Editor's Picks New Book Arrivals (251)
Nothing says America louder than a gun. As the short stories assembled here demonstrate, firearms loom as large in our imaginations as in the news. These striking stories, from such famous authors as Annie Proulx, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and John Edgar Wideman, plus a talented group of newcomers, range widely—from tender to violent, from chilling to hilarious. Tales of love, war, coming of age, and revenge, they occur in landscapes familiar or ordinary, distant or dystopian, and reflect Americans’ particular obsession with, and paranoia about, guns.
“Find here: poetry's virtues/pleasures. Gorgeous witness. Silence muscled with qualities. [ . . . ] The strength of purpose and hearkening needed to walk in beauty's strangeness. Its sensuousness; its intimacy (especially with necessity) that supples its language. Patience of soul spun into physical brilliance. Time present and antique, interior and exterior, ‘feather of hair in one hand, / scissors in another, not the heart / beating but what might return over the heart.’ These are the most beautiful poems I know.”—Liz Waldner
In this collection of portraits, the eye is the vital “lamp of the body,” a spiritual organ Jessie van Eerden uses to craft essays that are as much encounters as they are likenesses, as much being seen as seeing. The author’s religious tradition and the rural landscape of Terra Alta, West Virginia are two backgrounds that are neither chosen nor fully understood, but van Eerden’s attention to these matters becomes its own form of devotion, a longing to see and to believe—the longing itself taking on the robustness of faith.
Now Available: The Authenticity Experiment by Kate Carroll de Gutes. Kate Carroll de Gutes decided to spend a while doing what most of us don't do: tell the truth. Tell the truth to herself and then to everyone else, and the truth turns out to be funny, hard, sad, sweet, tough, confusing, tender and sharp. It's your truth, too.
Christian Anton Gerard’s Holdfast, his second poetry collection, is a story of dissolution and resolution, of a world made round by spokeshaves and brute imagining. The poet’s willow-hearted son sleeps in iambs; the bucket-truck mechanic plays Night Moves on a blue guitar; Spenser’s Calidore is perhaps the alcoholic riding ragged in an F-150. Gerard shows us the pasture of weedy, human understanding in all its lushness and courtesy.
Aaron Poochigian's prizewinning second collection of poetry, Manhattanite, is by turns frenzied and focused. It examines New York's juxtaposed symbols of towering achievement and monumental desolation, and then traverses the country to California's Central Valley, where the poet reclaims his grandparents' home. Poochigian consistently entertains, whether his theme is lamentation or celebration. Manhattanite is, deservedly, the winner of the 2016 Able Muse Book Award.
Joel Allegretti's Platypus presents the reader with, among other treats, a cento meant to be in the voice of Victor Frankenstein, a ghazal composed of the generic names of psychotropic drugs, and a tribute to the thirty-three villains from the 1960s Batman TV series. Featuring poems, short stories, Fluxus-inspired instruction pieces, and even text art, Platypus is a hybrid work named after the ultimate hybrid animal.
"These stories depict a world of aging professionals two hours north of New York City who’ve stayed too long at the party. Having moved from Manhattan, they’re marooned in their quaint towns. Roberta Allen’s short, sharp, dreamlike prose captures the oddness of this bardo-state with all its beauty, ambivalence and pain." —Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and After Kathy Acker
These events on September 11, 2011 and the government’s subsequent “War on Terror” refueled long-standing negative stereotypes about Muslims and Islam among many Americans. And yet thousands of practicing Muslims continued to serve or chose to enlist in the U.S. military during these years. In Service in a Time of Suspicion, fifteen such service members talk about what it means to be Muslim, American, and a uniformed member of the armed services in the twenty-first century. These honest accounts remind us of our shared humanity.
The Walmart Book of the Dead was inspired by the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, funerary texts with accompanying illustrations containing spells to preserve the spirit of the deceased in the afterlife. In Lucy Biederman’s version, shoplifters, grifters, drifters, and hustlers, desirous children, greeters, would-be Marxists, wolves, and circuit court judges, wander Walmart unknowingly consigned to their afterlives.
Haunting and candid, Rachel Danielle Peterson’s debut collection A Girl’s A Gun introduces a poet whose bold voice merges heightened lyricism with compelling narrative. Taken together, the poems present the coming-of-age story of a girl born in the mountains of rural eastern Kentucky, tracing her journey into a wider world of experience. Exploring issues of identity, place, and the call to create, this collection tackles subjects that will shock, touch, and bewilder readers while giving voice to an underrepresented and perhaps even unprecedented perspective in poetry.
Attributed to the Harrow Painter reckons with fatherhood, the violence of nostalgia, poetry, and the commodity world of visual art as the poems here frantically cycle through responses to the speaker’s son’s remark on a painting by Julian Schnabel that it “looks like garbage.” What does it mean to be a minor artist, the poems wonder, who is described by one critic as “indeed a minor talent, not withstanding the undeniable charm of some of his works”? What structures must be destroyed to clear the way for all the “minor” voices that litter the discourse of Western civilization?
In a world with an uncertain future, do you imagine for the best- or for the worst-case scenario? Twelve writers tackle extreme solarpunk utopias and apocalyptic or political dystopias—and the grey areas in between—in Biketopia, the fourth volume of the Bikes in Space series of feminist science fiction stories about bicycling. Whatever your own future or present reality, these stories will motivate and inspire you to envision something different . . . and maybe even better.
“Poems in Erica Wright’s virtuosic new collection, All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned, have an almost subliminal force. We read them with feline attention, hungering after each line’s fugitive beauty. These poems capture the quicksilver of inspiration, and hold it steady, the way a hummingbird seems motionless sipping from the bud.” –Gregory Pardlo