New in Paperback: ‘Invisible Americans’ and ‘Hunter’s Moon’

INVISIBLE AMERICANS: The Tragic Cost of Child Poverty, by Jeff Madrick. (Vintage, 240 pp., $16.95.) In an “exception” to the complex proposals routinely suggested by so-called experts, Madrick offers an idea “so simple that even a child could understand it”: a government-funded allowance to families with children under 18 that would equal $4,000-$5,000 per child each year. As Alissa Quart, our reviewer, put it, “it would be unconditional, like love.”

LORD OF ALL THE DEAD: A Nonfiction Novel, by Javier Cercas; translated by Anne McLean. (Vintage, 288 pp., $16.95.) Deemed “important” by our reviewer, John Hooper, this semifictional work reveals the author’s great-uncle, a provisional second lieutenant in Franco’s army, to have been a disillusioned Achilles rather than the idealized hero of Cercas’s family mythology.

DIVIDE ME BY ZERO, by Lara Vapnyar. (Tin House, 368 pp., $15.95.) Our reviewer, Jamie Fisher, called Vapnyar a “resplendent” humorist of the Russian-American experience and referred to this “brutally sad romantic comedy” as “a mordant tribute to lost loves, none more beloved or irretrievably lost” than its female protagonist’s mother (a writer of children’s math textbooks who bears similarities to the author’s own mother).

SEPARATION ANXIETY, by Laura Zigman. (Ecco, 304 pp., $16.99.) “You root for Zigman’s decent and vulnerable characters even while wanting to give them a good shake,” Janice Y. K. Lee noted in her review of this “wistful and erratic” novel about a “familiar, self-deprecating, likable” middle-aged woman whose depression lifts when “she comes upon an old baby sling and decides to wear her dog.”

FROM RUSSIA WITH BLOOD: The Kremlin’s Ruthless Assassination Program and Vladimir Putin’s Secret War on the West, by Heidi Blake. (Mulholland Books, 336 pp., $18.99.) When a BuzzFeed reporter charts the deaths of Putin opponents — from “poisonings, suspicious accidents and surprise heart attacks” — on a timeline of Russian domestic politics, Gregory Feifer observed in these pages, “the chronology is as damning as it is alarming.”

HUNTER’S MOON: A Novel in Stories, by Philip Caputo. (Picador, 288 pp., $17.) “An unflinching reality check on the state of middle-age manhood at the close of the second decade of the 21st century,” is how our reviewer, Bruce Barcott, described this story collection that is set in Hemingway country and mines the “wreckage” of “American male bravado.”

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