Keith Lee Morris : Travelers Rest

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 12.02.14 PM“It won’t take long–a page, maybe two–before you feel wondrously disquieted by Keith Lee Morris’s Travelers Rest. The novel traps its characters in the town of Good Night, Idaho, and the reader in its shaken snow globe of a world. The language dazzles and the circumstances chill and put this story in the good company of Stephen King’s The Shining, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. This is a breakout book that will earn Morris the wide readership he richly deserves.”―Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands and Red Moon

Mary Gaitskill : The Mare

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 8.43.49 AMFrom the author of the National Book Award–nominated Veronica: Mary Gaitskill’s The Mare—the story of a Dominican girl, the white woman who introduces her to riding, and the horse who changes everything for her “Gaitskill takes a premise that could have been preachy, sentimental, or simplistic—juxtaposing urban and rural, rich and poor, young and old, brown and white—and makes it candid and emotionally complex, spare, real, and deeply affecting. Gaitskill explores the complexities of love (mares, meres…) to bring us a novel that gallops along like a bracing bareback ride on a powerful thoroughbred.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Valeria Luiselli : The Story of My Teeth

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 8.36.36 AMWritten in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, The Story of My Teeth is a witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli’s own literary influences.  Protagonist Gustavo “Highway” Sanchez Sanchez is a late-in-life world traveler, yarn spinner, collector, and legendary auctioneer. His most precious possessions are the teeth of the “notorious infamous” like Plato, Petrarch, and Virginia Woolf.  Highway adds value to these teeth that he auctions off through the stories he tells of them, while The Story of My Teeth examines the value of storytelling itself.

Amelia Gray : Gutshot

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.07.23 AMNPR calls Gutshot “a book brimming with blood, sexual deviance, mucus and madness.” The New York Times says “reading Gutshot is a little like being blindfolded and pelted from all sides with fire, Jell-O and the occasional live animal.”  And Vice Magazine calls it a book full of bodily fluids and strange sights and smells.   That said, Gray’s work is not disturbing for its own sake, but as the Chicago Tribune says “has an unflinching intimacy that is completely and absorbingly her own” and that “if there is one story Gray is telling over and over again, it’s about the embodiedness of language, the blood and guts of books themselves.”

Ursula K. Le Guin : Steering The Craft

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 8.15.23 AMUrsula K. Le Guin believes we cannot restructure society without restructuring the English language, and thus her book on the craft of writing inevitably engages class, gender, race, capitalism and morality, all of which are not separate from grammar, punctuation, tense, and point of view for Le Guin.  Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of more than sixty books of fiction, fantasy, children’s literature, poetry, drama, criticism and translation.  She talks today about her writing guide, Steering The Craft, newly rewritten and revised for writers of fiction and memoir in the 21st century.

Liz Prato : Baby’s On Fire

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 2.59.34 PM“Liz Prato’s stories are filled with the lost, the lonely, and the damned, and she makes all of them sing with a haunting grandeur. Baby’s on Fire is a lamentation brimming with wit, candor, and the eternal possibility of mercy,”  says writer Steve Almond about Liz Prato’s debut collection of stories. “The stories are at once beautifully written and tremendously compelling—not to mention filled with characters so full of life that they feel as real as people we know. A knockout collection.”—Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans.  Liz is a fiction writer and essayist, teacher and editor, in Portland, Oregon.

David Biespiel : A Long High Whistle

Screen shot 2015-08-19 at 7.05.53 AMLibrary Journal calls David Biespiel’s A Long High Whistle one of the best books about reading poetry you will ever find. Biespiel is a poet, editor, essayist, critic and teacher, and also the writer of the longest running newspaper column on poetry in the U.S.  A Long High Whistle discusses the work of nearly a hundred poets from ancient times to the present, in English and in translation. This collection will provide anyone, from the beginning poet to the mature writer to the lover of literature, with insights into what inspires poets, how poems are written and read, and how poetry situates itself in American life.