An Exquisite War on War

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In her previous novels, including Cost, Roxana Robinson more than earned her merit badge as explorer of the gnarly beast that is a family in crisis. Her stunning new novel, Sparta, covers this same turf through 26-year-old Marine Conrad Farrel’s return home. The novel opens with a simple line—“There was a change in the engine […]

A Firsthand Novel of Surreal Afghanistan

Masha

Every once in a while, a book comes along that makes you want to wrest even your own work from readers’ hands and command that they instead read this. Masha Hamilton’s What Changes Everything is that kind of amazing. Hamilton has experience as a war correspondent, spouse and mother, and it is in part the […]

Iron(ing) Man

An Available Man

Is there anything more appealing than a man at an ironing board? Hilma Wolitzer, in her delightful new novel An Available Man, takes it one step further, though: Edward Schuyler begins ironing after his wife Bee’s death, not to tend to his own life but to reconnect with her. “At first, he only pressed things […]

Backward and in High Heels: Sandra Day O’Connor

sandra day o'connor swearing in

Chief Justice Warren Burger, one hand on Sandra Day O’Connor’s arm as they descended the steps of the Supreme Court just before her 2 p.m. swearing-in ceremony on September 25, 1981, shouted to reporters, “You’ve never seen me with a better looking justice.” Society pages cheerily noted that she and Byron White were the first […]