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March 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Historical Fiction
The Book of Aron. By Jim Shepard. 2015. Knopf, $23.95 (9781101874318).
Shepard’s profoundly moving tale of a Jewish boy coming-of-age in the Warsaw Ghetto and discovering humankind’s capacity for adaptation and survival evolves into a resonant inquiry into the catastrophic impact of war and genocide on children.
The Dying Grass. By William T. Vollmann. 2015. Viking, $55 (9780670015986).
In this adeptly omniscient epic, Vollmann vividly animates an enormous cast of characters as he dramatizes the plangent complexities of the 1877 war between the Nez Percé and the U.S. Army.
The House of Medici: Inheritance of Power. By Edward Charles. 2015. Skyhorse, $24.95 (9781629147369).
In Charles’ imaginatively structured novel about the all-powerful Medicis, the black mistress of the powerful Cosimo de’ Medici and mother of his son, the Cardinal Medici, reminisces about her years in Florence at the Medici court.
Lovecraft Country. By Matt Ruff. 2016. Harper, $26.99 (9780062292063).
Atticus, an African American Korean War veteran, finds himself entangled with a mysterious organization, resulting in supernatural threats against his family and friends in Ruff’s nonstop historical adventure that includes H. P. Lovecraft–like horrors within the context of Jim Crow racism.
The Marriage of Opposites. By Alice Hoffman. 2015. Simon & Schuster, $27.95 (9781451693591).
Opening in 1807 in a Jewish enclave on the Caribbean island of Saint Thomas, home to headstrong yet mystical Rachel Pomié, Hoffman’s rhapsodic novel uncloaks the family history of the impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.
The Secret Chord. By Geraldine Brooks. 2015. Viking, $27.95 (9780670025770).
In her gorgeously written novel of ambition, courage, retribution, and triumph, Brooks imagines the life and character of King David in all his complexity, from his humble childhood through old age.
The Sympathizer. By Viet Thanh Nguyen. 2015. Grove, $26 (9780802123459).
In this dark and unsettling novel of war and disillusionment, Nguyen portrays a nameless spy, interrogator, and Vietnamese Communist sympathizer at the mercy of those he once supported. Winner of the 2016 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
Titans. By Leila Meacham. 2016. 608p. Grand Central, $26 (9781455533831).
Meacham’s latest sweeping historical saga offers a crash course in pre–oil boom Texas via the stories of twins separated at birth—Nathan, encouraged to prospect for oil, and Samantha, who dreams of being a paleontologist—and their oil-magnate father.
Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise. By Oscar Hijuelos. 2015. Grand Central, $28 (9781455561490).
In a deeply researched, extraordinarily imaginative historical re-creation, Hijuelos chronicles the friendship between Welsh-born explorer Henry Morton Stanley and beloved American raconteur Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain).
Villa America. By Liza Klaussmann. 2015. Little, Brown, $26 (9780316211369).
Klaussmann fictionalizes the lives of Gerald and Sara Murphy, the well-off, alluringly unconventional expat couple who inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night, in this enrapturing historical novel of a loving marriage complicated by suppressed desire during a time of now-legendary creative ferment.
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