Also of interest...
In stories of captivity
I Will Never See the World Again
by Ahmet Altan (Other Press, $16)
This short prison memoir “speaks for itself with such clarity, certainty, and wisdom” that the only thing that needs to be said is “Read it,” said Simon Callow in TheGuardian.com. Ahmet Altan is a Turkish novelist who is serving a life sentence in prison for criticizing the Erdogan regime, and this book, assembled from pages smuggled out by his lawyers, insists that the human imagination—his imagination—cannot be contained by bars and walls. “Its account of the creative process is sublime.”
A Guest of the Reich
by Peter Finn (Pantheon, $29)
Some people get lucky in war, said Moira Hodgson in The Wall Street Journal. In a book “as well-paced and exciting to read as a good thriller,” Gertrude Legendre emerges initially as a Katharine Hepburn type—an American socialite who loves hunting big game in Africa. World War II inspires her to join the OSS, and when she’s captured, the Nazis move her from castles to grand hotels as one of many VIP prisoners who became unlikely witnesses to the Reich’s collapse.
by Edna O’Brien (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26)
The “considerable achievement” of Edna O’Brien’s new novel is that it makes the survivors of a renowned atrocity more real to us, said Claude Peck in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Maryam, the heroine, is a Nigerian teenager who, along with many schoolmates, is kidnapped, raped, and enslaved by a Boko Haram–like terrorist group. O’Brien casts every Muslim character as depraved, but any real-life Maryam “would find it difficult to find a more brilliant writer to narrate her harrowing story.”
by Reginald Dwayne Betts (Norton, $27)
Though Reginald Dwayne Betts can’t escape his teenage criminal history, he “deserves now to be recognized more for the brilliance of his lyric art,” said Carolyn Forché in The New York Times. Today a poet with a Yale law degree, Betts spent eight years in prison for a carjacking he committed at 16, and the poems in his latest collection “incise into the page the wounds of prison experience.” The system is Betts’ main target, but he “spares no one in his critique, least of all himself.” ■