Monthly Archives: October 2018

This Week’s Hot Reviews

Anne Garréta, trans. Emma Ramadan | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920091 | April 2015
Sphinx lets us glimpse a world where one may be free to not be defined by gender, or to even evade it altogether, opening up almost infinite possibilities of identification for readers.”—Ploughshares

Zion’s Fiction: A Treasury of Israeli Speculative Literature
Sheldon Teitelbaum, Emanuel Lottem, editors| Mandel Vilar Press | 9781942134527 | September 2018
Zion’s Fiction leaves you wanting more. In their variety and unpredictability, its writers convey a sense of a dynamic and expanding genre.”—Mosaic Magazine

Things to Make and Break
May-Lan Tan | Coffee House Press | 9781566895279 | October 2018
Things to Make and Break is at once about everyone and no one in particular.”—Harvard Crimson

Mephisto’s Walz: Selected Short Stories
Sergio Pitol, trans. George Henson | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920831 | November 2018
“Translating the twists and turns and folds of Sergio Pitol’s sentences must have been no easy feat, which is why George Henson deserves a medal for his work here. Henson renders Pitol’s sentences in a rich mix of formality and informality—fitting for a writer who was both a lawyer and diplomat, someone so used to exacting methods of communication.”—Literal Magazine

Holy Moly Carry Me
Erika Meitner | BOA Editions | 9781942683629 | September 2018
“There are a variety of forms, too, from sonnets to free verse. Ultimately, what carries this collection home are not its formal elements, but a real, honest, scared voice pervading the work, asking questions like: How are we so vulnerable? How do we care for each other? How can we stay safe? Meitner gives voice to the fears of the moment in this portrait of a very unsettled American time.”—Jewish Book Council

Kai Carson-Wee | BOA Editions | 9781942683582 | April 2018
“Carlson-Wee serves as an able guide to ferry readers through the lives of the homeless, those who have come untethered or been cut loose and who now gather in tent cities and hobo encampments. . . . The poems crackle with energy and vision, and understated critique comprised of irony and a keen eye for the absurdity of a fractured, often disassociated form of existence. . . . With an unflinching gaze, Carlson-Wee recognizes that grappling with the American landscape means wrestling both spirit and flesh.”—Orion Magazine

A Little Drama: Playful Activities for Young Children
Lavinia Roberts | Redleaf Press | 9781605545851
“How does a teacher move from equipping a basic dramatic play center to introducing drama as a regular classroom feature? The first step might be in choosing Lavinia Roberts and her new book as a guide. . . Ever respectful of children, Roberts guides inexperienced early childhood teachers into the unfamiliar, but rewarding, territory of classroom drama, building skills across developmental domains, engendering imagination and creativity, and supporting children as they learn self-regulation, empathy, respect and collaboration in a community of young learners.”—Texas Child Care Quarterly

Death of a Rainmaker: A Dust Bowl Mystery
Laurie Loewenstein | Akashic Books | 9781617756658 | October 2018
“Loewenstein offers vivid storytelling and a fine eye for evoking small-town life in America’s heartland.”—Reading the Past
Michael DeForge | Koyama Press | 9781927668603 | September 2018
“Michael DeForge’s wonderful new graphic novel Brat mocks both celebrity culture and performances of rebellion.”—New York Journal of Books

First We Surf, Then We Eat: Recipes From a Lifetime of Surf Travel
Jim Kempton | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551338 | September 2018
“The recipes are easy to follow, distinctive and for the most part incredibly healthy. . . . The book itself is so beautifully put together, with delicious food images and iconic surf breaks featured throughout. In every chapter, you will find places worth visiting, people worth knowing and surf worth travelling. . . . Jim’s stories are personal and without even meeting him, you are convinced by the end of the book that you’ve known him your whole life.”—Stu News Laguna

Strange Paradise: Portrait of a Marriage
Grace Schulman | Turtle Point Press | 9781885983527 | August 2018
“Schulman charts her development as a writer and editor through the seismic variations of intimacy with her spouse.” —On the Seawall

Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments: Creating, Supporting, and Challenging
Susan Stacey | Redleaf Press | 9781605545813 | September 2018
“Examines inquiry in all its facets, including environments that support relationships, that create a culture of risk-taking in our thinking, that support teachers as well as children, that include families, that use documentation as a way of thinking about our work, and of course, the physical environment and all the objects and spaces within it . . . Impressively organized and presented.”—Midwest Book Review

Open-Ended Art for Young Children: Moving Beyond the Basics
Tracy Galuski and Mary Ellen Bardsley | Redleaf Press | 9781605545981 | October 2018
“Goes beyond the basics to highlight why the field of early childhood education advocates for open-ended art and explains how to adapt to new ways of thinking about art. . . . unreservedly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

HOT Skills: Developing Higher-Order Thinking in Young Learners 
Steffen Saifer | Redleaf Press | 9781605545561 | June 2018
“Breaks down theory into practice so classroom teachers won’t miss an opportunity to help young learners develop logical, critical, and creative thinking skills. Exceptionally organized and thoroughly user friendly in presentation.”—Midwest Book Review

STEAM Concepts for Infants and Toddlers
Nichole A. Baumgart and Linda R. Kroll | Redleaf Press | 9781605545547 | August 2018
“A platform for educators to observe and facilitate infants and toddlers’ natural curiosities around STEAM concepts. The text discusses tangible, rich STEAM learning environments for children from birth through age two and introduces where this learning can go next as children transition into the preschool years.” —Midwest Book Review

Madame Victoria
Catherine Leroux, trans. Lazer Lederhendler | Biblioasis | 9781771962070 | November 2018
“A unique and inherently fascinating approach to narrative storytelling, and ably translated into English by Lazer Lederhendler.”—Midwest Book Review

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In Brief: This Week’s News You Can Use

On October 17, the Los Angeles Times reported on Chris Erskine’s appearance at the One City, One Book event, at which he read from his new book Daditude: The Joys and Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood (Prospect Park Books).

Alan Hirsch, author of Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future (City Lights Publishers), wrote an essay for McSweeneys on October 22.

Michael Imperioli, author of The Perfume Burned His Eyes (Akashic Books), was interviewed by San Francisco, California NPR affiliate KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny on October 17.

A profile of Ladan Osman, author of the forthcoming poetry collection Exiles of Eden (Coffee House Press), was published by the Plattsburgh, New York Press-Republican on October 18.

OZY included Verónica Gerber Bicecci’s Empty Set in its October 11 article “Tales of Loss: Six Great Mexican Reads by Women.”

Coastal Rainbow Forum interviewed T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper, authors of Changers Book Four: Forever (Akashic Books) on October 22.

Hi Mama’s The Preschool Podcast interviewed Michelle Kay Compton and Robin Chappele Thompson, authors of StoryMaking: The Maker Movement Approach to Literary for Early Learners (Redleaf Press) on October 2

Jacksonville Magazine published an article about Jim Kempton’s First We Surf, Then We Eat (Prospect Park Books) on October 19.

The Iowa City Gazette published an article on Arthur Geisert, author of Pumpkin Island (Enchanted Lion Books), on October 20.

Nicole Skibola, author of Wakeful Night: A Structured Reflection on Loss and Illumination (Dottir) was interviewed live on San Francisco, California local CBS station KPIX 5’s Morning Show on October 13.

The Comics Journal interviewed Patrick Kyle, author of Roaming Foliage (Koyama Press) on October 19.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Roaming Foliage
Patrick Kyle | Koyama Press | 9781927668641 | October 2018
“Kyle’s visual style is as resistant to the mainstream as his publishing approach. While many artists produce anime-influenced, color-saturated worlds with stable rules and characters, Kyle pushes at the boundaries of acceptability.”—New York Journal of Books

The Whistling Factory
Jesse McManus | Uncivilized Books | 9781941250297 | September 2018
“Jesse McManus comics are like a fever dream. That is, they are at once grotesque and lucid, operating with a world that exists in the coherent (if disorienting) shadow of our own.”—Comics Journal

Fiona Smyth | Koyama Press | 9781927668542 | May 2018
Somnambulance rightfully restores Smyth’s place within the collective history of indie comics.  What is also striking how much her comics are a window into the time in which they were made, but also how they presage ideas that would take another two decades to fully take hold.”—Broken Frontier

Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman
Jeffreen M. Hayes | GILES | 9781911282228 | October 2018
“A handsome catalog. . . . [with]  a useful introduction that provides historical context for Savage’s career as artist, teacher, and institution builder. . . . Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman does not disappoint.”—Florida Times-Union

After the Winter
Guadalupe Nettel | Coffee House Press | 9781566895255 | September 2018
“After the Winter asks big questions about intimacy and desire, happiness and depression, passion and numbness, and, of course, love and loss.”—Southwest Review

My First Music Book: Musical Instruments
Charlotte Ameling | Auzou | 9782733861486 | September 2018
“The bright, colorful illustrations feature animals playing the music and each spread asks the reader to find the instrument they hear as well as search for one other pictured instrument.  The music is high quality and easy on the ear. Each song perfectly captures the scene in the illustration. This is a fun introduction to music for the very young.” –Youth Services Book Review

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In Brief: This Week’s News You Can Use

Hieu Minh Nguyen’s collection Not Here (Coffee House Press) was included in the poetry section of Publishers Weekly’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide on October 12.

Virgie Tovar, author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat (The Feminist Press at CUNY), wrote an essay for on October 1. Bustle published a profile of Tovar on October 9.

Minneapolis, Minnesota NPR affiliate Minnesota Public Radio’s The Thread interviewed local bookseller Daley Farr on October 12, who recommended Daisy Hildyard’s The Second Body (Fitzcarraldo Editions).

Michelle Bailat-Jones, author of Unfurled (Ig Publishing), wrote an original essay for Literary Hub on October 15.

Ivelisse Rodriguez, author of Love War Stories (The Feminist Press at CUNY), was interviewed on Houston, Texas radio station KPFT 90.1’s News Talk on October 2 and by Electric Literature on October

Doug Segal, author of Struck: A Husband’s Memoir of Trauma and Triumph (Prospect Park Books), was interviewed by Native Society on October 16 and by Little Known Facts podcast on October 15.

Matthew Fox, author of Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action (Monkfish Book Publishing), was interviewed on Episode 682 of Greg Voisen’s podcast Inside Personal Growth.

Camille Acker’s Training School for Negro Girls (The Feminist Press at CUNY) was included in Colorlines’s October 3 article “The Race-Focused Books We’re Reading This Fall.” Acker complied a reading list for Electric Literature on October 8.

The Spoon published a feature on Chloe Rutzervald, author of Food Futures: How Design and Technology can Shape our Food System (BIS Publishers), on October 14.

Curiously Conscious recommended Johan Idema’s  How to be a Better Tourist: Tips for a Truly Rewarding Vacation (BIS Publishers) in a September 21 article on ethical traveling.

425 Business included Elisa Birnbaum’s In the Business of Change: How Social Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Business as Usual (New Society Publishers) on its fall reading list.

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom website interviewed Rivers Solomon, author of An Unkindness of Ghosts (Akashic Books) on October 10.

Rachel Zinman, author of Yoga for Diabetes: How to Manage your Health with Yoga and Ayurveda (Monkfish Book Publishing), wrote an article for Chronic Love Club on October 4.

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In Brief: This Week’s News You Can Use

Salt Lake City, Utah NPR affiliate KUER’s RadioWest aired a program about Ellen Meloy on October 3. Meloy’s essays will be published in April 2019 by Torrey House Press as Seasons: Desert Sketches by Ellen Meloy.

Last week North Dakota NPR affiliate Prairie Public Radio interviewed Anastasia Higginbotham, author of Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Dottir Press).

NPR affiliate Virginia Public Radio interviewed Matthew Volmer, author of Permanent Exhibit (BOA Editions) on October 3.

Literary Hub published an excerpt from Martin Riker’s Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return (Coffee House Press) on October 5.

Longreads published an excerpt from Eleanor, or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love by Anna Moschovakis (Coffee House Press) on October 5, and NYLON editor Kristin Iverson recommended the book on BookMarks on October 3.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of Sketchtasy (Arsenal Pulp Press) recommended Myriam Gurba’s Mean (Coffee House Press) on an October 4 reading list for Literary Hub that was picked up by Bookforum.

Literary Hub published an excerpt from Amy Irvine’s Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness on October 10.

Latino Book Review interviewed Sandra Cisneros, author of Puro Amor (Sarabande Books), on October 1.

Publishers Weekly interviewed Hernán Diaz, author of In the Distance (Coffee House Press) on October 5.

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop recommended Letters to Memory by Karen Tei Yamashita (Coffee House Press) and Though I Get Home by YZ Chin (The Feminist Press at CUNY) on October 3.

Outside included Jonathan Thompson’s River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Spill in its October 2 list of “5 Books to Motivate You to Protect America’s Rivers.”

Yes! Magazine published an excerpt from Bruce Levine’s Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti-Authoritarian—Strategies, Tools, and Models (AK Press) on October 2.

Colorlines included Feminisms in Motion: Voices for Justice, Liberation, and Transformation (AK Press) on its October 3 list of “Race-Focused Books We’re Reading This Fall.”

Charles Demers, author of Property Values (Arsenal Pulp Press) appeared on Marc Maron podcast WTF on October 8.

Permaculture Podcast interviewed L. Hunter Lovins, co-author of A Finer Future is Possible: Creating an Economy in Service to Life (New Society Publishers), on September 30.

An original essay by Nicole Skibola and an excerpt from her book Wakeful Night: A Structured Reflection On Loss and Illumination (Dottir Press) appeared on A Woman’s Thing on October 8.

Paris recommended Brad Phillips’s Essays and Fictions (Tyrant Books) on September 14.

Miss Nina’s Weekly Video Show featured Cynthia Weill’s Colores De La Vida: Mexican Folk Art Colors in English and Spanish (Cinco Puntos Press) on October 8.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Witch Wife
Kiki Petrosino | Sarabande Books | 9781946448033 | December 2017
“There is no moment of Witch Wife that slacks— Petrosino revels in the crafting of sculptural cats-cradle like poems: strange and beautiful, morbid and musical, Witch Wife confirms Petrosino as both magician and master, and certainly one of America’s most fascinating contemporary poets.”—Five Points

Justin Phillip Reed | Coffee House Press | 9781566895149 | May 2018
“Reed’s wit and formal experimentation, quicksilver and luminous, shows the world as it is, while detailing how the very people that society most devalues, demeans, and seeks to destroy are its true visionaries.”—Adroit Journal

Good Stock Strange Blood
Dawn Lundy Martin | Coffee House Press | 9781566894715 | August 2017
“Martin charts new possibilities for subverting those (white) structures of domination and control that would reduce black subjectivity to a mute and endless re-inscription of its traumatized collective past.”—Poetry Northwest

Puro Amor
Sandra Cisneros | Sarabande Books | 9781946448217 | October 2018
Puro Amor explores perspective dually, giving readers both an intimate view of the protagonist’s daily life and the perspective of the townspeople looking in. . . . a juxtaposition that gives room for Cisneros to be both silly and reverent in her exploration of the inherent arduousness of partnership, and ultimately to show that animals do give the purest love.”—Arkansas International

The Lake on Fire
Rosellen Brown | Sarabande Books | 9781946448231 | October 2018
“A stunning work of historical fiction, filled with the sights and sounds of the Gilded Age in Chicago.”—Arkansas International

Permanent Exhibit
Matthew Volmer | BOA Editions | 9781942683681 | September 2018
“Several of the essays involve Vollmer riding his bike down a steep hill; we fear, along with him, a catastrophe, a collision. But the collision with which Permanent Exhibit is primarily concerned—that between the private archive of the mind and the public archive of the internet—has already occurred. And rather than catastrophic, this melding of mind and machine can be, as Vollmer says below, ‘magical.’”—Brooklyn Rail

So Many Islands: Stories from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian, and Pacific Oceans
edited by Nicholas Laughlin with Nailah Folami Imoji, introduction by Marlon James | Akashic Books | 9781617756702 | July 2018
“As an anthology, this collection of work is amazingly well-rounded . . . This collection is a unique and worthy addition to any library . . . These writers offer a window into genuine, unglazed local life in far-flung, ill-understood parts of the world. It’s a gift beyond price.”—Sinkhole Magazine

We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered
Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki | Akashic Books | 9781617752933 | July 2018
We Are The Clash celebrates the struggle for humanity, both in a band and in the wider world community. Traveling the journey of The Clash’s final years is no train in vain. The benefits of understanding history allow readers to see that the future is unwritten, as long as mistakes from the past are not dutifully repeated, but learned from. . . . Now it’s up to you to get this book and enable your future.”—Slug Magazine

Liza Jane & the Dragon
Laura Lippman, illus. Kate Samworth | Akashic Books | 9781617756610 | October 2018
“Silly, funny and a joy to read. The illustrations are great, too. Get a copy for your little one, they’ll read it more than once!”—Journey of a Bookseller

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Look Both Ways: A Double Journey Along My Grandmother’s Far-Flung Path
Katharine Coles | Turtle Point Press | 9781885983589 | November 2018
“Tense, abundantly researched, and heartbreaking, this narrative drills into a dead marriage and finds characters so alive that they challenge Coles’s perceptions of her own marriage.”—Foreword Reviews

The Meaning of Blood and Other Tales of Perversity
Chuck Caruso | Global Book Sales/Cloud Lodge Books | 9781999587307 | November 2018
The Meaning of Blood promises a descent into a netherworld of blood and perversity, and it delivers on this as well as something even more heinous: the idea that ordinary people crave blood and perversity just as much as violent perverts. . . . Long after the unexpected has been established as the only possible outcome, stories continue to surprise. Prose mimics the camera, microphone, and soundtrack of a movie set, without sacrificing the written word’s unique ability to express characters’ thoughts and feelings.”—Foreword Reviews

In Country
Hugh Martin | BOA Editions | 9781942683704 | November 2018
“In the Iraq edition of wartime for American soldiers, fear of being blown to pieces by hidden explosives frequently loses out to the wiliest enemy of all—boredom. This is the wartime footing—six years in an M1A1 Abrams tank—that Iraq War veteran Hugh Martin makes use of to create his own masterful poetry.”—Foreword Reviews

Permanent Exhibit
Matthew Voller | BOA Editions| 9781942683681 | September 2018
“[O]ffers not only a comment on the digital norms we’ve created but a critique, perhaps, of our failure to fully explore the creative possibilities such spaces offer us.”—Fiction Advocate

The Caregiver: Poems
Caroline Johnson | Holy Cow! Press | 9780998601038 | May 2018
“Offer[s] honest and moving accounts of [Johnson’s] own journey as caregiver to her aging parents.”—Michigan Quarterly Review

The Fifth Woman
Nona Caspers | Sarabande Books | 9781946448170 | August 2018
“[I]ncredible. . . The Fifth Woman is an ecosystem of grief; a circular cloud of emotion, memory, and experience that bends towards the surreal, exploring, or so it seems, every nook and cranny of the aftermath of the death of a loved one.”—Empty Mirror

The Moment Before Drowning
James Brydon | Akashic Books | 9781617756252 | July 2018
“James Brydon’s brilliant The Moment Before Drowning isn’t an easy read. Not because of its style, which is sensuous and elegant, but because of its subject matter: the brutality behind war’s front lines. . . . [a] heart-wrenching novel.”—Mystery Scene Magazine

Clues from the Animal Kingdom
Christopher Kennedy | BOA Editions | 9781942683643 | September 2018
“Kennedy’s words elicit emotional pangs that leave us more truthful than we were before. It is the lucidity of his language, the emotional force of his poems, that leave such a remarkable impression.”—Heavy Feather Review

Rebecca Rosen | Conundrum Press | 9781772620283 | October 2018
“A layered, colourful, and addictive piece of hallucinogenic comic art on the world. It is a book that deeply penetrates your body and settles in your bloodstream like a clot. It gives you a beating, moves and yet disturbs you.”—Bruzz

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In Brief: This Week’s News You Can Use

Little Rock, Arkansas NPR affiliate KUAR 89.1 FM’s Arts & Letters talked to Steve Yarbrough, author of Bookmarked: Larry McMurty’s The Last Picture Show (Ig Publishing) on September 23. The episode aired again on September 28 and 30.

In his role as resident poet for the Paris Review’s Poetry Rx column, Kaveh Akbar, author of Callling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books) recommended a poem from Hai-Dang Phan’s Reenactments (Sarabande Books) on September 20.

Shawn Wen, author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause (Sarabande Books), was interviewed on Connecticut NPR affiliate WNPR’s The Colin McEnroe Show on August 30.

Team USA, the official website for the US Olympic and Paralympic Foundation website, published an interview with Wyomia Tyus, author of Tigerbelle: the Wyomia Tyus Story (Akashic Books/Edge of Sports) on September 27.

October is National Reading Group Month! The Women’s National Book Association selected Hernan Diaz’s In the Distance (Coffee House Press), Wyomia Tyus’s Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story (Akashic Books/Edge of Sports), and Helen Benedict’s Wolf Season (Bellevue Literary Press) for its 2018 list of recommended reading group picks. BookTrust selected Yaba Badoe’s The Secret of the Purple Lake (Cassava Republic Press) for its list of recommended reading for 10-11 year olds.

Signature Reads included Britteney Black Rose Kapri’s Black Queer Hoe (Haymarket Books) and Virgie Tovar’s You Have the Right to Remain Fat (The Feminist Press at Cuny) on its September 18 list of books celebrating contemporary queer writers of color.

The Bay Area Reporter included Laura Lippman’s Liza Jane & the Dragon on its September 26 list of recommended reading.

Spokane, Washington’s Inlander published an article about Laura read, author of Dresses from the Old Country (BOA Editions) on September 20.

An interview with Jim Kempton, author of First We Surf, Then We Eat (Prospect Park Books) was published in the October issue of Southern California AAA’s Westways Magazine.

An interview and photoshoot with Megan Boyle, author of Liveblog, was published by Fader on October 2.

The Center for the Art of Translation interviewed Guadalupe Nettel, author of After the Winter (Coffee House Press), on September 25.

Laurie Loewenstein, author of Death of a Rainmaker, wrote a guest post for CrimeReads on October 1.

Literary Hub included May-Lan Tan’s Things to Make and Break (Coffee House Press), Martin Riker’s Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return (Coffee House Press), Maria Gabriela Llansol’s Geography of Rebels Trilogy (trans. Audrey Young; Deep Vellum Press), and Tishani Doshi’s Girls Are Coming out of the Woods (Copper Canyon Press) on its October 1 list of books to read this fall.

On October 1, Vol. 1 Brooklyn included Martin Riker’s Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return (Coffee House Press) and Pablo Martin Sanchez’s The Anarchist Who Shared My Name (trans. Jeff Diteman; Deep Vellum Press) on its October books preview.

On October 1, the Millions included May-Lan Tan’s Things to Make and Break (Coffee House Press) on its October book preview.

The Comics Journal published a preview of Britt Wilson’s Ghost Queen (Koyama Press) on September 28.

Bruce E. Levine, author of Resisting Illegitimate Authority (AK Press), was interviewed on the Chicago, Illinois radio station WNUR’s This Is Hell radio show on September 22.

Issue 29 of Two Lines Journal published an excerpt from Sergio Pitol’s Mephisto’s Waltz (trans. George Henson; Deep Vellum Publishing) on September 27.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb interviewed Tracey Farr, author of The Hope Fault (Gallic Books) on September 22.

Nicole Skibola, author of Wakeful Night: A Structured Reflection on Loss and Illumination (Dottir Press) wrote an original essay for Girls at Library on in early October.

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