Waiting for Dilly Hearne

Two old Irish drug smugglers sit on a bench and chat in a derelict ferry terminal in Kevin Barry’s third novel, “Night Boat to Tangier.” It's a funny, dark, intoxicating story where the pages fly past under the quick-witted banter of Maurice and Charlie, who are looking for Maurice’s estranged daughter.

It’s fiction, but true.

Two absorbing novels about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Syrian civil war illustrate how the region's politics and trauma affect the daily lives of citizens. One a story of friends, the other a story of family, these memorable novels make the news headlines human.

Reading Miriam Toews

“Women Talking” released this month is getting great reviews. So have previous novels by Canadian author Miriam Toews, whose books are bestsellers up north. Why is she so little known to American readers?