Stone Arabia tells the story of a brother and sister, Nik and Denise, now in their 40s. Denise is the reluctant caregiver in the family, dealing with an ailing mother and single-parenting her 20-something daughter. Nik is a failed rock musician. Rather than confront his lack of success head-on, Nik creates a fictional world where his imaginary band releases records; they're reviewed; there's correspondence with "fans"; fawning press coverage; and more. It's all very ornate, and somewhat charming; if also deranged.
Dana Spiotta's new novel is about two women, best friends, who grow up in LA in the '80s and become filmmakers. Meadow and Carrie have everything in common - except their views on sex, power, moviemaking, and morality. Their lives collide with Jelly, a loner whose most intimate experience is on the phone. Jelly is older, erotic, and mysterious. She cold calls powerful men and seduces them not through sex but through listening. She invites them to reveal themselves, and they do.
"Beautifully written profile of the artist's psyche"
In the heyday of the 1970s underground, Bobby DeSoto and Mary Whittaker - passionate, idealistic, and in love - design a series of radical protests against the Vietnam War. When one action goes wrong, the course of their lives is forever changed. The two must erase their past, forge new identities, and never see each other again. Now it is the 1990s. Mary lives in the suburbs with her 15-year-old son, who spends hours immersed in the music of his mother's generation.