Set in post-9/11 Afghanistan, The Wasted Vigil (Knopf, $25) is a powerful novel of the loss of and search for loved ones. A Russian woman comes to Usha to look for her brother, a Soviet soldier. She stays with Marcus, a British doctor, convert to Islam, and lifelong resident of Afghanistan. His Muslim wife and daughter dead, he hunts for his missing grandson, as does David, a former CIA operative who was briefly involved with Marcus’s daughter. What these characters find is Afghanistan’s brutal recent history and its rich ancient culture. In often stunningly beautiful language, Nadeem Aslam tells the stories of these survivors, the pain they’ve experienced, witnessed, and sometimes inflicted, and the ongoing bloodshed in a land torn between rival warlords, the Taliban, and Western armies. As he did for the complex British Pakistani community in Maps for Lost Lovers, Aslam brings to life a wide range of characters, dramatizing conflicting views of religion, nationalism, and devotion.

The Wasted Vigil (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307388742
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - September 8th, 2009

Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky are the rare translators who have earned almost as big a name as those of the writers whose work they have rendered into English. With critically-acclaimed versions of Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and last-year’s War and Peace to their credit, they’ve now issued a new edition of Nikolai Gogol’s stories, The Collected Tales (Everyman, $24). Divided between Ukrainian Tales and Petersburg Tales, the book traces Gogol’s, and his era’s, development from the traditional rhythms of folklife to the more competitive and bureaucratic urban experience. Gogol (1809-1852) was prescient in many ways; in his undisputed masterpieces, “The Nose” and “The Overcoat,” readers will find the roots of modern absurdist literature and magical realism—as well as moving characters and sharp, sensitive evocations of daily life.

The Collected Tales (Everyman's Library Classics Series) Cover Image
By Nikolai Gogol, Richard Pevear (Translated by), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translated by), Richard Pevear (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780307269690
Availability: Backordered
Published: Everyman's Library - October 7th, 2008

An orphan, a missing hand, a con man: With these ingredients Hannah Tinti cooks up a delicious treat of a novel. When Benjamin Nab spies Ren at St. Anthony's Orphanage, he sees a one-handed meal ticket with instant sympathetic appeal. When Ren walks out the gate with Benjamin, he sees a loving connection to a family he's never known. What follows shakes both of their assumptions. Ren quickly transcends sympathy and shows that he is eponymous "thief" in their little outfit. Meanwhile, Benjamin's true intentions become more and more mysterious as his schemes become more and more ambitious. Memorable characters, authoritative narration and seemingly inexhaustible intrigue make this a book you'll want to read all at once.

The Good Thief: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385337465
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - August 11th, 2009