New in Paperback: ‘Mantel Pieces’ and ‘Borges and Me’

By Miguel Salazar

VANGUARD: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, by Martha S. Jones. (Basic, 368 pp., $18.99.) This deeply researched account highlights the roles of previously overlooked women in the struggle for civil rights in America. “Jones has written an elegant and expansive history of Black women who sought to build political power where they could,” noted our critic, Jennifer Szalai.

FEVERS, FEUDS, AND DIAMONDS: Ebola and the Ravages of History, by Paul Farmer. (Picador, 704 pp., $21.) A medical anthropologist blends history and reportage to examine the factors that led to the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa. “Farmer’s book is structured almost like an experimental novel, or a time-twisting prestige television drama,” observed our reviewer, Steven Johnson.

A CERTAIN HUNGER, by Chelsea G. Summers. (Unnamed Press, 254 pp., $17.) This debut novel relates the story of a homicidal food critic with an insatiable appetite for men. “Uniquely fun and campily gory,” as our reviewer, Amy Silverberg, put it, this novel is “a gruesome love letter to rich food and rich men, and to gorging on both with abandon.”

METROPOLIS: A History of the City, Humankind’s Greatest Invention, by Ben Wilson. (Anchor, 480 pp., $18.) “The city, as Wilson sees it, is less of a warehouse of architecture and more of an organism that shapes the creatures living inside,” wrote Robert Sullivan, who reviewed the book for us. “Metropolis” is atour spanning thousands of years and covering more than two dozen cities as a way of evaluating how they have shaped human civilization.

BORGES AND ME: An Encounter, by Jay Parini. (Anchor, 320 pp., $18.) As a young poet living in Scotland, Parini embarked by chance on a road trip with Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine writer he had never heard of. The bond that the two men created during their journey, commented Michael Greenberg, our reviewer, “is moving, with its unexpected moments of confession and shared fragility.”

MANTEL PIECES: Royal Bodies and Other Writing From The London Review of Books, by Hilary Mantel. (Fourth Estate, 352 pp., $18.99.) This collection contains about 30 years of Mantel’s essays for The London Review of Books, beginning in 1987. As our reviewer, Fernanda Eberstadt, noted, the book gives a peek into Mantel’s “ferociously lucid mind,” and “the unruly delight of her mocking and self-mocking humor.”

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