纽约时报 | 2018十佳图书
The 10 Best Books of 2018
The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles in 2018.
By Lisa Halliday
In “Asymmetry,” two seemingly unrelated sections are connected by a shocking coda. The first, “Folly,” is the story of a love affair. It narrates the relationship between Alice, a book editor and aspiring writer in her mid-20s, and Ezra Blazer, a brilliant, geriatric novelist who is partly modeled on Philip Roth. The second section — “Madness” — belongs to Amar Jaafari, an Iraqi-American economist who is being detained at Heathrow. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W.G. Sebald.
丽莎·哈利迪(Lisa Halliday)/著 在《不对称》中，两个看似不相关的部分通过一个令人震惊的结尾产生了关联。第一个部分《愚蠢》是一个爱情故事。讲述了二十五六岁的图书编辑、有志于成为作家的艾丽斯，与杰出的老作家埃兹拉·布莱泽（带有一部分菲利普·罗斯[Philip Roth]的影子）之间的情事。第二个部分《疯狂》的主人公是滞留在希思罗机场的伊拉克裔美国经济学家阿马尔·贾法里。哈利迪的文笔干净、利落，近似泽巴尔德(W.G. Sebald)的纪实风格。
The Great Believers
By Rebecca Makkai
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Set in the Chicago of the mid-80s and Paris at the time of the 2015 terrorist attacks, Makkai’s deeply affecting novel uses the AIDS epidemic and a mother’s search for her estranged daughter to explore the effects of senseless loss and our efforts to overcome it. Her portrait of a group of friends, most of them gay men, conveys the terrors and tragedies of the epidemic’s early years and follows its repercussions over decades.
The Perfect Nanny
By Leila Slimani
We know from the outset of this unnerving cautionary tale (winner of the Goncourt Prize) that a beloved nanny has murdered the two children in her care; but what’s even more remarkable about this unconventional domestic thriller is the author’s intimate analysis of the special relationship between a mother and the person she hires to care for her offspring. Slimani writes devastating character studies, and she also raises painful themes: the forbidden desires parents project onto their nannies, racial and class tensions. In this mesmerizingly twisted novel, only one thing is clear: Loneliness can drive you crazy.
By Tommy Orange
Orange’s debut is an ambitious meditation on identity and its broken alternatives, on myth filtered through the lens of time and poverty and urban life. Its many short chapters are told through a loosely connected group of Native Americans living in Oakland, Calif., as they travel to a powwow. They are all, as in Chaucer, pilgrims on their way to a shrine, or, as in Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying,” an extended family crossing the landscape. The novel is their picaresque journey, allowing for moments of pure soaring beauty to hit against the most mundane, for a sense of timelessness to be placed right beside a cleareyed version of the here and now.
奥兰治的处女作是对身份认同及其破碎的替代品，以及透过时间、贫困和都市生活的镜头过滤下的迷思所做的宏大思考。书中许多短小章节，是通过一群生活在加利福尼亚州奥克兰市、彼此疏于走动的印第安原住民在前往帕瓦仪式的路上讲述的。如同乔叟(Chaucer)作品中的人物，他们也是前往圣地的朝圣者；或者又如同福克纳的《我弥留之际》(As I Lay Dying)，他们也是穿越这片土地的大家庭。这部小说记录了他们的冒险之旅，令纯粹翱翔之美的瞬间与最尘世的平凡相碰撞，令永恒的感觉与当下之现实毗邻而居。
This transcendent work of empathy and imagination opens on a sugar plantation in British Barbados in the waning days of slavery and, against that backdrop of unconscionable brutality, quickly tips us into a new world of possibility: one in which men take to the skies in hot-air balloons, dive to mysterious ocean depths and cross the Arctic on foot. Most daringly, it is a world in which a white slave master’s brother and a young black slave can forge an indelible bond. With subtlety and eloquence, Edugyan unfolds a wondrous tale of exploration and discovery.
By Shane Bauer
Winn Correctional Center, a privately run prison. He lasted four months before his deception was discovered, but that turned out to be more than sufficient to write a searing exposé for Mother Jones, which earned him a National Magazine Award and an invitation to speak to officials in Washington about problems in for-profit prisons. With this book, Bauer has expanded his article into a comprehensive analysis impossible to ignore. His book is a meticulous catalog of horrors, from the historical precursors — the practice of convict-leasing at Southern prisons after the Civil War, to the rampant violence, neglect and incompetence that pervade a multibillion-dollar industry.
鲍尔于2014年搬到路易斯安那州乡村，在私人监狱韦恩惩教中心卧底，担任狱警。他的伪装持续了四个月后被发现，但得到的素材足够为Mother Jones写一篇尖锐的黑幕揭露报道了，这篇文章为他赢得了全国杂志奖(National Magazine Award)，并受华盛顿官员之邀讲述营利性监狱所存在的问题。借这本书，鲍尔对那篇文章进行了扩充，把它变成了一份让你无法忽视的综合分析。他的书是恐怖行为的详细目录，从那些历史先例——内战结束后南方监狱里的囚犯租赁，也就是把囚犯作为失去自由的劳动力出租给企业——到一个规模达数十亿美元的产业里司空见惯的猖獗暴力、渎职与无能。
By Tara Westover
Westover’s extraordinary memoir is an act of courage and self-invention. The youngest of seven children, she grew up in Idaho, in a survivalist family who lived so far off the grid that she lacked even a birth certificate and did not attend school until she went to college. Getting in wasn’t obvious: At home, reading meant studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and much of her childhood was spent helping her mother, an unlicensed midwife, and her father, a paranoid man who maintained a scrap-metal junkyard. In recounting her upbringing and her triumph over it — she would earn a Ph.D. in history at Cambridge — Westover took great risks and alienated family members. The reward is a book that testifies to an irrepressible thirst to learn.
By David W. Blight
A monumental work about a monumental figure. The charismatic Douglass was Abraham Lincoln’s conscience, so to speak, and Blight’s detailed, cinematic biography is the result of a lifetime of engagement with his subject. Douglass wrote three autobiographies himself, describing his rise from slavery to a role as one of the greatest figures of the 19th century, but Blight’s work is fuller than any of those, relating both the public and private life in a way that Douglass either could not or would not undertake. The result is a portrait that is likely to stand as the definitive account for years to come.
How to Change Your Mind
By Michael Pollan
Best known for his work on the ethics of eating, Pollan delivers his most personal book yet, one that demanded he drop acid in full view of the reader. Exploring the history and science of psychedelics, he tells of the rise and fall and rise again of our societal interest in these drugs, which are now thought to have many benefits, from helping with addiction to easing the terror of the terminally ill. The book hits its high point when he examines the mysticism and spirituality of the psychedelic experience. What can we learn about ourselves when the part of our mind controlling the ego drops away? What is this older, more primitive part of the brain, which connects us to how a child sees the world? It’s a trip that leads him to wonder about how, ultimately, we can get the most out of our existences as conscious beings in the world.
By Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Brennan-Jobs grew up shuttling between two starkly different worlds: the bohemian, peripatetic world of her mother, an unstable and impoverished artist, and the luxurious world of her cruel and increasingly wealthy father, Steve Jobs. She provides indelible portraits of both parents, recreating the fraught landscape of her childhood in Palo Alto through the careful accretion of exquisitely granular detail. Her memoir is a work of uncanny intimacy, the debut of a singular literary sensibility. Ultimately, though, it is her portrayal of Jobs as a man prone to mind-boggling acts of emotional negligence and abuse that gives this book its overlay of devastation.