Bafana Kuzwayo is a young man with a weight on his shoulders. After flunking his law studies at the University of Cape Town, he returns home to Soweto, where he must decide how to break the news to his family. But before he can confess, he is greeted as a hero by family and friends. His uncle calls him “Advo,” short for Advocate, and his mother wastes no time recruiting him to solve their legal problems. In a community that thrives on imagined realities, Bafana decides that it’s easiest to create a lie that allows him to put off the truth indefinitely. Soon he’s in business with Yomi, a Nigerian friend who promises to help him solve all his problems by purchasing a fake graduation document. One lie leads to another as Bafana navigates through a world that readers will find both funny and grim.
A mystery linking Manhattan circa 1991 to eastern Afghanistan in 2012, Blue Hours tells of a life-changing friendship between two memorable heroines. When we first meet Mim, she is a recent college graduate who has disavowed her lower middle class roots to befriend Kyra, a dancer and daughter of privilege, until calamity causes their estrangement. Twenty years later, Kyra has gone missing from her NGO’s headquarters in Jalalabad, and Mim—now a recluse in rural New England—embarks on a journey to find her. In its nuance, originality, and moral complexity, Blue Hours becomes an unexpected page-turner.
Mike Moran first attended Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys-all four years. On the basketball team, he was a point guard. Then, as "Mr. Moran," he taught English for forty years, also at Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys. Recently retired, Moran wrote the boys a novel. The tale revolves around a struggling small-town basketball team with a nerdy manager and a Walter Mittyesque coach. Presented with too few players to scrimmage in practice, the manager takes it upon himself to spread the word throughout the school: "We need you on the team." Three young students appear, diminutive in stature and with scrawny chests, unimpressive at first sight. But with the trio, and their fleet leader Jesse Crosse, the team first experiences shock, then inspiration and constant surprises. The team bonds, leading to stories that will be retold a very long time in a small, out-of-the-way town. It's not a long novel; like one's high school years, it goes by before you know it. Only the message is eternal.
“Set in Arkansas during World War II, Hout’s touching story of an orphaned boy's relationship with the inhabitant of a small town's "haunted house” will keep you guessing, right up to the satisfying ending. Another endearing novel from Judson Hout."
--Cindy Ward, Dallas, Texas
A freelance writer and journalist, Vicenta (“Vicky”) Lumière has moved beyond her upbringing in the diverse Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans. But a visit to her childhood friend Lonnie Cavanaugh in the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women brings back a flood of memories.In Navel of the Moon, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Fifth Sun, Mary Helen Lagasse turns to the 1950s and 60s, where a young Vicky learns that the complicated people that we become as adults and the complicated world that adults create are shaped by events in childhood. The adults around her, beginning with her Mexican grandmother, Mimy, the family storyteller—who says she is from the “navel of the moon”—often confound and sometimes trouble Vicky. Yet Vicky’s strength of character is profoundly affected by the complexity of life, and in particular that of her troubled childhood friend Lonnie and of Valentina Dreyfus, the Holocaust survivor who becomes Vicky's closest confidante.
A fresh and vivid translation of Flaubert’s influential bildungsroman
Gustave Flaubert conceived Sentimental Education, his final complete novel, as the history of his own generation, one that failed to fulfill the promise of the Revolution of 1848. Published a few months before the start of the 1870 Franco–Prussian War, it offers both a sweeping panorama of French society over three decades and an intimate bildungsroman of a young man from a small town who arrives in Paris when protests against the monarchy are increasing.
The novel’s protagonist, Frédéric Moreau, alternates between aimlessness and ambition as he searches for a meaningful life through love affairs and republican politics. Flaubert’s narrative includes scenes of high drama, as scattered protests across Paris swell into revolution, and quiet moments of self-aware romanticism, crafting a story that possesses the sweep and scope of a historical novel combined with deep emotion and scandalous intimacy. Suffused with tragedy and the poignancy of lost chances and wasted lives, Sentimental Education is sharpened by satirical observations of what Flaubert condemned as the Second Empire’s endemic hypocrisy and willful blindness.
This vibrant, new translation by Raymond N. MacKenzie includes an extensive critical introduction and annotations to help the modern reader appreciate Flaubert’s achievement. Sentimental Education intertwines the personal, the intimate, and the subjective with the political, social, and cultural, embedding Frédéric’s story in the larger arc of what Flaubert saw as France’s decline into mediocrity and imbecility in its politics and manners.
Some kids have to grow up fast. This is the story of Lonnie Tobin, one such young man. Weary of the physical abuse his mother is subjected to from his father, he takes matt ers into his own hands. Convincing her to flee their fearful home life, son and mother sneak away in the night to the small town of Rocky Branch, where they find peace with her family. It is a corner of the world he thought they had left behind forever. But mysteries abound in this little wooded village, and an unexpected adventure begins when word of a nightly monster on the loose stirs fear among the residents. Young Lonnie soon forgets about his father and becomes fascinated by the story, only to find he might be spending a litt le too much time on The Strange Side of the Tracks.
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