SQUARE HAUNTING: Five Writers in London Between the Wars, by Francesca Wade. (Crown, 432 pp., $18.) Bloomsbury’s Mecklenburgh Square was home to five pioneering feminists across 25 years: the poet H.D., the novelist Dorothy Sayers, the medievalist Eileen Power, the classicist Jane Ellen Harrison and, famously, Virginia Woolf. Our reviewer, Blanche Wiesen Cook, called Wade’s portrait of the group “enchanting.”
UNTIL THE END OF TIME: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe, by Brian Greene. (Vintage, 448 pp., $17.95.) “Often heartbreaking,” funny and “stuffed with too many profundities” to quote is the way our reviewer, Dennis Overbye, described this “meditation on how we go on doing what we do, why and how it will end badly, and why it matters anyway.”
BRAISED PORK, by An Yu. (Grove, 240 pp., $16.) In this magical realist debut novel set in contemporary Beijing, the mysterious bathtub death of a young painter’s husband, who left behind a sketch of a half-man, half-fish, propels her on a journey into her past that leads to her estranged father, with whom she shares a meal of the book’s titular dish. Our reviewer, Karen Cheung, noted Yu’s “crisp” prose and “startling imagery.”
WARHOL, by Blake Gopnik. (Ecco, 976 pp., $25.) Gopnik interviewed more than 260 people and consulted some 100,000 documents for this biography, our reviewer, Luc Sante, reported. But while Gopnik “excels at disentangling the strands” of the constantly changing Warhol narrative and “correcting common lore,” Sante concluded, we get only an “occasional fugitive glimpse of Warhol’s soul.”
THE MYSTERIOUS CORRESPONDENT: New Stories, by Marcel Proust. Translated by Charlotte Mandell. (Oneworld, 144 pp., $24.99.) On the occasion of Proust’s 150th birthday, these nine newly discovered short stories — written before “In Search of Lost Time” — provide a rare glimpse of the psychological toll on the author of hiding his sexuality.
THE INDEX OF SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ACTS, by Christopher Beha. (Tin House, 528 pp., $17.95.) The title of this latest novel by the editor of Harper’s Magazine refers to a baseball metric that tracks a pitcher’s hit batsmen, wild pitches, balks and errors. Beha’s protagonist, a married, stat-obsessed politics writer who engages in what our reviewer, Benjamin Markovits, termed “less sporting forms of self-destruction,” explores whether he can live a good life by basing all his decisions on probability.
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