Spring into the new season with these lauded authors

Lifestyle

Spring into the new season with these lauded authors

From free love and 1960s Harlem to Haiti and the American wilderness, these five titles are sure to enthral

Monique Verduyn

“To acquire the habit of reading,” wrote W Somerset Maugham, “is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” With longer, warmer, greener days in our sights, this selection of new fiction promises to offer some escape from the relentless woes of the world.

The much-read, much-debated US author Jonathan Franzen has been examining the inner workings of fractured families for decades. He won the National Book Award for The Corrections, his novel about a troubled Midwestern couple and their adult children, in 2001. Now Franzen is releasing what he describes as his magnum opus. Crossroads, at almost 600 pages, is the first volume of what promises to be a vast trilogy, A Key to All Mythologies.

It begins in 1971 amid the waning years of the Vietnam War. The story follows two generations of the Hildebrandt family, headed by Russ, the pastor of a church in the fictional town of New Prospect, Illinois, who, when we meet him in the lead-up to Christmas 1971, is nursing a crush on a recently widowed parishioner and a grudge against the charismatic leader of the church’s popular youth group, Crossroads...

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