Heller McAlpin appears in the following:
Thursday, February 04, 2016
When a renowned Brazilian writer mysteriously vanishes in Idra Novey's novel Ways to Disappear, her children and an American translator work to uncover the reason behind the writer's disappearance.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Elizabeth McKenzie's novel inverts the traditional romantic comedy formula — for her odd, brainy lovers, the engagement is only the beginning of their troubles. And did we mention the squirrel?
Thursday, January 14, 2016
The slightly demented homemakers in Helen Ellis' new collection wield sharp elbows and sharper knives, but critic Heller McAlpin says the stories build to touching, unexpected punchlines.
Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Tessa Hadley's new novel follows four siblings as they gather at a dilapidated family cottage for a bittersweet summer together. Critic Heller McAlpin praises Hadley's "wry compassion."
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Physicist-turned-author Paolo Giordano's new novel follows a couple adrift after their beloved housekeeper dies. Critic Heller McAlpin says the book is melancholy, but offers a subtle hope.
Monday, November 02, 2015
Joseph Skibell's new collection of personal essays is full of offbeat life lessons, moving from whimsy to weight. And, as he puts it, though the stories are true, they're full of "imaginary things."
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Michel Houellebecq's dark satire Submission caused a furore in his native France with its depiction of an Islamist takeover. But critic Heller McAlpin calls it "too distasteful to be amusing."
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Sloane Crosley's new novel, The Clasp, follows a group of disaffected 30-somethings who gather for a classmate's posh wedding — but the casual misanthropy of the characters dims the book's pleasures.
Sunday, October 04, 2015
Patti Smith's new memoir is a dreamy, elegiac recollection of loved ones gone too soon, energized by her interests and travels. It jumps in time, from her husband's death in 1994 to Hurricane Sandy.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Critic Heller McAlpin calls Valeria Luiselli's novel a "philosophical funhouse" that melds the story of a charming auctioneer with meditations on the value of objects and the power of story.
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Jesse Eisenberg specializes in playing (and writing about) jittery, antisocial nerds. Critic Heller McAlpin says the wonder is the empathy he brings to the sad sacks in his new story collection.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Stephanie Clifford's debut novel, about the desperate social strivings of a young woman in Manhattan, has its roots in the tragic, old-money fascinations of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Jeff Bartsch's new novel is about a brainy couple who, after meeting at a 1960s spelling bee, conduct their troubled love affair through secret clues in the crosswords they compose for newspapers.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Patricia Marx's comic memoir chronicles her four-month attempt to boost her brainpower. Critic Heller McAlpin says anyone clever enough to have written this book shouldn't worry about her brain.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Professional Scrabble fan John D. Williams' new memoir is chock full of interesting tidbits (like lists of important words with Q, X and J) but gets bogged down in tedious biographical detail.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
In The Stranger, Albert Camus' antihero Meursault famously killed a nameless Arab; Algerian writer Kamel Daoud's new novel reworks Camus from the point of view of the murdered man's brother.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The aging characters in Kate Walbert's new novel are learning to go with the flow as waters rise and life takes strange turns. Critic Heller McAlpin praises Walbert's ability to capture women's lives.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The former House speaker was indicted by a federal grand jury over charges that he lied to the FBI about paying hush money over his "past misconduct."
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Fredrik Sjöberg's wry memoir celebrates the beauty of limitations, tiny wonders and intense focus; in Sjöberg's case, a focus on the hoverflies he studies on his home island of Runmarö in Sweden.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Lucas Mann's new memoir pieces together family memories to create a portrait of his heroin-addicted older brother, who died of an overdose. Critic Heller McAlpin calls it difficult but necessary.