On Tuesday, France's president held an uncomfortable news conference, beginning with a question about his personal life. Rumor has it he's been cheating on the French first lady with a younger actress. In light of this affair, author Sarah Wendell recommends revisiting an old classic: The First Wives Club.
Rachel Joyce's new novel offers two parallel narratives: the 1972 story of Byron, an anxious schoolboy, and the present-day account of Jim, a supermarket worker who has spent most of his life in institutional care. But critic Ellah Allfrey says that the novel is made up of two distinct and unequal parts.
Author Amiri Baraka sparked a lot of controversy with his writings — and those controversies were reignited with his recent passing. Host Michel Martin speaks with author and professor Mark Anthony Neal about Baraka's divisive career, and where he belongs in the larger context of American literature.
E.L. Doctorow's new novel Andrew's Brain takes the reader deep into the mind of a cognitive scientist who's struggling with both scientific questions and personal tragedy. Critic Heller McAlpin says the book, which takes the form of Andrew's monologue to a doctor, is "a real head-scratcher."