The sometimes blurry line between creator and creation is at the center of three of our recommended titles this week: Colin Winnette's twisty novel “Users,” about a virtual reality developer brought low by public outrage; Benjamin Balint's “Bruno Schulz: An Artist, a Murder, and the Hijacking of History,” about the legacy of the great Polish writer and artist who was killed by a Gestapo officer in 1942; and Claire Dederer's “Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma,” about how to reconcile our love of great art with our distaste, even revulsion, for some of the people who make it. (“Good Art, Bad People,” as the Book Review's cover summarized the issue — bearing in mind that the definitions of both are more slippery than we might care to admit.) Also on this week's list of suggested reading: a biography of the playwright and actor Sam Shepard, a memoir by a forensic anthropologist who investigates cases of genocide, an optimistic account of American health care at a publicly funded hospital in Houston, and a journalist's tour through some of the darker corners of America's cultural divide. In fiction, along with Winnette's novel we also recommend a historical novel about France in World War II and a collection of climate-themed short stories. Happy reading. —Gregory Cowles MONSTERS: A Fan's Dilemma Claire Dederer “Everyone alive is either canceled or about to be canceled,” writes the author of this sometimes maddening, always challenging meditation on polarizing cultural figures (Nabokov, Polanski, et al.) and the struggle to reconcile great art with the misdeeds of its creators. “Part memoir, part treatise and all treat. Dederer is continually trying — not in the adjectival sense, but as the present participle: showing us her thought process, correcting as she goes and experimenting with different forms.” From Alexandra Jacobs's review Knopf | $28 AT THE HOUR BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF Tara Ison Ison's novel (named for a French expression for twilight) takes readers to the shadowy world of German-occupied France in 1941. A 12-year-old Jewish girl from Paris is smuggled to a rural village, where she assumes a new identity among […]
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