After a lifetime together, 70-something Alex and his wife, Ruth, are still smitten—with each other ("He has loved her for so long that he can no longer distinguish between passion and familiarity") and with their elderly dachshund, Dorothy. About to sell their Manhattan walk-up, the couple is caught up in crisis: Their dog is suddenly paralyzed, a truck jackknifes in a tunnel, news channels click into terrorist-hype overdrive. Read Jill Ciment's Heroic Measures (Pantheon) for its painterly depictions of a rattled city, its deliciously biting satire of media and real estate madness, its tender knowledge of the creaturely ties that bind.
Q&A: Read a conversation with Jill Ciment
First chapter: Read an excerpt from Heroic Measures