"Show Me a Hero: A Tale of Murder, Suicide, Race and Redemption" by Lisa Belkin
This account of the forced integration of Yonkers, N.Y., in the late 1980s and early '90s is the kind of nonfiction book that writers attempting bold social novels (paging Tom Wolfe) might take as a challenge. A 1999 Salon Book Award Winner.
"Run Catch Kiss" by Amy Sohn
The former New York Press sex columnist's roman a clef is a Bridget Jones clone (but some say that, surprisingly, Sohn can really write).
Reviewed by Lori Leibovich (07/22/99)
"American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis
The blood-soaked novel that turned Ellis into a literary outlaw and his serial-killing hero, Patrick Bateman, into a controversial symbol of '80s excess.
Reviewed by Jonathon Keats
"The Metaphysical Touch" by Sylvia Brownrigg
An ambitious first novel brings two wounded intellectuals together in cyberspace.
Reviewed by Andrew O'Hehir (06/28/99)
"The Kid" by Dan Savage
"Italian Fever" by Valerie Martin
In the land of Bernini and amore, an unassuming New Yorker discovers herself.
Reviewed by Stephanie Zacharek (08/02/99)
"Vira (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)" by Stacy Schiff
Mrs. Nabokov could have been anything she wanted to be. All she wanted to be was Mrs. Nabokov.
Reviewed by Mary Elizabeth Williams (04/20/99)
"An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth
A chameleonic author turns his thoughts to love.
Reviewed by Akash Kapur (05/13/99)
"The Stakeholder Society" by Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott
Give everybody $80,000. After that they're on their own.
Reviewed by Dustin Beilke (04/28/99)
"Heavy Water and Other Stories" by Martin Amis
The British writer's collection of savagely satirical short stories never delves too deep -- and perhaps that's best.
Reviewed by Laura Miller (02/11/99)
"Timbuktu" by Paul Auster
"The Night Inspector" by Frederick Busch
"Paris Trance" by Geoff Dyer
Working without plot, a novelist creates a prose photograph of a time and a place.
Reviewed by Greg Bottoms (07/12/99)
"White Oleander" by Janet Fitch
A first novelist sends her young heroine through the horror show of the Los Angeles foster-care system.
Reviewed by Trish Deitch Rohrer (05/11/99)
"Lost on Earth" by Mark Fritz
A book about refugees that's as intimate and moving as a masterful short story collection and surprisingly hard to put down. A 1999 Salon Book Award Winner.
Reviewed by Craig Seligman (03/24/99)
"The Wonders of the Invisible World" by David Gates
These brooding, crushingly accurate stories are as forgiving as they come.
Reviewed by Austin Bunn (06/30/99)
"Music for Torching" by A.M. Homes
"The Amateur: An Independent Life of Letters" by Wendy Lesser
A first-rate West Coast critic looks at herself looking at art.
Reviewed by Andrew O'Hehir (03/08/99)
"Tipping the Velvet" by Sarah Waters
An exuberant, lusty novel about a lesbian adventuress follows its heroine through the underworld of Victorian London.
Reviewed by Peter Kurth (07/30/99)
"Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior" by Jonathan Weiner
Can molecular biologists dissect our urges?
Reviewed by Edward Neuert (04/30/99)