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The night diary
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Trade Reviews

  New York Times Review

TIME PIECES: A Dublin Memoir, by John Banville. (Knopf, $26.95.) The Booker Prize-winning novelist wanders Ireland's capital city, recalling people and places that still live in his memory. Scattered throughout are suitably atmospheric photographs by Paul Joyce. THE REAL LIFE OF THE PARTHENON, by Patricia Vigderman. (Mad Creek/Ohio State University Press, paper, $21.95.) An American scholar visits classic sites of the ancient world in a book that's part travelogue, part memoir and part musing on our complex, contested cultural heritage. SMOKETOWN: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance, by Mark Whitaker. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) Whitaker recounts the untold history of Pittsburgh's role as a mecca for African-Americans in the mid-20th century - from figures like Billy Strayhorn and August Wilson to the local newspaper, The Courier, which covered it all. FEEL FREE: Essays, byZadie Smith. (Penguin, $28.) Deftly roving from literature and philosophy to art, pop music and film, Smith's incisive new collection showcases her exuberance and range while making a cohesive argument for social and aesthetic freedom. A GIRL IN EXILE: Requiem for Linda B., by Ismail Kadare. Translated by John Hodgson. (Counterpoint, $25.) The famed Albanian writer, and perpetual Nobel Prize contender, produces a novel that grapples with the supernatural in a story set against a backdrop of interrogation, exile and thwarted lives. AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, by Tayari Jones. (Algonquin, $26.95.) Roy and Celestial are a young black couple in Atlanta "on the come up," as he puts it, when he's convicted of a rape he did not commit and sentenced to 12 years in prison. The unfairness of the years stolen from this couple by a great cosmic error forms the novel's slow burn. MONSTER PORTRAITS, by Del and Sofia Samatar. (Rose Metal, paper, $14.95.) Del and Sofia Samatar are brother and sister, and their beautiful new book, which braids Del's art and Sofia's text, explores monstrosity and evil while inviting a discussion about race and diaspora. THE NIGHT DIARY, by Veera Hiranandani. (Dial, $16.99; ages 8 to 12.) A 12-year-old refugee and her family make their way to India's border during the bloody events of Partition in 1947. THE HEART AND MIND OF FRANCES PAULEY, by April Stevens. (Schwartz & Wade, $16.99; ages 8 to 12.) This understated middle grade debut features a dreamy 11-year-old who spends hours among the rocks in her backyard. What the book lacks in plot, it more than makes up in observation, mood and full-on feeling. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web:

  Booklist Review

A quiet, sensitive half Hindu, half Muslim girl tries to make sense of her place in a country literally divided during the India Partition in 1947. Twelve-year-old Nisha has always struggled to express herself to her family and schoolmates, so each night she turns to her diary, where she writes entries to her mother, who passed away when she was a baby. Nisha feels the diary helps make the mother she never knew more real, but it also becomes a tool to bring Nisha's own thoughts and feelings into focus as she sorts through confusion, loss, and terror as her family embarks on a dangerous, forced migration from Pakistan to their new home. Hiranandani's prose shines in both emotion and simple, rich description, especially with regards to Nisha's developing love of cooking. This new passion ties her to the beloved Muslim cook her family left behind, and becomes a way for Nisha to connect to her complicated family, fractured past, and homeland old and new. A clear, compelling, and deeply felt historical novel.--McIntyre, Beth Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

In 1947, Nisha's beloved country is being torn apartand so is her family.Nisha and her twin brother, Amil, celebrate their 12th birthday in their beloved town of Mirpur Khas, India, a month before their country receives independence from the British and splits into India and Pakistan. Painfully shy, Nisha, who lost her mother in childbirth and feels distant from her stern father and her elderly grandmother, is only able to speak freely with the family cook, a Muslim man named Kazi. Although Nisha's mother was Muslim, her family is Hindu, and the riots surrounding Partition soon make it impossible for them to live in their home safely despite their mixed faith. They are forced to leave their townand Kazi. As Nisha and her family make their way across the brand-new border, Nisha learns about her family history, not to mention her own strength. Hiranandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl, 2013) compassionately portrays one of the bloodiest periods in world history through diary entries Nisha writes to her deceased mother. Nisha's voice is the right mix of innocence and strength, and her transformation is both believable and heartbreaking. Nisha's unflinching critiques of Gandhi, Nehru, and Jinnah are particularly refreshing in their honesty.A gripping, nuanced story of the human cost of conflict appropriate for both children and adults. (Historical fiction. 11-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
In the vein of Inside Out and Back Again and The War That Saved My Life comes a poignant, personal, and hopeful tale of India's partition, and of one girl's journey to find a new home in a divided country <br> <br> It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries- Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.<br> <br> Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can't imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.<br> <br> Told through Nisha's letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl's search for home, for her own identity...and for a hopeful future.
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