Tuesday, April 13, 2021

10 new books we recommend this week

How did we get here, By Imbolo Mbue. (Random House, $ 28) MBU’s quietly disastrous second novel – about a fictional African village with a high death rate due to the pollution of an American oil company – that explains the ways of oppression, be it in the hands of the government or corporation or society, is among the most radical. Basic needs may change functions. Omar al-Akkad writes, “What begins as a story of David-and-Goliath, gradually transforms into a subtle pursuit of self-interest, which is what it means in the age of capitalism and colonialism.” In her review. “Mbue has created living people with a space and emotional range.”

Brother, sister, mother, lover, By Jamie Figuero. (Slingshot, $ 25) Figueroa’s fictional debut novel follows adult siblings in an unnamed Spanish-speaking country, who perform for tourists to stay. It shows how these picturesque people in “foreign” lands are as complex as anyone, with little resources to help them cope. “Those of us who oppose magical realism can also accept it, perhaps even celebrating it in this beautifully crafted poetic book,” Esmeralda Santiago writes in her review. The next time you travel, reading “Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer,” you may remember that what you are seeing is not all. You can see yourself as Jamie Figuero sees you, apart from it and still be a part of our normal human condition. “

Anybody about this, By Patricia Lockwood. (Riverhead, $ 25) This eccentric novel by Lockwood, an acclaimed memoirist and poet who first gained a following on Twitter, transformed the life experience online into an art. The result is a book that reads like a prose poem, at once sublime, profane, intimate, philosophical, funny and, ultimately, deeply moving. “Lockwood is a modern word witch, her writing is splendid and moving.” “The main quality of the novel is that it is ugly and cheap about online culture, it changes it all – the obsession with junk media; Piece of content and jerk presentation; Fake, blink; Postures, polymics – in the experience of sublime. “

Four-month seats: a secret history of the urban era, By Annale Neutz. (Norton, $ 26.95) Like a guide to lost places, this book traces our urban roots, from a little-known Cataloyuk (a 9,000-year-old city located in present-day Turkey) to the famous Pompeii, with its exclusive preserved brothel and bar and frescoes Does. . Russell Shorto wrote in his review, “The theme of dying cities passes through the book darkly.” “The operative lesson from the past, at least from the East Metropolis curated offering, suggests that human culture is a plastic thing. Instead of lamenting the fragility of our current urban structures, we want to bend and shape ourselves better for the future.

Bone mark, By Gyorgy Dragoman. Translated by Ottili Mulgett. (Mariner, paper, $ 16.99) Set in the aftermath of a revolution, this Hungarian novel considers how superstition grows in times of turmoil. On one level, this is an old story about a 13-year-old orphan and his eccentric grandmother coming to terms with personal and political woes; On another, it is a story of ghosts, folklore and ancient memory. Rebecca Makkai wrote in her review, “This slippery statement – a risky choice – not only advances the story but resonates with the book’s themes of instability and skewed perception.” “He reaches back to folklore, but also speaks for this artistic moment, in which the genre and its ancestral roots allow and enrich high-capital capital-literature.”

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