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A History of the Present Illness by
A History of the Present Illness takes readers into overlooked lives in the neighborhoods, hospitals, and nursing homes of San Francisco, offering a deeply humane and incisive portrait of health and illness in America today. Together, these honest and compassionate stories introduce a striking new literary voice and provide a view of what it means to be a doctor and a patient unlike anything we've read before. Masterfully told, A History of the Present Illness explores the role of stories in medicine and creates a world pulsating with life, speaking truths about what makes us human.
An interpreter has come to The Hague to escape New York and work at the International Court. She's drawn into simmering personal dramas: her lover, Adriaan, is separated from his wife but still entangled in his marriage. Her friend Jana witnesses a seemingly random act of violence, a crime the interpreter becomes increasingly obsessed with as she befriends the victim's sister. And she's pulled into explosive political fires: her work interpreting for a former president accused of war crimes becomes precarious as their relationship is unbound by shifting language and meaning.
The Lincoln Highway by
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future.
The Morning Star by
One long night in August, Arne and Tove are staying with their children in their summer house in southern Norway. Their friend Egil has his own place nearby. Kathrine, a priest, is flying home from a Bible seminar, questioning her marriage. Journalist Jostein is out drinking for the night, while his wife, Turid, a nurse at a psychiatric care unit, is on a nightshift when one of her patients escapes. Above them all, a huge star suddenly appears blazing in the sky. It brings with it a mysterious sense of foreboding. Strange things start to happen as nine lives come together under the star.
Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by
In an imaginary Nigeria, a cunning entrepreneur is selling body parts stolen from Dr. Menka's hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Dr. Menka shares the grisly news with his oldest college friend, bon viveur, star engineer, and Yoruba royal, Duyole Pitan-Payne. The life of every party, Duyole is about to assume a prestigious post at the United Nations in New York, but it now seems that someone is determined that he not make it there. And neither Dr. Menka nor Duyole knows why, or how close the enemy is, or how powerful.
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by
Ptolemy Grey is a 91-year-old man, suffering from dementia and living as a recluse in his Los Angeles apartment. Then Robyn Small, a 17-year-old family friend, appears and helps clean up his apartment and straighten out his life. A reinvigorated Ptolemy volunteers for an experimental medical program that restores his mind, and he uses his last days -- shortened now by the medical experiment -- to delve into the mystery of the recent drive-by shooting death of his great-nephew, Reggie.
The Love Songs of W. E. B. du Bois by
Ailey Pearl Garfield is reared in the north in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother's family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging that's made all the more difficult by hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women--her mother, Belle, her sister, Lydia, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries--that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead. To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family's past.
No One Is Talking about This by
As this genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms "the portal," where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. "Are we in hell?" the people of the portal ask themselves. Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: "Something has gone wrong," and "How soon can you get here?"
The Water Dancer by
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage, but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn't understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram's private rebellion. Spurred on by his improvised plantation family, Thena, his chosen mother, a woman of few words and many secrets, and Sophia, a young woman fighting her own war even as she and Hiram fall in love, he becomes determined to escape the only home he's ever known.