Tyehimba Jess : Olio

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-11-13-00-am“This 21st century hymnal of black evolutionary poetry, this almanac, this theatrical melange of miraculous meta-memory. Tyehimba Jess is inventive, prophetic, wondrous. He writes unflinchingly into the historical clefs of blackface, black sound, human sensibility. After the last poem is read we have no idea how long we’ve been on our knees.”–poet Nikky Finney;  “Olio is one of the most inventive, intensive poetic undertakings of the past decade…The result is a work both historical and musical, scholarly and sculptural.”–Boston Globe

 

Eliot Weinberger : The Ghosts of Birds

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-10-27-11-pmA new collection from “one of the world’s great essayists” (The New York Times), The Ghosts of Birds offers 35 new essays by Eliot Weinberger.  He chronicles a 19th century journey down the Colorado River, records the dreams of people named Chang, & shares other factually verifiable discoveries that seem too fabulous to possibly be true. These essays include his notorious review of George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, writings about the I Ching,  & the history of American Indophilia (“There is a line, however jagged, from pseudo-Hinduism to Malcolm X”). This collection proves once again that Weinberger is “one of the bravest and sharpest minds in the U.S.” (Javier Marías).

Pauls Toutonghi : Dog Gone

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-4-58-35-am“You can’t write about dogs without writing about people. They chose long ago to be our good company in the adventure of being alive, and ever since they’ve served as our mirrors, our teachers, and the most stubbornly loyal of friends. Pauls Toutonghi understands the richness of these bonds. In Dog Gone, this engaging storyteller lights up the ways the love between human and dog brings both species to hilarity, gratitude, deep sorrow and a tenderness so real you can’t help but touch it.” —Mark Doty

Monica Drake : The Folly of Loving Life

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-30-48-pmFollowing her acclaimed novels Clown Girl and The Stud Book, Monica Drake presents her long-awaited first collection of stories. “What can I say about Monica Drake’s stories? They are brilliant, sure. They are hilarious, yes. Each one is a marvel. But more importantly–they are raw and awake and full of life. At the center of each one is the bright beating heart of what literature can be: Relevant, unusual, entertaining, fascinating, unique. These are not characters–and Drake’s is not a voice–that you can ignore or forget.” Pauls Toutonghi, author of Dog Gone 

Alexis Smith : Marrow Island

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-6-52-18-am“A faltering journalist returns to an island abandoned after an earthquake released a toxic spill. That’s the beautifully wrought setting of this novel, which reunites two childhood friends, one of whom has joined a sect claiming it can heal the land.”—O, The Oprah Magazine  “Tucked into this suspenseful plot are stunning and important reflections on nature and the environment, its awe-inspiring power and the many ways humanity both detracts from that power and willfully ignores itand how that shapes our lives.” —Shelf Awareness

Jesse Ball : How to Set a Fire and Why

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 6.36.10 PMJesse Ball’s blistering novel tells the story of a teenage girl who has lost everything—and will burn anything. Lucia’s father is dead, her mother in a mental hospital, and now she’s been kicked out of school—again. She makes her way through the world with only a book, a zippo lighter, a pocketful of stolen licorice, a biting wit, and the striking intel­ligence that she tries to hide. “Lucia details a philosophy that smartly parallels the novel’s own–namely, that writing literature is, like arson, an act of creation and destruction…A song of teenage heartbreak sung with a movingly particular sadness, a mature meditation on how actually saying something, not just speaking, is what most makes a voice human.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Rikki Ducornet : Brightfellow

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 7.06.30 AMA feral boy comes of age on a campus decadent with starched sheets, sweating cocktails, & homemade jams. Stub is the cause of that missing sweater, the pie that disappeared off the cooling rack. Then Stub meets Billy, who takes him in, & Asthma, who enchants him, & all is found, then lost. A fragrant, voluptuous novel of imposture, misplaced affection, & the many ways we are both visible & invisible to one another. The author of eight previous novels as well as collections of short stories, essays, & poems, Rikki Ducornet has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, is a two-time honoree of the Lannan Foundation, & is the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature.