10 New Books We Recommend This Week


QUICHOTTE, by Salman Rushdie. (Random House, $28.) The author of “Midnight’s Children” and “The Satanic Verses” sends an elderly Indian drug salesman on a magic realist quest, updating “Don Quixote” for the digital age. Because we are post-Freud, the matter of identity is at the heart of the novel. “Rushdie has always written as though the impossible and the actual have the same right to exist,” Jeanette Winterson writes in her review. “The question of what is real is a question asked but not answered by the novel. That is, the answer is askew to the question, and we shall come to it by and by — because by and by is how the novel proceeds, story opening out from story, jumbles of past, present and future, with alternative histories and futures.”

AUDIENCE OF ONE: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America, by James Poniewozik. (Liveright, $27.95.) Using his ample comedic gifts to describe a slow-boil tragedy, Poniewozik, the chief television critic of The New York Times, traces the contemporaneous histories of Trump and TV. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment is making Trump’s presidency seem almost inevitable. “This book is really about the role played by all of us, the faithful citizens of TV Nation,” Gary Shteyngart writes, reviewing it. “Of course he won. … Trump tapped into our inner core, which all too often turns out to have comprised midnight cheeseburgers and hormonal TV childhoods.”

OVERTHROW, by Caleb Crain. (Viking, $27.) Set during Occupy Wall Street in 2011, the second novel by the author of “Necessary Errors” explores the fallout that occurs when friendship’s intimate ambiguities become ammunition in an information war. “Crain skillfully evokes a recent past when the unprecedented access fostered by the internet still felt like a promise of liberation,” our reviewer, Julian Lucas, writes. “What follows is, essentially, a 19th-century social novel for the 21st-century surveillance state. … Its tender, psychologically precise prose feels like a bulwark against the exposure it takes for a subject.”

THE MEMORY POLICE, by Yoko Ogawa. Translated by Stephen Snyder. (Pantheon, $25.95.) The acclaimed Japanese writer’s fifth English release is an elegantly spare dystopian fable narrated by a novelist whose editor is wanted for his immunity to “disappearances,” an incremental collective dementia. “Reading ‘The Memory Police’ is like sinking into a snowdrift,” Julian Lucas writes in his review. “Lulling yet suspenseful, it tingles with dread and incipient numbness. The story accrues in unhurried layers of coolly reported routine, as Ogawa’s narrator (the central characters are nameless) describes a life that is ordinary yet pockmarked with absence.”

LEARNING FROM THE GERMANS: Race and the Memory of Evil, by Susan Neiman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.) Neiman contrasts Germany’s response to the Holocaust with America’s response to slavery and its history of racial discrimination, concluding that Germany has come to terms with its fraught past in a way that the United States has not. “Neiman believes that people who live in a society built on injustice, even though they may not have created the injustice, are responsible for correcting it,” Deborah E. Lipstadt notes in her review. “The history wars shape far more than how we remember the past. They shape the societies we bequeath to future generations. Susan Neiman’s book is an important and welcome weapon in that battle.”

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