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Alain Mabanckou Broken Glass

Barflies in the Congo.

Biting humor permeates Alain Mabanckou’s slim character sketch of a Congolese watering hole in his new novel, Broken Glass (Soft Skull Press, 176 pages, $13.95). The L.A.-based African writer un ...   More
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Roxanne Macmanus

Shane Jones Light Boxes

The war with winter.

New Yorker Shane Jones’ debut novel, Light Boxes(Penguin, 160 pages, $14),is a fable about the inevitability of sadness. It chronicles a town where misery takes the form of the perpetual gloom o ...   More
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Roxanne Macmanus

Jillian Lauren Some Girls

Money can buy you love—for a couple of years, at least.

While most girls her age were getting ready to graduate high school, Jillian Lauren was dancing at the Kit Kat Club in New York City—working both as an escort and a theater-company intern. In th ...   More
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 KELLY CLARKE

Keith Lee Morris Call It What You Want

Just don’t call it depressing.

A kid dies, a man commits suicide, a friend kills a friend and a wife cheats (maybe). And that’s just in the first 84 pages of Keith Lee Morris’ new short story collection Call it What You ...   More
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 KELLY CLARKE

Craig Welch Shell Games

A Seattle reporter hooks readers with tales of seafood smugglers in Puget Sound.

When they turn out the lights on the last newspaper in America, this is what readers will have lost: the spare, exhilarating prose of old-school newspapermen like Craig Welch. In Shell Games (William ...   More
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Greil Marcus When That Rough God Goes Riding

These dreams of Van Morrison.

On the very first page of his new book, When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison (Public Affairs, 195 pages, $22.95), rock critic Greil Marcus (Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces) compar ...   More
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Frank Meeink Autobiography Of A Recovering Skinhead

How to build a skinhead; how to save one.

An Orangina bottle, soap in an old sock, and a pair of boots: These were Frank Meeink’s seemingly innocuous stepping stones in his rise as a notorious neo-Nazi leader. Autobiography of a Recove ...   More
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 NATALIE BAKER

Rebecca Skloot The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

History’s most important cancer, revealed.

In all the hullabaloo over healthcare reform, one issue I never heard addressed by either the talking heads or the screaming ninnies on the Mall is the unfathomable gulf of education that separates th ...   More
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Alafair Burke 212

A former Portland assistant DA sends the Goldschmidt scandal to NYC.

Former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt keeps a low profile these days, but Portland writers keep resurrecting him—or characters based on him—in their novels. There was Phillip Margolin’s Execu ...   More
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 NIGEL JAQUISS

Mac McClelland For Us Surrender Is Out Of The Question

A Midwestern teacher visits the world’s oldest war.

What happens when an English teacher from Ohio stumbles onto the world’s longest-running war and a resulting humanitarian catastrophe bleeding through two troubled Southeast Asian countries? If ...   More
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 JAMES PITKIN

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