I haven’t read these yet but out of a slew of summer releases, these look the most promising to me. Most are available on Amazon, for the hardcover or Kindle version or the easiest to me, just search iBook and download and you can be reading one of these books in 5 minutes. Modern life has its perks sometimes. -TS
The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, out now) The Pulitzer Prize winner’s new novel begins with a vision and follows the Meeks brothers as each travels down a different path in his search for transcendence. Barrett, a gay man haunted by the vision, turns to religion as Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers, while his dying wife, Beth, tries to face mortality with as much courage as she can. Cunningham shows profound empathy for these conflicted characters and seems to get at what lies at the core of the human soul.
Lucky Us by Amy Bloom (Random House, July 29) More sprawling and ambitious, Bloom’s latest is a ’40s road trip with the works — jazz and starlets, riches and poverty, solid characters and memorable writing.
Adam by Ariel Schrag (Mariner, June 10) Written by a lesbian graphic memoirist, this is a more conventional novel where a Cali boy crashes with his sis in Bushwick and falls in love. The twist is Adam is often mistaken for transgender, and decides to play along in pursuit of his soul mate – a gay woman.
The Fever by Megan Abbott (Little Brown, June 17) A story loosely based on a recent case of mass hysterical illness in upstate New York. Kinda Twin Peaks or to update the reference, Top of the Lake.
J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist by Thomas Beller (New Harvest, June 3)
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (Knopf, June 3) A full year after the release of Shane Salerno and David Shields’s scandalous biography, two more personal and sympathetic takes appear simultaneously. Beller’s book is a traditional biography, relying on interviews and artifacts while Rakoff’s book is much more a memoir. It’s the story of how the young grad-school dropout found her footing among the New York literati in long-ago Williamsburg while working for the literary agency that represented Salinger. Rakoff creates the more personal portrait of the two books, by her contact with Salinger himself.