Alan Cheuse

Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s. His challenge is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as possible while focusing on the essence of the book itself.

Formally trained as a literary scholar, Cheuse writes fiction and novels and publishes short stories. He is the author of five novels, five collections of short stories and novellas, and the memoir Fall Out of Heaven. His prize-winning novel To Catch the Lightning is an exploration of the intertwined plights of real-life frontier photographer Edward Curtis and the American Indian. His latest work of book-length fiction is the novel Song of Slaves in the Desert, which tells the story of a Jewish rice plantation-owning family in South Carolina and the Africans they enslave. His latest collection of short fiction is An Authentic Captain Marvel Ring and Other Stories. With Caroline Marshall, he has edited two volumes of short stories. A new version of his 1986 novel The Grandmothers' Club will appear in March, 2015 as Prayers for the Living.

With novelist Nicholas Delbanco, Cheuse wrote Literature: Craft & Voice, a major new introduction to literary study. Cheuse's short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review. His essay collection, Listening to the Page, appeared in 2001.

Cheuse teaches writing at George Mason University, spends his summers in Santa Cruz, California, and leads fiction workshops at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature with a focus on Latin American literature from Rutgers University.

Pages

Book Reviews
2:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Book Review: 'The Convert's Song' By Sebastian Rotella

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Book Reviews
2:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Book Review: 'Skylight' By Jose Saramago

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Book Reviews
3:07 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Book Review: 'A Map Of Betrayal'

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 4:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Most spy thrillers are about coldhearted people betraying one nation for another. But a new novel from Ha Jin was inspired by spy who, when he was caught, insisted he was looking out for two countries. Alan Cheuse has a review of "A Map Of Betrayal."

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Watch Your Head When Checking Out Murakami's Strange 'Library'

cover
Knopf

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:41 am

As if the work of Japanese fiction master Haruki Murakami weren't strangely beautiful by itself, his American publisher has just put out a stand-alone edition of his 2008 novella The Strange Library, in a new trade paperback designed by the legendary Chip Kidd.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun November 23, 2014

These Tales Of Transformation Are Both 'Rich And Strange'

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 12:28 pm

Ron Rash is a Southern-born novelist and short story writer with a reputation on the rise; you might know him as the author of the novel Serena (a PEN/Faulkner fiction prize nominee a few years back), which is about to become a movie with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. I have just finished reading his newly issued collection: 34 pieces of short fiction, previously published from 1998 to 2014, all of them under the title Something Rich and Strange, and I have to say that "rich" and "strange" are two words that aptly apply to this book.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun November 2, 2014

Rebuilding A Broken Family 'In Plain Sight'

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 4:23 pm

When Nuruddin Farah was a young writer, he published a satirical novel about Somalia, his native country. On his way home from a trip he called his brother, to ask for a ride from the airport. His brother told him not to come home: His novel had caused a stir, and authorities were looking for him.

Read more
Book Reviews
2:27 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Book Review: 'Nora Webster' by Colm Toibin

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 4:25 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book News & Features
2:24 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

'Lila' Sets The Stage For Marilynn Robinson's Earlier Works

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
2:15 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Book Review: 'J'

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 2:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
2:35 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Two Dead Writers Come Alive In New Collections

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 11:09 am

This month sees the publication of posthumous collections of short fiction by two 20th century literary giants, the Italian fantasist Italo Calvino, and the American science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick. Reading these two books is like partaking in one of those fabled banquets of desserts. I seized the opportunity to read as many of the stories as I could in one sitting.

Read more

Pages