As in her prizewinning Bel Canto, Ann Patchett takes the stuff of thrillers (this time it’s the Amazon jungle, lost tribes, wonder drugs, intrepid researchers, giant snakes, lots of bugs) and transforms it into a subtle, exquisite human drama. Her focus, as always, is on relationships: between a woman and her colleagues, a woman and her boss (who also happens to be her lover), and a woman and her teacher. Patchett is fascinated by what happens when we leave our routines and are forced to abandon the trappings we believe define us. Imagine a feminist twist on Heart of Darkness. The results are enthralling, and leave the reader—like Patchett’s characters—in a permanent State Of Wonder (Harper Perennial, $15).
State of Wonder: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062049810
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Published: Harper Perennial - May 8th, 2012

Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly famously ends in blood: the geisha known as Butterfly kills herself when she learns that the father of her son, Lieutenant Pinkerton, has returned to Japan with his new American wife. But for Angela Davis-Gardner, this tragedy is only the beginning as she imagines the eventful future of Benji, Butterfly’s Child (Dial, $15). Back on their Illinois farm, Pinkerton and his wife Kate conceal Benji’s origins and raise him as an orphan—but their families, friends, neighbors, and eventually Benji himself guess the truth. In lovely, meditative prose, Davis-Gardner evokes Midwestern farm life and 19th-century Nagasaki with equal poise. Fans of understated, sophisticated historical fiction will find much to love and admire here.
Butterfly's Child: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385340953
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - April 10th, 2012

For its sharp, vivid portrait of contemporary America, The Submission (Picador, $15) would have been my pick for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Amy Waldman opens with an elite jury voting on New York’s 9/11 memorial—and then imagines the fallout if the winning designer were a Muslim. The news spirals outward and exposes fault lines, engulfing politicians, bloggers, reporters, lawyers, Muslim activists, and the victims’ families. We meet a firefighter’s relatives, a community of illegal Bangladeshi workers, and the enigmatic artist himself: Mohammad “Mo” Khan, an architectural prodigy and the son of secular Indian immigrants from Virginia. Waldman’s prose crackles. She is ruthless on the methods of the media, poignant on the responsibility of art, and her flawed, humane characters ignite every page.
The Submission: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250007575
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Picador - March 27th, 2012

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