Here we list books by writers who've read at the Salon
(in alphabetical order by title)
Angelica / Arthur Phillips
(Random House, 2008)
What at first appears a rather glib ghost story predicated on Victorian clichés of sexual repression and patriarchal tyranny turns into a spectacular, ever-proliferating tale of mingled motives, psychological menace, and delicately told crises of appetite and loneliness. Phillips sustains a pastiche of Victorian writing and ideas with enticing playfulness, and without making his characters or their complex fears and desires laughable. ~ The New Yorker
A Thousand and One Nights / Lara Tupper
(Harcourt, 2007) 
"Both an off-kilter take on the conventional coming-of-age tale and a sly commentary on the underbelly of celebrity culture, this truly original book is basically uncategorizable—blissfully so."--Elle
Big Little World / Vica /Vinogradova/ Miller
(Novosti, 2003)
"For me, as an artist who was raised in the Russian culture but has lived abroad for many years, it was very important to hear the opinion of my viewers both in Russia and in America. The impressions in the form of children's poems can be found next to each work. Two different views are presented here - both that of a young woman, Vica /Vinogradova/ Miller living in America and that of a Russian writer living in Russia. I am sure that everyone who reads this book will bring to it his own unique associations." - Alexander Zakharov
Black Elephants / Karol Nielsen
(University of Nebraska Press, 2011)
Nielsen’s memoir paints a poignant and harrowing picture of love during wartime. Against a backdrop of bursting bombs and air-raid sirens, gas masks and sealed rooms, relationships are frayed, and romance becomes a distant memory. This story, so candidly and clearly told, powerfully illustrates the terror, loneliness, and absurdity of war and its invisible casualties.
Bound Feet & Western Dress: A Memoir / Pang-Mei Natasha Chang
(Anchor, 1997)
When Chang Yu-I was three her mother tried to bind her feet. But the child's cries so tormented her brother that he convinced their mother to stop. This break with convention foreshadowed the extraordinary life Yu-i was to lead. After following her husband, poet Hsu Chi-Mo, a noted philanderer, to Oxford, she made history by becoming the first Chinese woman to have a western-style divorce at age 22. Determined to make her own way, she moved to America and served in a series of prestigious positions, including president of a bank. Written by Yu-i's great niece, Pang-Mei Natasha Chang, Bound Feet and Western Dress chronicles the life of this exceptional woman.
Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love / Lara Vapnyar
(Pantheon, 2008)
The third book from Vapnyar (following There Are Jews in My House and Memoirs of a Muse) links food to lonely, loveless dating among recent Russian immigrants over six tales. Vapnyar, who emigrated from Russia in 1994, draws the humor from her characters' pretensions and predicaments, but also finds a great pathos in their quiet—and not so quiet—desperation. She ends the collection with a blog-voiced roundup of recipes that's incongruent with the delicate stories, but her take on the poignant oddities of New York Russian émigré life is universally palatable. (June 2008)
Publishers Weekly
By Cunning & Craft: Sounds Advice and Practical Wisdom for Fiction Writers / Peter Selgin
(Writers Digest Books, 2006)
“By Cunning & Craft is a masterpiece of writing about writing. If, like Scheherazade, you had to spin out a story under threat of death, this is the how-to book to read. It's filled with thoughtful, nuanced advice from a teacher/writer who actually writes--and writes beautifully and with great humor. The list of rejected stories is worth the price of the whole book.”
—Nora Gallagher, author of Changing Light  
Confessions of a Left-Handed Man (Memoir/Essays) / Peter Selgin
(University of Iowa Press, 2011)
"Peter Selgin is a born writer, capable of taking any subject and exploring it from a new angle, with wit, grace, and erudition. He has a keen eye for the telling detail, and a voice that is deeply personal, appealing, and wholly original. Fans of Selgin's fiction will know they are in for a treat, and those who are new to his work would do well to start with this marvelous memoir in essays, his finest writing yet."  — Oliver Sacks
Dinner Party / Jennifer Ladner
Lainie Silver is twenty-eight, attractive, razor-sharp, and somehow still finds herself trapped in a high-paying but mind-numbing job and a romantic slump. After hosting a tense dinner party in her Upper East Side apartment, she is unexpectedly seduced by her best friend’s husband. Repulsed by her momentary lapse in judgment, Lainie resolves to get her life back on track: to find a new career and a man of her own. When Lainie’s betrayal is exposed by someone she trusts, she is forced to consider how female friendships change and deteriorate once men become the wedge in between. 
Discipline / Dawn Lundy Martin
(Nightboat, 2011)
"These poems are dense and deep. They are necessary, and hot on the eye. I was reminded of Leslie Scalapino, the sensitivity to the surrounding arrangements and to human suffering. There is no distance from Martin's subject, but immersion and emotional conflict. Discipline is what it took to write such a potent set of poems." (Fanny Howe )
Drowning Lessons (Stories) / Peter Selgin
(University of Georgia Press, 2007)
In Selgin’s 13 stories, soul-searching artists, lonely bachelors, and suicidal retirees drift or swerve toward meaning—or the lack thereof. ... Selgin’s mostly male characters are often self-obsessed and at times downright deplorable, but the intricacies of their plights are largely surprising. Although Selgin’s use of violence and the imperviousness of his characters sometimes jeopardize the intimacy between reader and writer, his ability to sling together desire and suffering in complex and moving ways is singular and memorable. --Heather Dewar, Booklist
Everything Beautiful Began After / Simon Van Booy
(Harper Perennial, 2011)
“A powerful meditation on the undying nature of love and the often cruel beauty of one’s own fate. This is a novel you simply must read!” —Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author of Townie
Ginger's Fire / Maureen Brady
Harrington Park Press (2003)
Ginger's Fire tells the story of one woman's painful but necessary rebirth and awakening. "...a work of uncommon heft and integrity."ʉ۬Richard LaBonte
Golden Country / Jennifer Gilmore
In a powerfully moving and ambitious debut, Gilmore follows the lives of three immigrant families, the Brodskys, the Verdoniks and the Blooms, who all begin their American journeys in shtetl-like Brooklyn and end up somewhere unexpected between the 1920s and the 1960s. - Publishers Weekly
Half a Life / Darin Strauss
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011)
Although the accident was what insurers call a “no fault fatality,” the moment Strauss’ car struck and killed his classmate Celine, a girl he hardly knew, his life was understandably changed forever. Prompted to tell his story by new fatherhood and the realization that the earth-crumbling event had occurred half his lifetime ago, Strauss takes advantage of the perhaps unfortunate ability the accident gave him to introspect and proceeds to do so for 200 pages of conversational free-form essay. Remaining well on this side of overly sentimental, Strauss deconstructs the past 18 years and views them from every vantage point; he sees his embarrassingly self-centered thoughts immediately afterward and the premature graying of his hair and stress-related stomach problems of his late twenties. “Name an experience. It’s a good bet I’ve thought of Celine while experiencing it.” --Annie Bostrom
How Far Is the Ocean from Here / Amy Shearn
Crown (2008)
 “[A] tantalizing novel….Shearn’s mesmerizing language and dramatic flair make this first novel a standout.”
Washington Post Book World
Inga's Zigzags / Vica Miller
(Ladno Books, 5/14/2014)
“Tradition demands that heroines in Russian literature fare poorly. Tolstoy’s Karenina jumps in front of a train; Karamzin’s Poor Liza drowns herself in a pond, Pasternak’s Lara dies in the Gulag. In Inga’s Zigzags, Vica Miller’s saucy first novel, that tradition may have met its match. Meet Inga Belova, love child of Perestroika, Glasnost, and the global economy, whose vocational ambitions are exceeded only by her appetite for sex. Inga doesn’t throw herself in front of trains; she is the train.” ~ Peter Selgin, author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O'Connor Award for Fiction
Life Goes to the Movies / Peter Selgin
(Dzanc Books, 2009)
"Life Goes to the Movies is the irresistable account of a passionate friendship between two young men, both star-struck by art.  Selgin's vivid account of New York in the 1970s, his richly complex characters, his encyclopedic knowledge of film and his sense of how small the gap is between good luck and bad make this an utterly absorbing novel.  A wonderful read."
—Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street
Love Begins in Winter / Simon Van Booy
(Harper Perennial; 2009)
"...Characters on the verge of giving up--anchored to dreams that never came true, and to people who have long disappeared from their lives--Van Booy's characters walk the streets of these stark and beautiful stories, until strange, chance meetings with strangers--and these lost souls are suddenly faced with the responsibility for lives they thought had continued on without them."
Memoirs of a Muse / Lara Vapnyar
(Pantheon, 2006)
Vapnyar hasn't lost any of the scintillating precision of her standout short-story collection, There Are Jews in My House (2003), in her canny first novel. She even turns up the flame on her delectable wit and sexual candor. As a fatherless girl in Moscow, Tatiana becomes fascinated by the great Russian writers, especially Dostoyevsky. As an adolescent, she is told by a lecherous teacher that she will become "the muse to a great man." When she immigrates to America to pursue a graduate degree in history, she chooses to fulfill her destiny as a muse instead, readily abandoning the stifling immigrant enclave in Brighton Beach for a writer's Central Park apartment... Writing in an Atwoodesque mode, Vapnyar has fashioned a knowing, irreverent, and toothsome ode to the imagination, a power that all too often leads us astray. Donna Seaman
Nobody Is Ever Missing / Catherine Lacey
(FSG, 7/2014)
"A serious, frequently brilliant novel with a sustained intensity that is rare in fiction. It's the most promising first novel that I've encountered this year." WSJ
Obsidian Sky / Guy Garcia
(Simon & Schuster, 1994)
In this slick but timely work, Garcia pits a tale of small-fry anthropologists against the backdrop of civil unrest in Mexico, drawing a far-fetched parallel between the two...The author knows his subject matter and his use of Aztec mythology lends a particularly exotic hook. 
-Publishers Weekly
Perfect on Paper / Janet Goss
(New American Library,  2012)
Janet Goss secured representation by Molly Lyons of Joëlle Delbourgo Associates for her third novel after reading at the Salon on June 15, 2010 at  Lyons Wier Gallery. New American Library, a division of Penguin Group, agreed to publish both that title and a second novel, already in progress.
Prague / Arthur Phillips
 A novel of startling scope and ambition, Prague depicts an intentionally lost Lost Generation as it follows five American expats who come to Budapest in the early 1990s to seek their fortune. They harbor the vague suspicion that their counterparts in Prague have it better, but still they hope to find adventure, inspiration, a gold rush, or history in the making.
Something Red / Jennifer Gilmore
New York Times Notable Book of 2010
"Sharp and contemplative … Gilmore has pulled off a remarkable feat: not of fusing the personal and the political but of showing why they’re so difficult to reconcile.”–New York Times Book Review
The Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir of Food and Love / Michelle Maisto
Random House Trade Paperbacks ( 2009)
“The Gastronomy of Marriage is spirited, intimate and great fun. Maisto writes with a vital contemporary frankness that belies a truly romantic spirit. The result is a wonderful marriage.”—Aleksandra Crapanzano
The Jump Artist / Austin Ratner
Bellevue Literary Press (2009)
Philip Halsman witnessed his father’s death, was charged with murder, and was tossed in an Austrian prison courtesy of an anemic case built upon xenophobia and anti-Semitism. Halsman survived and was eventually liberated. As so many found themselves throughout the 1920s, Halsman arrived in Paris, albeit with the extra baggage of his widely perceived guilt. Despite his unfortunate beginning, he became a much sought-after photographer. The Jump Artist takes these biographical details and constructs an engaging depiction of an unfortunate man struggling in a Europe jolly with the end of one world war and fearing the outbreak of another. --Blair Parsons
The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza / Eugene Ostashevsky
(Ugly Duckling Press, 2008)
Superhero philosophers and monsters made of math. Epistemology, logic, and the limits of language; meaninglessness, irony and hope. This is deeply serious, and very funny, stuff. - NICOLE KRAUSS, author "The History of Love"
The New Mainstream / Guy Garcia
(Harper Paperbacks, 2005)
Garcia marshals experience as a journalist (13 years at Time), novelist (Obsidian Sky) and multimedia entrepreneur to make "the business case for diversity": "Simply put, diversity breeds money." Those who fail to heed "the multicultural gospel" risk marginalization by the New Mainstream, a dynamic fusion of the "creative class," non-European immigrants and native-born American consumers with rapidly changing tastes and habits. - Publishers Weekly
The Tragedy of Arthur / Arthur Phillips
(Random House; April 19, 2011)
Five stars.  Arthur Phillips has produced a delicious, ludic fantasy, descended (in part, for it has its own originality) from Nabokov’s Pale Fire....Most of all it’s a quicksilver examination of our obsession with the man who wrote Hamlet, with Phillips as Prospero, his characters (and us) on strings, and as Feste too, turning shotsilk inside and out, leading us up one path only to show us we've been wrong all along. And it achieves, gloriously, what Shakespeare’s plays set out to do: instil into their audience a sense of wonder.  ~ Philip Womack, The Telegraph (U.K.)
The Secret Lives of People in Love / Simon Van Booy
(Harper Perennial, 2010) 
Van Booy is a poet whose rich and lyrical prose tells of having found something truly beautiful. His stories are tributes to the brevity of experience and the endurance of emotions. They are mysteries in broad daylight that make us weep with the bittersweet joy of having been born at all...The Secret Lives of People in Love follows in the tradition of timeless literature; Flaubert, Neruda, Chekov, Camus, Lorca, and Kafka. It is smart, humane and above all, reminiscent of perfect moments in time.
There are Jews in My House / Lara Vapnyar
Whether set in Vapnyar's native Russia or in her adopted New York, the six understated stories in this debut collection are beautifully crafted and unswerving in their exploration of human frailty. "Love Lessons-Mondays, 9 a.m." is about the struggle of an inexperienced young teacher ("I wasn't a virgin. Or at least I hoped I wasn't") to teach a sex education class; she relies on her Aunt Galya's explicit stories for firsthand advice she passes off as her own...
Wild East: Stories From the Last Frontier / Boris Fishman, Editor
Random House (2004)
A collection of short fiction by American and British writers (and the odd Easterner or two) about wild times in Eastern Europe immediately after the Communist collapse.
179 Ways to Save a Novel: Matters of Vital Concern to Fiction Writers / Peter Selgin
(Writers Digest Books, 2010)
“..Wise and witty meditation on writing, a book that is as practical as it is provocative. Peter Selgin offers generous insights, frank talk, and ample encouragement. 179 WAYS TO SAVE A NOVEL is all the inspiration and guidance you'll need to get your novel started, and more importantly, to get it finished.” —John Dufresne, author of REQUIEM , MASS.