Philipp Meyer (born 1974) is an American fiction writer, and is the author of the novels American Rust and The Son, as well as short stories published in McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Iowa Review, and Esquire UK. Meyer is the recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship.
It's both literary and a page turner. It's a sin that it was left off the Man Booker list. Go out and read this book -- right now.
Also recommended by: Helene Wecker
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.
It's Russell's best yet, her signature blend of realism and magical thinking. There's no one else like her.
From the author of the New York Times best seller Swamplandia!a finalist for the Pulitzer Prizea magical new collection of stories that showcases Karen Russells gifts at their inimitable best. A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagulls nest. A community of girls held captive in a silk factory slowly transmute into human silkworms, spinning delicate threads from their own bellies, and escape by seizing the means of production for their own revolutionary ends. A massage therapist discovers she has the power to heal by manipulating the tattoos on a war veterans lower torso. When a group of boys stumble upon a mutilated scarecrow bearing an uncanny resemblance to the missing classmate they used to torment, an ordinary tale of high school bullying becomes a sinister fantasy of guilt and atonement. In a familys disastrous quest for land in the American West, the monster is the human hunger for acquisition, and the victim is all we hold dear. And in the collections marvelous title storyan unforgettable parable of addiction and appetite, mortal terror and mortal lovetwo vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove try helplessly to slake their thirst for blood. Karen Russell is one of todays most celebrated and vital writershonored in The New Yorkers list of the twenty best writers under the age of forty, Grantas Best of Young American Novelists, and the National Book Foundations five best writers under the age of thirty-five. Her wondrous new work displays a young writer of superlative originality and invention coming into the full range and scale of her powers. This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
I'm always beating the drum for this book, which was published last year. It's the best book to come out about the Iraq War yet.
A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. "The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined. With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.