This book sounds pretty good. It basically presents a history of the many early Modernism writers and artists. Dirda compares it to a soap opera, but one in the form of an “ irresistible book, excellently translated and packed with factoids and surprising encounters.” Sounds like pretty good winter break reading for the MFA student on your gift list.
Tyson was a damn good boxer. He’s also a psychopath. I’m not sure I could sit through a Tyson memoir, but for the patient I bet you there’s some pretty juicy stuff in here. If sports books are you thing, this “by turns exhausting and fascinating, self-pitying and candid” book should be worth a gander.
Stone is a phenomenal writer, and I’m always happy to see a new book by an author I like. Ulin is a solid reviewer too (“Stone’s great subject — the chasm between our desires, our dreams, our longings and a universe that is chaotic if not outright malevolent — is not an easy one”). A book about an abortion debate at a college campus sounds like an easy dud, but Stone’s writing seems to fill the pages with enough charge and suspense to make this novel a winner. This one is on my “definitely” list.