May 15, 2016 Booklist 21 www.booklistonline.com
those fleeting, ambiguous moments of resolution. —Leah Strauss
Heroes of the Frontier.
By Dave Eggers.
July 2016. 400p. Knopf, $28.95 (9780451493804).
Adept at literary reinvention, Eggers (Your
Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do
They Live Forever?, 2014) steers his ongoing
social critique in an especially liberating new
direction in this comedic outlaw odyssey. Josie
is a dentist in Ohio with two
children: somber and kind
eight-year-old Paul and tempestuous five-year-old Ana.
Josie’s useless ex is in Florida,
and there is no way she will
allow the children to visit.
Instead, she takes them to
Alaska, renting a rattletrap
RV with a vague plan to connect with a woman
she refers to as her stepsister. It turns out that
wildfires are rampaging the state, and Josie’s
own blazing fury induces her to take outra-
geous risks. Over the course of Josie’s hilarious
and scathing inner monologue about the de-
pravity of our species, Eggers offers glimpses
into her molten sorrows, including the death
of her favorite patient in Afghanistan and a
decimating malpractice lawsuit. As this trio
of surprisingly resilient fugitives careens hap-
hazardly from peril to refuge and back again,
Eggers, writing with exuberant imagination,
incandescent precision, and breathless propul-
sion, casts divining light on human folly and
generosity and the glories and terror of nature.
This uproarious quest, this breathless journey
from lost to found, this delirious American
road-trip saga, is fueled by uncanny insight,
revolutionary humor, and profound pleasure in
the absurd and the sublime. —Donna Seaman
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Eggers is
a sure bet for library “holds,” and this brilliant, funny, fast-moving novel will catch
Hot Little Hands.
By Abigail Ulman.
June 2016. 368p. Spiegel & Grau, $26 (9780812989175).
Melbourne native Ulman makes a notewor-
thy debut with this collection of nine short
stories. Each centers on a young woman, rang-
ing from early teens to late twenties, as she
assesses her place in the world or explores her
sexuality. Claire, a British PhD student in San
Francisco, is the protagonist of three stories that
trace her disastrous relationships, manic life-
style, and possible deportation. Interspersing
her struggles are individual accounts of apathet-
ic teens, immigrant experiences, a wunderkind
blogger paralyzed by her book deal, and
teenagers navigating blurry relationships with
adult men. Ulman writes without judgment,
and this is what gives her characters life. They
are multifaceted, flawed beings—sometimes
victims of others, but often victims of their
own actions—in whom readers will recognize
flashes of themselves. Her unvarnished prose is
ideally suited for this study of life’s messy reali-
ties: sex is not romanticized, nor is a secure or
happy future guaranteed. Whether readers feel
their consciences pricked or sense of kinship
stoked, all will come away with plenty to think
about. —Julia Smith
YA/M: Teens will gravitate toward
the collection’s young protagonists and
coming-of-age stories, where high-school
popularity, sex, drugs, and parties are
candidly explored. JS.
A House for Happy Mothers.
By Amulya Malladi.
May 2016. 320p. Amazon/Lake Union, paper, $14.95
Priya has everything she could ever want . . .
well, almost. She has a wonderful husband
named Madhu, a master’s degree, and a career
at an advertising agency in
the Silicon Valley. To fill her
spare hours, she indulges her
artistic craving by painting.
Still, she has suffered several
miscarriages and is unable to
have the one thing she truly
wants—a child. It’s not an
easy decision to make, but
$24.99 • Hardcover
“Imagine a nine-year-old child
assisting his father with the family
business—the ruthless smuggling
of humans. . . . Unflinching and
momentous.” —Ursula Hegi,
New York Times bestselling author
of Stones from the River
$17.99 • Hardcover
Sky Pony Press
Ages 12+ • September
A hacker and a teen secret
agent team up in this sci-fi
techno-thriller that blends music,
mind control, and conspiracy.
For fans of Little Brother, Brain
Jack, and Proxy.
$22.99 • Hardcover
“Ratner and Smith cut through
the lies and distortions to provide a riveting and thoroughly
documented history of the murder of Che Guevara.” —Amy
Goodman, Democracy Now!
$25.99 • Hardcover
“If you want the authoritative
biography of Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow is the place
to go. If historical fiction is your
preference, Elizabeth Cobbs has
now written the Hamilton novel
that immediately leaps to the
top of the list.” —Joseph J. Ellis,
author of Founding Brothers
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