(2018). A devastating novel of multiple narratives, A State of Freedom wrests open the central, defining events of our century: displacement and migration. Five characters, in very different circumstances—from a domestic cook in Mumbai to a vagrant and his dancing bear—find out the meanings of dislocation and the desire to get more out of life.
“Exquisitely written, cleverly structured, powerfully resonant to the very last line. . . . A profoundly intelligent and empathetic novel of privilege and poverty, advancement and entrapment.”—Wall Street Journal
“A State of Freedom is a marvel of a book, shocking and beautiful, and it proves that Mukherjee is one of the most original and talented authors working today.”—NPR
(2014). The aging patriarch and matriarch of the Ghosh family preside over their household, made up of their five adult children, and grandchildren. Poisonous rivalries, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business threaten to unravel bonds of kinship as social unrest brews in greater Indian society. The eldest grandchild, driven by idealism, becomes dangerously involved in extremist political activism—actions which further catalyze the decay of the Ghosh home. Searing, savage and deeply moving, The Lives of Others anatomizes the soul of a nation as the family history unfolds. This is a novel of unflinching power and emotional force.
(2010). Ritwik Ghosh, twenty-two and recently orphaned, finds the chance to start a new life when he arrives in England to study at Oxford from Calcutta. But Oxford holds little of the salvation Ritwik is looking for. He moves to London, where he drops out of official existence into a shadowy hinterland of illegal immigrants. To stave off his loneliness, he begins to write a story—that of Miss Gilby, who teaches English, music, and Western manners to the wife of a liberal zamindar, and begins to find ghostly echoes in his own life. And as present and past of several lives collide, Ritwik’s own goes into free fall.
(2015) Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy’s immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients–including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel.
(2009) Spanning over half a century—from the years just before the Korean War to the present—the eight stories in this collection reveal an intricate and unforgettable portrait of a single island in the South Pacific. Novelistic in scope, daring in its varied environments,Once the Shore introduces a remarkable new voice in international fiction.
(2014) Though he is a stranger in a strange land, throughout the years in this town, four people slip in and out of Yohan’s life: Kiyoshi, the Japanese tailor for whom he works, and who has his own secrets and a past he does not speak of; Peixe, the groundskeeper at the town church; and two vagrant children named Santi and Bia, a boy and a girl, who spend their days in the alleyways and the streets of the town. Yohan longs to connect with these people, but to do so he must sift through the wreckage of his traumatic past so he might let go and move on.
(2013) Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and lover. She has instead become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Then into her life arrives the glamorous and cosmopolitan Shahids—her new student Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale, and his parents: Skandar, a dashing Lebanese professor who has come to Boston for a fellowship at Harvard, and Sirena, an effortlessly alluring Italian artist.
(2007) A richly drawn, brilliantly observed novel of fate and fortune—of innocence and experience, seduction and self-invention; of ambition, including literary ambition; of glamour, disaster, and promise—The Emperor’s Children is a tour de force that brings to life a city, a generation, and the way we live in this moment.
(1996). Powerful, disturbing, stirring, Jamaica Kincaid’s novel is the deeply charged story of a woman’s life on the island of Dominica. Xuela Claudette Richardson, the daughter of a Carib mother and a half-Scottish, half-African father, loses her mother to death the moment she is born and must find her way on her own.
(2013). This piercing examination of the manifold ways in which the passing of time operates on the human consciousness unfolds gracefully, and Kincaid inhabits each of her characters—a mother, a father, and their two children, living in a small village in New England—as they move, in their own minds, between the present, the past, and the future.
(2008) Interactive guide to the craft of narrative writing. From developing characters to building conflict, from mastering dialogue to setting the scene, Naming the World jump-starts your creativity with inspiring exercises that will have you scrambling for pen and paper.
(2005) A car accident joins strangers linked by an intimate knowledge of madness. A teenage boy remembers his father’s act of sudden and self-righteous violence. A “hurricane party” reunites a couple whom tragedy parted. And, in an unforgettable three-story cycle, an illness sets in profound relief a man’s relationship with his mother and the odd, shifting fidelity of truth to love.
(2007). Amy Hempel is a master of the short story. This celebrated volume gathers together her complete work — four short collections of stunning stories about marriages, minor disasters, and moments of revelation. With her inimitable compassion and wit, Hempel introduces characters who make choices that seem inevitable, and whose longings and misgivings evoke eternal human experience.
(2004). Thomas Bunting while neglecting his philosophy Ph.D. is secretly writing what he hopes will be his masterwork—a vast atheistic project. In despair over his failed career and failing marriage, Bunting is also enraged to near lunacy by his parents’ religiousness. When his father, a beloved parish priest, falls ill, Bunting returns to the village of his childhood. His hopes that this visit might enable him to talk honestly with his parents and sort out his life, are soon destroyed.
(2012). Daniel Albright gathers parables, poems, dreams, translations, written during a three-year period following the death of his father. Accompanied by artwork by the poet and artist Peter Sacks, the cahier is an attempt to translate private experiences into something with public meaning.
(2009). The book asks “some of the essential questions about the art of fiction. Is realism real? How do we define a successful metaphor? What is character? When do we recognize a brilliant use of detail in fiction? What is point of view, and how does it work? What is imaginative sympathy? Why does fiction move us?