The 5 Best Novels of Summer 2013 (Chosen by Karen Russell)

Five flights of fancy recommended by a writer who knows a thing or two about literary pyrotechnics.
Photo: Martha Pavlidou


208 pages; Soft Skull
How tragic that this book—set in a Queens, New York, beach town that in real life was devastated by Sandy—has a new relevance. Sarah is a California painter who's come east for a retreat she hopes will revive her artistic passion. It's a sheer joy to stay in the company of Ison's voice. There's an unlikely relationship at the center, the kind of encounter that could happen only in the summertime suspension of "ordinary" life.
— Karen Russell