More in magical realism
A masterful, "seductive" debut novel about fate, family secrets, and the stories our bodies tell (NYTBR).
Magdalena has an unsettling gift. She sees the truth about people written on their skin--names, dates, details both banal and profound--and her only relief from the onslaught of information is to take off her glasses and let the world recede. Mercifully, her own skin is blank.
When she meets Neil, she is intrigued to see her name on his cheek, and she is drawn into a family drama that began more than half a century before, when Neil's father, Richard, was abandoned at birth by his mother, a famous expatriate novelist. As secrets are revealed among forgotten texts in the archives of Paris, on a dusty cattle ranch in the American West, along ancient pilgrim paths, and in a run-down apartment in post-Soviet Lithuania, the novel's unforgettable characters converge--by chance, or perhaps by fate--and Magdalena's uncanny ability may be the key to their happiness.
A richly imagined debut novel about a traveling salesman and the small town he changes forever
If someone offered you a magic elixir that could conjure any dream you wanted . . . would you take it?
Traveling salesmen like Robert Owens have passed through Evie Dawson’s town before, but none of them offered anything like what he has to sell: dreams, made to order, with satisfaction guaranteed.
Soon after he arrives, the community is shocked by the disappearance of Evie’s young son. The townspeople, shaken by the Dawson family’s tragedy and captivated by Robert’s subversive magic, begin to experiment with his dreams. And Evie, devastated by grief, turns to Robert for a comfort only he can sell her. But the dream peddler’s wares awaken in his customers their most carefully buried desires, and despite all his good intentions, some of them will lead to disaster.
Gorgeously told through the eyes of Evie, Robert, and a broad cast of fully realized characters, The Dream Peddler is an imaginative, moving novel of overcoming loss and reckoning with the longings we keep secret.
Noé bears a child, Mie, to Sevastien-Benedikt, the eldest son on whose hunter-gathering the Borya family depends. She lives in a cabin on her own and covers the walls with drawings that allude to her mysterious life. The family’s entrenchment in nature is enthrallingly conveyed in young Mie’s sensuous ability to borrow at will the body of mammals, birds, fish, and insects. Her shape-shifting allows her to know the ways of the natural world, though only to a point. When her own awakening body starts to intrigue her, she asks her uncle Osip to “teach me human sex.”
The Body of the Beasts is an imaginative tour de force, a beautifully described portrait of a world that exists outside of words; an uninhibited and erotic novel that, in the singular tradition of Québécois Boreal Gothic, explores our humanity — and our animal nature.
Diazepam-fogged Amy isn’t the best person to investigate an unexplained death, but she’s the only one Jay can get through to.
On the run from her troubled past and controlling older (ex) lover, she winds up on a Welsh eco farm where she starts to rebuild her life, grounded by the earth and healed by the salt air.
But it isn’t just her inner self that she manages to uncover. There are living ghosts at Môr Tawel, and they’re as loud as the waters crashing over the shingle on the beach.
Amy’s new life has just started, and she’s already running out of time.
Mariana feels like a pawn in other people’s games. Her birth mother is ill and opportunities for them to be reconciled are running out.
Despite being adopted, Mariana has always felt secure with who she is. But both sides of her birth family are now closing in, and whatever she decides will irrevocably alter many lives; most of all the man and woman who created her.
Of His Bones is about predestination and choices. It explores themes of familial love, identity and the powerful hold of the past. Set in the seascapes of East and North Yorkshire, this novel is the sister-book to The Last Time We Saw Marion.
A young girl receives letters from her lost doll; a cat madly in love with her human neighbor; a bored office worker escapes his monotonous life by traveling on his grandfather’s model train; a man gives all of himself to the woman he loves, piece by piece.
These are just a few of the unforgettable characters that inhabit Félix J. Palma’s gorgeously wrought short story collection, by turns mesmerizing, morbid, and melancholy. This collection contains selections from three previously published anthologies, bringing together in one volume some of Palma’s most celebrated stories. Available for the first time in English and with his signature “lyrical storytelling and a rich attention to detail” (Library Journal), The Heart and Other Viscera explores the wonder, madness, and heartbreak of love, and the lengths to which some are willing to go to protect, honor, and cherish the ones they love.
The Merman is a dark and haunting novel about sibling love and betrayal—and about what happens when the mundane collides with the strange and beautiful.
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction
NPR Best Book of 2016
Buzzfeed Best Debut of 2016
BUST Magazine Best Book of 2016
Winner of the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize for Fiction
New York Times Editors' Choice
2016 Barnes & Noble Discover selection
"An elegant page-turner....Charges forward with the momentum of a bullet." --New York Times Book Review
For fans of Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette, an inventive, brilliant debut novel about the disappearance of a famous Brazilian novelist and the young translator who turns her life upside down to follow her author's trail.
Beatriz Yagoda was once one of Brazil's most celebrated authors. At the age of sixty, she is mostly forgotten-until one summer afternoon when she enters a park in Rio de Janeiro, climbs into an almond tree, and disappears.
When her devoted translator Emma hears the news in wintry Pittsburgh, she flies to the sticky heat of Rio. There she joins the author's son and daughter to solve the mystery of Yagoda's disappearance and satisfy the demands of the colorful characters left in her wake, including a loan shark with a debt to collect and the washed-up editor who launched Yagoda's career. What they discover is how much of her they never knew.
Exquisitely imagined and as profound as it is suspenseful, Ways to Disappear is at once a thrilling story of intrigue and a radiant novel of self-reckoning.
Almost immediately upon Julie Bird’s return to the small port town where she was raised, everyday life is turned upside down. Julie’s Gulf War vet father, Marty, has been on the losing side of a battle with PTSD for too long. A day of boating takes a dramatic turn when a majestic blue whale beaches itself and dies. A blond stranger sets up camp oceanside: she’s an agitator, musician-impersonator, and armchair philosopher named Jennie Lee Lewis — and Julie discovers she’s connected to her father’s mysterious trip to New Mexico 25 years earlier. As the blue whale decays on the beach, more wildlife turns up dead — apparently by suicide — echoing Marty’s deepest desire. But Julie isn’t ready for a world without her father.
A stunning exploration of love and grief, Land Mammals and Sea Creatures is magic realism on the seaside, a novel about living life to the fullest and coming to your own terms with its end.
Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Barnes & Noble, and Southern Living
In his much-anticipated new novel, Robin Sloan does for the world of food what he did for the world of books in Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her—feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.
Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up.
When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?
Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.
Distant Relations is a classic novel by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.
Ruth is a fictional story created by Keone & Mari. Writing authored by Mariel Madrid, videos directed by Keone Madrid, film and edit by Jeremy Fabunan, original music by Ben Sollee, and illustrations by Ian Abando. This production was funded by supporters through the Kickstarter community.
shack, when he gets the order to abandon his quest for personal vengeance. He has to find a missing
Inquisitor, or, more likely, his remains. He’s reluctant, to say the least. Not only will he have to stop
chasing the best potential lead he’s had in years, this job—his first solo mission—will mean setting foot
in the grubby black hole of Providence, Rhode Island. And, somehow, it only gets worse…
If he’d known he would end up ass deep in witches, werewolves, and ogres, and that this mission
would jeopardize not only his sanity but also his immortal soul, he never would’ve answered the damn
The green turf of SF lies trampled by the myriad walkers and cyclists every day, but SF is always eager to share the joy and grief of the town’s folk with Arjun, thanks to its exceptional snooping ability. Against the background of a tranquil river, it closely observes all things and listens in on all private confabs that take place in and around its property. The book focuses on the relationship between Arjun and SF that finds expressions through various social issues that are devoid of political affection despite all things being political."
She is seventeen and has spent her life fighting off disturbing memories that can’t possibly belong to her.
His twin sister Marion died seventeen years ago.
When Cal and his older sister Sarah spot Marianne in the audience of a TV show that Cal is recording, they are stunned by her uncanny resemblance to Marion. They have to find out who she is, but they both soon come to regret the decision to draw her into their lives. Events spiral out of control for all of them, but whilst Cal and Sarah each manage to find a way to move on, Marianne is forced to relinquish the one precious thing that could have given her life some meaning.
The book is set in a haunting estuary landscape of mudflats, marshes and the constant resonance of the sea.
The Last Time We Saw Marion is the story of two families - but the horrible truth is that two into one won’t go...
Finalist for Foreword’s 2011 Book of the Year Award in Literary Fiction
"[Nahoonkara]…incorporates elements of historical fiction with experimental fiction, but nothing that pulls the reader out of the fictional dream."
—Robin Martin,Gently Read Literature
"Departing from traditional narrative form, Grandbois moves masterfully between first, second, and third persons to invite readers into a textual visualization of how individual choices affect the well-being of the community." —Review of Contemporary Fiction
"Peter Grandbois is a splendid writer I intend to follow very closely.”
—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize Winning author of A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain
"Vividly drawn, exquisitely crafted, Nahoonkara bespeaks not just the promise of its author, but also his undeniable power.”—Laird Hunt, author of Ray of the Star
“Peter Grandbois has created an original world…and peopled it with a family portrayed vividly and with intense emotion and compassion.”—Sheila Kohler, O.Henry award winning author of Cracks and Becoming Jane Eyre
In the tradition of nature writers Rick Bass and Annie Dillard, award winning writer Peter Grandbois’ new novel Nahoonkara opens up an oneiric space of wonder, a place outside preconceived notions of reality and identity, a place where we are free to re-imagine ourselves.
She finds herself at the cottage by the sea where she is befriended by the most unlikely people, surrounded by a magical force that haunts her waking and sleeping moments. Zoe must decide if she will continue to fear this magic, or embrace it as part of who she is and uncover why it's calling to her.
To make things even worse, Zoe also faces a life-threatening experience and is a witness to death for the first time.
But most importantly, Zoe must discover the true magic that exists within her and all around her. If she fails, not only will Zoe risk her sanity, but the potential to forget who she was before she lost her child-like wonder—and her connection to magical unseen places—to the cruelty of the world.
Esther’s traveling companion and the novel’s narrator is Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu God worshipped by millions for his abilities to destroy obstacles, bestow wishes, and avenge evils. Impressed by Esther’s fortitude and relentless determination, born of her deep—though unconscious—understanding of the meaning and purpose of love, Ganesha, with compassion, insight, and poetry, chooses to highlight her story because he recognizes it is all of our stories—for truth resides at the essence of its telling.
Weaving Eastern beliefs and perspectives with Western realities and pragmatism, Guesthouse for Ganesha is a tale of love, loss, and spirit reclaimed.
However Nayala’s virtue will succor her with friends who will aid her to fight her nemesis… The plot will with time pellucid and answer the questions, Is the talisman diabolic? Where is Nayala’s Mother? What power lies in the talisman? Who all aid her?
But it will retain a sobering fact that “there exists no darkness that can defeat light”.
A modern tale rooted in recent historical events but filtered through a patiently unfolding storytelling style that pays homage to The Arabian Nights, The Lazarus Rumba is a stunning literary debut, a virtuoso performance like no other Latino writer has ever produced.
Featuring her signature themes of identity, eroticism, and existential quest, the stories in Sarah Hall’s third collection travel far afield in location and ambition—from Turkish forest and coastline to the rain-drenched villages of Cumbria.
The characters in Sudden Traveler walk, drive, dream, and fly, trying to reconcile themselves with their journeys through life, death, and love. Science fiction meets folktale and philosophy meets mortality.
A woman with a new generation of pacemaker chooses to shut it down in the Lakeland, the site of her strongest memories. A man repatriated in the near east hears the name of an old love called and must unpack history’s dark suitcase. From the new world-waves of female anger and resistance, a mythical creature evolves. And in the woods on the border between warring countries, an old well facilitates a dictator’s downfall, before he gains power.
A master of short fiction, Sarah Hall opens channels in the human mind and spirit and takes us to the very edge of our possible selves.
Is what you see all there is? Look again.
Playful, frightening, even shocking – the stories in this collection blur the lines between illusion and reality. This is a writer at the height of his power, making the reader think, making them laugh, and sometimes making them want to look away while holding their gaze.
Stories here are set in London, in Byzantium, in the ghetto, in the Andes, in a printer's shop in Spain. The characters include a murderer, a writer, a detective, a man in a cave, a man in a mirror, two little boys, a prison door, and the author himself.
There are twenty-three stories in all. Each one will make you wonder if what you see in the world is all there is...
This special collection of flash fiction and short stories features highlights from the KJ Hannah Greenberg Short Story Series, Volumes One through Five. Over 100 of the author's most unique, insightful, and whimsical stories in one edition. Greenberg's extensive bibliography includes works published in AntipodeanSF, Bewildering Stories, Calliope, Danse Macabre, The Journal of Microliterature. Perihelion Science Fiction., Pulp Metal Magazine. Weirdyear and many others.
Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television, who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand, gallantly braving the tragicomic perils of an age where “Anything-Can-Happen.” Meanwhile his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.
Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirize the culture of his time, Rushdie takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. And with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of his work, the fully realized lives of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine in a profoundly human quest for love and a wickedly entertaining portrait of an age in which fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.
FINALIST FOR THE CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE STORY PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Refinery29 • BookRiot
“Fuses science, myth, and imagination into a dark and gorgeous series of questions about our current predicaments.”—Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See
A dystopian tale about genetically modified septuplets who are struck by a mysterious illness; a love story about a man bewitched by a mermaid; a stirring imagining of the lives of Nigerian schoolgirls in the aftermath of a Boko Haram kidnapping. The stories in All the Names They Used for God break down genre barriers—from science fiction to American Gothic to magical realism to horror—and are united by each character’s brutal struggle with fate. Like many of us, the characters in this collection are in pursuit of the sublime. Along the way, they must navigate the borderland between salvation and destruction.
NAMED A MUST-READ BOOK BY Harper’s Bazaar • Entertainment Weekly • AM New York • Reading Women AND A TOP READ BY Elle • Fast Company • The Christian Science Monitor • Bustle • Shondaland • Popsugar • Refinery29 • Bookish • Newsday • The Millions • Asian American Writers’ Workshop • HelloGiggles
“Strange and wonderful . . . delightfully unexpected.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Completing one [story] is like having lived an entire life, and then being born, breathless, into another.”—Carmen Maria Machado
“Gripping.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“[A] remarkable debut . . . Sachdeva is seemingly fearless and her talent limitless.”—AM New York
“This phenomenal debut short-story collection is filled with stories that bring the otherworldly to life and examine the strangeness of humanity.”—Bustle
“So rich they read like dreams . . . They are enormous stories, not in length but in ambition, each an entirely new, unsparing world. Beautiful, draining—and entirely unforgettable.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Sarah Hall has been hailed as "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain’s young novelists" (The Guardian), a writer whose "intelligence and ambition are thrilling to behold" (BookForum). Her work has been acclaimed as "amazing . . . terrific and original" (Washington Post). In this collection of nine works of short fiction, she uses her piercing insight to plumb the depth of the female experience and the human soul.
A husband’s wife transforms into a vulpine in "Mrs. Fox," winner of the BBC Short Story Prize. In "Case Study 2, " A social worker struggles with a foster child raised in a commune. A new mother runs into an old lover in "Luxury Hour." In incandescent prose, full of rich observations and striking clarity, Hall has composed nine wholly original pieces—works of fiction that will resonate long after the final page is turned.
Magnificently translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, Terra Nostra is, as Milan Kundera says in his afterword, "the spreading out of the novel, the exploration of its possibilities, the voyage to the edge of what only a novelist can see and say."
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.
Born with unruly red hair, a sharp tongue, and wine-colored marks all over her body—marks that oddly mimick a map of the world and make her subject to endless ridicule—Garnet Ferrari would hardly consider herself blessed. So when an emissary from the Vatican shows up at her door, convinced that her seeming ability to cure the skin ailments of others qualifies her for sainthood, she’s not quite convinced—or pleased.
Garnet sets off on a quest to better understand who she is and where she and her unusual gifts came from. Tracing a twisted path that leads from Sicily to West Virginia, poverty to riches, romance to loss, reality to mythology, Garnet uncovers a truth far more powerful than any dermatological miracle: that the things of which we are most ashamed often become our greatest strengths.
“A cleareyed, touching fable of a girl learning the hard truths about herself and others.” —Kirkus Reviews
General Simon Bolivar, “the Liberator” of five South American countries, takes a last melancholy journey down the Magdalena River, revisiting cities along its shores, and reliving the triumphs, passions, and betrayals of his life. Infinitely charming, prodigiously successful in love, war and politics, he still dances with such enthusiasm and skill that his witnesses cannot believe he is ill. Aflame with memories of the power that he commanded and the dream of continental unity that eluded him, he is a moving exemplar of how much can be won—and lost—in a life.
In one of the narratives that comprise this superb new novel from Carlos Fuentes, we are introduced to Gabriel Atlan-Ferrara, a fabled orchestral conductor, and his great love Inez Prada, a renowned singer. In the other, Fuentes memorably delineates the very first encounter in human history between a man and a woman. In one, the intense drama of Berlioz's music for The Damnation of Faust informs the action; in the other, we watch as a slowly emergent love shapes the nature and character of the two protagonists. A beautiful crystal seal -- the meaning of which is a mystery that obsesses Atlan-Ferrara, who owns it -- unites these two narratives; the magical seal allows one to read unknown languages and hear impossible music, and it is the symbol of a shared love.
The duality of Carlos Fuentes's brilliant new novel mirrors two eras, one in the deepest remote time and one in a time to come, but the passions evoked in both, reflected against each other like two sides of a crystal seal, break the limits of time and space and unite in one story. And, like the light refracted through the seal, it begins in prehistory and spirals out into infinity . . .
In Inez, we find Carlos Fuentes at the height of his magical and realist powers. This profound and beautiful work confirms his standing as Mexico's pre-eminent novelist.
In an Anatolian village forgotten both by God and the government, the muhtar has been elected leader for the sixteenth successive year. When he staggers to bed that night, drunk on raki and his own well-deserved success, the village is prosperous. But when he is woken by his wife the next evening he discovers that Nuri, the barber, has disappeared without a trace in the dead of night, and the community begins to fracture.
In a nameless town far, far away, Nuri walks into a barbershop as if from a dream, not knowing how he has arrived. Try as he might, he cannot grasp the strands of his memory. The facts of his past life shift and evade him, and as other customers come and go, they too struggle to recall how they got there...
Blurring the lines of reality to terrific effect, Shadowless is both a compelling mystery and an enduring evocation of displacement from one of the finest, most exciting voices in Turkish literature today.
Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London.
Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erotica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens.
When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise “runs” away.
Filled with the humor and heart that calls to mind the delightful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, and the charm and beauty of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise is a magical, wholly original novel whose irresistible characters will stay with you long after you turn the stunning last page.
A single gunshot cracks the silence of a hot African night. On the rooftop of a local theater company, a ten-year-old boy slowly dies of bullet wounds. He is Nelio, a leader of street kids, rumored to be a healer and a prophet, and possessed of a strangely ancient wisdom.
One of the millions of poor people “forced to eat life raw,” Nelio refuses to be taken to the hospital. Instead, he tells the unforgettable story of his life to a sole witness. Over the course of nine nights, a baker named José Antonio Maria Vaz listens as bandits cruelly raze Nelio’s village, propelling him to join the legions of abandoned children living in the streets. A grand act of imagination intended to prove to his comrades that existence must be more than mere survival, cuts Nelio’s life short. As the tale unfolds, José is forever changed. He becomes the “Chronicler of the Winds”, vowing to reveal Nelio’s magical words to all who will listen.
Shortlisted for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature and nominated for the Swedish Publishers Association’s August Prize, Chronicler of the Winds is a beautifully crafted novel that is a testament to the power of storytelling itself. “Mankell writes eloquently of the realities of poverty and violence without becoming sugary or didactic. . . . An expert craftsman” (The Observer).