Jessamine Chan's debut novel, The School for Good Mothers, is the deeply unsettling story of how Frida Liu's bad parenting day turns into a court-mandated year in an experimental rehabilitation program for bad mothers. But this program is...different. Total surveillance. Public self-criticism. And dolls, sentient AI beings, to detect a mother's "stress, fear, ingratitude, deception, boredom, ambivalence...how often she makes eye contact, the quality and authenticity of her emotions." Say it with me: I am a bad mother, but I am learning to be good. Again, please. AGAIN. [more inside]
A true-crime writer begins a new book project, centered on a grisly 1986 double murder in southern California, that leads him to question the ethics of his trade and to delve into the paradoxes of storytelling itself. [more inside]
"Addie LaRue was born in France at the very end of the 17th century — but no one remembers that. No one, that is, except for Addie herself and the devil she makes a deal with to escape an unwanted marriage and an ordinary life." (NPR Review) [more inside]
First contact happens in the year 2007. Cora Sabino, a college dropout and daughter of a famous whistleblower, unwillingly ends up in the center of it all, acting as an interpreter for the aliens.
Ducks, Newburyport is a 2019 novel by British author Lucy Ellmann which won the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. The bulk of the book is a very long, digressive, free-associative stream-of-consciousness in the mind of a forty-something mother-of-four in small-town post-Trump, pre-pandemic Ohio. [more inside]
Leaving a dilapidated Earth behind, Quakers across the globe pool funds and resources as they select colonists to send to a newly discovered planet to start life anew in this “miraculous fusion of…science fiction with unsparing realism and keen psychology” (Ursula K. Le Guin).
It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.
"A mesmerizing, indelible coming-of-age story about a girl in Boston's tightly-knit Ethiopian community who falls under the spell of a charismatic hustler out to change the world."