Alibi V.13 No.22 • May 27-June 2, 2004 

Speed Reader

The Madonna of Excelsior

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Covering a 30-year span leading up to the end of apartheid in South Africa, Mda's latest novel digs into the grotesque social poison of that country's race relations, telling of an independent black African woman's struggle to navigate in a world ruled entirely by white men. Mda is one of the great shining lights of South African literature, and The Madonna of Excelsior shows him at the peak of his abilities.

Inside: A Public and Private Life


After four decades working in the muck of U.S. politics, with high level positions in the Johnson, Nixon and Carter administrations, Califano has a lot of stories to tell, and he tells them well in this fascinating memoir. The title does not lie.

Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero


Red Sox fanatic and Sports Illustrated senior writer Leigh Montville presents the definitive biography of one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Montville's book also delves into Williams' military service, talent for cussing, love of sports fishing and other diverse facets of his impressive life.

The Enemy

Delacorte Press

Lee Child delivers another installment in one of the best thriller series to see print in years. This time out Jack Reacher must investigate a string of military murders in which Reacher himself is eventually implicated.