Fiction potpourri

From The New Humanist, an interview with Richard Jeffrey Newman, author of The Silence of Men, on sexual abuse, machismo, and poetry as survival; and Andrea Kaspryk on "How I learned to stop worrying about my transgendered self". Something is defiantly happening in the literary scene, and Suburban Pornography is more proof of that. Can pornographic literature impart a lesson in morality? Tamara Faith Berger believes it can.

A review of Cake Or Death: The Excruciating Choices of Everyday Life by Heather Mallick. Gerard Woodward enjoys Charlotte Mednelson's fizzingly paced tale of fractured family life, When We Were Bad. Joanna Briscoe discovers what happens after twins are secretly separated at birth in Kim Edwards's The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Daddy Dearest (well, not always): A review of The First Man in My Life: Daughters Write About Their Fathers.

A bloody but riveting historical novel: A review of The Sun Over Breda by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Lost in Black and White: In a subtly shaded tale of race relations in the wartime Western Australian Outback, a novelist finds her cross-cultural voice. Alexander in Afghanistan: A review of The Afghan Campaign: A Novel. A surreal novel of suspense from one of Japan's most exciting writers: A review of After Dark by Haruki Murakami (and more).

The insider: Jenni Mills explains how her Alien Baby grew into a novel. Stormy Weather, the title of Paulette Jiles's new work, has three meanings in the context of the novel. A review of Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton. The question of classification comes up again and again in reviews of Lydia Davis' work. Is she a fiction writer? Is she a poet? Add a new question: Is she a sociologist? You will love this book or loathe it: A review of The Gathering by Anne Enright. In the Driver's Seat: Stories by Helen Simpson and Male of the Species: Stories by Alex Mindt argue short stories deserve just as much respect as novels.

It is not difficult to see why Steven Hall's debut novel, The Raw Shark Texts, should have set off a heated bidding war for the film rights. An interview with Michael Connelly, author of The Overlook, serialized in The New York Times and acted out on videos at YouTube. Steve Donoghue touts the overlooked sea novels of Nicholas Monsarrat. Sam Sacks surveys the reviews of Paul Auster’s Travels in the Scriptorium, which caused some confused tail-chasing amongst its critics.

Prospect's Thomas Pynchon correspondent is battling his way through Against the Day—and recording the experience. A review of The Castle in the Forest, Norman Mailer’s new novel about evil and Hitler and, amazingly, not about Norman Mailer. The Man Made Visible: A review of Ralph Ellison: A Biography (and more and more and more and more and an excerpt). Bender Takes a Beating: When the Gertrude Stein imitations begin and the punch lines go flat, it's time to reconsider a writer so widely touted as a fiction star. More and more on Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. And more and more on Nathan Englander’s The Ministry of Special Cases