Dubravka Ugrešić : Fox & American Fictionary

Dubravka Ugrešić is considered one of Europe’s most distinctive novelists and essayists.  She is the 2016 winner of Neustadt International Prize for Literature for her body of work, joining literary luminaries from Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Elizabeth Bishop to Octavio Paz.  In 1991 when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Ugrešić took a firm antiwar stance, critically dissecting retrograde Croatian and Serbian nationalism, the stupidity and criminality of war, and becoming a target for nationalist journalists, politicians, and fellow writers in the process. Subjected to prolonged public ostracism and persistent media harassment, she has lived in exile since 1993.

Dao Strom : You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else

In Dao Strom’s collection of poetic fragments, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else, translated by Ly Thuy Nguyen as Mình sẽ luôn là người nọ đến từ nơi nọ, the fragments are wholly filled– with text: English, Vietnamese, drifting, entwined, dense, vanishing– with space: empty, white, solid, black– with images: cropped, multiplied, sliced, erased– & with punctuation: plus, minus, inequality signs, slashes, brackets, & bullet points imbued with as much meaning as entire novels. “After you depart from the cinema of her sea, you may ask, what or who is she? …why is she able to dismantle my soul so easily? …how is she able to make desolation so compellingly hospitable? What is her secret?”–Vi Khi Nao

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

 

 

Cheston Knapp : Up Up Down Down

“Cheston Knapp’s Up Up, Down Down has the uncanny, welcome ability to make so-called mainstream or dominant culture—white, masculinist, Christian, frat boy, & so on—appear newly strange, & newly open to analysis. He has the eye & ear of an anthropologist, a joyously expansive vocabulary, a prose style that feels both extravagant & exact, & a big, booming heart.”–Maggie Nelson; “This book made me laugh out loud in embarrassing places—a quiet Swedish train, a darkened redeye flight—& its insights will keep echoing in me for a long time.”–Leslie Jamison

Terese Marie Mailhot : Heart Berries

Heart Berries is an epic take—an Iliad for the indigenous. It’s the story of one First Nation woman & her geographic, emotional, & theological search for meaning in a colonial world. It’s disturbing & hilarious. It contains sentences of such poetry & power that you will be compelled to set the book down & walk away to recover from the tremors. Terese is a world-changing talent & I recommend this book with 100% of my soul.” —Sherman Alexie;  “If Heart Berries is any indication, the work to come will not just surface suppressed stories; it might give birth to new forms.” —The New York Times