In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, & sequences, Sharif assembles fragmented narratives in the aftermath of war. Those repercussions echo in the present day, the grief for those killed in America’s invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq, the discriminations endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter. At the same time, these poems point to ways violence is conducted against language, employing words lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military & Associated Terms. Sharif exposes euphemisms deployed to sterilize language, control its effects, & sway our collective resolve, but refuses to accept this terminology as given, instead turning it back on its perpetrators. “Let it matter what we call a thing,” she writes. “Let me look at you.”
“If you love stories but distrust them, if you love language & can also see how it is used as a tool or a weapon in the maintenance of status quo, then read The Winged Histories.”— Marion Deeds, Fantasy Literature; “Told by four different women, it is a story of war; not epic battles of good & evil, but the attempt to make things right & the realities of violence wielded by one human against another, by one group against another. It’s about the aftermath of war, in which some things are better but others are worse. Above all, it’s a story about love—the terrible love that tears lives apart. Doomed love; impossible love; love that requires a rewriting of the rules, be it for a country, a person, or a story.”— Jenn Northington, Tor.com
“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
A 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).
“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
Following 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
“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 it—and how that shapes our lives.” —Shelf Awareness