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2020 Bestselling Fiction of 2020

CROSSINGS

CROSSINGS

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A sparkling debut. Landragin's seductive literary romp shines as a celebration of the act of storytelling. --Publishers Weekly

Romance, mystery, history, and magical invention dance across centuries in an impressive debut novel.

--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Deft writing seduces the reader in a complex tale of pursuit, denial, and retribution moving from past to future. Highly recommended.

--Library Journal (Starred Review)

Alex Landragin's Crossings is an unforgettable and explosive genre-bending debut--a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.

On the brink of the Nazi occupation of Paris, a German-Jewish bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript called Crossings. It has three narratives, each as unlikely as the next. And the narratives can be read one of two ways: either straight through or according to an alternate chapter sequence.

The first story in Crossings is a never-before-seen ghost story by the poet Charles Baudelaire, penned for an illiterate girl. Next is a noir romance about an exiled man, modeled on Walter Benjamin, whose recurring nightmares are cured when he falls in love with a storyteller who draws him into a dangerous intrigue of rare manuscripts, police corruption, and literary societies. Finally, there are the fantastical memoirs of a woman-turned-monarch whose singular life has spanned seven generations.

With each new chapter, the stunning connections between these seemingly disparate people grow clearer and more extraordinary. Crossings is an unforgettable adventure full of love, longing and empathy.

HOME

HOME

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This New York Times Notable Book is an emotional powerhouse of a novel about a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary Black man.

When Frank Money joined the army to escape his too-small world, he left behind his cherished and fragile little sister, Cee. After the war, he journeys to his native Georgia with a renewed sense of purpose in search of his sister, but it becomes clear that their troubles began well before their wartime separation. Together, they return to their rural hometown of Lotus, where buried secrets are unearthed and where Frank learns at last what it means to be a man, what it takes to heal, and--above all--what it means to come home.

A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction
A Best Book of the Year: NPR, AV Club, St. Louis Dispatch

HOMELAND ELEGIES

HOMELAND ELEGIES

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ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Finalist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
A Best Book of 2020 * Washington Post * O Magazine * New York Times Book Review * Publisher's Weekly


A "profound and provocative" new work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced and American Dervish an immigrant father and his son search for belonging--in post-Trump America, and with each other (Kirkus Reviews).

A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.

Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one -- least of all himself -- in the process.

LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND

LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND

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A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award (Fiction)

A Best Book of the Year From: The Washington Post * Time * NPR * Elle * Esquire * Kirkus * Library Journal * The Chicago Public Library * The New York Public Library * BookPage * The Globe and Mail * EW.com * The LA Times * USA Today

A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.

From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped--and unexpected new ones are forged--in moments of crisis.

Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they've rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple--it's their house, and they've arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area--with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service--it's hard to know what to believe.

Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple--and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?

LUSTER

LUSTER

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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER
LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER

So delicious that it feels illicit . . . Raven Leilani's first novel reads like summer: sentences like ice that crackle or melt into a languorous drip; plot suddenly, wildly flying forward like a bike down a hill. --Jazmine Hughes, The New York Times Book Review

"An irreverent intergenerational tale of race and class that's blisteringly smart and fan-yourself sexy." --Michelle Hart, O: The Oprah Magazine

No one wants what no one wants.
And how do we even know what we want? How do we know we're ready to take it?

Edie is stumbling her way through her twenties--sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage--with rules.

As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics weren't hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric's home--though not by Eric. She becomes a hesitant ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows.

Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani's Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life--her hunger, her anger--in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.

LYING LIFE OF ADULTS

LYING LIFE OF ADULTS

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A NEW YORK TIMES & NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A BEST BOOK OF 2020
The Washington PostO, The Oprah Magazine・TIME Magazine・NPR・People MagazineThe New York Times Critics・The Guardian・Electric Literature・Financial Times・Times UK・Irish TimesNew York Post・Kirkus Reviews・Toronto StarThe Globe and MailHarper's Bazaar

A POWERFUL NEW NOVEL set in a divided Naples by ELENA FERRANTE, the New York Times best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend and The Lost Daughter. Soon to be a NETFLIX Original Series.

"Another spellbinding coming-of-age tale from a master."--People Magazine, Top 10 Books of 2020

Giovanna's pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016's most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world's most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

"There's no doubt [the publication of The Lying Life of Adults] will be the literary event of the year."--ELLE Magazine

OVERSTORY

OVERSTORY

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Winner of the William Dean Howells Medal
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Over One Year on the New York Times Bestseller List
A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post, Time, Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

"The best novel ever written about trees, and really just one of the best novels, period." --Ann Patchett
Skin Deep

Skin Deep

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Korean-American adoptee Siobhan O'Brien has spent much of her life explaining her name and her family to strangers, but her more pressing problem is whether to carry on the PI agency that her dead boss unexpectedly left to her. Easing into middle age, Siobhan would generally rather have a donut than a romance, but when an old friend and asks Siobhan to find her daughter who has disappeared from her dorm room, the rookie private detective's search begins in Llewellyn College.
  • A private institution of higher learning in upstate New York, Llewellyn, for the first time in its two- hundred-year history, has opened its doors to men, causing a clash between the female students and their former fashion-model president. The financial reasons prompting the change seem like a ruse when fringe- group The Womyn of Llewellyn, aided by Siobhan, discover a newly built science center, which is under 24- hour surveillance.
  • As Siobhan delves deeper into locating the missing girl and campus politics, she encounters vegan cooking that just might kill her, possibly deadly yoga poses, and politely dangerous billionaires. This first in a new series introduces an endearing PI heroine readers aren't going to want to put down.
  • SONG OF ACHILLES

    SONG OF ACHILLES

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    "At once a scholar's homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist....A book I could not put down."
    --Ann Patchett

    "Mary Renault lives again!" declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller's thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer's enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller's monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction's brightest lights--and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.