Atlantic Monthly Press

Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer

In life Sam Galen, patient 19, and Patrick Fort would never have crossed paths. Sam is in the hospital recovering from a car accident, #19 is the cadaver he becomes and which Patrick Fort and his fellow anatomy students are dissecting. Patrick, who may well have Asperger’s and is misunderstood as a result, doesn't care what Professor Madoc or the team at Cardiff University say. The dead can still reveal what killed them, and in #19's case, all signs point to murder. Patrick has until the end of the 22-week course to solve a crime none of the other students even suspect. A great medical murder mystery with an emotional punch you won't see coming. – Paula Longhurst

Barefoot to Avalon by David Payne

How does one separate oneself as an adult from the well of loneliness and anger that is so often the stuff of childhood? How does one love a sibling with whom one has long competed—whether in sports or for a mother’s love—especially if said sibling is bipolar? How does one plug the resultant black hole in one’s soul? With family? With words? With silence? With alcohol? David Payne, in his searching, shockingly honest memoir, digs deep into his own psyche for the answers to these anguished questions. Each painful admission wrenched from his memory or from present failures is not just an unblinking examination of the stew of rage and love that resides in his breast and in the breasts of his family, but a mirror into the soul of each of us. – Betsy Burton

The Double Life of Liliane by Lily Tuck

Tuck’s so-called double life begins with her first visit to her father in Rome. Her parents have divorced, and so commences a decade of back-and-forth parenting as her movie-producer father and her gorgeous mother send her shuttling between Italy and New York. Neither parent is strict but their quiet child does more looking and listening than misbehaving, growing to understand the foibles of each world. As she follows both families’ fates and fortunes back in time across continents and through wars, Tuck creates a vast cosmos of connections, from Berlin to Innsbruck to Italy, Tanganyika to Peru to New York City. Photographs track the war through Germany, her and her mother’s immigration, that of her aunts’ and grandmothers’, track her own coming of age as her interests flow from horses to men to scholarship, with writing the steady undercurrent of desire beneath all others. In the end, the panoply of lives and loves that she displays and illustrates is as entrancing as any novel, more inventive than most, and as accomplished a literary work as one might expect—whether it be fiction or nonfiction—from one of the best novelists of our age. – Betsy Burton