“To acquire the habit of reading,” wrote W Somerset Maugham, “is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” With longer, warmer, greener days in our sights, this selection of new fiction promises to offer some escape from the relentless woes of the world.

The much-read, much-debated Jonathan Franzen has been examining the inner workings of fractured families for decades. He won the National Book Award for The Corrections, his novel about a troubled Midwestern couple and their adult children, in 2001. Now Franzen is releasing what he describes as his magnum opus. Crossroads, at almost 600 pages, is the first volume of what promises to be a vast trilogy, A Key to All Mythologies...

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