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Writing what you know is one way to tackle your first novel, but it wasn't Eric Nguyen's way. When he started working on "Things We Lost to the Water," Nguyen was a lot more interested in writing about the things he didn't know and the things he wanted to know better. He wanted to explore the Vietnamese community in New Orleans, a city the Maryland native came to love when he attended McNeese ...

"Things We Lost to the Water" by Eric Nguyen; Alfred A. Knopf (304 pages, $26.95) ——— Eric Nguyen's moving debut novel explores the importance of stories. "Things We Lost to the Water" is about a Vietnamese family in New Orleans and the story that the mother, Huong, tells herself about how she came to arrive in the United States with her two sons and without her husband. Huong revisits the ...

W.W. Norton is taking out of print the polarizing “Philip Roth: The Biography” and the 2014 memoir “The Splendid Things We Planned,” both by Blake Bailey, after recent allegations of sexual misconduct against the writer. “Norton is permanently putting out of print our editions of ‘Philip Roth: The Biography’ and ‘The Splendid Things We Planned,’ Blake Bailey’s 2014 memoir,” a spokeswoman for ...

Rickie Lee Jones cuts right to the chase on the first page of the introduction to "Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour," her well-crafted and intensely candid new memoir. Its second paragraph reads: "When I was twenty-three years old I drove around L.A. with Tom Waits. We'd cruise along Highway 1 in his new 1963 Thunderbird. With my blonde hair flying out the window and ...

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