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16 Books to Watch for in August 2011

From a striking debut novel set in 1930s Manhattan to a literary ghost story, August 2011 has something for everyone.
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

448 pages; Delacorte Press
In The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb (Delacorte), Melanie Benjamin introduces us to the 2'8" protégée of impresario P.T. Barnum. Speaking in the somewhat mannered style of the day—"I will begin my story in the conventional way, with my ancestry"—our heroine, née Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump, is small in stature but big in voice and worldview. "Never would I allow my size to define me," she explains early on. "Instead, I would define it."
— Sara Nelson

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