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1 - The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

Deesha Philyaw - West Virginia University Press

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world,...
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2 - Sea Monsters: A Novel

Chloe Aridjis - Catapult

Winner of the 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, this intoxicating story of a teenage girl who trades her a middle-class upbringing for a quest for meaning in 1980s Mexico is "a surreal, captivating tale about the power of a youthful imagination, the lure of teenage transgression,...
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3 - Call Me Zebra

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

From an award-winning young author, a novel following a feisty heroine's idiosyncratic quest to reclaim her past by mining the wisdom of her literary icons - even as she navigates the murkier mysteries of love. Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. When war came,...
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4 - Improvement: A Novel

Joan Silber - Counterpoint

"I love all of Joan Silber's work for her mastery of character, her ferocious and searching compassion, and her elegant lines that make the mind hum for hours. Improvement is so crisp and resonant a novel that it made me forget the chaos of life around me; a feat for which I'm truly...
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5 - Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

Imbolo Mbue - Random House

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream - the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economyJende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant...
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6 - Delicious Foods: A Novel

James Hannaham - Little

"Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs, and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace. Unbeknownst to eleven-year-old...
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7 - Preparation for the Next Life

Atticus Lish - Tyrant Books

Winner of the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for FictionNew York Times Best of 2014Wall Street Journal's Best of 2014Vanity Fair's Best of 2014Publishers Weekly's Best of 2014BuzzFeed's Best of 2014Zou Lei, orphan of the desert, migrates to work in America and finds herself slaving in New York's...
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8 - We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Joy Fowler - Penguin Group USA

Named a Best of 2013 pick by: The New York Times Book Review, Slate, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, The Christian Science Monitor, Library Journal, and BookPage"I thought this was a gripping, big-hearted book...
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9 - Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club

Benjamin Alire Saenz - Cinco Puntos Press; First Edition edition

Winner of the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction!Benjamin Alire Sáenz's stories reveal how all borders—real, imagined, sexual, human, the line between dark and light, addict and straight—entangle those who live on either side. Take, for instance, the Kentucky Club on Avenida...
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10 - The Buddha in the Attic

Julie Otsuka - Knopf

Finalist for the 2011 National Book AwardJulie Otsuka's long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine ("To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels like Lord of the Flies...
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11 - The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg

Deborah Eisenberg - Picador; First Edition edition

“One of America’s finest writers.”—San Francisco Chronicle    “Concentrated bursts of perfection.”—The Times (London)    “Shimmering stories that possess the power and charm to move us.” —The New York...
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12 - War Dances

Sherman Alexie - Grove Press

Fresh off his National Book Award win, Alexie delivers a heartbreaking, hilarious collection of stories that explores the precarious balance between self-preservation and external responsibility in art, family, and the world at large. With unparalleled insight into the minds of artists,...
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13 - Netherland: A Novel

Joseph O'Neill - Pantheon; 1 edition

In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 911, Hans--a banker originally from the Netherlands--finds himself marooned among the strange occupants of the Chelsea Hotel after his English wife and son return to London. Alone and untethered, feeling lost in the country he had come...
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14 - The Great Man: A Novel

Kate Christensen - Doubleday; First Edition edition

From the acclaimed author of The Epicure's Lament, a novel of literary rivalry in which two competing biographers collide in their quest for the truth about a great artist.Oscar Feldman, the "Great Man," was a New York city painter of the heroic generation of the forties and fifties....
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15 - Everyman

Philip Roth - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition

Philip Roths new novel is a candidly intimate yet universal story of loss, regret, and stoicism. The best-selling author of The Plot Against America now turns his attention from xone familys harrowing encounter with historyx New York Times to one mans lifelong skirmish with mortality.The...
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16 - The March: A Novel

E.L. Doctorow - Random House; 1st edition

In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army fought off Confederate forces and lived off the land, pillaging the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops...
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17 - War trash

Ha Jin - Pantheon Books

War Trash, the extraordinary new novel by the National Book Award-winning author of Waiting, is Ha Jin's most ambitious work to date: a powerful, unflinching story that opens a window on an unknown aspect of a little-known war - the experiences of Chinese POWs held by Americans during...
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18 - The Early Stories: 1953-1975

John Updike - Knopf; 1st edition

“He is a religious writer; he is a comic realist; he knows what everything feels like, how everything works. He is putting together a body of work which in substantial intelligent creation will eventually be seen as second to none in our time.”—William H. Pritchard, The Hudson...
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19 - The Caprices

Sabina Murray - Houghton Mifflin

From an acclaimed young author of Filipino background comes this history told through individual lives. The Caprices revolves around the Pacific Campaign of World War II. In the wreckage of bombed cities and overcrowded prison camps, there were no winners and no conquerors, and no nation...
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20 - Bel Canto: A Novel

Ann Patchett - HarperCollins

"Blissfully Romantic ... .A strange, terrific, spellcasting story." - San Francisco Chronicle"Bel Canto ... should be on the list of every literate music lover. The story is riveting, the participants breathe and feel and are alive, and throughout this elegantly-told novel,...
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21 - The Human Stain

Philip Roth - Houghton Mifflin

It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real...
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