September 10, 2001 12:00 PM

BEL CANTO Ann Patchett

In this strikingly offbeat novel, a prolonged hostage drama gives Patchett the chance to plumb the psyches of both the terrorists and their prey. (HarperCollins, $25)

THE BEAR’S EMBRACE Patricia Van Tighem

Van Tighem, a nurse, recounts the devastating effects—physical and emotional—of surviving a near-fatal attack by a bear. (Pantheon, $23)

FURY Salman Rushdie

The Indian-born author’s first novel to explore America sharply and wittily observes our cash-mad culture. (Random House, $24.95)

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