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Books: Oct. 7, 2011

Reviews of recently released paperbacks from Jonathan Franzen, Isabel Wilkerson, and more

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The Adults
Alison Espach
Espach nicely balances the acidic and the sweet in her coming-of-age tale.

The Campus Trilogy
David Lodge
Changing Places, Small World, and Nice Work — Lodge’s three famous novels about university life — are combined in a satisfyingly thick tome.

Jonathan Franzen
Franzen performs a kind of literary MRI on an upper-middle-class Midwestern family, zooming in on nuances as the decades pass. A-

Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter
Antonia Fraser
Fraser, a British aristocrat long known for her biographies, here creates a tender portrait of her marriage and a deliciously detailed account of living in the thick of creativity and fame. A

Record Collecting for Girls
Courtney E. Smith
A music lover and former MTV exec explores the ways music shapes women’s lives.

The Warmth of Other Suns
Isabel Wilkerson
This sprawling, stunning history of the Great Migration (1915-70) — the 55-year stretch during which 6 million black Americans abandoned the Jim Crow South — is told through the journeys of three of them. A