Monica Drake : The Folly of Loving Life

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-30-48-pmFollowing 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 

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

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)

Rikki Ducornet : Brightfellow

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 7.06.30 AMA feral boy comes of age on a campus decadent with starched sheets, sweating cocktails, & homemade jams. Stub is the cause of that missing sweater, the pie that disappeared off the cooling rack. Then Stub meets Billy, who takes him in, & Asthma, who enchants him, & all is found, then lost. A fragrant, voluptuous novel of imposture, misplaced affection, & the many ways we are both visible & invisible to one another. The author of eight previous novels as well as collections of short stories, essays, & poems, Rikki Ducornet has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, is a two-time honoree of the Lannan Foundation, & is the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature.

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

Rob Spillman : All Tomorrow’s Parties

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.46.33 AM“Truly exceptional memoirs have to do something more than recount a good origin story: they have to test the author’s youthful understanding of the world, and break down that world, even as it’s being built upon the page. All Tomorrow’s Parties is such a memoir. Not only is it a super-fun, shatter-the-mirror joyride through Spillman’s eccentric upbringing, but it’s also replete with insightful double visions . . . [Spillman] manages to invoke both the dreamy, mythic version of life amid art and interesting scenery, and all the chaos and cracks and potential car crashes that threaten it . . . A thrill to read.”—Interview Magazine

Brian Blanchfield : Proxies

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 6.59.26 AM“Into what some are calling a new golden age of creative nonfiction lands Brian Blanchfield’s Proxies, which singlehandedly raises the bar for what’s possible in the field. This is a momentous work informed by a lifetime of thinking, reading, loving, and reckoning, utterly matchless in its erudition, its precision, its range, its daring, and its grace. I know of no book like it, nor any recent book as thoroughly good, in art or in heart.” –Maggie Nelson                                                    “Maybe short says it best. Sexy book.”      —Eileen Myles