10 New Books We Recommend This Week


HAMNET: A Novel of the Plague, by Maggie O’Farrell. (Knopf, $26.95.) Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, died at 11, a number of years earlier than the playwright wrote “Hamlet.” O’Farrell’s wondrous new novel is directly an unsparingly eloquent document of affection and grief and a vivid imagining of how a toddler’s dying was transfigured into artwork. “O’Farrell, Irish-born, schooled in Scotland and Wales, and shaped by a childhood steeped in story and school days that always began with song, has a melodic relationship to language,” our reviewer Geraldine Brooks writes. “There is a poetic cadence to her writing and a lushness in her descriptions of the natural world.”

DESERT NOTEBOOKS: A Road Map for the End of Time, by Ben Ehrenreich. (Counterpoint, $26.) The writer, a columnist for The Nation, divides his e-book into two strands: a journal-like description of his life in desert America, in a cabin close to Joshua Tree National Park, and after a transfer to Las Vegas, the place his world shrinks. “That ‘Desert Notebooks’ was written before the coming of Covid-19 only makes it feel more, rather than less, timely,” our reviewer William Atkins writes. “Read two months into lockdown, it feels creepily prescient: We are all living in the desert now.”

THE HARDHAT RIOT: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution, by David Paul Kuhn. (Oxford University, $29.95.) Kuhn highlights someday, May eight, 1970, when blue-collar staff went on a rampage in opposition to antiwar protesters, arguing that the nation’s politics have by no means been the identical. The e-book “vividly evokes an especially ugly moment half a century ago, when the misbegotten Vietnam War and a malformed notion of patriotism combined volatilely,” our reviewer Clyde Haberman writes. “They produced a blue-collar rampage whose effects still ripple, not the least of them being Donald Trump’s improbable ascension to the presidency.”

NOTES ON A SILENCING: A Memoir, by Lacy Crawford. (Little, Brown, $27.) This memoir chronicles the writer’s expertise of sexual assault whereas she was a scholar at St. Paul’s, an elite boarding college in Concord, N.H. — adopted by a decades-long cover-up by the hands of an esteemed establishment with cash, energy and connections, and her personal difficult journey of restoration. It’s an “erudite and devastating” memoir, our reviewer Jessica Knoll writes. “The story is crafted with the precision of a thriller, with revelations that sent me reeling.”

THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE CARTOONIST, by Adrian Tomine. (Drawn + Quarterly, $29.95.) Tomine, now thought of a grasp of the graphic novel type, returns in an autobiographical mode, in a e-book that lets vent the craze and fragility which are all the time simply beneath the floor of his pristine drawings. “Constructed in a loose, appealingly humble style on a Moleskine-like grid,” our reviewer Ed Park writes, “the 26 vignettes here trace a lifetime of neuroses and humiliations, from Fresno, 1982, to Brooklyn, 2018, blurring the line between character trait and occupational hazard.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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