Whether you’re interested in the complexities of religious extremism or you’re a huge YA fantasy fan, this week there is something for everyone on BookPage.com. Below, I’ve highlighted a few new features (click the book titles to continue reading). Note that all of the pieces are web-exclusives, so you won’t find the Q&A, interview or reviews in the print edition of BookPage.
Which book will you read first?
- Q&A with John Green and David Levithan about Will Grayson, Will Grayson
David Levithan and John Green are two of the biggest names in teen fiction today; Levithan made a splash with his 2003 debut Boy Meets Boy and has seen 2006’s Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (co-written with Rachel Cohn) turned into a movie, while Green’s first two novels, Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, won the 2006 Printz Award and a 2007 Printz Honor, respectively. Now they’ve co-written a new book: Will Grayson, Will Grayson, about two teenage boys named (you guessed it) Will Grayson, who meet quite unexpectedly one night in Chicago, and also about Tiny Cooper—writer, director and star of the world’s most fabulous high school musical.
- Interview with Pearl Abraham about American Taliban
Loosely inspired by real-life events, American Taliban follows the intellectual and divine quest of John Jude, an 18-year-old surfer dude with a penchant for Rumi and Walt Whitman. As John’s interest in Islam grows, he leaves his family, his girlfriend and all vestiges of secular life behind, traveling to New York, Pakistan and ultimately Afghanistan in a quest for total spiritual immersion. Abraham recently took the time to answer some questions about religious extremism, the impact of the real-life story of John Walker Lindh on her novel and whether or not fiction can help us understand political or moral complexities.
- Review of Dimanche and Other Stories by Irène Némirovsky
Fifty years after her death at Auschwitz in 1942, the daughter of Russian-French writer Irène Némirovsky discovered a treasure trove of the author’s lost works. Suite Français was published in France in 2004 and quickly became a bestseller, and Fire in the Blood followed soon after. Now, in Dimanche and Other Stories, we have a collection of 10 short stories from Némirovsky, all written between 1934 and 1942 and newly translated.
- Review of Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
When Andrew Hope’s grandfather dies, the young college professor receives an expected inheritance—the house and lands of Melstone, an ancient English estate. But Andrew also discovers an unexpected inheritance—his grandfather’s mystical “field of care.” Old Jocelyn Brandon was more than just an eccentric country gentleman; he was a magician, a wizard. The realm of Melstone was both his property and his magical responsibility, to protect from those who would sap its powers for their own ends. Now that task has fallen on Andrew.