• The cover of the book Juneteenth / Three Days Before the Shooting

    Juneteenth / Three Days Before the Shooting

    The case of Ralph Ellison’s second and final novel is a particularly intriguing one. First and foremost, it’s the followup to one of the greatest works of American literature, Invisible Man. The amount of time that Ellison spent on this work lasted for decades, up until his death in 1994. Since then, two versions of the project on which he was working—which dealt with race, religion, and politics—have been released: the more concise Juneteenth, and the sprawling Three Days Before the Shooting… Both offer readers a window into the talent of one of the most singular voices of American letters.

     
  • The cover of the book Wizard of the Crow

    Wizard of the Crow

    Wizard of the Crow, the 2004 novel by perennial Nobel Prize favorite Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, is a whole lot of things: a stylized, magical-realist take on a totalitarian state; a harrowing look at the abuses of power; and an examination of the nature of freedom. It was also a book that readers of wa Thiong’o’s work had been waiting on for a very long time. When it published in 2006, it had been nearly 20 years since the writer’s previous novel.

     
  • The cover of the book The Power Broker

    The Power Broker

    Robert Caro’s meticulous biographies have earned him an abundance of praise for his ability to comprehensively explore the lives of complex subjects. This process is not a quick one, however: a 2012 New York Times profile of Caro noted that he had anticipated his mammoth biography of controversial urban planner Robert Moses would take him nine months to write. Instead, Caro spent seven years working on it. After finishing the book, he recalled years later, “I was sure I never wanted to see it again.”