Here are some books that I've read in the last month or so and loved:
Richard Bausch's "Peace" and his latest short story collection, "Something is Out There." "Peace" is a powerful, slim novel set in Italy during World War II; and I've loved his stories for over a decade and this group is just as elegant, real, masterful, as his previous collections.
"Vida" by Patricia Engel. The language in this novel/novel-in-stories is energetic and lyrical and the narrator is larger than life.
"This is Not Your City" by Caitlin Horrocks. These stories are amazing and tense and the characters are faced with real consequences. The narration is beautiful.
"This Beautiful Life" by Helen Schulman. Timely premise and this writer knows how to create a beautiful sentence.
"Anatomy of a Disappearance" by Hisham Matar. Subtle and powerful, the narrator experiences the disappearance of his father and the narrator is left with all of its implications.
Also, if you're looking for an intelligent nail-biting read:
"Before I Go to Sleep" by S.J.Watson. The narrator loses her memory every night she falls asleep.
"Turn of Mind" by Alice LaPlante. The narrator in this one has Alzhiemer's and she's accused of murder.
- My work can be found in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, New Delta Review, and Gargoyle #57, among others. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. Currently, I'm an Associate editor for Narrative Magazine. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.