16 Awesome Reads to Add To Your Fall Library
Check out this season's must-read titles including from Joy Williams's arresting new story collection, Bonnie Jo Campbell's unflinching portraits of strong women, and lyrical meditations on loneliness from Colum McCann.
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Thirteen Ways of Looking
Colum McCann doesn't write stories so much as compose sonatas, interweaving a range of rhythms and tonalities to create a luxuriant music. His new collection, Thirteen Ways of Looking , traces the journeys of his characters in lyrical prose that heightens the perils and losses they struggle to overcome. A translator in Galway is plunged into a gut-wrenching crisis when her deaf son vanishes, leaving her stranded amid the wreck of her life. An elderly Irish nun flees the sanctuary to confront the Colombian diplomat who raped her decades earlier: "She watches through the window as Carlos yanks open the rear door of a car. Something apparitional in the moment. A man immune to himself. It looks to her as if he is stepping into a caisson of his own loneliness." "What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?" deconstructs a writer's process as he tinkers with a piece about a female marine on sentry duty in Afghanistan, her heart fluttering in the bull's-eye of danger as she dials her partner and son in South Carolina, "the stars themselves like bulletholes above her." And in the title novella, set on Manhattan's Upper East Side, McCann toggles between a retired judge and the detectives investigating his murder outside an Italian restaurant, a crime captured on a security camera. Influenced by the assault McCann suffered last June on a street in New Haven, Connecticut, the stories explore themes of voyeurism and the fractious relationship between art and life, in a page-turner that rings with echoes of Wallace Stevens, James Joyce—and Law & Order. Suffused with melancholy yet bright with beauty, the collection reaffirms McCann's stature as one of our essential literary voices.
— Hamilton Cain