THE BURGESS BOYS by Elizabeth Strout

April 2, 2013

Elizabeth Strout spoke about her book, The Burgess Boys, at Politics & Prose on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout’s “magnificent gift for humanizing characters.” Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

The Burgess Boys: A Novel By Elizabeth Strout Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812979510
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 8th, 2014


October 30, 2013

Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, spoke in conversation with Goli Taraghi about her book, The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons, at Politics & Prose on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

An acclaimed fiction writer in her native Iran, Taraghi has been a Paris expatriate since the Iranian revolution. Her work has been widely anthologized, but only now is a substantial selection of her short stories available in English. Exploring themes of alienation and revolution, identity and change, these works are grounded in Taraghi’s experiences even as they have a universal appeal.

The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons: Selected Stories By Goli Taraghi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393350234
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 8th, 2014

THE HIRED MAN by Aminatta Forna

October 17, 2013

Aminatta Forna spoke about her book, The Hired Man, at Politics & Prose on Thursday, October 17, 2013.

Aminatta Forna has established herself as one of our most perceptive and uncompromising chroniclers of war and the way it reverberates, sometimes imperceptibly, in the daily lives of those touched by it. With The Hired Man, she has delivered a tale of a Croatian village after the War of Independence, and a family of newcomers who expose its secrets.

Duro is off on a morning’s hunt when he sees something one rarely does in Gost: a strange car. Later that day, he overhears its occupants, a British woman, Laura, and her two children, who have taken up residence in a house Duro knows well. He offers his assistance getting their water working again, and soon he is at the house every day, helping get it ready as their summer cottage, and serving as Laura’s trusted confidant.

Five years after the assassination, Jack gets an anguished phone call from Van’s daughter Marti. Van Walters is ravaged by guilt, so convinced that his actions led to JFK’s death that he has lost the will to live. In a desperate bid to deliver her father from his demons, Marti enlists Jack’s help in a risky reenactment designed to prove once and for all what would have happened had the bubble top stayed in place on that grim November day.

But the other residents of Gost are not as pleased to have the interlopers, and as Duro and Laura’s daughter Grace uncover and begin to restore a mosaic in the front that has been plastered over, Duro must be increasingly creative to shield the family from the town’s hostility, and his own past with the house’s former occupants. As the inhabitants of Gost go about their days, working, striving to better themselves and their town, and arguing, the town’s volatile truths whisper ever louder.

A masterpiece of storytelling haunted by lost love and a restrained menace, this novel recalls Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee and Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje. The Hired Man confirms Aminatta Forna as one of our most important writers.

The Hired Man By Aminatta Forna Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802121929
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - October 14th, 2014