Writer Geoffrey Wolff. His new collection of essays, "A Day At The Beach" (Alfred A. Knopf), is about the worst vacation ever. It started with over-priced dinners and ended in open heart surgery. Wolff is best known for his book "The Duke of Deception," a memoir about being the son of a con man.
Leave the World Behind is atmospheric and prescient: Its rhythms of comedy alternating with shock and despair mimic so much of the rhythms of life right now. That's more than enough to make it a signature novel for this blasted year.