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7 New Books to Watch for in April

After the killings of the civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin became a far more political writer, grappling with the legacy and reality of racism in the United States. In “Begin Again,” Glaude, the chair of the African-American Studies department at Princeton, explores the parallels between that period and our current moment, blending biography, memoir and cultural criticism.


Mieko Kawakami, whose work deals with what is expected of women in patriarchal society, is one of Japan’s most acclaimed contemporary novelists. “Breasts and Eggs” won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. It follows three women — Natsu, her sister and her niece — as they undergo a series of transformations. Natsu’s sister is consumed with a wish for breast implants, which alienates her from her teenage daughter, who is struggling with puberty. Later in the book, Natsu is intent on having a child via a sperm donor, an isolating process that causes her to second-guess her own needs and sense of self.


The Galvins, Kolker’s subject, suffered extraordinary heartbreak: By the 1970s, six of their 12 children had received diagnoses of

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