Out this week: Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers; The Unseen World by Liz Moore; Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon; Bad Faith by Theodore Wheeler; My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal; and Home Field by our own Hannah Gersen (who we interviewed). For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview.
New this week are Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker (reviewed here), Nescio’s Amsterdam Stories (reviewed here), Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jack Kerouac’s “lost novel” The Sea is My Brother, and a new collection of poetry from Jonathan Galassi, Left-Handed.
In the world of selling books, it’s not all about the sentences. At Ploughshares, agent Eric Nelson argues: A fresh plot matters and unusual characters do, too. “The most interesting books have characters who do the opposite of what we’d do… Imagine Hamlet, if Hamlet took decisive action. Horror movies wouldn’t exist at all without the idiot who always suggests they split up.”
The premier English-language translator of modern Chinese fiction, Howard Goldblatt, says flatly that Western audiences don’t read Chinese books. However, with last year’s Nobel Prize win for Mo Yan (and the rave review his novel Pow! received in the Times), Goldblatt and other scholars are hoping that could change.
December 15th. New York City. Mark your calendars. John Jeremiah Sullivan and Wells Tower discuss “the art of the essay in light of Sullivan’s new book, Pulphead.”
The Fault in Our Stars isn’t even out yet, but John Green already has another adaptation on the way. Fox 2000 will bring Paper Towns to screen next with the same screenwriters and producers as The Fault in Our Stars. Green will also be producing. “If you don’t like something, you can blame me,” he tweeted. Fault supporting actor Nat Wolff will star as the sleuthing Quentin. We just want to know who will play the enigmatic Margo Roth Spiegelman.