cover image Table for Two: Fictions

Table for Two: Fictions

Amor Towles. Viking, $32 (464p) ISBN 978-0-593-29637-0

Bestseller Towles (The Lincoln Highway) returns with an enchanting collection of stories about fateful encounters. In “The Ballad of Timothy Touchett,” the young title character moves to New York City to become a novelist and works in a bookstore, where his boss pays him bonuses to forge the signatures of famous dead authors in first editions of their books. The scheme pays off for a while, until Paul Auster visits the shop and spies forgeries in two of his own works. Art and crime also dovetail in “The Bootlegger,” when a Carnegie Hall concert attendee has another man thrown out for making a bootleg recording, then feels remorse after learning the man had taken to recording the concerts for his late wife when she was too ill to attend, and continued recording them after she died in order to remember her. The standout novel-length “Eve in Hollywood,” a sequel to Towles’s debut Rules of Civility, follows Evelyn Ross from New York City to Los Angeles in 1938, where she befriends film star Olivia de Havilland and has-been Prentice Symmons, and comes to Olivia’s aid after Olivia is blackmailed with nude photos. The noirish tale is rife with double crosses, exciting chases, surprising reversals, and the vivid historical atmosphere Towles is known for. The author’s fans won’t want to miss this. (Apr.)