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What to read this week: New books by Eve Ensler, Julia Phillips and Andrea Lawlor

"The Apology" by Eve Ensler (Bloomsbury) Photo Credit: Bloomsbury

THE APOLOGY, by Eve Ensler. What if an abuser actually made amends to his victim? In her new book, Eve Ensler ("The Vagina Monologues") writes a letter in the voice of her late father, the man who physically and sexually abused her as a child. "My father is long dead," she explains. "He will not make the apology. So it must be imagined." Ensler dedicates the book to "every woman still waiting for an apology." (Bloomsbury, $22)

DISAPPEARING EARTH, by Julia Phillips. Two young sisters have disappeared from their hometown on Russia's remote Kamchatka Peninsula, sparking an intense police search. Have they been abducted? Killed? The mystery runs through (but does not always dominate) this absorbing debut novel, in which each linked chapter introduces a girl or woman on Kamchatka in some way touched by the disappearance. (Knopf, $26.95)

PAUL TAKES THE FORM OF A MORTAL GIRL, by Andrea Lawlor. This thrillingly risqué novel, as fun to read as it is smart and transgressive, follows the adventures of Paul, a shapeshifting, gender-fluid student at the University of Iowa in the early '90s. Sometimes a boy and sometimes a girl, Paul pursues liaisons with all comers — male, female, gay, straight or somewhere in between. (Vintage, $16.95 paper)

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