The Old Gringo, Carlos Fuentes (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). "An opalescent novel" speculating on the disappearance of Ambrose Bierce in Mexico in 1914. Though the narrative "is not always easy to follow . . . the translation by Margaret Sayers Peden can hardly be questioned. One forgets that this iridescent, violent, smoky novel was conceived in another language" (Evan S. Connell).
The Unloved. From the Diary of Perla S., Arnost Lustig (Arbor House). "Elusive and compelling." Perla S., the 17-year-old Jewish girl who keeps the diary that makes up this novel, "alternately seizes us and loses us. We keep fixing on the actions, emotions and speculations of this adolescent, only to have them change shape and fog over" (Richard Edger).
Family and Friends, Anita Brookner (Pantheon). This "very artful novel" about a wealthy emigre family living near London "is no pastiche but something new." Anita Brookner's "set pieces move in original ways, and it is in their movement that the novel finds its considerable witchery" (Richard Eder).
Migraine: Understanding a Common Disorder, Oliver Sacks MD (University of California) is "an erudite, literary and thoughtful medical treatise on migraine for laypersons and physicians, emulating some of the best in classic medical writing" (Joel Yager).