The Lizard Cage, a novel, by Karen Connelly
(NAN A. TALESE/Doubleday)
TO SUM UP: A political prisoner in 1990s Burma befriends a boy working in the prison (aka The Cage).
WHY IT'S CLEAR CONNELLY'S A GIFTED WRITER: She makes solitary confinement fascinating. It's such a page-turner, you don't even notice there are 424 of them.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT: Crossing Burma off your "places I'd like to visit" list.
Click here to purchase The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly.
You Don't Love Me Yet, a novel by Jonathan Lethem
TO SUM UP: L.A. alt-pop rockers find sex, love, art, and success while-you guessed it-finding themselves.
WHY IT'S A MUST-READ: You can't have a contemporary-lit discussion without a working knowledge of the latest by at least one of the Jonathans (the others being Safran Foer and Franzen).
LINE YOU'LL LOVE: "Nobody ever told me about aging/moisturizer/death."
Click here to purchase You Don't Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem.
The Mistress's Daugher, a memoir by A.M. Homes
TO SUM UP: Homes learns the identity of her birth mother, and it's not quite the fairy tale she imagined.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: If you ever wondered what it's like to be adopted, this will give you a front-row seat.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT: Googling your last name for long-lost relatives.
WORTH A REVISIT:Home's In a Country of Mothers tackles adoption in a fictional way.
Click here to purchase The Mistress's Daugher by A.M. Homes.
A fan of alt lit? Try Generation X by Douglas Coupland.