The Flying Troutmans - Miriam Toews

In The Flying Troutmans (Counterpoint, $24) Miriam Toews introduces one of the most appealing and irrepressible characters in recent memory: Thebes, short for Theodora.  When her mother sinks into chronic depression, Thebes calls her Aunt Hattie in Paris, begging her to come home and help her family.  What follows is one of the most heartfelt, humorous, and insightful road trips in recent memory as Thebes, her older brother Logan, and Hattie commandeer a van and search for the kids’ father, rumored to be running an art gallery somewhere in South Dakota.  These are characters that get way under your skin, and a book that keeps you smiling from start to finish.

Songs for the Missing - Stewart O'Nan

A family’s worst nightmare is realized in Stewart O’Nan’s new novel, Songs For The Missing (Viking, $25.95), when their high-school daughter, Kim, fails to come home on a typical summer weeknight. Her parents’ natural reactions move from anger to worry to terror, as they search in vain for a sign of her.  As time goes by and Kim fails to turn up, Ed and Fran struggle to learn their new roles as parents of a missing child.  Kim’s disappearance affects everyone in different ways.  Her younger sister Lindsay, an unpopular but straight-A student, feels the loss, but after a lifetime living in Kim’s shadow, is also uncomfortably liberated.  Kim’s best friend and boyfriend struggle with guilt and whether to reveal damaging facts about Kim’s life even if it might help the police find her. O’Nan is expert in portraying ordinary life in all its complexity, tedium, hilarity, generosity, and terror as a family deals with a domestic nightmare.

Songs for the Missing: A Novel By Stewart O'Nan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143116028
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - August 25th, 2009

Indignation - Philip Roth

Meet Marcus Messner, a hard-working, focused, extremely intelligent young man from New Jersey. A straight-A student and prized only child, he works on the weekends at his father’s kosher butcher shop. At the outset of Philip Roth’s Indignation (Houghton Mifflin, $26), Messner’s appears to be the life of a perfectly successful and charming young man—but then we glimpse Messner’s shortcomings. His perfection and dedication alienate him from his family and his fellow students, and his incredible intelligence pits him against his school’s administration. With some of the most ingenious narrative twists and turns I have encountered, Roth hands us a tale in which this boy falls prey to the only dishonest thing he’s ever done. I loved the humanity I saw in Marcus, his intensely inquisitive nature, and I would challenge anyone to find an equally compelling tragic-comic character in the season’s fiction lists.

Indignation (Vintage International) By Philip Roth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307388919
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - October 6th, 2009