Elizabeth Hardwick found New York's jittery impermanence and inchoate density to be an obstacle for the fiction writer.
Nicole Krauss's Great House swings from the evocative to the overcharged.
Frederic Tuten's Self Portraits is a backward glance on life that's vital, wistful and filled with sweet ache.
In The Clash of Images Abdelfattah Kilito creates a touching portrait of a young man coming of age in French-occupied Morocco.
Vasily Grossman's Everything Flows is a searching and humane investigation of the totalitarian condition.
Julia Holmes's Meeks is a novel full of a jittery sadness and an uncontrollable kind of joy.
Drollery, mordancy, tenderness and soul talk: Saul Bellow's letters are a Saul Bellow novel!
With C, Tom McCarthy asks us to see fiction as a crafty and adventurous playmate unafraid of its mortality.
Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, Robert Darnton's Poetry and the Police, Jeremy Harding's Mother Country
The Black Minutes, a nuanced neo-noir, conveys how narco-violence has leached the Mexican justice system of meaning.