WNC Book ReviewEdition

Keeping Up With New Delhi’s 1 Percent in ‘The Windfall’

In Diksha Basu’s debut novel, set in a wealthy enclave of New Delhi, characters with old and new money feel status anxiety. ...

Cultural Appropriation Is, In Fact, Indefensible

Recently, the New York Times published an essay defending cultural appropriation as necessary engagement. But that’s a simplistic, misguided way of looking at appropriation, which causes real harm. (Image credit: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive) ...

Multiple Narratives Mean Non-Stop Action In ‘The Child’

The Child by Fiona Barton. Fiona Barton’s latest — a followup to last year’s hit The Widow — picks up with journalist Kate Waters as she digs into another cold case, this one an infant skeleton found at a building site. (Image credit: Berkley) ...

Tracing the Origins of the New York Police Department

In “Law and Disorder: The Chaotic Birth of the NYPD,” Bruce Chadwick reveals how incompetent constables, riots and rising crime convinced New Yorkers they needed an official police force. ...

The Characters in Ann Beattie’s New Stories Are Boomers in a Millennial World

Ann Beattie’s latest story collection takes her familiar baby boomer characters and maroons them in 21st-century social and political disarray. ...

Review: Francis Spufford’s First Novel Is a Swashbuckling Tale

“Golden Hill” follows the misadventures of a handsome young stranger who arrives in New York from London, hoping to cash in on a fortune. ...

In ‘Amatka,’ A Warped And Chilling Portrait Of Post-Truth Reality

Amatka, by Karin Tidbeck Karin Tidbeck’s new novel is set in the mysterious city of Amatka, an agricultural colony ruled by a totalitarian government — but this is no standard dystopia. In Amatka, language has strange power. (Image credit: Liam James Doyle/NPR) ...

A Life of Toscanini, Maestro With Passion and Principles

In his new biography, “Toscanini: Musician of Conscience,” Harvey Sachs presents a demanding but tenderhearted genius who stood up to fascism and hate. ...

Edwidge Danticat Wrestles With Death, in Life and in Art

“The Art of Death” chronicles the death of the author’s mother, as well as the ways other writers, from Tolstoy to Didion, have treated the end of life. ...

Why America’s Great Cities Are Becoming More Economically Segregated

In “The New Urban Crisis,” Richard Florida argues that the revival of central cities has made them more unequal and more segregated. ...

From City to Jungle, a New Novel Summons the Politics and History of Two Islands

Northern Ireland and Papua New Guinea don’t seem so different in Nick Laird’s new novel, “Modern Gods.” ...

An Ancient Curse Awakens In ‘The Suffering Tree’

The Suffering Tree, by Elle Cosimano A family curse, a resurrection and a vengeful witch are at the center of Elle Cosimano’s Southern Gothic chiller The Suffering Tree. But the book elides its setting’s history of racial violence. (Image credit: ) ...

‘Too Fat, Too Slutty’ Challenges Cultural Expectations Of Women

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, by Anne Helen Petersen Anne Helen Petersen’s new book is a thoughtful consideration of several public women — from Nicki Minaj to Hillary Clinton — who’ve run up against the invisible expectations our culture has of them. (Image credit: Jessica Diaz-Hurtado/NPR) ...

‘The Force’ Is Basically ‘Game Of Thrones’ With Cops — And That’s Pretty Great

The Force, by Don Winslow. Don Winslow’s new novel is packed with crooked cops and crookeder crooks, all defending their territories and trying to maintain a status quo where everyone earns, everyone eats and no wars break out. (Image credit: Liam James Doyle/NPR) ...

A Trip to Southern Italy to Shed Light on a Family Scandal

Helene Stapinski has been haunted by the thought of her “criminal genes.” In “Murder in Matera,” she investigates her family’s past. ...

Did a Writer’s Great-Great-Grandmother Really Kill a Man? She Travels to Southern Italy to Find Out.

Helene Stapinski has been haunted by the thought of her “criminal genes.” In “Murder in Matera,” she investigates her family’s past. ...

A Nuanced Novel Examines the Mystery of Radicalization

Laleh Khadivi’s novel “A Good Country” poses the question: How does a studious American boy, the child of prosperous Iranian immigrants, fall into radical Islam? ...

26 Missing Genes and the Exuberant Affections They Lead To

Jennifer Latson’s “The Boy Who Loved Too Much” follows the story of a child with Williams syndrome, a genetic condition, who meets the world with unshakeable affection. ...

When the Fox Becomes a Friend

In Paula Cocozza’s hypnotic first novel, “How to Be Human,” a lonely woman strikes up a relationship with a feral fox. ...

Fathers and Sons — and Maybe Two More Sons

Susan Rieger’s novel “The Heirs” pits an upper-crust New York family against two young men claiming a piece of the patriarch’s estate. ...