Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants by Mathias Énard

Staff Pick

Fresh from his Man Booker International nomination for Compass, Mathias Énard returns to the literary world with his new book, Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants (New Directions, $19.95). His new novel is a fictionalized account of Michelangelo, the famed sculptor, and his sojourn in the Turkish city of Constantinople to build a bridge for Sultan Ali Pasha. The novel, though short,  showcases Énard’s trademark intelligence and agility by interposing what to the reader seem to be historical documents and epistolary asides to create a metafictional narrative that centers on what artists go through in the act of creating their art. However, what is truly impressive in this novel is Énard’s capacity to evoke sixteenth-century Constantinople. Reading Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants gives the reader a sense of place that few writers can match.

Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants By Mathias Énard, Charlotte Mandell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mathias Énard, Charlotte Mandell (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811227049
Availability: Backordered
Published: New Directions - November 27th, 2018

Love Is Blind by William Boyd

Staff Pick

William Boyd’s Love Is Blind (Knopf, $26.95) is the story of Brodie Moncur, a piano tuner born with perfect pitch. It is his perfect pitch that takes him from a banal village in Scotland to the cosmopolitan cities of Edinburgh, Paris, and St. Petersburg. It is in these cities that he meets John Kilbarron, “the Irish Liszt,” and his romantic companion, Lika Blum. It is within this triangle of different people that conflicts of love, duplicity, and revenge fester. It is an age-old story told with Boyd’s clear and elegant style of writing. Readers who have missed Boyd’s beautifully-written narratives about a hero’s journey through a particular time period will rejoice at Boyd’s return after a three-year silence. Readers who have not yet read him but still enjoy good historical fiction will find Love Is Blind as a good entry point to Boyd’s marvelous oeuvre. 

Love Is Blind: A novel By William Boyd Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525655268
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - October 9th, 2018

The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem

Staff Pick

Fans of Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn and smart detective fiction in general should rejoice because, after almost two decades, he returns to the genre that netted him the NBCC Award for Fiction in 1999. In the opening pages of his new book, The Feral Detective (Ecco, $26.99), Phoebe Siegler walks into the decrepit office of Charles Heist, the titular feral detective. She seeks Heist’s services in helping her find the daughter of her friend who is now believed to be lost in the wilderness of Southern California. With this familiar setup, Lethem then thrusts us into the forgotten population of California’s vagrant communities, the locus of Phoebe and Charles’s search. Using the tropes of the mystery novel, Lethem gives us an empathic novel about the scores of people who live alienated from the mainstream of the country they are born in, an alienation that, as the novel suggests, has become more apparent in today’s sociopolitical climate.

The Feral Detective: A Novel By Jonathan Lethem Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062859068
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Ecco - November 6th, 2018