Yanara Friedland : Uncountry

“As a descendent of Chantal Akerman and Unica Zürn—among others—Yanara Friedland reimagines the origin myth. Friedland’s permeable pages allow the reader entryway into a “mirror [that] becomes an open door,” a door through which we hear the echo of Ana Mendieta telling us “There is no original past to redeem: there is the void.” Uncountry is an invitation to that void, and Friedland serves as dream guide through this blend of the personal, political, and stunningly poetic”–Lily Hoang;  Uncountry: a Mythology is winner of the Noemi Press Fiction Prize

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Mary Ruefle : My Private Property

“Mary Ruefle’s careful, measured sentences sound as if they were written by a thousand-year-old person who is still genuinely curious about the world… She combines imagistic techniques from surrealism with narrative techniques to create surprising, high-velocity, and deeply affecting work.”–The Stranger; “Mary Ruefle is, in this humble bookseller’s opinion, the best prose-writing poet in America. (And one of our best poets, too.) My Private Property, her latest collection of stories, essays, and asides, is as joyous and singular a book as you’ll read…”–Stephen Sparks, Literary Hub

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Thalia Field : Experimental Animals

“Thalia Field has now composed what very well might be her life’s work–a tragic, comical, & utterly fascinating tale of a marriage that vividly encapsulates not only the origins of experimental medicine, but an entire age that spirited experiments in literature, science, engineering, film, etc. It’s nothing less than a history–gorgeously fictional, purposefully essayistic–of how we got where we are.” -John D’Agata; “Stemming from a through-line of marital discord in the household of the great French vivisector Claude Bernard…this compelling tale is made up largely of excerpts and quotations…a beautiful and thought-provoking collage of…rescued history & a sobering tribute to some of its victims.” —Karen Joy Fowler

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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

 

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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).

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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)

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Lina Meruane : Seeing Red

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 6.33.35 AMThis powerful autobiographical novel describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke, leaving her blind & increasingly dependent on those closest to her. Fiction & autobiography intertwine in an intense, visceral, & caustic novel about the relation between the body, illness, & gender. “Meruane writes further into, rather than through or around, blindness. Her language pulses with the psychological terror of the body’s betrayal; it pulls at the seams of the self, unleashing something deep within. This is not a fictionalized memoir of transformation & recovery, but a book that burns in your hands, something sharp & terrifying that bites back.” — Anna Zalokostas, Full Stop

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