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13 New Books We Recommend This Week

OUT OF THE SUN: On Race and Storytelling, by Esi Edugyan. (House of Anansi, $32.99.) In a slim volume of essays mixing memoir and social history, the novelist offers “meditations” on an array of Black figures from around the world, from Angelo Soliman to Kehinde Wiley to Marie-Joseph Angélique. “Addressing race and representation, memory and belonging, Edugyan … explores with empathy what it means to be seen, and who remains unseen, in our current identity-conscious, visibility-obsessed culture that seems to be limping toward a new aesthetic order and politics of power,” Antwaun Sargent writes in his review.

TWO-WAY MIRROR: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, by Fiona Sampson. (Norton, $27.95.) Sampson, a British poet and biographer, here performs an elegant act of rehabilitation, aiming to restore some of the luster once associated with Barrett Browning by stressing her literary innovations (the verse novel), political engagement and female friendships. “Principally,” John Plotz writes in his review, “‘Two-Way Mirror’ pushes back against the neglect, bordering on amnesia, that has descended on a poet once widely celebrated and still capable today of chilling readers with a sudden plunge from the shared everyday into frightening depths of feeling.”

I LOVE YOU BUT I’VE CHOSEN DARKNESS, by Claire Vaye Watkins. (Riverhead, $27.) In this teeming, combustible novel, a young woman (named Claire Vaye Watkins) flees her husband, baby and comfortable Midwestern life for her home state of Nevada, where she proceeds to dredge up her past. Our reviewer, Cree LeFavour, calls it an “intense, intelligent and bristly” book, both “angry and alive,” that’s distinguished by the narrator’s “breakneck pace, frightening honesty and biting, self-deprecating humor.”

HURRICANE LIZARDS AND PLASTIC SQUID: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change, by Thor Hanson. (Basic, $28.) Starving polar bears are an evocative symbol of global warming, but the affable and naturally curious Hanson reveals subtler, less noticed dramas in the ways animals adapt to climate change. “At a time when the climate change discourse is focused mainly on its causes, its effects on weather and our so-far tepid efforts to address the problem, it’s good to see a book on how animals and plants are responding and faring amid the flux,” Jonathan Balcombe writes in his review. “One of the core lessons here is that our climate emergency affects not just individual species but, inevitably, interspecies relationships.”

RENEWAL: From Crisis to Transformation in Our Lives, Work and Politics, by Anne-Marie Slaughter. (Princeton University, $24.95.) Slaughter shares lessons she has learned from a long career in public life, urging readers to “face both the past and present with radical, even brutal honesty.” Our reviewer, Emily Yoffe, takes issue with aspects of the book but writes that its author is “at her most interesting when she describes being a woman leader. Slaughter believes leadership skills are not necessarily intrinsic, but can be learned. From her own life, she describes years of terror at public speaking and clinging to written remarks. She knew she needed to improve, so she started weaning herself off the page and connecting with her audience. It worked.”

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