Catherine Lacey : Certain American States

Lacey captures with eerie precision the strangeness of being a person in the world, living alongside other human beings with unknowable thoughts and feelings . . . Reading Lacey’s fiction feels like walking through a dark apartment in someone’s mind, full of winding hallways and unmarked doors. You never know quite where you are or where you’ll end up. Like the work of Clarice Lispector or Rachel Cusk, Lacey seems to be on the verge of inventing a new genre somewhere between prose poem and fugue state.”–Los Angeles Times

Forrest Gander : Be With

“Forrest Gander’s life partner, the poet C.D. Wright, died suddently a little more than two years ago, and this book is one result or record of the aftermath of that loss. In poems that are utterly naked and bereft, elegies, apologies, could-have-beens, Gander grieves and wonders about what’s left in his life. There is so much pain in this book—perhaps too much, almost too much—but what is poetry for if not for this? And there’s more life in one of these dark words than in most entire books. Reading this book may hurt, but it will help people to keep living through what they thought they could never survive.”–Craig Morgan Teicher for NPR

 

Chelsea Hodson : Tonight I’m Someone Else

“Hodson’s essays have such a sexy drama to them—and ultimately it’s the romance of just getting through life; the passion that comes from being a wholly alert woman and living to tell about it. I had a real romance with this book.” —Miranda July;  “Chelsea Hodson tests herself against her desires, grapples with their consequences, and presents a surgically precise account of what they were to her. These essays are bewitching—despite their discipline and rigor, you can smell the blood.” —Sarah Manguso; “A unique collection about being an artist and a woman in a world that doesn’t always value either.” —Booklist

Molly Crabapple : Brothers of the Gun – A Memoir of the Syrian War

“From the anarchy, torment, and despair of the Syrian war, Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple have drawn a book of startling emotional power and intellectual depth. Many books will be written on the war’s exhaustive devastation of bodies and souls, and the defiant resistance of many trapped men and women, but the Mahabharata of the Levant has already found its wisest chroniclers.”—Pankaj Mishra; “A revelatory and necessary read on one of the most destructive wars of our time . . . In great personal detail, Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple poignantly capture the tumultuous life in Syria before, after, and during the war—from inside one young man’s consciousness.”—Angela Davis

 

Sheila Heti : Motherhood

“This book is going to change how we think about life and women forever; like ancient Greek philosopher level of describing reality in a way that creates it. So, go or don’t go, read the book or don’t — either way your life will be changed by this thinker. I’m being serious here.”–Miranda July; “This inquiry into the modern woman’s moral, social and psychological relationship to procreation is an illumination, a provocation, and a response—finally—to the new norms of femininity, formulated from the deepest reaches of female intellectual authority. It is unlike anything else I’ve read. Sheila Heti has broken new ground, both in her maturity as an artist and in the possibilities of the female discourse itself.”–Rachel Cusk

 

 

Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi : Call Me Zebra

“Not many authors are compared to Borges, Cervantes, and Kathy Acker all in one breath, but that is exactly what we’re dealing with here: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a twisted, twisty genius.”–Nylon Magazine; “Van der Vliet Oloomi captures the shattered identity of the refugee and the immigrant, the way that literature becomes a lifeline in exile: a movable home, a network of dissent, a genealogy beyond national borders.”–Los Angeles Review of Books; “Hearken ye fellow misfits, migrants, outcasts, squint-eyed bibliophiles, library-haunters and book stall-stalkers: Here is a novel for you.”–The Wall Street Journal

Jen Bervin : Silk Poems

“Jen Bervin’s work—all of it—engages the eye, the hand, the ear, and the mind. Her artistry is vast and inclusive, by finesse and intelligence, by curiosity, forbearance, and vision. She knows the unexpected wonder of pattern is everywhere and that the smallest detail contains enough energy to spawn a universe. I think they should send her into space, if it were not for the fact her work has already sent us there. Her poems in themselves, those exhilirated fragments, are the purest form of the art itself—they contain the innate inner gradients of whatever takes our breath away.”–Mary Ruefle