Yanara Friedland : Uncountry

“As a descendent of Chantal Akerman and Unica Zürn—among others—Yanara Friedland reimagines the origin myth. Friedland’s permeable pages allow the reader entryway into a “mirror [that] becomes an open door,” a door through which we hear the echo of Ana Mendieta telling us “There is no original past to redeem: there is the void.” Uncountry is an invitation to that void, and Friedland serves as dream guide through this blend of the personal, political, and stunningly poetic”–Lily Hoang;  Uncountry: a Mythology is winner of the Noemi Press Fiction Prize

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Mary Ruefle : My Private Property

“Mary Ruefle’s careful, measured sentences sound as if they were written by a thousand-year-old person who is still genuinely curious about the world… She combines imagistic techniques from surrealism with narrative techniques to create surprising, high-velocity, and deeply affecting work.”–The Stranger; “Mary Ruefle is, in this humble bookseller’s opinion, the best prose-writing poet in America. (And one of our best poets, too.) My Private Property, her latest collection of stories, essays, and asides, is as joyous and singular a book as you’ll read…”–Stephen Sparks, Literary Hub

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Dani Shapiro : Hourglass

What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting, and commit ourselves when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise–how do we wrest beauty from imperfection, find grace in the ordinary, desire what we have rather than what we lack? Drawing on literature, poetry, philosophy, and theology, Shapiro writes gloriously of the joys and challenges of matrimonial life, in a luminous narrative that unfurls with urgent immediacy and sharp intelligence.

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Thalia Field : Experimental Animals

“Thalia Field has now composed what very well might be her life’s work–a tragic, comical, & utterly fascinating tale of a marriage that vividly encapsulates not only the origins of experimental medicine, but an entire age that spirited experiments in literature, science, engineering, film, etc. It’s nothing less than a history–gorgeously fictional, purposefully essayistic–of how we got where we are.” -John D’Agata; “Stemming from a through-line of marital discord in the household of the great French vivisector Claude Bernard…this compelling tale is made up largely of excerpts and quotations…a beautiful and thought-provoking collage of…rescued history & a sobering tribute to some of its victims.” —Karen Joy Fowler

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Sallie Tisdale : Violation

“That Sallie Tisdale’s a treasure comes as no secret to lovers of the essay, and yet this happy gathering that spans the decades is revelatory, a fascinating look at the epic wanderings of a life mapped by curiosity. Here we get elephants and houseflies, diets and fires, birth and the debris of death, all the mixed and messy vitality of family life. We travel far and we travel wide, but in the end we circle home to Tisdale herself, vulnerable and available, intimate and encouraging, our guide and our friend, her questioning presence lighting the way and celebrating it all, every little step in life’s saga, one lovely sentence at a time.”–Charles D’Ambrosio

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Melissa Febos : Abandon Me

“Abandon Me is, in many ways, a story about how a woman’s body & the body of literature hold memory. In other ways, Abandon Me is a story about stories. Febos weaves familial stories, feminist stories, communal stories, literary stories & love stories,  revealing much of where she’s been & where we, her readers, might go if we dare. Do we dare? Are we all running away from abandonment? It makes sense that Abandon Me feels completely structurally innovative. Febos has created 21st century text that intimately explores addiction, pain, pleasure & the strangely joyful & terrifying nuances of abandonment. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more thankful to read a book. Abandon Me found me when I most needed it.” – Kiese Laymon

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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.

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