Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011
Love, in its many forms and complexities, weaves through this collection by Amy Bloom, the New York Times bestselling author of Away. Propelled by Bloom’s unmistakable voice and generous wit, Where the God of Love Hangs Out takes us to the margins and the centers of people’s emotional lives, exploring the changes that come with love and loss.
Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
W. W. Norton & Company, 2011
A multilayered, textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami. Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years her family members will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal.
A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler
Grove Press, 2011
Set in contemporary New Orleans but working its way back in time, A Small Hotel chronicles the relationship between Michael and Kelly Hays, who have decided to separate after twenty-four years of marriage. An intelligent, deeply moving, and remarkably written portrait of a relationship that reads as a cross between a romance novel and a literary page-turner.
Await Your Reply by Don Chaon
Random House Reader’s Circle, 2010
The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences. Await Your Reply has the momentum of a thriller in which pasts are invented and reinvented and the future is both seductively uncharted and perilously unmoored.
Young Adult NOVEL
Every Little Thing In The World by Nina de Gramont
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011Sixteen-year-old Sydney Biggs is a ‘good kid’. Smart, pretty, self-aware…and pregnant. But she’s only told Natalia, her best friend, and when the police escort the pair home after they ‘borrow’ a car, they’re sent to a wilderness camp for the summer.
Sanctificum by Chris Albani
Copper Canyon Press, 2010
A self-described “zealot of optimism,” Chris Abani investigates complex personal history, family, and romantic love using religious ritual, the Nigerian Igbo language, and reggae rhythms, Abani creates a post-racial, liturgical love song that covers the globe from Abuja to Los Angeles.
A History of Yearning by Kathleen Spivak
The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, 2010
Most of these poems begin with paintings and photographs, and rise from them as fragrance rises from spring flowers after a hard winter, a gift to us from language that survives and blooms and brings us pleasures we hardly know how to name.