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What to read this week: Books by Nelson Mandela, Ottessa Moshfegh and Beatriz Williams

"The Prison Letters of Nelson Madela," edited by

"The Prison Letters of Nelson Madela," edited by Sahm Venter. Photo Credit: Liveright

THE PRISON LETTERS OF NELSON MANDELA, edited by Sahm Venter. The former South African President and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize would have been 100 on Wednesday, July 18. (He died in 2013.) From 1962 to 1990, Mandela was incarcerated by the apartheid regime, and this volume collects more than 250 letters he wrote from prison — to his wife and children, to fellow anti-apartheid activists, government officials and prison authorities. (Liveright, $35)

MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION, by Ottessa Moshfegh. What if you could hibernate for a year, getting away from all your worries? That's what the narrator of this darkly absurd novel, by the author of "Eileen" and "Homesick for Another World,' wants to do. A prescription for "Infermiterol" — a fictional drug that induces three-day blackouts — may assist her in forgetting about her dead parents, pesky ex-boyfriend and shallow existence. (Penguin Press, $26)

THE SUMMER WIVES, by Beatriz Williams. An insular island in the Long Island Sound is the setting for this high-class soap opera by the author of "A Hundred Summers" and "Cocoa Beach." Here patrician New England families while away their summers in uncomfortable proximity to the Portuguese fishing community that services them. A young woman, Miranda Schuyler, will be a witness to, and player in, the island's dramas and romances. (William Morrow, $26.99)

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