Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (Little, Brown and Company) :: Seattle residents unable to distinguish between author and work were upset by the protagonist of this epistolary novel, one Bernadette Fox, an architect who finds the city a crunchy hellhole filled with invasive social climbers. But readers with a sense of self-awareness will delight in this madcap send-up of corporate culture and competitive parenting. Too Good To Be True: A Memoir by Benjamin Anastas (New Harvest) :: Most people resent Ivy League grads who publish a critically acclaimed novel by age 30, and most will relish the gory details of one's complete derailment. Benjamin Anastas provides just that in his first memoir, saving the reader from hollow schadenfreude with funny, excoriating descriptions of the middle-class Brooklyn life just out of his reach.

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    Boston, the birthplace of American literature, boasts three MFA programs, an independent creative-writing center, and more than a dozen colleges offering creative-writing classes.
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