Also: Italian novelist Elena Ferrante gives a rare interview; the history of Arabic noir.
Daniel Kehlmann's F, about three brothers abandoned by their father, examines the detail of lives lived without integrity. It is brilliantly translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway.
The American publishing industry has long been the realm of the privileged few. Lately, though, some writers of color are making their voices heard — and starting some uncomfortable conversations.
Also: Poet Simin Behbahani, known as the "Lioness of Iran," has died; novelist Lev Grossman on finding his vocation.
David Connerley Nahm's debut, Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky, is full of what critic Michael Schaub calls "anti-nostalgia," the pain of intrusive memories that come when you're least prepared.
Protests in Ferguson, Mo., continue in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by police on Aug. 9. The incident reminds author Laila Lalami of James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son.
Iranian poet and women's rights advocate Simin Behbahani has died. Her work probed the social and political challenges that faced Iran after its Islamic Revolution. She was 87.
The protagonist of Julie Schumacher's new Dear Committee Members is frustrated with the future of American arts and letters — and the feckless students who pester him for recommendation letters.
Budding writers often turn to graduate workshops for lessons on the craft and as a gateway to publishers. But in classes filled with middle-class white people, many writers of color feel typecast.
In his new memoir, Doctored, Sandeep Jauhar describes a growing discontent among doctors and how it's affecting patients. He says rushed doctors are often practicing "defensive medicine."
Simin Behbahani, renowned for her piercing and fierce language, published 19 books of poetry over the course of six decades.
Also: King Richard III's "privileged" diet; novelist Karen Russell on the fantastical.
Critic Heller McAlpin says readers picking up Paulo Coelho's new Adultery in search of deep philosophical insight on marital infidelity and a lack of cliches might be better off with Madame Bovary.
Filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith knew American Indian writer James Welch — he was a family friend. But as non-Native Americans, they had concerns about adapting his iconic novel, Winter in the Blood.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, about a young man looking for closure, offers Haruki Murakami's trademark blend of fantasy and reality. Some moments fall flat, but many others are intoxicating.
Author Adam Rogers says there are lots of myths about what causes hangovers. His new book, Proof: The Science of Booze, explores these and other scientific mysteries of alcohol's effect on the body.
The novel is about a flavor chemist who tests a sweetener on lab rats and monkeys and finds side effects the company covers up. Author Stephan Eirik Clark says he was inspired by Fast Food Nation.
Also: the virtues of Fanny Price; notable books coming out this week.
Forget what CSI told you about the job: It's less about solving crimes and more about accidents. Judy Melinek hopes to paint a more accurate picture of the profession in her new book, Working Stiff.
NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Rene Steinke about her new book, Friendswood. The novel follows four characters who must deal with the legacy of a toxic leak in their small Texas town.