Also of interest…in literary rediscoveries

The Passion According to G.H.; Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World; Search Sweet Country; The Promised Land

The Passion According to G.H.

by Clarice Lispector

(New Directions, $16)

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The novels of the late Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector cry out for a wider audience, said Susan Straight in The Boston Globe. Lispector’s “slim, fiercely cerebral investigations of longing and belonging” offer a perfect antidote to our age’s assault on private thought, and the reissue of four of her novels is cause for celebration. The first English translation of her unfinished A Breath of Life headlines the effort, but it’s the daring G.H. that’s sure to “linger in the mind.”

Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World

by Donald Antrim

(Picador, $15)

Donald Antrim’s novels “absolutely, unequivocally, totally flat-out rule,” said Justin Taylor in Bookforum. Recent reissues of The Hundred Brothers and The Verificationist renewed focus on the author Jonathan Franzen has labeled “more unlike any other living writer than any other living writer.” Antrim’s quirky first novel, from 1993, features a grade-school teacher who entertains fantasies of becoming mayor of his small Florida town. Its reissue completes a deserved resurrection.

Search Sweet Country

by Kojo Laing

(McSweeney’s, $24)

Ghanaian poet Kojo Laing’s acclaimed debut novel from 1986 “confounds the notion that all things African are somehow too peculiar to apply to the wider world,” said Uzodinma Iweala in Laing details Ghana’s political upheavals of the 1970s, but this novel could be about “how any country and its people should approach a fundamentally unstable world.” This handsome re-release dusts off Laing’s gifts. His “sentences can only be described as heated, bubbling over with images.”

The Promised Land

by Mary Antin

(Penguin, $16)

Mary Antin’s lively 1912 autobiography “changed public opinion about the value of immigration to America,” said Jenna Weissman Joselit in The New Republic. Emerging at a moment when suspicion of immigrants was high, this Russian Jewish émigré provided a “ringing endorsement” of Americanization that calmed fears that foreigners might be incapable of assimilation. “Antin’s account remains a timely reminder of what is at stake when it comes to welcoming—or shunning—the foreign-born.”

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