In the wake of the Civil War, Daniel Murray, born free and educated in Baltimore, was in the vanguard of Washington, D.C.’s black upper class. Appointed Assistant Librarian at the Library of Congress—at a time when government appointments were the most prestigious positions available for blacks—Murray became wealthy through his business as a construction contractor and married a college-educated socialite“.
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles (Morrow, Mar.) – Iles concludes his crime trilogy that began with 2014’s Natchez Burning, a Thriller Award finalist for best novel.
South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion (Knopf, Mar.) – A diligent notebook keeper throughout her career, Didion shares her entries from a 1970 road trip through the South and a 1976 stint covering the Patty Hearst trial for Rolling Stone.
The Force by Don Winslow (Morrow, June) – says she always wanted to write Ever a big, New York City cop book and “this is it
Democracy: The Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice (Twelve, May) – The former secretary of state shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen to put democracy’s challenges into perspective
Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power by Howard W. French (Knopf, Mar.) The New York Times’s former Asia correspondent tracks China’s ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy
A Separation, by Katie Kitamura (Riverhead, February 7)
When her soon-to-be-ex-husband goes missing from a Greek island resort, his estranged wife must go search for him. What follows in Katie Kitamura’s third novel is more an existential mystery than an actual one, although the sheer deftness of her storytelling is nothing less than thrilling.
Stephanie Garber–At the start of Garber’s magnificent debut novel, the mysterious Master Legend invites sisters Scarlett and Donatella Dragna to attend Caraval—a magical multiday event that is part spectacle, part treasure hunt. Although their tyrannical father has threatened death if they leave home without his permission, Tella strikes a deal with a roguish sailor named Julian for transport to Legend’s private island—a plan that essentially involves kidnapping the conflicted Scarlett, who is weeks away from marrying a man she’s never met. Upon arrival, Tella is taken, and it’s revealed that she is the subject of this year’s hunt. Scarlett and Julian join forces to find her, but in a game in which secrets are currency and appearances deceive, Scarlett has no way of knowing whether she’s a Caraval player or Master Legend’s pawn. Intriguing characters, an imaginative setting, and evocative writing combine to create a spellbinding tale of love, loss, sacrifice, and hope. While the search for Tella drives the narrative, Scarlett’s quest for self-empowerment is equally captivating. Scarlett and Julian’s chemistry intoxicates, and Garber’s tantalizing conclusion will leave readers hungry for a sequel.
Around the Way Girl: A Memoir by Taraji P. Henson with Denene Millner recalls the grit it takes to make it to Hollywood and the obstacles all actresses, but particularly black ones, face.
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay gathers stories of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection