Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Non-fiction
Equal parts investigative memoir, crime procedural, and revenge thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles the author's real-life search for the childhood nemesis who has haunted his life for over forty years.

Abused as a ten-year-old at a prestigious English boarding school nestled in the Swiss Alps, Allen Kurzweil, author of the acclaimed bestseller A Case of Curiosities, takes the reader around the world--from the Vienna Woods to the slums of Manila to the boardroom of the world's largest law firm high above New York City--to locate and confront his long-lost tormentor, a twelve-year-old named Cesar Augustus (who tied him up and whipped him to the strains of "Jesus Christ Superstar").

What begins as an anxiety-fueled quest for revenge takes an elaborate detour when the author discovers that Cesar has recently been released from federal prison for his role in a byzantine scheme perpetrated by a felonious duke, a Congolese king, a fugitive prince who traces his roots back to Vlad the Impaler, and a spats-wearing baron born in Toledo, Ohio.

You can't make this stuff up (unless you're a world-class swindler). By chance, Kurzweil finds himself privy to the voluminous files of the federal prosecutor who brought Cesar to justice, and a journalist's curiosity clashes with a victim's fear of facing down his old nemesis.

A scrupulously researched work of non-fiction that reads like a John Le Carre novel, Whipping Boy is more than a tale of karmic retribution. It is a heartfelt and darkly comic meditation on forgetfulness and memory, trauma and recovery, born of suffering and nourished by obsession, and resolved in a final act of courage.
Looking to rebuild after a painful divorce, Alexandra Fuller turns to her African past for clues to living a life fully and without fear

A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she finally confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. 
A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller. Leaving Before the Rains Come begins with the dreadful first years of the American financial crisis when Fuller’s delicate balance—between American pragmatism and African fatalism, the linchpin of her unorthodox marriage—irrevocably fails. Recalling her unusual courtship in Zambia—elephant attacks on the first date, sick with malaria on the wedding day—Fuller struggles to understand her younger self as she overcomes her current misfortunes. 
Fuller soon realizes what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father, the man who warned his daughter that "the problem with most people is that they want to be alive for as long as possible without having any idea whatsoever how to live." Fuller’s father—"Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode" as he first introduced himself to his future wife—was a man who regretted nothing and wanted less, even after fighting harder and losing more than most men could bear.  
Leaving Before the Rains Come showcases Fuller at the peak of her abilities, threading panoramic vistas with her deepest revelations as a fully grown woman and mother. Fuller reveals how, after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her, she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves. An unforgettable book, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a story of sorrow grounded in the tragic grandeur and rueful joy only to be found in Fuller’s Africa.
The dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families—many US citizens—were incarcerated.

From 1942 to 1948, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas, a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during World War II, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” During the course of the war, hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City, including their American-born children, were exchanged for other more important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

Focusing her story on two American-born teenage girls who were interned, author Jan Jarboe Russell uncovers the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families’ subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history that has long been kept quiet, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.

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