Fiction: families and community

halseyIn “The House of Broken Angels” by Luis Alberto Urrea (“The Hummingbird”), a family gathers for its dying patriarch last birthday party.  What better occasion to explore regrets, recriminations and possibilities? This “kaleidoscopic fable of family life” (Washington Post) takes the Mexican out of Mexican-American,   so that “the de La Cruzes will feel to many readers like their own relatives: exasperating, riven by loss, but full of juice” (Niranjana Roy)  In “Halsey Street” by Naima Coster, an artist scraps her failing career to move back to Brooklyn and help her ailing father.  But now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. As she negotiates the still-familiar streets, she attempts to define her place within her family, neighborhood, and artistic community. This is “the kind of novel that swallows you whole” (Kirkus).

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