South African Zakes Mda Turns Eye to America
In "CION" (Picador Trade Paperback Original, 312 pages, $14) the legendary South African novelist Zakes Mda turns his eye on America for the first time. Toloki (the hero of Zakes Mda's beloved novel "Ways of Dying") arrives for the first time in the United States in 2004, on the eve of the presidential election, bewildered by the culture and fascinated by the strange family that takes him in as a guest. As Toloki's relationship with his host family deepens, he discovers a portal to the story of their ancestors which alternates with Toloki's own story, casting a new light on America in the 21st century, and on an undiscovered legacy of the Civil War and the Underground Railroad.
A novelist and playwright, Zakes Mda has won every major South African literary prize. He is the author of six novels, among them "Ways of Dying" (winner of the M-Net Award for best novel and the Olive Schreiner Prize). Born in 1948, he is a professor of creative writing at Ohio University and divides his time between South Africa and Athens, Ohio.
'Jazz Baby' Keeps the Beat
With a simple lap of hands, an itty-bitty, busy-dizzy baby gets his whole family singing and dancing in Lisa Wheeler's newest book for young readers "Jazz Baby" (Harcourt Children's Books, $16 Hardcover, ISBN: 978-0-15-202522-9). Award-winning illustrator R. Gregory Christie keeps the pace lively with his bright, fluid depictions of the boppin' baby and his swinging family. Sister's hands snap. Granny sings scat. Uncle soft-shoes. And Baby keeps the groove.
Lisa Wheeler is the author of several award-winning picture books, including "Sixteen Cows" and "Mammoths on the Move." R. Gregory Christie's artwork has graced the covers of jazz albums worldwide. He has also illustrated many books for young readers; among them, three Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor books.
Lost Luggage Porter Seeks
From the author of The Necropolis Railway and the Black pool Highflier comes the third in the ingenious Jim Stringer mysteries: "The Lost Luggage Porter" by Andrew Martin (Harvest Paperback Original, January 7, 2008, ISBN 978-0-15-603074-8, $14, 324 pages).
It is the winter of 1906 and Jim has been promoted from sleuth to official railway detective for York station. His first day on the job, the mysterious Los Luggage Porter, "a human directory to everything in York," tips him off to a group of railway thieves. Jim soon finds himself swept off to Paris with the thieves, his plight made even worse when threats are made against his wife. Can Jim get to her before the villains do?