WNC Book ReviewEdition

An Irish Flâneur, Greeting the Past on His Present Wanderings

John Banville’s “Time Pieces” takes the acclaimed novelist back to the Dublin of his youth, recalling people and places that still live in his memory. ...

For These Unhappy Campers, Trauma Blights Their Lives ‘Forevermore’

"The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore" by Kim Fu Kim Fu’s new novel about a sleepaway camp sojourn that turns shattering for five young girls. But though the troubles seem tame — thirst and a lack of gummi bears — the horror comes later. (Image credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) ...

Only The Mad Will Make It In The World Of ‘The Chateau’

"The Chateau" by Paul Goldberg Paul Goldberg’s new book starts with the death of a famous plastic surgeon — the Butt God of Miami Beach — and never slows down, mining drama, betrayal and crime from a Miami condo board election. (Image credit: Picador) ...

Great New Books for a Child Just Learning to Read

Clever, beautifully illustrated new books from Brian Selznick, Sara Varon and Bryan Collier that are easy to read — and to love. ...

One Part Fantasy, One Part Reality Is a Child’s Perfect Formula

In the Dory Fantasmagory books, Abby Hanlon finds the humor — and the coping strategies — in a young heroine’s shifting line between imagination and reality. ...

What Would It Be Like to Be 400 Years Old?

In Matt Haig’s new novel, “How to Stop Time,” the narrator — born in 1581, and still alive today — seems to be having a midlife crisis. ...

Two Novels Trace Parallels Between Past and Present, or Create Them

“The Maze at Windermere,” by Gregory Blake Smith, imagines Newport, R.I., from the 17th century to today. “Peculiar Ground,” by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, does the same for a British estate. ...

Arrested at 12, She’s Now an Activist Fighting for Social Justice

Patrisse Khan-Cullors’s memoir, “When They Call You a Terrorist,” recounts the life of a Black Lives Matter co-founder. ...

‘Asymmetry’ Is A Guide To Being Bigger Than Yourself

"Asymmetry" by Lisa Halliday At first, Lisa Halliday’s novel seems too familiar: It’s about a young would-be writer who has an affair with a famous older man. But partway through, it turns into something else, something new. (Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR) ...

Was It the Perfect Crime or a Paranoid Fantasy?

Junichiro Tanizaki’s early novel “In Black and White” uses nested murder plots to explore the guilt and responsibilities of the writing life. ...

‘Scarlet A’ Wants Less Shouting About Abortion and More Talking

Katie Watson says that with so much focus on “extraordinary” cases, there is something “unreal” about the American conversation about abortion. ...

For Valentine’s Day, Romance Writers Share Their Favorite Moments

Romance novel Who knows romance better than romance novelists? We’ve asked some of our favorites to share the moments that make them swoon, whether it’s a snuggle on a snowy morning or a game of wheelchair hockey. (Image credit: Dina Belenko Photography/Getty Images) ...

How We Got From Twinkies to Tofu

In “Hippie Food,” Jonathan Kauffman tracks the emergence of the organic, politicized diet so many Americans love today. ...

First Comes Love, Then Comes What Exactly?

Two new books, Roseann Lake’s “Leftover in China” and Elizabeth Flock’s “The Heart Is a Shifting Sea,” examine how marriage has withstood breakneck economic growth and social change in China and India. ...

A Bonfire Of Scorn, Schadenfreude And Social Insecurity In ‘Mrs.’

"Mrs." by Caitlin Macy If you think the social pressures in high school are brutal, they’re nothing compared to the jockeying that goes on among the high-powered preschool parents in Caitlin Macy’s withering new novel Mrs. (Image credit: Eslah Attar/Little, Brown and Company) ...

Why Did Christianity Prevail?

Bart D. Ehrman’s “The Triumph of Christianity” looks at how a new religion conquered the Roman Empire. ...

For Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Nearly 100, the Beat Goes On

A retrospective collection from the poet and publisher, “Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems,” gets at his rebellious appeal. ...

Experiments Succeed — and Fail — Spectacularly in Robert Coover’s Lab

“Going for a Beer” collects short fictions by Coover, a pioneering postmodernist who finds a kind of glee in human mess and degradation. ...

Risking Everything for Democracy

Marci Shore’s “The Ukrainian Night” describes the protesters of a still-unfinished revolution. ...

Three Lives, and the Tenuous Ties That Bind Them

In “Asymmetry,” Lisa Halliday weaves the tale of a May-December love affair into the account of an Iraqi-American economist detained at Heathrow. ...