The Evil Hours: A Biography Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by David J. Morris. (Mariner/Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.95.) PTSD was not recognized as a disorder until 1980, but it is among the most common psychiatric disorders in America. Morris, a journalist and former Marine, intersperses this account with compelling examples from his own life to show how the disorder has been systematically misunderstood, even by those tasked with helping the people affected by it.
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy. (Vintage) Trained as an anthropologist, U., this novel’s central character, now works as a corporate ethnographer, writing analyses of consumer behavior for governments and sprawling companies alike. U. uses the discipline’s approaches – “structures of kinship; systems of exchange, barter and gift” – to understand the hyper-connected present era.
The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, And The Scandal Behind The World’s Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon. (Bloomsbury) Pilon, a former reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, uncovers Monopoly’s feminist and anti-capitalist origins. She traces the game back to Elizabeth Magie, a stenographer with progressive political views who patented Monopoly’s precursor in 1904 – more than 30 years before the game was sold to Parker Brothers.
The Shadow Of The Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto. (Penguin) Set in a small Pakistani town close to the Afghanistan border, this debut novel follows a single morning in the lives of three brothers and two of the women they love. Bhutto’s writing offers a guide to the tribal region’s daily life and “internecine politics,” Lorraine Adams said in the Times.
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Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives Of Mary Wollstonecraft And Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon. (Random House) Wollstonecraft (known for her influential feminist text, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”) died just 11 days after giving birth to her daughter (later the author of “Frankenstein” and the wife of Percy Shelley). This dual biography draws parallels between the mother-daughter pair, with a particular focus on each woman’s love life.
Mislaid by Nell Zink. (Ecco/HarperCollins) After her mismatched marriage dissolves, Peggy flees with her daughter, leaving her son in her ex-husband’s care. Now living in a rural community, both mother and daughter adopt new personas as African-Americans. Years later, when the siblings meet at the same university, confusion ensues.
The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness And The American Sublime by Harold Bloom. (Spiegel & Grau) The literary critic, scholar and professor interrogates the source of creative inspiration – what he terms the “daemon” – by examining 12 American authors in pairs. (His pairings include Hart Crane with William Faulkner and Walt Whitman with Herman Melville, among others.)
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