8 New Books We Recommend This Week

Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers. Here are eight books to be grateful for, wherever you are: New poetry collections from the great Patrick Rosal and Frank Bidart, novels about the lives (and deaths) of women in North Dakota and South Korea, a posthumous spy story from the beloved John le Carré. The New York Times Magazine’s ambitious and far-reaching 1619 Project has been turned into an even more ambitious and far-reaching book, the political insider Huma Abedin offers a revealing look at her public and private lives, and the religion reporter Mark Oppenheimer explores grief and resilience in a Jewish neighborhood haunted by violent tragedy. These books aren’t “easy reading” — the stories they tell can be complicated and uncomfortable, uncompromising — but they pursue their truths tirelessly and often beautifully, and that’s a good reason to give thanks, anytime.

Gregory Cowles
Senior Editor, Books
Twitter: @GregoryCowles

THE 1619 PROJECT: A New Origin Story, edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman and Jake Silverstein. (One World, $38.) A revised and expanded version of a series of essays first published in The New York Times Magazine in 2019, this essential book delivers an account of America’s entanglement with slavery and its legacy, from the country’s colonial beginnings to today, that is cogent, meticulous and revelatory. “Despite what demagogues claim,” Adam Hochschild writes in his review, “honoring the story told in ‘The 1619 Project’ and rectifying the great wrongs in it need not threaten or diminish anyone else’s experience, for they are all strands of a larger American story. Whether that fragile cloth holds together today, in the face of blatant defiance of election results and the rule of law, depends on our respect for every strand in the weave.”

LEMON, by Kwon Yeo-sun, translated by Janet Hong. (Other Press, $20.) This taut South Korean novella — about the murder of a beautiful teenage girl, as recalled from the alternating perspectives of three women who knew her — is not so much narrated as spilled, confessed, blurted out. “‘Lemon’ should be read slowly and closely in order to appreciate it when Kwon pulls off what I can describe only as a sleight of hand,” Oyinkan Braithwaite writes in her review. “Her sentences are crisp, concise and potent; just one contains as much meaning as two or three of your average storyteller’s. … Her hypnotic effect will stay with the reader long after the last page has been read. You’ll wish there were more; but you’ll be grateful it ended as it did.”

Source: Read Full Article