Magazine article World Literature Today

Friendship

Magazine article World Literature Today

Friendship

Article excerpt

NEW BOOKS

Friendship

Shotgun Lovesongs

Nickolas Butler

Picador

Little Wing is a small town in Wisconsin where four friends were born and raised. Hank, Leland, Kip, and Ronny return to the town after years seeking success in different ways. They discover that their friend Beth is just as much a passionate presence in all their lives now as she was when they were growing up. But their time home reveals conflict with one another and their wives. They struggle to recapture the brotherhood of their youth, but whether or not coming home was a good idea remains unknown.

Kinder Than Solitude

Yiyun Li

Random House

This beautiful story follows four friends who grew up around the same courtyard in Beijing against the backdrop of the post-Communist Revolution and Great Leap Forward. Yiyun Li's story is woven with the sense of place being found in personhood rather than time, through which she moves seamlessly. Shaoai-outspoken toward the government-is poisoned. The story orbits around her death and how Ruyu, Moran, and Boyang cope with her loss. Kinder Than Solitude exemplifies quiet sobriety in telling the story of four friends whose lives are marred by their past. …

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