'There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks." So begins Elizabeth Strout's fifth novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton. One might assume that such an opening portends a narrative preoccupied with sickness and recovery; Strout, however, has other pursuits in mind.
An intimate, obsessive, navel-gazing adventure, Jhumpa Lahiri's In Other Words is ostensibly about learning Italian. But in this, her first nonfiction book, Lahiri intriguingly and delicately moves beyond tattered dictionaries to reveal a woman struggling to accept herself, with flaws.
The expanded 25th-anniversary edition of Karen Finley's Shock Treatment brings her Thursday to the Free Library. In the introduction, Finley reminds readers of the 1980s and '90s culture wars and social divides that first brought the performance artist/poet to prominence.
Diane Rehm is at a crossroads in her life. Her husband, John, died in 2014 after years of living with Parkinson's disease. She plans to retire next year from her National Public Radio call-in program, The Diane Rehm Show, ending a 37-year career in radio. In September, she will turn 80.