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

David Biespiel : The Education of a Young Poet

“Biespiel’s supple memoir of becoming a poet will surely inspire other writers to embrace the bodily character of writing & feel the power &, sometimes, the emptiness of the act of writing poetry.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Whether he is writing about poetry, politics, competitive diving, or the glories of great conversation, Biespiel’s recurring subject is the tension between freedom & discipline―between the sublime release of our own wildness & the precision that comes only from exquisite self-control. Part memoir, part ars poetica, The Education of a Young Poet is a feast: of language, of memory, & of insights into how one young writer came into his own.” ―Patrick Phillips

Eileen Myles : Afterglow

“What is a dog if not god? In Afterglow, Eileen Myles steps up to the challenge for writers to function as prophets. Ghostwritten in part by deceased pit bull Rosie, this ‘dog memoir’ explores—among other things—geometry, gender, mortality, evil, aging, and plaids. Myles makes new rules for what prose writing can be. Afterglow is Myles’s funniest, profoundest work yet.” —Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and After Kathy Acker;  “Only Eileen Myles could reinvent the memoir again so stunningly; Afterglow is the sort of multidimensional love story you could only expect from one of our greatest experimental writers living today!” —Porochista Khakpour, author of The Last Illusion and Sick: A Memoir