Cadillac Orpheus, by Solon Timothy Woodward. It’s Woodward’s first novel, set in small-town Florida, a brilliant combination of over-the-top events and characters and cool, precisely descriptive prose. Read by the equally amazing Dion Graham.
Upstate, by Kalisha Buckhanon. An epistolary novel. The letters are between Natasha and Antonio, young lovers from Harlem separated when Antonio goes to jail, accused of killing his father. Their correspondence continues over the next several years, as both their lives change drastically. Narrated by Chadwick Boseman and Heather Simms, who won an Audie Award for their performance.
Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry, Saturday, 14 February 2009, New York, by Leanne Shapton. I think Laurie Colwin would have liked this relationship story in the form of an auction catalog, not least because one of the subjects, Lenore Doolan, is a food writer. It resonates nicely with Significant Objects, too.
Everything Asian, by Sung J. Woo. The setting: Peddlers Town strip mall, 1980s. Characters: the Kim family, proprietors of “East Meets West;” other Peddlers Town merchants; an ESL instructor; other struggling recent immigrants. I love the voices. Also, a strip mall is just a genius setting, and incidentally I think it would work equally well in a graphic novel.