Paperback Row – The New York Times2 min read

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Six new paperbacks to check out this week.

THE GIVENNESS OF THINGS: Essays, by Marilynne Robinson. (Picador, $16.) Robinson addresses societal shifts that trouble her — dwindling compassion, a declining interest in exploring “the glorious mind” — through the lenses of Christianity and Calvinist thought that guide her faith. The paperback edition includes a two-part interview between Robinson and President Barack Obama.

IMAGINE ME GONE, by Adam Haslett. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $15.99.) The reverberations of a father’s mental illness are felt by his family — particularly the eldest child, who inherits a crippling, destabilizing anxiety. The novel’s greatest reward is an assertion “that despite the expense of empathy and the predictable disappointment of love, our tendency to care for one another is warranted,” Bret Anthony Johnston wrote here.

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EYE ON THE STRUGGLE: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press, by James McGrath Morris. (Amistad/HarperCollins, $16.99.) As a reporter for a prominent African-American newspaper during the civil rights era, Payne covered some of the period’s biggest stories on the “deseg beat”: Emmett Till’s murder, Brown v. Board of Education, the march on Selma. Morris’s biography also showcases the central role of the black press in accelerating change across the country.

THE FUGITIVES, by Christopher Sorrentino. (Simon & Schuster, $16.) In Sorrentino’s elegant thriller, characters are in stages of flight: from responsibility, punishment and heritage. Sandy, a successful author evading his publisher and agent back in New York, flees to a small Michigan town. There, he’s enthralled by John Salteau, whom he believes to be an Ojibway storyteller. But Salteau is actually a mobster linked to a casino theft, and a Native American journalist, Kat, is in pursuit of the story.

Also on AoC:  Paperback Row

NEITHER SNOW NOR RAIN: A History of the United States Postal Service, by Devin Leonard. (Grove, $16.) Leonard touches on scores of colorful anecdotes from the mail service’s history, including those involving a postal inspector who blocked material that he believed threatened morality (birth control pamphlets and Walt Whitman’s poems) and a family that sent their child 75 miles by parcel post because it was cheaper than the train.

WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS: Stories, by Helen Oyeyemi. (Riverhead, $16.) The delightful tales in Oyeyemi’s first collection blur the distinctions between the real, the ordinary and the fantastical, employing keys to unlock connections between disparate characters and histories. As our reviewer, Laura van den Berg, wrote, “Oyeyemi has created a universe that dazzles and wounds.”

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