The Most Wanted Man In China: My Journey From Scientist To Enemy Of The State by Fang Lizhi. Translated by Perry Link. (St. Martin’s Griffin/Holt) Before his death in 2012, Fang was one of China’s most noted scientists and an outspoken critic of the Communist government. His memoir, detailing the regime’s absurdities and hypocrisies, was written during 13 months spent at the U.S. Embassy after the Tiananmen massacre.
Girls And Sex: Navigating The Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein. (Harper) Boys still seem to call the shots when it comes to the sex teenagers and young adults are having. Orenstein, the mother of a preteenage daughter, interviewed dozens of young women and points to a number of culprits, including abstinence-only education and a “selfie” culture that teaches girls to chase approval.
Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, And The Sterilization Of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen. (Penguin, $18.) In 1927, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 to allow the sterilization of a young Virginia woman because, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. put it, “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Cohen’s account charts the history of the eugenics movement in the United States, from the xenophobia that fanned it to its ignominious end.
The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya. Translated by Polly Gannon. (Picador) Three misfits – an orphaned poet, a musician and a budding photographer – come of age in 1950s Russia as a Soviet dissident movement was taking root. As characters decide their fates, some resemble real-life people. “Some are thinly veiled historical figures, others are more thickly camouflaged,” Times reviewer Lara Vapnyar said. “All of this creates an eerie landscape, as if the dead were walking among the living.”
Tender by Belinda McKeon. (Lee Boudreaux/Back Bay/Little, Brown) In 1990s Dublin, Catherine becomes infatuated with her friend James; that James is gay is hardly a deterrent. McKeon’s second novel tells with tenderness the story of an obsession gone awry and of such “youthful sensations as the longing to be known wholly and exclusively by another,” Christine Schutt wrote in The Times.
Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo by Boris Fishman. (Harper Perennial, $15.99.) When Max, the adopted son of Maya and Alex Rubin, begins acting strangely, they set out on a road trip to Montana, where he was born, to investigate. The Rubin parents, both immigrants from the former Soviet Union, carve out familiarity in a foreign terrain in order to “give Max the gift of native feeling.”
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