Pat Barker's novel, a retelling of Homer's "Iliad" from the perspective of Briseis, a princess whose capture leads to her historical place as Achilles's "bed-girl," raises the stakes for all historical writing in that it reminds us to do as Abigail Adams urged her husband: "Remember the ladies."
Identity is a tangled weave for we clannish creatures. And one must work to distinguish its strands. In arguing for a concept of human identity that transcends race, religion, nation, culture and class, Kwame Anthony Appiah has set himself a formidable task.
In his new book “World War II at Sea,” historian Craig L. Symonds has crafted an immensely readable history of the Second World War via the perspective of the world’s navies.
Sept. 11, 2001, was a national tragedy that deeply affected author Adam Schefter, a native New Yorker, in more ways than he knew at the time.
A young woman's determination to overcome her past mental problems tests her resolve when she becomes involved in the high-profile case of a violent young man in the superior "Leave No Trace" by Mindy Mejia.
JANE ON THE BRAIN: Exploring the Science of Social Intelligence with Jane Austen. By Wendy Jones. Pegasus Books. 336 pages. $27.95.
The simplest avenue for beginning to understand filmmaker David Lynch might be found in a childhood friend's observation: "David's always had a cheerful disposition and sunny personality, but he's always been attracted to dark things. That's one of the mysteries of David."
One person said reading South Carolina native Horace Mungin’s new book about jazz is like taking a tour with a well-informed guide.
RACE TO HAWAII: The 1927 Dole Air Derby and the Thrilling First Flights That Opened the Pacific. By Jason Ryan. Chicago Review Press. 320 pages. $26.99.
Lowcountry resident Justin Hopson has published his second book, “If the First Lady Hired Me...: A Private Eye’s Tell-All of Cheating in America.”
DENMARK VESEY’S GARDEN: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy. By Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts. The New Press. 464 pages. $28.99.
Good first lines have the power to pull a reader into the story. Think of Herman Melville’s “Call me Ishmael.” Or Tolstoy’s “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
The frontispiece to Michiko Kakutani’s new book features Francisco de Goya’s 1815 etching “The Death of Truth.” In it, the feminine figure of Truth lies at the center with arms crossed, the final rays of her illumination fading across the page.
Early in “The Only Story,” Julian Barnes’s 23rd book, his narrating hero professes, “I’m not trying to spin you a story. I’m trying to tell you the truth,” a sentence that should set off alarms in readers of his work.
Clive Cussler is the author of more than 70 books. In real life, he and his exploration crew have discovered more than 75 shipwrecks, including the Confederate submarine Hunley right here in Charleston.
While the bulk of John Meacham's “Soul of America” is concentrated on several generally well-known controversies in American public life, the real thrust of it, and by far more compelling subtext, is a response to the actions and rhetoric of the current resident of the White House, whom Meacham describes as “determined to undermine the rule of law, a free press and a sense of hope essential to American life.”
In a June issue of The New York Times Book Review, Dorothea Benton Frank is quoted as saying, “I’m the one you want to sit next to when things are dull.” Anyone who has any of her 18 novels knows this is true. Frank’s humor permeates the pages of all her books, including her latest novel, “By Invitation Only,” a story of a wedding, dueling mothers-in-law, haves and have-nots and family secrets. Frank says the novel was inspired by the recent marriages of her son and daughter, and by the potential for disaster when events don’t go as planned.
THE UNKNOWNS: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home. By Patrick K. O’Donnell. Atlantic Monthly Press. 362 pages. $27
THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, THEY JUST DISAPPEAR: The Life and Works of Harry Hervey. By Harlan Greene. University of South Carolina Press. 184 pages. $29.99.
Best-selling author Terry McMillan will be the featured speaker at the third annual Charleston Black Ink Book Festival, scheduled for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Charleston County Public Library.
THE TRIAL AND EXECUTION OF THE TRAITOR GEORGE WASHINGTON: A Novel. By Charles Rosenberg. Hanover Square Press. 421 pages. $26.99.
TAILSPIN: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall — and Those Fighting to Reverse It. By Steven Brill. Knopf. 441 pages. $28.95.
As a cadet at The Citadel, my roommates and I had an ongoing joke about what the school might look like by the time our sons could attend. (That we assumed we’d have sons says much about us, but says something about the culture of The Citadel in the mid-1990s, too.) Would it be co-ed? Would …
Susan Rivers, a playwright and resident of the Upstate, will visit Charleston to discuss her debut novel, "The Second Mrs. Hockaday," at noon Friday, June 29, at a Blue Bicycle Books Author Series Luncheon hosted by Halls Signature Events, 5 Faber St.
WHAT TRUTH SOUNDS LIKE: RFK, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America. By Michael Eric Dyson. St. Martin’s. 294 pages. $24.99.
BEHEMOTH: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World. By Joshua B. Freeman. Norton. 448 pages. $27.95.