Zoe Heller's Scorching New Novel

Don’t read Zoe Heller’s latest novel, The Believers, if you’re looking for friends. According to a New York Times review, the characters in the book (which is due out next month) are incredibly unsympathetic. Heller is most famous for creating Barbara Covett, the prickly school marm later portrayed by Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal. And now, she gives us Audrey Litvinoff, the bitingly funny matriarch of a “left-wing clan” in Greenwich Village. “I don’t write books for people to be friends with the characters,” Ms. Heller said. “If you want to find friends, go to a cocktail party.”