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john updike   Americana, John Updike's first book of poems since his Collected Poems 1953-1993, engages the reader with the perceptual acumen and powerful sense of place that define his fiction. Read two poems from the new collection and a review.
 
ju soares   Seemingly destined for greatness or notoriety from the moment of his birth, the twelve-fingered Dimitri Borja Korozec shines at his assassin's school thanks to his natural physical gift. Determined to make his mark on history with a well-placed shot, he plots to rid the world of its dictators and bureaucrats. Yet his tendency to wander inadvertently into mishap perpetually puts his plans awry, making him the man a finger--or two--away from sparking World War I, a few bottles of champagne and a midget away from a passionate fling with Mata Hari, and a scuffle away from movie stardom in Ben-Hur. In Twelve Fingers: Biography of an Anarchist, Brazilian comedian and political satirist Jô Soares inserts his hero, Zelig-like, into twentieth-century history with known fact and photographic proof, creating a sharp satire of the biographical form and of historical interpretation.
 
mcgowan   Heather McGowan's inventive first novel, Schooling, is a vibrant and daring tale of loss. Catrine Evans, a young teenager from Maine, moves to England after the death of her mother. What she encounters is not the boarding school idyll that her father promised her, but rather a class-obsessed society where Catrine finds herself on the bottom rung. Told in a striking stream-of-conciousness style, Schooling heralds the arrival of a masterful prose stylist and is one of the more exciting literary debuts in recent memory.
 
james ellroy   The world of James Ellroy comprises, essentially, an alternative universe in which our world is boiled down not to black and white but to a few distinct shades of gray; our history boiled down to ultraviolent episodes of greed and lust; our language boiled down to a rat-tat-tat of nouns, verbs, and profanity. And somehow it's all brilliant and beautiful, an astonishing rewrite of the world we think we live in. The Cold Six Thousand is Ellroy's alternate U.S. history of the event-laden years of 1963 to 1968. It begins just after a bang, the afternoon of November 22, 1963. In the first three chapters you meet the three main characters of Ellroy's narrative, as well as the principal hovering specters: Hoover, the Kennedys, the mob... Let the rewriting begin.
 
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