Jane Ciabattari

Jane Ciabattari appears in the following:

Amidst Shadows On Screen, 'Innocents' Wonders What's Real

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dana Spiotta's ambitious new novel follows two women, friends and filmmakers, through decades of conversations about art, film and life — and a dangerous final documentary project.


'The Yid' Blends Soviet Fact And Fiction

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Paul Goldberg's audacious first novel begins at 2:37 a.m. on Feb. 24, 1953, when a Black Maria, a car used to transport prisoners through the night, leaves the "improbably tall, castle-like gates" of Lubyanka, Moscow's KGB headquarters and prison. Three men — a state security officer and two young soldiers ...


'Thirteen Ways' Takes A Powerful, Layered Look At Life

Friday, October 16, 2015

Colum McCann's first story collection since his novel Let the Great World Spin won the National Book Award makes it clear that his work is growing ever more textured and timely — and he has few contemporary parallels as a storyteller.

The collection's title comes from a Wallace Stevens poem, ...


'Mothers' Tells Stories Too Often Silenced

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bonnie Jo Campbell burst upon the literary landscape in 2009 with a collection called American Salvage that was raw and resonant, telling stories of the Rust Belt with frankness and an infinite patience for the voices of those whose stories are often left untold. The book was a finalist for ...


'Liliane' Builds A Life From Fragments Of Memory

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Like The News from Paraguay, Lily Tuck's National Book Award-winning 2004 novel, The Double Life of Liliane is a fragmented narrative, a mosaic of storytelling that is both poetic and absorbing.

Liliane's double life begins in 1948, in New York, when she boards a flight to Rome. She is 8 ...


A Haunting, Victorian-Inflected Dystopia In 'The Mime Order'

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Bone Season, the first in Samantha Shannon's intoxicating urban-fantasy series set in 2059 in Scion (a dystopian version of England), ended with young Paige Mahoney escaping from a penal colony in the secret city of Oxford. Her Rephaim masters — immortals who feed upon the auras and blood of ...


A New Collection, Well-Furnished With Munro's Best

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The citation for Alice Munro's 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature calls her "the master of the contemporary short story" and praises her ability to "say more in thirty words than an ordinary novel is capable of in three hundred."

Munro distills into one story the sweep of a lifetime, with ...


The Stories In 'Bright Shards' Glimmer With Empathetic Power

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bright Shards of Someplace Else is Monica McFawn's first collection of short stories, and it's already won this year's Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Perhaps it was her idiosyncratic voice, or her flair for distinctive characters that the judges recognized. Or maybe it was her empathetic power. Either way, ...


'The Kills' Sustains Suspense Across A Massive Structure

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Richard House's thriller The Kills, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year, weighs in at 1,024 pages. It's a long read, and worth every minute.

House begins with a ferocious image — a Mason jar of dead scorpions, delivered to a British contractor in Iraq. He sees ...


Suspense Along The Sepik With The Young Scientists Of 'Euphoria'

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Lily King's fourth novel (after the award-winning Father of the Rain) was inspired by a moment in 1933 when the lives of three young anthropologists — Margaret Mead and her second and third husbands, Reo Fortune and Gregory Bateson — intersected along the Sepik River in New Guinea. Using this ...


Huck And Jim Ride The River Of Time In 'Boy In His Winter'

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Huck Finn and Jim set out from Hannibal, Mo. on a July afternoon in 1835 aboard a raft. But this is not Mark Twain's tale: In Norman Lock's brief and brilliant fabulist novel The Boy in His Winter, Huck and Jim sweep down the Mississippi toward the Gulf of Mexico ...


Harrowing Memories, Intersecting Lives In 'Thirty Girls'

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The central drama in Susan Minot's fourth novel comes from a real-life episode in October 1996, when 139 girls at St. Mary's College in Aboke, Uganda, were abducted by guerillas from the militant Lord's Resistance Army. The school's Italian headmistress followed the rebels into the bush and retrieved all but ...


Debut Novel Offers Surprisingly Dark 'Vision' Of Shaker Life

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In August 1837, a group of girls aged ten through fourteen in a one-room Shaker schoolhouse received "signs from the world beyond." One by one they began singing, jerking, chanting, and reciting Latin. This miraculous phenomenon went on for hours. Elder Sister Agnes, the schoolteacher, witnessed it all. Thenceforth these ...


Raymond Carver And His Editor Re-Imagined In 'Scissors'

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The legendary minimalist short story writer Raymond Carver distilled the last decade of his life in his poem "Gravy." "Gravy, these past ten years," he writes. "Alive, sober, working, loving, and being loved by a good woman."

Carver was dying of cancer by the time he wrote the poem (he ...


'The Bone Season': Could This Be The Next Harry Potter? Maybe!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Samantha Shannon is being touted as the new J. K. Rowling. She's 21, a fresh graduate of Oxford, where she was a student when she wrote The Bone Season, the first in a projected seven-novel urban fantasy series. She's got a film deal with the new London studio set up ...


'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a ...


From Cincinnati To North Korea, We All Wake Up 'Lonely'

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

When Fiona Maazel published her first novel, Last Last Chance, in 2008, her frenetic imagination and sharply etched characters earned her a spot on the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 authors list. Her 29-year-old narrator, Lucy, was heading into her seventh stretch in rehab; Maazel filtered her addiction, grief, ...


Tender Portraits Of Worn-Down Women In 'This Close'

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jessica Francis Kane drew considerable attention for her artful historic novel, The Report, which explored the repercussions of a tragic incident in March 1943, when 173 people died while rushing into the Bethnal Green tube station for shelter during an air raid. Her portraits of wartime Londoners were psychologically acute ...