“Williams’s short precise, & emphatic sentences build a strange society whose denizens are not quite familiar to us & not quite comfortable with their own quietly disturbing evolutions. Not a single moment of the prose here is what you expect, & even the ordinary is, in the context created by Diane Williams, no longer ordinary. It is fresh, happy & peculiar – or is it we who are refreshed, happy, & more peculiar than before after reading her?”—Lydia Davis;”Let’s hear it for the magnificent Diane Williams, one of the wittiest & most exacting writers of our time. Her fictions are fervid endorsements of terrible, joyous life. But that’s not quite right, because like all great literature, they are life.”—Sam Lipsyte
“Every explosive requires a fuse. That’s R. O. Kwon’s novel, a straight, slow-burning fuse. To read her novel is to follow an inexorable flame coming closer & closer to the object it will detonate—the characters, the crime, the story, &, ultimately, the reader.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen; “Kwon’s multi-faceted narrative portrays America’s dark, radical strain, exploring the lure of fundamentalism, our ability to be manipulated, and what can happen when we’re willing to do anything for a cause.” —Atlantic.com; “A God-haunted, willful, strange book written with a kind of savage elegance. I’ve said it before, but now I’ll shout it from the rooftops: R. O. Kwon is the real deal.”—Lauren Groff
“Reading Tommy Pico’s Junk I kept thinking of Heather McHugh’s pronouncement that the main discipline of poetry is “to keep finding life strange.” Pico is the master of making the stone stony, or returning the sheer absurdity of being to everything, from grief to intimacy to dating apps to donuts. Junk insists on the urgency of the quotidian, of, to borrow a phrase from Pico, ‘vibrant inconsequence.’ It’s rare to read a book that makes living feel so alive.”–Kaveh Akbar; “A visceral exorcism of personal & collective demons…Pico demonstrates that a person’s many selves, traumas, anxieties, hookups, & breakups can become a marker of courage and survival.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
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.
“Anna Moschovakis takes the reader straight to the terrifying edge: that moment where one ages out of youthfulness & begins to flutter in the debris of middle living, flattened out by technology, wild-goose chasing one’s data. Yet, the deeper we look into Eleanor’s unsettledness, the more we see & the more hope we find in her rhizomic wandering. This is a beautiful slow burn of a novel.” —Renee Gladman;
“By turns funny, melancholic, & provocative, Anna’s novel undoes & remakes the conventions of realist fiction through repetition & compression of time . . . It is ‘luminously ordinary’ in its progression, where profound shifts are as small as a postcard written or a hand touched.” —BOMB
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
“Lacey captures with eerie precision the strangeness of being a person in the world, living alongside other human beings with unknowable thoughts and feelings . . . Reading Lacey’s fiction feels like walking through a dark apartment in someone’s mind, full of winding hallways and unmarked doors. You never know quite where you are or where you’ll end up. Like the work of Clarice Lispector or Rachel Cusk, Lacey seems to be on the verge of inventing a new genre somewhere between prose poem and fugue state.”–Los Angeles Times