Politics and history crackle through the plotlines of our recommended books this month, as we travel the world experiencing struggle and mourning in a many-layered collage of contexts. Here are four varied works of “healing imagination,” as books both simple and unconventional examine trauma unflinching and then look to what happens next.
Nora Webster by Colm Toibin, Book of Ruth by Robert Seydel, The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett
The morning of the announcement, Bo Htet Aung finished his story. He wrote The End at the bottom of the page, shut the notebook, and slipped it into the briefcase he took to work each day. Then he set about ironing a white shirt and blue longyi with more than his usual precision. He wished he could wear his old major’s uniform, with its crisp olive lines and the peaked cap that added two inches to his height. But it was not that kind of day, that kind of announcement. Instead he pulled his traditional taikpon jacket on over his shirt and left it unbuttoned. His fingers shook too much.