New in Paperback: ‘Interior Chinatown’ and ‘The Water Dancer’

WHEN TIME STOPPED: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains, by Ariana Neumann. (Scribner, 336 pp., $18.) While playing detective at 8, Neumann finds a Hitler-stamped ID card showing her father as a young man with a different name and birth date. Four decades later, “her account of one Jewish-Czech family’s race to outwit the Nazis,” including “daredevil acts of love,” is “thrilling reading,” our reviewer, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, wrote, but just as notable is its mining of “memory, identity and remembrance.”

INTERIOR CHINATOWN, by Charles Yu. (Vintage, 288 pp., $16.) Yu’s second novel, a National Book Award finalist, “explores in devastating (and darkly hilarious) fashion Hollywood’s penchant for promoting clichés about Asians and Asian-Americans,” according to our reviewer, Jeff VanderMeer.

THE WATER DANCER, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (One World, 432 pp., $18.) The noted essayist’s debut novel, about a Virginia plantation owner’s 12-year-old enslaved son, mystically spared from a river accident in which the brother he’s been forced to serve dies, probes “the psychological effects of slavery” — “a grief,” as our reviewer, Esi Edugyan, called it, “that Coates is especially adept at parsing.”

MR. NOBODY, by Catherine Steadman. (Ballantine, 384 pp., $17.) This second thriller by the actress who played Mabel Lane Fox on “Downton Abbey” features a British neuropsychiatrist with a hidden past and a high-profile patient entrusted to her care who may or may not have lost his memory. His “real story, when Emma finally figures it out,” our reviewer, Sarah Lyall, teased, “is even weirder than you might imagine.”

ON SWIFT HORSES, by Shannon Pufahl. (Riverhead, 320 pp., $17.) “Strikingly solid, timeworn but not nostalgic,” is how our reviewer, Lucie Shelly, described the narrative voice of this “Odyssean,” “cinematic” debut novel about “the midcentury American West, gambling and queer love.”

THE UNGRATEFUL REFUGEE: What Immigrants Never Tell You, by Dina Nayeri. (Catapult, 368 pp., $16.95.) Written from her London home three decades after arriving in the United States from Iran at 10, the novelist Nayeri’s first work of nonfiction combines flashbacks of her own experiences in Oklahoma — where she and her mother and brother “lived in an apartment complex for the destitute and disenfranchised” and kids called her names like “cat-eater” and “terrorist” — with those of other refugees she meets as an adult.

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