A Partial History of Lost Causes - Jennifer Dubois

A Partial History of Lost Causes (Dial, $16), by Jennifer Dubois, is an excellent debut novel in which a young American woman with an inherited fatal disease becomes linked to a world chess champion and opposition presidential candidate in Russia. Dubois tells the stories of the two protagonists, whose lives intersect across two countries and several decades, with compelling detail and language. Chess–and learning to beat long odds–is a subtext throughout, as are the political ramifications of the transition from Soviet leadership to Putin-style “democracy.”  Dubois is a smart and gifted writer.
A Partial History of Lost Causes: A Novel By Jennifer duBois Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812982176
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - August 21st, 2012

Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club - Benjamin Alire Saenz

If it’s not quite true that Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club (Cinco Puntos, $16.95) for the characters in this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award-winning collection of short fiction, the Juárez bar gets a cameo in each of these seven warm and engaging stories. Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the Mexican-American poet and author of books for children and young adults, focuses on the Hispanic community in El Paso. Many of his characters have fled the violence of Juárez but remain connected to it by dealing or using drugs. Others restrict any addictive tendencies to drinking or serial hook-ups, activities that leave them depressed and frustrated; they don’t want love to be casual, but it’s a skill that perplexes them. Identity is similarly troubling; with allegiances in two languages, they’re constantly torn. While many, especially the fathers, respond to the insecurity of border-town life by growing bitter and domineering—one makes “cruelty…his drug of choice”—and children feel emotionally stunted, others find a refuge in art, falling in love with books if they can’t find the right person.
Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club By Benjamin Alire Sáenz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935955320
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - October 30th, 2012

The Middlesteins - Jami Attenberg

The Middlesteins (Grand Central, $15) is the story of one suburban family’s slow unfurling. Edie Middlestein has sought comfort in food throughout her life, and her health has been declining for years—she’s in the midst of multiple surgeries when her husband, Richard, suddenly leaves her. Every member in the large cast of their children and extended family weighs in with opinions and concerns, and their interventions often deeply affect their own lives. Central to the story is an exploration of the different ways we all come to relate to, rely on, or feel repelled by food. Compulsively readable and downright fun, the book’s accessibility belies the depth and heart of Jami Attenberg’s story: her characters are complex but always endearing, and her insights into the loving yet dysfunctional family are so apt that they’re almost painful.
The Middlesteins: A Novel By Jami Attenberg Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455507207
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 4th, 2013