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New in Paperback: ‘Lanny’ and ‘The Unwinding of the Miracle’


LOST AND WANTED, by Nell Freudenberger. (Vintage, 336 pp., $16.95.) In this ghost story in which scientific metaphors abound, a physics professor is haunted by the death of a close friend whom she never truly knew. “The effect is beautiful,” wrote our reviewer, Louisa Hall, evoking the gravitational pull of dormant, unobservable attachments and discarded hopes.

THE TARGETER: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House, by Nada Bakos with Davin Coburn. (Little, Brown, 368 pp., $18.99.) A former member of the team that tracked the terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Bakos bears “battle scars,” as our reviewer, Jeff Stein, put it, from the way “bright young women who flocked to the C.I.A. in the wake of 9/11” were treated by its “freewheeling” patriarchy.

LANNY, by Max Porter. (Graywolf, 224 pp., $16.) Halfway through this 2019 Booker Prize contender, the precocious 5-year-old title character, described by our reviewer, Laird Hunt, as a dreamer with an “otherworldly connection to nature,” goes missing from his parents’ house in an English village permeated by a nasty folkloric being. Porter’s forte, Hunt noted, is matching “the dark and the difficult” with “hope and humor.”

WHERE WE COME FROM, by Oscar Cásares. (Vintage, 272 pp., $16.) Machismo and invisibility, our reviewer, Javier Zamora, observed, are themes of this novel about two teenage Latino boys torn from their fathers: one American-born from Houston, sent to his great-aunt in Brownsville to toughen up and connect with his roots; one undocumented from Mexico and hiding in the guesthouse.

MORE THAN ENOUGH: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say), by Elaine Welteroth. (Penguin, 352 pp., $17.) This manifesto by the former editor in chief of Teen Vogue — at the time the youngest E.I.C. in Condé Nast’s history and only the second of African-American heritage — won an N.A.A.C.P. award.

THE UNWINDING OF THE MIRACLE: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After, by Julie Yip-Williams. (Random House, 336 pp., $17.) After narrowly escaping euthanasia as a blind infant (deemed defective by her Chinese grandmother), Yip-Williams lived a “miracle”: eye surgery, law career, marriage, motherhood. When cancer hit at 37, she also became, in our reviewer Lori Gottlieb’s words, “a magnificent writer,” leaving us a book that’s “eloquent, gutting and at times disarmingly funny.”

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