Written by Jan Kline on April 23, 2008

Just out of the Box

Unaccustomed Earth book cover

Jhumpa Lahiri: Unaccustomed Earth

Pulitzer winner Lahiri returns to the short story form, this time taking the children of Bengali immigrants as her subject. Her first collection, Interpreter of Maladies, one of the few books by a first-time author to win a Pulitzer, dealt with the first generation of immigrants.

» Listen to the Barnes & Noble interview with the author.


Scottsboro book cover

Ellen Feldman: Scottsboro

This fictionalized version of the Scottsboro case is by the author of The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank. As in the actual incident, eight out of nine black youths are found guilty of raping two white girls, one of whom changes her story several times.


Girl With A Shadow book cover

Joanne Harris: The Girl with No Shadow

This sequel to 1999′s Chocolat is a modern fairy tale. Now living in Paris with her two daughters, Vianne (who has changed her name to Yanne) seeks stability for her family. But her eldest daughter’s fascination with a mysterious transient threatens them, forcing Yanne to resort to the magical powers she thought she had put behind her.


Wit’s End book cover

Karen Joy Fowler: Wit’s End

Rima, the main character in this novel is a scatterbrained schoolteacher in her late 20s, who has just lost her father, the last living member of her immediate family. Her mysterious (and mystery-writing) godmother invites her out to Santa Cruz for a visit. Rima gets caught up reading letters from her godmother’s fans while trying to learn more about her father.

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