Carmen Maria Machado : Her Body and Other Parties

“Cross-pollinating fairy tales, horror movies, TV shows, & a terrific sense of humor, Machado’s work reminds me at different times of such wildly divergent figures as David Lynch, Jane Campion, Maggie Nelson, & Grace Paley; which is a way of saying, Machado sounds like nobody but herself.”—John Powers, NPR “Fresh Air”; “The book abounds with fantastical premises that ring true because the intensity of sexual desire, the mutability of the body, & the realities of gender inequality make them so. These stories stand as exquisitely rendered, poignant hauntings.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Leni Zumas : Red Clocks

“Leni Zumas here proves she can do almost anything. Her tale feels part Melvillian, part Lydia Davis, part Octavia Butler—but really Zumas’s vision is entirely her own. RED CLOCKS is funny, mordant, political, poetic, alarming, and inspiring—not to mention a way forward for fiction now.” –Maggie Nelson; “Move over Atwood, Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks is a gender roaring tour de force. The bodies of women in Red Clocks are each the site of resistance and revolution. I screamed out loud. I pumped my fist in the air. And I remembered how hope is forged from the ground up, through the bodies of women who won’t be buried.”―Lidia Yuknavitch

Jeff Vandermeer : Borne

“Here is the story about biotech that VanderMeer wants to tell, a vision of the nonhuman not as one fixed thing, one fixed destiny, but as either peaceful or catastrophic, by our side or out on a rampage as our behavior dictates–for these are our children, born of us and now to be borne in whatever shape or mess we have created. This coming-of-age story signals that eco-fiction has come of age as well: wilder, more reckless and more breathtaking than previously thought, a wager and a promise that what emerges from the twenty-first century will be as good as any from the twentieth, or the nineteenth.” —Wai Chee Dimock, The New York Times Book Review

Ursula K. Le Guin : Words Are My Matter

“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society & its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, & even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality. . .”  Words Are My Matter collects talks, essays, intros to beloved books, & book reviews by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of our foremost public literary intellectuals. It is essential reading, & through the lens of deep considerations of contemporary writing, a way of exploring the world we are all living in.

Sofia Samatar : The Winged Histories

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-9-34-05-am“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

Alexis Smith : Marrow Island

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-6-52-18-am“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 itand how that shapes our lives.” —Shelf Awareness

Brian Evenson : A Collapse of Horses

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.47.52 AMA stuffed bear’s heart beats with the rhythm of a dead baby; Reno keeps receding to the east no matter how far you drive; and in a mine on another planet, the dust won’t stop seeping in. In these stories, Brian Evenson unsettles us with the everyday and the extraordinary—the terror of living with the knowledge of all we cannot know. “Brian Evenson is one of the treasures of American story writing, a true successor both to the generation of Coover, Barthelme, Hawkes & Co., but also to Edgar Allan Poe.”—Jonathan Lethem  “There is not a more intense, prolific, or apocalyptic writer of fiction in America than Brian Evenson.”—George Saunders