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National Book Critics Circle
Click to search this book in our catalog Sons of Mississippi
by Paul Hendrickson

Library Journal: Hendrickson (The Living and the Dead) uses a photograph published in the July 1962 Life magazine as a focus for examining race and racism in late 20th-century American society. The picture, taken in Oxford, MI, by Charles Moore, centers on seven white law enforcement officers. One, Sheriff Billy Ferrell, holds a billy club, while the other four look on smiling. These men were called to Oxford with others to curb anticipated violence accompanying the integration of the University of Mississippi by James Meredith. All seven participated in the riots that left two people dead and hundreds injured. Hendrickson uses the lives of these men to explore Southern racial attitudes of the period, giving us biographies of photographer Moore and of Meredith, whose interesting life since has included working as an aide to Sen. Jesse Helms. Hendrickson then extends the study to examine contemporary racial views through portraits of the lawmen's grandchildren and Meredith's son, Joe. Hendrickson uses a large number of interviews as well as archival materials and periodical literature to create a thoughtful and illuminating portrait of American racial attitudes. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkesburg

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly: "Nothing is ever escaped," is the woeful reminder Hendrickson imparts in this magisterial group biography-cum-social history, a powerful, unsettling, and beautifully told account of Mississippi's still painful past. Hendrickson, author of the searching Robert McNamara chronicle The Living and the Dead (an NBA finalist), sets out to profile seven Mississippi sheriffs photographed while one of their number postures with a billy club just before the 1962 riots against the integration of the University of Mississippi at Oxford ("Ole Miss"). The picture, shot by freelance photographer Charlie Moore, was published in Life magazine soon after, and it captured Hendrickson's imagination when he came upon it decades later. Chapter by chapter, Hendrickson reconstructs the everyday existences of the seven sheriffs, concentrating on the time of the photo, but taking his subjects through to their deaths. None are now living, but Hendrickson interviewed former Natchez sheriff John Ed Cothram in the early '90s, and the Cothram chapters comprise a paradigmatically subtle and eerie portrait of the intelligence and banality of evil, and how it destroys individuals. The number of telling quotes, interviews with friends and family, primary and secondary sources, allusions to art and history, and gut reactions Hendrickson offers are what really make the book. He begins with a wrenching retelling of the Emmett Till lynching-seven years before James Meredith fought for and finally won admission to Ole Miss, a bloody story Hendrickson also recounts (in addition to a fascinating recent interview with Meredith himself). The book's final third tries to get at the legacy of Mississippi's particular brand of segregation-the whites and blacks Hendrickson interviews throughout articulate it masterfully-by profiling the children of the men in the photo and of Meredith, with sad and inconclusive results. While Hendrickson can be intrusive in telling readers how to interpret his subjects, he repeatedly comes up with electric interview material, and deftly places these men within the defining events of their times, when "a 100-year-old way of life was cracking beneath them."

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Bram Stoker Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Phoenix Island
by John Dixon

Publishers Weekly An unusual premise makes Dixon's thriller debut a welcome series kickoff. Carl Freeman, a 16-year-old orphan, can't help himself from intervening on behalf of the bullied, and, given his boxing prowess, the results for the aggressors are often quite serious. After another such run-in, a judge sentences Carl to "a military-style boot camp," Phoenix Island, until he turns 18. The facility is worse than anything he could have imagined, with sadistic drill sergeants, violent fellow detainees, and plenty of bullies. Carl's independence earns him the enmity of a particularly cruel drill sergeant. Carl discovers a journal that suggests some of his predecessors were actually killed, indicating that something beyond tough love is going on. There are some predictable elements-Carl falls for an attractive girl with a secret-but the pacing and smooth prose will have suspense fans waiting for the next book, as well as the upcoming CBS adaptation, Intelligence. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Edgar Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully
by Allen Kurzweil

Publishers Weekly Childhood trauma fuels an adult obsession and an exploration of a flamboyant criminal caper in this rollicking but unfocused memoir. Novelist Kurzweil (A Case of Curiosities) was bullied by a roommate named Cesar Augustus at a tiny Swiss boarding school-being whipped with a belt is the worst outrage-and later in life set out to learn what had become of his tormentor. He discovered after many years that Cesar had gone to prison for his involvement in investment fraud. Cesar is a marginal figure through much of the book, and when we finally meet him, his impact is underwhelming; he comes off as an evasive and self-deluding hollow man with a repertoire of pathetic shady business ventures. But Kurzweil crafts an entertaining, sharply reported picaresque centering on the colorful leaders of the scam, who bamboozled their marks by posing as monocled European aristocrats and produced a fake deed from the fictional King of Mombessa, and on the investigators who caught them. The psychodrama between Kurzweil and Cesar doesn't have much emotional payoff, but it makes a serviceable hook for a comic-opera true crime saga that's ripe with hilarious humbuggery. Photos. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Many people faced bullies as children. Not many have devoted considerable time and energy to tracking them down as adults. But that's just what author Kurzweil did, uncovering a remarkable tale of fraud, which he recounts in this plainspoken and earnest book. Decades after enduring abuse at the hands of his 12-year-old roommate, Cesar Augustus, at a Swiss boarding school, Kurzweil endeavors to track him down. The hunt, through thousands of pages of legal documents that fill milk crates and through encounters with unwilling or unhelpful contacts, reads like an engrossing detective story. Kurzweil is, by his own admission, a man obsessed. His emotions take a backseat to describing his investigatory feats, which lead him to a wide-ranging, multimillion-dollar scam in which Cesar played a role. More important than even the scam and the man Cesar became, however, is the poignant way that Kurzweil strives to get an explanation for the bully's bad behavior in order to heal the wounds he's carried since school. The story will resonate with anyone who had a Cesar growing up, as so many did.--Thoreson, Bridget Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Novelist Kurzweil (A Case of Curiosities) has given us a story too strange not to be true. As a ten-year-old attending boarding school in Switzerland, he was the victim of an especially cruel bully with the improbable name of Cesar Augustus. Then one day, Cesar was gone. Kurzweil finished out the year, and he too left the school, never to return. But he is nagged by memories of Cesar, and with his wife's encouragement, he begins to search for him. In the process he comes across a financial scheme that makes Bernie Madoff's look positively banal. One of the major players in the scheme is Cesar, whom Kurzweil eventually confronts. One flaw of the book is that, though what Cesar is described as having done to Kurzweil is horrendous, we are given an inadequate subjective or introspective sense of how the bullying made Kurzweil feel as an adult. For a memoirist, he is unusually distant from himself, making Cesar and his fellow schemers the true subject of this book. In that sense, Cesar still has the final word. VERDICT Criticisms of this memoir qua memoir aside, Kurzweil paces his book beautifully and it is recommended even for those who normally don't read nonfiction or memoirs. It moves like a thriller, is very funny, and in the right hands, would make a great movie. [See Prepub Alert, 7/7/14.] (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Pulitzer Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan

Book list *Starred Review* Egan is a writer of cunning subtlety, embedding within the risky endeavors of seductively complicated characters a curious bending of time and escalation of technology's covert impact. Following her diabolically clever The Keep (2006), Egan tracks the members of a San Francisco punk band and their hangers-on over the decades as they wander out into the wider, bewildering world. Kleptomaniac Sasha survives the underworld of Naples, Italy. Her boss, New York music producer Bennie Salazar, is miserable in the suburbs, where his tattooed wife, Stephanie, sneaks off to play tennis with Republicans. Obese former rock-star Bosco wants Stephanie to help him with a Suicide Tour, while her all-powerful publicist boss eventually falls so low she takes a job rehabilitating the public image of a genocidal dictator. These are just a few of the faltering searchers in Egan's hilarious, melancholy, enrapturing, unnerving, and piercingly beautiful mosaic of a novel. As episodes surge forward and back in time, from the spitting aggression of a late-1970s punk-rock club to the obedient, socially networked herd gathered at the Footprint, Manhattan's 9/11 site 20 years after the attack, Egan evinces an acute sensitivity to the black holes of shame and despair and to the remote-control power of the gadgets that are reordering our world.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Readers will be pleased to discover that the star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos that helped shoot Egan to the top of the genre-bending new school is alive in well in this graceful yet wild novel. We begin in contemporaryish New York with kleptomaniac Sasha and her boss, rising music producer Bennie Salazar, before flashing back, with Bennie, to the glory days of Bay Area punk rock, and eventually forward, with Sasha, to a settled life. By then, Egan has accrued tertiary characters, like Scotty Hausmann, Bennie's one-time bandmate who all but dropped out of society, and Alex, who goes on a date with Sasha and later witnesses the future of the music industry. Egan's overarching concerns are about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn. Or as one character asks, "How did I go from being a rock star to being a fat fuck no one cares about?" Egan answers the question elegantly, though not straight on, as this powerful novel chronicles how and why we change, even as the song stays the same. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Time changes both everything and nothing in this novel about former punk rocker-turned-music executive Bennie Salazar and Sasha, his indispensable secretary with an unhappy past. A host of characters from San Francisco's 1970s music scene collide in ways that are hard to summarize, with peripheral characters in one chapter more fully developed in others. These well-defined characters and the engaging narrative are hallmarks of Egan's earlier fiction, which include Look at Me, a National Book Award finalist, and the best-selling The Keep. Here, we learn that power is transient, authenticity is not all it's cracked up to be, and friendships are often fragile, but the connections among people matter terribly. Often, we survive the self-destructive tendencies of youth only to realize that we've just exchanged one set of problems for another. Verdict In the end, this novel does offer hope, but it is the grubby kind that keeps you going once you've been kicked to the curb. Readers will enjoy seeing the disparate elements of this novel come full circle. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10.]-Gwen Vredevoogd, Marymount Univ., Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

RITA Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Not another bad date
by Rachel Gibson.

Publishers Weekly : This yummy lovefest from Gibson (after Tangled Up in You) focuses on a familiar dilemma: how to end bad luck in love. At 35, successful Idaho SFF novelist Adele Harris has had it with losers who make fun of her big fat ass. She feels cursed—and she was, by old rival Devon Hamilton-Zemaitis, who stole Adele's first love, football star Zach Zemaitis. When Devon dies following an accident, she must remove the curse that's prevented Adele's happiness so she can go to heaven. Meanwhile, Adele gets a frantic call from older sister Sherilyn, who's divorcing her husband and has moved back to their old hometown of Cedar Creek, Tex.—where Zach now coaches high school football, and where Sherilyn needs help with her 13-year-old. Gibson keeps the action light but dead-on delicious in Adele's and Zach's sizzling second-chance-at love. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Hugo Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog The City and The City
by China Mieville

School Library Journal Adult/High School-A blend of near-future science fiction and police procedural, this novel is a successful example of the hybrid genre so popular of late. In a contemporary time period, two fantastical cities somewhere between Europe and Asia exist, not adjacent to one another, but by literally occupying the same area. Forbidden to acknowledge the existence of one another-a discipline imposed by the shadowy and terrifying entity known as Breach-residents in both cities have honed the ability to "unsee" people, places, and events existing in the other realm. This ticklish balance ruptures when Inspector Tyador Borl of the Extreme Crime Squad must investigate the murder of a foreign archaeological student. Long after the book's satisfying conclusion, astute readers will have much to ponder, such as the facility with which Authority can manipulate and repress a population and the attendant ills that life in such a society inevitably generate. Add in the novel's highly effective cover art and the result is a book that may appeal as much to a young, new-to-Mieville audience as it will to his loyal fans.-Dori DeSpain, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Fantasy author Mieville (Looking for Jake, 2005) puts his own unique spin on the detective story. Inspector Tyador Borlu, a lonely police detective, is assigned to the murder of a young woman found dumped in a park on the edge of Beszel, an old city, decaying and mostly forgotten, situated in an unspecified area on the southeastern fringes of Europe. But Beszel does not exist alone; it shares much of the same physical space with Ul Qoma. Each city retains a distinct culture and style, and the citizenry of both places has elaborate rules and rituals to avoid the dreaded Breach, which separates the two across space and time. This unique setting becomes one of the most important and well-developed characters in the novel, playing a pivotal role in the mystery when Tyador discovers that his murder case is much more complex than a dumped body, requiring international cooperation with the Ul Qoman authorities. Eschewing the preliminary world-building techniques of many fantasy books, Mieville dumps the reader straight into Tyador's world of crosshatching and unseeing, only gradually developing and explaining his one-of-a kind setting. Suggest to readers who enjoyed Michael Chabon's alternate-history mystery, The Yiddish Policemen's Union (2007), or to fans of the futuristic urban setting in A. L. Martinez's Automatic Detective (2008). An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans.--Moyer, Jessica Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Mieville (Un Lun Dun; Perdido Street Station) tells vivid stories in the borderlands of literary fantasy, science fiction, and horror, and here he adds noir crime to the mix. Fittingly, his tale is set in the borderlands, creating a mysterious pair of cities somewhere on Europe's eastern edge. Beszel and Ul Qoma share the same ground, but their citizens are not allowed to react to one another, learning to "unsee" the other city and its inhabitants from a young age. Enforcing this division is a mysterious power called Breach. When an archaeology student is found dead, Inspector Tyador Borl gets caught up in a case that forces him to navigate precariously between the cities, perhaps into the sinister worlds that straddle them. It's a fascinating premise. Unfortunately, the cities, protagonist, and case remain stubbornly in the haze. For all genre fiction collections because Mieville is a trailblazer with a dedicated following, but this work is more an existential thought piece than a reading pleasure. [Library marketing.]-Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Better known for New Weird fantasies (Perdido Street Station, etc.), bestseller Mieville offers an outstanding take on police procedurals with this barely speculative novel. Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borl of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia's friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities. Through this exaggerated metaphor of segregation, Mieville skillfully examines the illusions people embrace to preserve their preferred social realities. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

The Man Booker Prize
Click to search this book in our catalog Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
by Roddy Doyle

Publishers Weekly : Doyle's Booker Prize-winning novel, told from the perspective of Irish, working-class 10-year-old Paddy Clarke, was a seven-week PW bestseller.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

World Fantasy Awards
Click to search this book in our catalog Alif the unseen
by G Willow Wilson

Library Journal The award-winning graphics novel author, also hailed for a memoir, offers a much-anticipated fiction debut blending political intrigue, cyberfantasy, and The Arabian Nights. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* The scripter of the graphic novel Cairo (2007) and writer of the memoir The Butterfly Mosque (2010) here offers her first prose novel, ushering the energy of the Arab Spring into urban fantasy while unleashing jinns into the digital age. A young hacker-for-hire who goes by the handle Alif becomes an enemy of the state (an unspecified Middle Eastern emirate) after his computer program, designed to suss out the identity of a user solely through keystroke patterns and language tendencies, catches the eye of the iron-clad security presence known as the Hand. Alif has also come into possession of the fabled Alf Yeom, a book that supposedly compiles the entire knowledge of the jinn (which, surprise, are real, and, in the case of the saucy and dangerous Vikram the Vampire, a bit too real). Both Alif and the Hand see in this book the inspiration for a quantum leap in computing sophistication, but will it be a tool for revolution or a means to obliterate dissent? Wilson has a lot on her mind with this ambitious and layered novel, which swirls about ideas of theology, technology, activism, class conflict, and cultural inquiry without getting bogged down in any of them. As timely and thoughtful as it is edgy and exciting, this dervish of a novel wraps modern tendrils around ancient roots, spanning the gulf between ones and zeros, haves and have-nots, and seen and unseen worlds.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Set in an unnamed Arab emirate, Wilson's intriguing, colorful first novel centers on a callow Arab-Indian computer hacker who calls himself "Alif," the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. Alif surreptitiously creates digital protection, at a price, for Islamic dissidents being threatened by the chief of state security (aka "the Hand of God"). When Intisar, Alif's aristocratic beloved, opportunistically throws Alif over for the Hand, he flees into the desert, along with a female neighbor, Dina, pursued by the Hand. Dina carries the 700-year-old jinn-dictated The Thousand and One Days (the inverse of The Thousand and One Nights), which contains secrets disguised in stories that may help Alif remake his world. Wilson (The Butterfly Mosque, a memoir) provocatively juxtaposes ancient Arab lore and equally esoteric computer theory, highlighting the many facets of the East-West conflict while offering few insights, to some readers' regret, into possible resolutions of that conflict. 10-city author tour. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Associates. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Known for her award-winning memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, and her comics (Cairo; Air), Wilson instills imaginative storytelling in her debut novel set in the modern Middle East.ÅAlif, a hacker by trade who provides systems security for the rich and poor alike, falls in love with a young woman from a privileged family.ÅShe is engaged to a member of the state police who is leading the hunt for the secret programming code Alif unwittingly created.ÅFollowing the clues in an ancient manuscript titled The Thousand and One Days, Alif allies himself with his Muslim neighbor, an American convert, the sheikh of the local mosque, and an army of shapeshifting jinn to solve the code.ÅVERDICT Wilson skillfully weaves a story linking modern-day technologies and computer languages to the folklore and religion of the Middle East.ÅFor readers ready for adventure and looking for original storytelling, this excellent novel supersedes genres as easily as its characters jump from one reality to another. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/12.]-Catherine Lantz, Morton College Lib., Cicero, Il (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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