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DOMINION

By Calvin Baker
Less jaded than Colson Whitehead, less kitschy than
Toni Morrison, Calvin Baker is my favorite
contemporary African-American novelist, and Dominion
is his best book yet.
—Dale Peck

THE LAST SAMURAI


By Helen Dewitt
For its playful, steady, angst-attuned intelligence and its
utter conceptual exceptionality.
—Sven Birkerts

SUZY ZEUS GETS


ORGANIZED
By Maggie Robbins
A sweet-and-sour novel in verse
that very flatteringly assumes
the reader is as witty as the
writer.
— Craig Seligman, Bloomberg News

KALIMANTAAN
By C.S. Godshalk
A novel about a self-appointed British raja on the island
of Borneo, this book changed the way I thought about
imperialism, just as Pat Barker’s trilogy changed the
way I thought about the First World War.
—Alice Truax

Copies sold of David Markson’s last two novels before his new one, according to
BookScan: 6,000

SEPHARAD
By Antonio Muñoz Molina
A true masterpiece of late-twentieth-century fiction,
wrestling with the five centuries of Continental trauma
from the Inquisition to the Holocaust in a way that is
truly novel (in every sense of that word).

—Daniel Mendelsohn

TEXACO
By Patrick Chamoiseau
An epic story that takes in everything from New World slavery to the aftermath of
industrialization, fusing the oral traditions of his native Martinique with experimental
writing.
—Jean Stein

THE DEBT TO PLEASURE


By John Lanchester
Pure wicked literary pleasure. Well received when
published, but not nearly as well read as deserved.
Ghostly progenitor: Nabokov’s Pale Fire.
—Ron Rosenbaum

THE LAKE
By John McGahern
A beautiful, hymnlike epilogue
to the life’s work of this Irish
master; it should be beloved by
everyone who cares about life
and literature.
—Andrew O’Hagan

DARK BACK OF TIME


By Javier Marías
A fascinating sample of his unique mixture of myth,
autobiography, and satire.
—Elaine Showalter

METEOR IN THE
MADHOUSE
By Leon Forrest
The posthumous volume of the
most overlooked author of the
last 30 years. He comments on
what must be repressed to
conceive history (and genealogy) along racial lines.
—Milton Welch

OUT OF SHEER RAGE


By Geoff Dyer
The best book about writer’s block someone actually
managed to finish writing.
—Marco Roth, n+1
BORN TWICE
By Giuseppe Pontiggia
This great [Italian] novel of fatherhood has been
woefully underread in the U.S., perhaps because
Pontiggia died soon after its publication here.
—Janice Harayda, One-Minute Book Reviews

WINNER OF THE
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
By Jincy Willett
Beautifully written, seriously
intended, very funny books with
believable characters are
extremely rare, and this is one of those rarities.
—Kurt Andersen

ACHILLES
By Elizabeth Cook
This is a meditative, intense retelling of the life of
Homer’s hero, remarkable for its lush artfulness and the
subtle intelligence of its prose.
—Meghan O’Rourke, literary editor of Slate

OH PURE AND RADIANT


HEART
By Lydia Millet
Largely unsung. Not only did I
love reading it (until the very
end), but I also found the title
resoundingly beautiful.
—Helen Schulman

VARIETIES OF EXILE
By Mavis Gallant
Canadian expats look lovingly home in this collection
by Mavis Gallant, a kind of Alice Munro for those who
got out.

—Chris Beha, Bookforum

MORTALS
By Norman Rush
Rush’s second best book (after
Mating) is better than almost
anyone else’s best book.
—Benjamin Kunkel
EXPERIENCE
By Martin Amis
The cleverest and funniest and most moving memoir
I’ve ever read, and each time I reread it I’m simply
drunk with pleasure.
—Jim Holt

GRIEF
By Andrew Holleran
This slim but singularly affecting novel put in an
appearance to conditional praise last June and, to my
knowledge, sank thereafter without a trace. A meditation
on personal loss and the loss of erotic/romantic
possibilities for aging homosexual men (and by
implication aging everyones) it’s bone-spare but
plangent with meaning—the kind of novel that would be immediately hailed if it were
written by a laconic European writer.
—Daphne Merkin

THE MUNCH MANCINI MYSTERY SERIES


By Barbara Seranella
Although her books are gritty and tough, Seranella wrote
with a humanity and dry wit that transcended the genre.
—Mia Geiger, Philadelphia Inquirer

TRANSMISSION
By Hari Kunzru
Sleek and jangly, cerebral and
humane—a novel about a young
Indian software geek and the
computer virus that swamps
both Bollywood and Silicon Valley.
—Dwight Garner, Times Book Review