Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore : Sketchtasy

“Sycamore paints an unsparing and unsentimental portrait of survival in a homophobic era, and her writing is beyond beautiful. Sketchtasy is a powerful firecracker of a novel; it’s not just one of the best books of the year, it’s an instant classic of queer literature.”—Michael Schaub, NPR Books

Alicia Jo Rabins : Fruit Geode

“How does a body do what it does: make love, mistakes, create life, exist after life; how does a body evolve, celebrate, regret, reconsider its big and small moments: these are the passionate concerns of Alicia Rabins’ Fruit Geode, a book that I could not stop reading once I started, a book that drew me in with intimacy and force and then grabbed my heart hard, which is to say, if you have a body, this book is a must read.”—Lynn Melnick


Genevieve Hudson: Pretend We Live Here

“A terrific collection of stories. There are echoes here of Flannery O’Connor, Barry Hannah, and Denis Johnson, but Genevieve Hudson is her own writer—impressively and gloriously so. Her eye for the clinching detail is unnerving and her sympathies are fascinatingly conflicted. I hope, and suspect, this book will be the start of a long and inspiring career.” —Tom Bissell; “Full of blood and dust and stars and light, Hudson captures the beauty and horror of the everyday and makes it all seem like magic.” —Leah Dieterich

Jeffrey Yang : Hey Marfa

“Yang rebuilds for the reader a town that is notable for its many stark contrasts: restored & ruined buildings, wealth & poverty, international art & border enforcement. Hey, Marfa makes a remarkable poetic accounting of the ways imagination is currently working with & against the histories & myths of the US/Mexico borderlands & the American West.”–Tim Johnson; “Hey, Marfa a commonplace book, memoir, & hybrid obituary for things: following a trail of ‘last words’ & communal losses, here is a History learning to listen with eyes & Mourning recovering the dead travelers on the road. Hey, Marfa transmits voltage or vitalized matter as words reach to words.”–Susan Howe

Chaya Bhuvaneswar : White Dancing Elephants

Chaya Bhuvaneswa“Bhuvaneswar is unflinching about the lives of those for whom identity is a constant battle & the act of being is an unavoidable challenge, but she doesn’t ignore the beauty in their strength…White Dancing Elephants is a necessary book — & one that introduces a gifted voice to contemporary literature.” -NPR; “White Dancing Elephants is a searing & complex collection, wholly realized, each piece curled around its own beating heart. Tender & incisive, Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a surgeon on the page, unflinching in her aim, unwavering in her gaze, & absolutely devastating in her prose. This is an astonishing debut.”-Amelia Gray

Layli Long Soldier : Whereas

“Long Soldier reminds readers of their physical and linguistic bodies as they are returned to language through their mouths and eyes and tongues across the fields of her poems.”—Natalie Diaz for The New York Times Book Review;  “Layli Long Soldier’s movement between collective and personal makes this book intimate and urgent. She has charted new ways to write in what’s left out—and not merely in the margins either. WHEREAS offers a powerful reckoning.”National Book Critics Circle Award judges’ citation

Diane Williams: The Collected Stories of Diane Williams

“Williams’s short precise, & emphatic sentences build a strange society whose denizens are not quite familiar to us & not quite comfortable with their own quietly disturbing evolutions. Not a single moment of the prose here is what you expect, & even the ordinary is, in the context created by Diane Williams, no longer ordinary. It is fresh, happy & peculiar – or is it we who are refreshed, happy, & more peculiar than before after reading her?”—Lydia Davis;”Let’s hear it for the magnificent Diane Williams, one of the wittiest & most exacting writers of our time. Her fictions are fervid endorsements of terrible, joyous life. But that’s not quite right, because like all great literature, they are life.”—Sam Lipsyte