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“Trust” by Hernan Diaz

For all its elegant complexity and brilliant construction, Diaz’s novel is compulsively readable, and despite taking place in the early 1900s, the plot reads like an indictment of the start of the twenty-first century with its obsession with obscure financial instruments and unhinged capital accumulation. A captivating tour de force that will astound readers with its formal invention and contemporary relevance. Read more

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Rabih Alameddine wins PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction for ‘The Wrong End of the Telescope’

Alameddine, a Lebanese American whose other works include the National Book Award finalist “An Unnecessary Woman,” will receive $15,000. Philip Roth, E.L. Doctorow and Karen Joy Fowler are among the previous PEN/Faulkner winners. Read more

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Out There by Kate Folk

…tightly constructed and spectacularly mind-bending stories that ingeniously pair everyday challenges and outlandish predicaments, ranging from hilarious to terrifying. Folk writes with unnerving matter-of-factness as she veers into Poe- and Shirley Jackson-like horror or turns to the poignantly fantastic in the mode of George Saunders or Kelly Link … Folk’s shocking, grim, funny, and tender stories deliver astringently incisive perceptions of human longing and contradictions. Read more

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Shit Cassandra Saw by Gwen E. Kirby

Kirby’s book succeeds not just because she’s a preternaturally gifted prose stylist, but because of her willingness to take risks. She experiments with points of view and occasionally dips into metafiction (“Midwestern Girl Is Tired of Appearing in Your Short Stories” is a master class in storytelling, as well as a hilarious commentary on a fiction scene that’s seen men overrepresented for decades.) And yet she also knows when to tap the brakes, when to step back and let her carefully drawn characters speak for themselves. It’s a stunning collection from a writer whose talent and creativity seem boundless. Read more

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