This Week’s Hot Reviews

Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story
Wyomia Tyus and Elizabeth Terzakis | Akashic Books/Edge of Sports | 9781617756580 | September 2018
“It’s an interesting account, especially for what it shows about [Tyus’s] world, which became dramatically wider (she was raised in the rural south but traveled extensively as a result of her athletic expertise) as well as for the gender dynamics prevailing in the era when she was coming up as an Olympian.”—History News Network

Comemadre
Roque Larraquy | Coffee House Press | 9781566895156 | July 2018
“Reading Roque Larraquy’s excellent and twisted novel Comemadre is an exercise in duality: mind and body, present and past, science and art.”—New Letters

Betwixt-and-Between
Jenny Boully | Coffee House Press | 9781566895101 | April 2018
“Boully has given us a supple and suggestive volume, one dedicated to multiplying literary possibilities even as it names and forcefully critiques the economic and institutional forces that construct and constrain such possibility.”—Georgia Review

Struck: A Husband’s Memoir of Trauma and Triumph
Doug Segal | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551383 | October 2018
“Heartbreaking, inspiring, unflinchingly honest, and often funny as hell. . . as spellbinding as the best binge-worthy TV show. Except that every moment of this story is real.”—Arizona Jewish Post

Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman
Jeffreen M. Hayes | D. Giles | 9781911282228 | October 2018
“A welcome addition to the scant coverage of this important and influential American artist.”—ARLIS/NA

The Buddhist Swastika and Hitler’s Cross: Rescuing a Symbol of Peace from the Forces of Hate
T. K. Nakagaki | Stone Bridge Press | 9781611720457 | September 2018
“[Nakagaki] details the swastika’s Eastern roots and traces its use in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All these uses predate the Nazi’s appropriation of the symbol by centuries.”—Lion’s Roar

Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories
Vandana Singh | Small Beer Press | 9781618731432 | February 2018
“Vandana Singh tells sci-fi stories that stray far from the norm. . . . Ambiguity Machines is a remarkable and thought-provoking collection.”—Virginia Living

The Summer of Dead Birds
Ali Liebegott | The Feminist Press at CUNY | 9781936932504 | March 2019
“[A] wondrous accomplishment. . . . The Summer of Dead Birds doesn’t want to lift you up. It wants to excite you about the natural history of sorrow and to point out the similarity between freedom and grief. . . . [T]he book is sly and surprising, melding sadness and comedy.”—Women’s Review of Books

Under Water
J.L. Powers | Catalyst Press | 9781941026031 | January 2019
“[Under Water] is not a Disneyfied version of life for a young girl in a South African community, but a true-to-life examination of adolescence, cultural complexities, and global issues. For young adult readers, this is a book that will not sugar coat and will provoke thoughtful conversation about many difficult topics.”—New Pages

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This Week’s Hot News

A January 14 Minneapolis, Minnesota Star Tribune article about the growth of poetry interviewed Hieu Minh Nguyen, author of Not Here and Bao Phi, author of Thousand Star Hotel and discussed Justin Phillip Reed’s Indecency (all Coffee House Press) and Franny Choi, author of Soft Science (Alice James Books).

Hello Giggles named Angela Readman’s Something Like Breathing (And Other Stories) one of “The Best New Books To Read This Week” on January 14.

Book Riot’s January 14 list of “50 Must-Read 2019 Poetry Collections” included seventeen Consortium titles! From Copper Canyon Press: Jericho Brown’s The Tradition C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade: An Amble, Deborah Landau’s Soft Targets, and Tishani Doshi’s Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods; from Coffee House Press: Ed Bok Lee’s Mitochondrial Night, Ladan Ali Osman’s Exiles of Eden, and Justin Phillip Reed’s Indecency; from Haymarket Books: Eve Ewing’s 1919, editors Fatimah Asghar & Safia Elhillo’s Halal If You Hear Me: The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3, and José Olivarez’s Citizen Illegal; from Alice James Books: Andres Cerpa’s Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy and Franny Choi’s Soft Science; from The Feminist Press at CUNY: Ali Liebegott’s The Summer of Dead Birds and Claudia D. Hernandez’s Knitting the Fog; from Wave Books: Magdalena Zurawski’s The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom and Michael Earl Craig’s Woods and Clouds Interchangeable; and from Nightboat Books: Marwa Helal’s Invasive Species.

Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press), was included in Publishers Weekly’s “Authors and Books to Watch” feature in its annual Winter Institute supplement.

On January 9, in Comics Beat’s Annual Creator Survey, Emma Rios named Emily Carroll’s When I Arrived at the Castle (Koyama Press) as the biggest comic of 2019, and Tom Kaczynski gave shoutouts to Uncivilized Books’ Cannonball by Kelsey Wroten and Stonebreaker by Peter Wartman

Alia Trabucco Zerán, author of The Remainder (Coffee House Press), wrote an essay for PEN Transmissions on December 21.  

Vol. 1 Brooklyn’s January 11 Morning Bites highlighted Rita Indiana’s Tentacle (And Other Stories) and T Fleischmann’s Time is a Thing a Body Moves Through (Coffee House Press).

On January 2, the Millions published a conversation between Maggie Terry by Sarah Schulman, author of Maggie Terry (The Feminist Press at CUNY) and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of Sketchtasy (Arsenal Pulp Press)

As a Publishers Weekly Rising Star Honoree, Akashic’s Director of Publicity and Social Media Susannah Lawrence participated in a roundtable on the future of publishing for the January 7 Publishers Weekly.

On January 2, Vikki Warner, author of Tenemental: Adventures of a Reluctant Landlady (The Feminist Press at CUNY), published an essay on Electric Literature.

Claire McFall’s Outcasts (Floris Books) was included in the 2019 Publishers Marketplace BuzzBooks campaign beginning January 16.

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This Week’s Hot News

Seattle, Washington NPR affiliate NUOW’s The Record interviewed Catharine Murray, author of Now You See the Sky (Akashic Books) on December 18.

Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers’s December 21 Year in Reading list for the Millions included Tracy Franz’s book My Year of Dirt and Water (Stone Bridge Press).

Yardenne Greenspan wrote an essay about her experience reading Asmaa al-Ghoul’s memoir A Rebel in Gaza (DoppelHouse Press) for Ploughshares on January 7.

Joan Diver, author of When Sprit Calls (Monkfish Book Publishing) wrote an article for Awareness Magazine’s September/October 2018 issue.

Cultura Colectiva included Trisha Low’s Socialist Realism (Coffee House Press) on a December 27 list of  “5 Beautiful Book Covers You’ll Want to Show Off While Riding the Subway.”

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

The Vagabond Valise
Siris | Conundrum Press/BDANG | 9781772620276 | October 2018
“What starts out as a comic that is likely to give you PTSD ends up as one that will much more likely inspire you, maybe even settle you.”—Comics Beat

Weegee: Serial Photographer
Max de Radigues & Wauter Mannaert | Conundrum Press | 9781772620238 | May 2018

“It’s pretty cool to see this other side of Weegee, the slightly more human side of the guy with the big camera and the bad attitude, and Mannaert’s art really brings the era and the photos to life.”—Smash Pages

Knucklehead
Adam Smyer | Akashic Books | 9781617755873 | February 2018

“Funny, astute, multidimensional Hayes, by opining on his own experience, resists being read as a stereotype. . . . Knucklehead would not be out of place on a shelf of books by Ellison, Wright, Dreiser, Fitzgerald, Updike, and other writers who have tried to capture what it means to live in America.”—Literary Chick

First We Surf, Then We Eat: Recipes from a Lifetime of Surf Travel
Jim Kempton | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551338 | September 2018

“This is a beautiful book that should belong on the coffee table or in the kitchen of every surfer, foodie, traveler and anyone with a lust for life.”—Coast News

The Discovery of Fireworks and Gunpowder
Phil Amara and Oliver Chin, illus. Juan Calle | Immedium | 9781597021425 | November 2018

“Emma and Ethan meet a talking red panda named Dao who takes them on a trip back in time to explain how gunpowder and fireworks were invented in China. The narrative begins with a story element but is primarily non-fiction, with clear but simple facts, supported by a glossary in the back. There is a little bit of chemistry as well as history that is appropriate for the intended audience. The full-color cartoon artwork is lively.”—Association of Children’s Librarians, Bayviews, December 2018

A House in the Jungle
Nathan Gelgud | Koyama Press | 9781927668627 | October 2018

“Gelgud’s most intriguing oddities occur at a deeper meta-level. A House in the Jungle isn’t just a story—it’s a comics story exploring the comics form that contains it.”—PopMatters

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

The Horseman’s Song
Ben Pastor | Bitter Lemon Press | 9781912242115 | March 2019

“An expertly crafted mystery by a master of the genre, The Horseman’s Song is an especially recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.”—Midwest Book Review

The Lake on Fire
Rosellen Brown | Sarabande Books | 9781946448231 | October 2018

“Despite its obvious relevance to contemporary matters, the novel is not merely a critique of the present disguised as a narrative set in the past, nor are the characters simply thinly veiled excuses for pitting different political ideologies against each other; their psychologies extend far beyond the views they embody.”—Women’s Review of Books

Your Golden Sun Still Shines
Denise Sullivan | Manic D Press | 9781945665059 | October 2017

“. . . . San Francisco’s golden sun still shines even as times change. This collection shows a snapshot of a city in transition.”—KCET of Los Angeles

Sweet Little C*nt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet
Anne Elizabeth Moore | Uncivilized Books | 9781941250280 | December 2018

Though it can be theoretically dense, Moore’s great gift to scholarship on Doucet’s work and/or the history of non-cis-male comic-makers, is her focus on the details of Doucet’s comics: from her alertness to moments when a character’s foot kicks through the outline of a panel because of the foot’s enthusiasm, to all of the graphic elements that add up to a sequence being a ‘dreamoir’ (dream memoir), to the relative fragility of lettering and line weight. Moore’s attention is razor sharp and brings imagery that one may not have seen in person in many years to the forefront of our consciousness.Hyperallergic

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This Week’s News You Can Use

The Root named Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed one of 28 “Standouts in What Was a Stellar Year in Black Literature” in an article published on December 17.

Britteney Black Rose Kapri and Black Queer Hoe were highlighted in the Fader on December 4 and B!tch magazine on November 30.

How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere contributor Ilia Delio was interviewed by Homebrewed Christianity on November 26.

José Olivarez, author of Citizen Illegal, was featured in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers, as part of its annual debut poets feature.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Oceanic, was interviewed for the Brooklyn Rail on December 11.

WCBN interviewed Jane Miller, author of Who is Trixie the Trasher? And Other Questions.

Fade Into You author Nikki Darling was interviewed on the LA Review of Books’ Radio Hour on December 14.

The Guardian included Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi in an article on books by African women.

The December 14 issue of Publishers Weekly included a tribute to Tinkers by Paul Harding on its tenth anniversary.

Javier Zamora and Unaccompanied were highlighted on NPR’s LatinoUSA on December 14.

Craig Morgan Teicher’s The Trembling Answers was highlighted on the Literary Hub on December 17.

An article by Spiritual Transmission author Amir Freimann was published in the December/January issue of Common Ground Magazine.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Sex Fantasy
Sophia Foster-Dimino | Koyama Press | 9781927668467 | September 2017

“Foster-Dimino excels at taking the fantastic and anchoring it to earth with well chosen details and physical stuff. Too much whimsy and nothing connects, but too much reality and nothing delights. With the right mix, though, the emotional stakes of every mode get raised for the reader: the comic, the tragic, the erotic.”—The Comics Journal

Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love

Anna Moschovakis | Coffee House Press | 9781566895088 | August 2018

“Moschovakis’s characters are celebrations of the information-collecting prowess of women, of the way in which her characters ‘weigh and consider’ . . . an overwhelming amount of data throughout each day.”—Rain Taxi

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This Week’s News You Can Use

Bustle recommended Love War Stories by Ivelisse Rodriguez for fans of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend in an article published on November 28.

An essay by Rosellen Brown, author of The Lake on Fire, was published in Lapham’s Quarterly on December 6.

An excerpt from Hong Kong Noir was published on CrimeReadson December 5.

Popular Photography included 131 Different Things by Zachary Lipez, Nick Zinner, and Stacy Wakefield on a list of “Books that Photographers Will Love” on December 7.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Marrakech Noir
Edited by Yassin Adnan | Akashic Books | 9781617754739 | August 2018

“Thanks to all of this diversity and difference found in just one place, Marrakech supplies everyone with what they’re looking for. The work, as a whole, does a stellar job at showcasing the city’s importance, influence, and cultures . . . Whether you’ve been to Marrakech or not, this anthology promises to take you there.”—Asymptote Magazine

Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism
John Patrick Leary | Haymarket Books | 9781608465446 | January 2019

“As[Leary] explores what our language has looked like, and the ugliness now embedded in it, [he] invites us to imagine what our language could emphasize,what values it might reflect. . . . His book reminds us of the alternatives that persist behind these keywords: our managers may call us as ‘human capital,’but we are also workers. We are also people.”—The Outline

Finding Peace in the Holy Land
Lauren Booth | Kube Publishing | 9781847741202 | December 2018

“An absolutely fascinating read from beginning to end. . . . [A]n extraordinary story and a welcome contribution to our current national dialogue regarding Muslim beliefs and compatibility with western cultural values.”—Midwest Book Review

Permanent Exhibit
Matthew Vollmer | BOA Editions | 9781942683681 | September 2018

“While this brand of meditation might seem disastrously unfocused to the yogis among us, the disaster for readers is a delicious one—Vollmer leaps from thought to thought in an associative mode which is at once intimate and goofy, juxtaposing the warm and familiar against the inconceivably catastrophic. The result is a poignant, rapturous collection that speaks to a new generation of internet addicts—a group for whom attention is wandering and complex, as frustrating as it is beautiful.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

One Dirty Tree
Noah Van Sciver | Uncivilized Books | 9781941250273 | October 2018

“Van Sciver’s art continues to be hugely appealing, and some of the imagery here is among his best.”—The Comics Journal

We Are the Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band that Mattered
Mark Anderson and Ralph Heibutzki | Akashic Books | 9781617752933 | July 2018

“One of the most rewarding music books you’ll come across this year . . . Great music books catalyze critical reconsiderations; We Are the Clash does one better, inviting readers to consider what matters to them: the creative commodities that artists produce? Or the ideals, however complexly and clumsily human they may be, that often compel artists to create in the first place.”Johns Hopkins Magazine

The Anarchist Who Shared My Name
Pablo Martín Sánchez, translated by Jeff Diteman | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920718 | December 2018

“Afascinating immersion into historical documentation and imagined history.”—Words Without Borders

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This Week’s News You Can Use

An interview with Sketchtasy author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore was published on Rookie Magazine on November 29.

Dottir Press publisher Jennifer Baumgardner was interviewed in Shelf Awareness on November 30.

May-Lee Chai, author of Useful Phrases for Immigrants, was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle on November 27.

Order of the Sacred Earth author Jennifer Bertig Listug was interviewed on Conscious Talk Radio on December 3.

Jill Orr, author of The Good Byline, was interviewed on Four Foxes One Hound on November 30.

The Believer published a new essay by Idiophone author Amy Fusselman on November 30.

BBC Culture’s list of “10 Books to Read in December” included Hong Kong Noir, edited by Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason.

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