joe's possible transgression are unreeled, he is forced to face the emptiness inside himself and a secret that has haunted him for decades.