NY Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers (77 books)By Dinaw Mengestu. By Evie Wyld. By Anthony Doerr. The paths of a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy converge in this novel, set around the time of World War II. By Rivka Galchen. Most of these stories offer variations on a particular sort of woman: in her 30s, urban, emotionally adrift.
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Impressively, it is also a vastly entertaining feat of storytelling. Wry and devastating in equal measure, the novel is a cracked mirror that throws light in every direction — on music and literature; science and philosophy; marriage and motherhood and infidelity; and especially love and the grueling rigors of domestic life. In , the anthropologist Margaret Mead took a field trip to the Sepik River in New Guinea with her second husband; they met and collaborated with the man who would become her third. King has taken the known details of that actual event and created this exquisite novel, her fourth, about the rewards and disappointments of intellectual ambition and physical desire. The result is an intelligent, sensual tale told with a suitable mix of precision and heat. Deeply unnerving and gorgeously tender, the book chronicles how grief renders the parents unable to cherish and raise their other son; love, it suggests, becomes warped and jagged and even seemingly vanishes in the midst of mourning. In this brilliant debut story collection, Klay — a former Marine who served in Iraq — shows what happens when young, heavily armed Americans collide with a fractured and deeply foreign country few of them even remotely understand.
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