Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Six Summer Novels from Vogue.com
"An American compound in the 1960s is the Mad Men–like backdrop for Kim Barnes’s In the Kingdom of Men , the story of a young Oklahoma woman who follows her oil company husband to Saudi Arabia, where a sheltered status quo is intruded upon by the discovery of the dead body of a young local woman. An orphan tries her hand at homesteading in early-1900s Oregon in Anna Keesey’s debut, Little Century learning frontier lessons in cowboy justice (not to mention falling in love with a sheepherder). And a certain innocence of suburban privilege is shattered in Nichole Bernier’s 2002-set The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. in which a young mother becomes the reluctant interpreter of her friend’s life following a plane crash, calling into question the truths we tell ourselves.
Set in “the sheltering womb of all things American Ben Fountain’s astringent satire, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk follows the last day of an Iraq War platoon’s government sponsored “Victory Tour” and an appearance at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, where nineteen-year-old Specialist William Lynn is distracted by comely cheerleaders, Hollywood profiteers, and a sister’s text messages encouraging him to jump ship rather than return to combat. Portentous clouds gather in Thad Ziolkowski’s Wichita the wry fable of an Ivy League graduate who returns to the Midwest to ponder his future, with the somewhat dubious guidance of his possibly bipolar brother and his polyamorous mother, who has started a storm-chasing business. And coming of age is nothing less than an apocalypse for the eleven-year-old narrator of Karen Thompson Walker’s debut, The Age of Miracles who wakes one morning in Southern California to find that the Earth’s rotation is slowing, but that the milestones of adolescence—including the possibility of romance with the brooding skateboarder who shares her bus stop—move inexorably forward.
(from Megan O'Grady at http://www.vogue.com/ )