Editor's Picks New Book Arrivals (251)
After the accidental death of a teenaged friend, the Lansing family has split along fault lines previously hidden under a patina of suburban banality. Every family has secrets, but for the Lansings those secrets end up propelling them in different directions away from their border town to foreign shores and to prison. Told in thirty-three flash fiction narratives, Border Markers is fractured like the psyches of its characters, all keen edges and tough language. Jenny Ferguson’s debut is a compelling collection of commonplace tragedies and surprising insights.
Angular, smart, and fearless, Arisa White’s newest collection takes its titles from words used internationally as hate speech against gays and lesbians, reworking, re-envisioning, and re-embodying language as a conduit for art, love, and understanding. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened works through intersectional encounters with gender, identity, and human barbarism, landing deftly and defiantly in beauty.
Waiting for the Dead to Speak merges the personal with the political. Fanelli references 1970s punk rock pioneers like The Clash and other cultural references that serve to draw a connection between the poet and his industrial northeastern Pennsylvania hometown, or between him and his father. Often, the references serve as a way to show that despite differences, there are always some commonalities between father and son. At the heart of the book is a questioning of what remains once loved ones depart or relationships dissolve.
A concise and compelling novella-in-flash spanning decades from the1960s to the present, Lex Williford’s Superman on the Roof offers an elegiac coming-of-age tale and a family portrait imbued with tragedy, guilt, grief, and forgiveness. The arguments, injustices, and triumphs of childhood echo into the adult world in unforgettable detail in these short powerful stories.
Nine Island is an intimate autobiographical novel, told by J. After decades of disaster with men, she is trying to decide whether to withdraw forever from romantic love, and begins translating Ovid’s magical stories about the transformations caused by Eros. When not ruminating over her sexual past and current fantasies, J observes the comic, sometimes steamy goings-on among her faded-glamour condo neighbors. Set against the backdrop of exquisitely beautiful flora, fauna, and seascapes, Nine Island culminates with a breathtaking gift, from one friend to another.
This second installment of The Best Small Fictions continues to celebrate the diversity and quality captured in fiction forms fewer than 1,000 words. Forty-five acclaimed and emerging writers—including Alberto Chimal, Toh EnJoe, Kathy Fish, Amelia Gray, Etgar Keret, R. O. Kwon, and Eliel Lucero—offer readers some of the brightest concise writing available today. With spotlights on Texture Press and author Megan Giddings, the acclaimed new series, with its “finger on the pulse,” succeeds in its aim to make something big from many small things.
América invertida introduces twenty-two Uruguayan poets under the age of forty to English-speaking audiences for the first time. Kercheval paired poets and translators to produce a rich volume based on a multicultural dialogue about poetry and the written word. América invertida presents Spanish poems and their English translations side by side to give readers an introduction to Uruguay’s vibrant literary scene.
The characters within these fifteen stories are staring into the abyss. While some are awaiting redemption, others are fully complicit in their own undoing. We come upon them in the mountains of West Virginia, in the backyards of rural North Carolina, and at tourist traps along Route 66, where they smolder with hidden desires and struggle to resist the temptations that plague them. A master of Appalachian dialect and colloquial speech, Monks writes prose that is dark, taut, and muscular, but also beguiling and playful.
A girl bonds with a piece of flame leftover from the inferno that consumed her brother, father, and lover. Through this relationship, the girl explores her complicated family history and her place in the world. Meanwhile, the flame discovers new fuel: human need, hot and vile. Told in a series of innovative flash vignettes, Melissa Reddish’s Girl & Flame is an inventive and thoughtful meditation on the intersection of grief, longing, and the natural world.
LaSalle’s tantalizing “fictions” are evocative of many of the great innovators of postmodern literature, from Borges to Nabokov, while charting a path entirely their own. Through all of their stylistic pyrotechnics these stories never forsake rich characterization and plotting to probe the deepest parts of the contemporary human condition, such as the nature of erotic desire, the legacy of art and artistry, the power of grief and fear, and the horror of war and violence.
Karyna McGlynn’s The 9-Day Queen Gets Lost on Her Way to the Execution sends readers into a disruptive fervor. “There is an abundance of something in me,” one poem’s narrator confesses, “if only black bile.” McGlynn tangles word and flesh to stunning effect, tucking us under velvet curtains, while the gaslights flicker.
Poetry as essay, as a way of hovering over a subject, approaching it from positions of identity (Korean, American, adoptee, mother, Catholic, Buddhist) and interest (mythology, science fiction, Borges, Sophocles)—Sun Yung Shin moves ideas around like building blocks, forming and reforming new constructions of what it means to be a guest, to be a host. How to be at home.
Flailing in jobs, failing at love, getting addicted and unaddicted to people, food, and drugs—I’ll Tell You in Person is a candid and captivating account of attempts at adulthood and all the less-than-perfect ways we get there. Caldwell has an unsparing knack for looking within and reporting back what’s really there, rather than what she’d like you to see.
When the World Breaks Open is a non-linear narrative memoir that traces Seema Reza's journey from being a suburban mom to using her own lessons to build a unique writing and art program in military hospitals. Reza exposes her triumphs and fears and regret through the dissolution of a dysfunctional marriage, and investigates her own experiences and societal attitudes towards loss, love, motherhood and community, undermining the idea that strength requires silence.