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Books: Best of ’86: Books

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AGAINST ALL HOPE: THE PRISON MEMOIRS OF ARMANDO VALLADARES A Cuban poet who spent 22 years as Castro’s political prisoner tells of atrocity, survival and hope.

EISENHOWER: AT WAR 1943-1945 by David Eisenhower. Ike’s grandson emerges as a formidable historian and biographer in this study of the European campaign and of what the general knew and when he knew it.

THE PAPER: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE by Richard Kluger. Horace Greeley, Karl Marx and Tom Wolfe all worked for the Trib; another former employee recalls more than a century of colorful news and newsmakers.

THE SIEGE: THE SAGA OF ISRAEL AND ZIONISM by Conor Cruise O’Brien. The diplomat and journalist gives an informed and balanced account of the long and seemingly endless tragedy of Middle East politics.

A WIDER WORLD: PORTRAITS IN AN ADOLESCENCE by Kate Simon. A celebrated travel writer journeys back to her adolescence and a romantic coming of age in 1930s New York.


THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood. This chilling cautionary fable postulates a future U.S. ruled by Fundamentalist Christians and offers an oppressed heroine strong enough to see a way out.

A PERFECT SPY by John le Carre. The spymaster’s most personal novel, a tale of wayward father and bitter son, examines the psychological and moral makeup of a double agent.

ROGER’S VERSION by John Updike. A typically witty and erudite performance, concerning a divinity school professor locked in spiritual struggle with a graduate student who thinks God can be discerned with a computer.

THE SPORTSWRITER by Richard Ford. The sane and witty story of a man who interviews athletes and seeks to recapture the hope and literary promise of a time when he, too, was at the top of his form.

A SUMMONS TO MEMPHIS by Peter Taylor. The second novel by a 70-year-old master of the short form casts an amused glance back at manners, mores and a family squabble in the Upper South between the two world wars.

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