WNC Book ReviewEdition

Can It Happen Here? Madeleine Albright Examines Fascism Then and Now

In her new book, “Fascism: A Warning,” the former secretary of state finds the seeds of authoritarian rule in social, political and economic chaos. ...

When to Wage War, and How to Win: A Guide

John Lewis Gaddis’s “On Grand Strategy” is a study of global thinking at the highest levels. ...

How Picasso Became Picasso

In “Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World,” Miles J. Unger follows the painter’s early career, culminating in “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” ...

When a Young Immigrant Vanishes in London, Can a Wildlife Biologist Help?

In Aminatta Forna’s novel “Happiness,” an American biologist and a Ghanaian psychiatrist find common ground among the urban dispossessed. ...

Four Books Explore Various Aspects of Cities Past and Present

Ecology, eccentricity, celebrity, policy: Urban living brings it all together. ...

A War Correspondent Comes Home, Bringing War With Her

The heroine of Wendell Steavenson’s novel, “Paris Metro,” hoping to find safety for her Iraqi stepson in France, encounters danger instead. ...

A Brand-New Version of Our Origin Story

The Harvard geneticist David Reich details his groundbreaking research into ancient DNA in “Who We Are and How We Got Here.” ...

In This Novel, a Grieving Widow Becomes the Detective Hero

“The Bible of Dirty Jokes,” by Eileen Pollack, tracks a middle-aged woman’s quest to find her lost brother and her own independence. ...

Princesses, Priestesses and Time Travel: What’s New in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Amal El-Mohtar looks at new retellings of ancient tales, including a space opera, a futuristic “King Lear,” and an eco-thriller. ...

‘God Save Texas’ Is Essential Reading For Everyone — Even Non-Texans

"God Save Texas" by Lawrence Wright Lawrence Wright is at his best in this new examination of his home state — a thoughtful, beautifully written book about a place that can be hard for outsiders to understand. (Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR) ...

The Essays Are Personal. The Truths Are Universal.

Sloane Crosley’s third collection, “Look Alive Out There,” blends deep pathos with the author’s signature humor. ...

A Paralyzed Army Vet Walks Again. Is He Healed — or Is It a Hoax?

In his funny, bighearted new novel, “Anatomy of a Miracle,” Jonathan Miles skewers faith, fame and what the truth means to different people. ...

In ‘The Woman’s Hour,’ the Battle Over the 19th Amendment Comes to Life

The deliciousness of the details in Elaine Weiss’s new book suggests that certain historical figures warrant entire novels of their own. ...

In ‘God Save Texas,’ Lawrence Wright Ranges Far and Wide

The author of “The Looming Tower” and “Going Clear” captures the Lone Star State in all its shame and glory. ...

‘How To Write,’ Yes — But Alexander Chee’s Latest Is More Mesmerizing Memoir

"How to Write an Autobiographical Novel" by Alexander Chee Chee does include some writing tips in his new How To Write An Autobiographical Novel – but this collection is less a writing lesson than a deeply considered and beautifully written memoir. (Image credit: Mariner Books) ...

For These Characters, Foreign Cultures Are Just Another Consumer Good

The globe-trotting cosmopolitans in Michelle de Kretser’s satirical new novel, “The Life to Come,” make a fetish of travel and prepare exotic meals with an eye to Instagram. ...

Can Sobriety Be as Interesting as Addiction? A Writer Wonders

In “The Recovering,” the novelist and essayist Leslie Jamison explores her own alcoholism and the struggle to make art out of giving up drinking. ...

After Disaster, Japan Seals Itself Off From the World in ‘The Emissary’

Yoko Tawada’s new novel imagines a time in which language starts to vanish and the elderly care for weakened children. ...

Beautiful But Heartrending, ‘The Only Story’ Looks Back At Love Gone Wrong

"The Only Story" by Julian Barnes Julian Barnes’ latest novel concerns the pained recollections of an aging Englishman’s life-changing only love — the “only story” that really matters about him. (Image credit: Eslah Attar/Knopf) ...

Freeman Dyson’s Life, Through His Letters

In “Maker of Patterns,” the renowned physicist presents his correspondence, revealing observations about the great minds of the 20th century. ...