Monthly Archives: February 2019

This Week’s Hot Reviews

Mars: Stories
Asja Bakić | The Feminist Press at CUNY | 9781936932481 | March 2019
“There’s an immediacy to Bakić’s offbeat worldview, sometimes strange and surreal, sometimes terrifying and upsetting, that pairs perfectly with the madness of the current political moment.”—Locus Magazine

Pleasure Activism
adrienne maree brown | AK Press | 9781849353267 | March 2019
“In her provocative new book, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, the Detroit-based author, activist and doula demonstrates how we can tap into our emotional and erotic desires to organize against oppression.”—Colorlines

Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone | Monkfish Book Publishing/Adam Kadmon Books | 9781948626026 | April 2019
“[W]ritten with empathy, combining research, Jewish teachings, psychological insights, [Firestone’s] own family’s stories and those of other Holocaust survivor families.”—The New York Jewish Week

Revenge of the Translator
Brice Matthieussent, trans. Emma Ramadan | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920695 | September 2018
“[T]he ingenious, and sometimes plain outrageous, devices Matthieussent engineers to continue reintroducing these elements into the text is one of the great joys of the book. This network of symbols, which the reader is constantly trying to process and make sense of, is what drives the novel on and stops it from descending (completely) into farce.”—Onomatomania

Rail
Kai Carlson-Wee | BOA Editions | 9781942683582 | April 2018
“[U]nlike any ride we’ve ever taken. . . . We see and hear Kerouac, Whitman, W.C. Williams, and we’re not even warmed up. Carlson-Wee is world-weary and yet believably innocent at the same time. . . . Carlson-Wee writes poems so well you might be led to think he found them, carved in stone, in some sacred poetry place.”—Today’s Book of Poetry

Mudgirls Manifesto: Handbuilt Homes, Handcrafted Lives
The Mudgirls Natural Building Collective | New Society Publishing | 9780865718777 | May 2018
“Given their experience and their perspectives, this book is a treasure for anyone who wants to learn natural building and for anyone who wants to bring community and work collaboratively.”—Permaculture Design Magazine

Changemakers: Embracing Hope, Taking Action, and Transforming the World
Fay Weller and Mary Wilson | New Society Publishing | 9780865718753 | May 2018
“This book begins by telling stories of hope and positive change. [It] will inspire action in others looking for the “how” of change.”—Permaculture Design Magazine

When a Woman Rises
Christine Eber | Cinco Puntos Press | 9781941026847 | September 2018
When a Woman Rises is set in the Maya township of Chenalhó, Chiapas, a place Christine depicts beautifully and with clear understanding. . . . As Magdalena tells the story of Lucia, their friendship and their struggles, a larger narrative unfolds gradually revealing the complex lives and culture of Chiapas. Through the voice of Magdalena, we hear about the community’s painful history, the rise of the Zapatistas, alcoholism, the fusion of Maya beliefs with Catholicism, and so much more.”—Thrums Books

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This Week’s Hot News

The Believer Logger is reposting Ali Liebegott’s series of poet interviews in honor of Liebegott’s new book The Summer of Dead Birds (The Feminist Press at CUNY), including one with Maggie Nelson that went live on February 12.

Flint Taylor, author of The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Brutality in Chicago (Haymarket Books), wrote an article for Literary Hub on February 25.

Brooklyn Rail excerpted Asja Bakić’s Mars: Stories (trans. Jennifer Zoble; The Feminist Press at CUNY) on February 5.

Emma Ramadan, who translated Brice Matthieussent’s Revenge of the Translator (Deep Vellum Publishing) was interviewed by Vol. 1 Brooklyn on February 21.

Crime Reads included Katja Ivar’s Evil Things (Bitter Lemon Press) and Tony Bellotto’s Bellini & the Sphinx (Akashic Books) in its February 21 round up of “Best International Crime Fiction.”

The Arizona Republic published an article on Etan Thomas, author of We Matter: Athletes and Activism (Akashic Books) on February 23.

Kim Yideum, author of Blood Sisters (trans. Ji yoon Lee; Deep Vellum Publishing), was interviewed by the Asian American Writers Workshop on February 21.

Book Riot included Ed Bok Lee’s Mitochondrial Night (Coffee House Press) and Alexandra Kimball’s The Seed: Infertility Is a Feminist Issue (Coach House Press) in its February 21 article “Forthcoming Books I’m Excited About From University And Small Presses.”

Rewire included Ali Liebegott’s The Summer of Dead Birds (The Feminist Press at CUNY) and Franny Choi’s Soft Science (Alice James Books) on its February 11 list of “Six Spring Books by Queer Women That Should Be On Your Reading List.”

Joel Solomon, author of The Clean Money Revolution: Reinventing Power, Purpose, and Capitalism (New Society Publishers), was interviewed on Edible Alpha Podcast on February 4 and on Change Creator Podcast on February 19.

On February 25, the Horn Book’s Out of the Box wrote about Anastasia Higginbotham’s recent reading of her book Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Dottir Press) at the Cambridge Public Library’s Stand Up! Storytime for Social Justice event.

Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge (Bellevue Literary Press), will be interviewed on KGRA’s Q.PSIENCE PROJECT during its relaunch celebration on March 6.

Norman Lock’s Feast Day of the Cannibals (Bellevue Literary Press) was excerpted by Big Other on February 14.

Parabola Magazine featured an excerpt from Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle’s Aging with Wisdom: Reflections, Stories, and Teachings (Monkfish Book Publishing) in their Spring 2019 issue. 

Fansided included Etan Thomas’s We Matter: Athletes and Activism and Wyomia Tyus’s Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story (both Akashic Books) in its February 20 Black History Month sports reading list.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Since When
Bill Berkson | Coffee House Press | 9781566895293 | November 2018
“The resulting mosaic gives a vivid account of Berkson’s colorful life in the intertwined literary and artistic milieus of New York and San Francisco during the postwar decades.”—Art in America

Don’t Let Them See Me Like This
Jasmine Gibson | Nightboat Books | 9781937658830 | August 2018
“Gibson’s primary theme is sex—or, more precisely, interpersonal relationships mediated by desire. While not a commodity in itself, sex can be commodified. It is also racialized and gendered; it explodes the discursive logic of rational understanding, flouting the ontological principle of identity. . . . Though [the characters in her poems] try to recover and knowingly possess their experience of sex, the particulars of various encounters dissolve into discontinuity.”—Hyperallergic

Some Beheadings
Aditi Machado | Nightboat Books | 9781937658731 | October 2017
“Poetry is the one genre of writing that can give priority to the non-sensical and overtly sensual ways that language makes meaning. Machado delights in the slippages between words, in the sounds they make together, and in their rhythmic play.”—Brooklyn Rail

Oraefi: The Wasteland
Ófeigur Sigurðsson, trans. Lytton Smith | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920671 | October 2018
“Sigurðsson takes on such a variety of moods and modes that he acts as a kind of ventriloquist, allowing an enormous variety of literature to speak through him. And it is wildly entertaining, this book. It’s both playful and deeply researched, bleak and yet hearty—like a pub full of friends clinking glasses just before the end of the world. Except the friends are all PhDs. And the pub is a gigantic igloo. And the end of the world is an April Fools’ Day prank.”—Carolina Quarterly

A Student of History
Nina Revoyr | Akashic Books | 9781617756641 | March 2019
“With her two Walter Mosley-like gifts—impeccable narrative pacing and masterful command of Los Angeles’ intricate, evolving dynamics of race and class—Nina Revoyr’s L.A. novels convincingly capture the lifespan of Los Angeles as a major city, none more gracefully than A Student of History.”—New York Journal of Books

American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love Bananas, Spam, and Jell-O
Christina Ward | Feral House/Process Media | 9781934170748 | January 2019
“[G]onzo gastro-political detective work and a brainy knack for montage. [Ward] shows a hypnotically dark manifestation of our crudest input-output controls, while her writing makes busting the Case of the Wife-Swapping Conglomerates look almost easy, like the best books always do.”—Counterpunch

Wicked Weeds: A Zombie Novel
Pedro Cabiya, trans. Jessica Ernst Powell | Mandel Vilar Press | 9781942134114 | November 2016
“Both wickedly funny and at times deeply moving.”—Literature and Arts of the Americas

Eve Out of Her Ruins
Ananda Devi, trans. Jeffrey Zuckerman | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920404 | September 2016
“Beyond the brutal honesty of her writing, Devi is a writer of great lyric power.”—Read Her Like an Open Book

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This Week’s Hot News

The opening lines of Ed Bok Lee’s Mitochondrial Night (Coffee House Press) were featured on Poets & Writers Page One on February 13.

Publishers Weekly’s February 18 issue included an article about Nina Revoyr and her new novel, A Student of History (Akashic Books). An excerpt of the book was published by Rumpus on February 19.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article and an original video highlighting the life of Wyomia Tyus, author of Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story (Akashic Books/Edge of Sports) on February 19.

Book Riot included Brian Dillon’s In the Dark Room (Fitzcarraldo), T Fleischmann’s Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through, and Trisha Low’s Socialist Realism (both Coffee House Press) on its February 11 list of essay collections to read in 2019.

Electric Literature interviewed Emma Ramadan about her translation of Brice Matthieussent’s Revenge of the Translator (Deep Vellum Publishing) on February 19.

Doug Segal, author of Struck: A Husband’s Memoir of Trauma and Triumph (Prospect Park Books) and his wife Susan were interviewed on The Other F Word podcast on February 12.

Satish Kumar, author of Elegant Simplicity: The Art of Living Well(New Society Publishers) was named one of the “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in the World”  in Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine’s February issue.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Rain and Other Stories
Mia Couto, trans. Eric M.B. Becker | Biblioasis | 9781771962667 | February 2019
“A Chekhovian subtly is achieved, even when their realism turns to the magical. . . . What’s most successful about this collection are the ways in which Couto repeatedly asks unanswerable questions, piquing reader curiosity. . .answers manifest through subtext, and the effect is both chilling and tragic. In this collection, Mia Couto, via Eric M. B. Becker’s aesthetically rich translation, packs an emotional resonance in each story—despite brevity, many only reaching five pages—that lingers with readers long after putting the book down.”—Arkansas International

Surge
Etel Adnan | Nightboat Books | 9781937658854 | August 2018
“In Surge, a new book of (mostly) taut prose formations, what she is thinking about at 93 seems to be the whole range of life on earth, explored with a more palpable sense of mortality than perhaps she could have expressed at 43 or 53. The moon, computers, volcanoes, the financial system, birds, marriage…nothing is too small, too large, too abstract nor too specific for her to meditate upon. The action of the book is like a sewing machine: jabbing deeply and decisively into a subject and then quickly moving on. . . . Such economy and philosophy could meet only in the work of a poet who has practiced for decades.”—VIDA Reviews

Geography of Rebels Trilogy
Maria Gabriela Llansol, trans. Audrey Young | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920633 | September 2018
“Reading Geography of Rebels is an unforgettable experience. Llansol’s hallucinatory prose is genuinely transfixing.”—Carolina Quarterly

Mephisto’s Waltz
Sergio Pitol, trans. George Henson | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920831 | January 2019
“A dizzying and, at times, disorienting read, yet surely this is what caused Pitol to light up an already-lit Latin scene. . . . Pitol’s biggest leaps forward—nesting stories inside one another, analyzing his writing like a critic, blurring the line between life and art—test the limits of what bookfolk today like to call autofiction. . . . Together, the fragments add up to a broad snapshot of a time and place and, in hindsight, make the narrative gymnastics of Bolaño seem inevitable.”—Southwest Review

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This Week’s Hot News

BUST included Melissa Michal’s Living on the Borderlines (The Feminist Press at CUNY) on its January 31 list of February books by women “That We Need to Read Immediately.”

Book Riot included Emily Carroll’s When I Arrived at the Castle (Koyama Press) on its February 12 list of LGBTQ comics and graphic novels to check out in 2019.

Book Riot included After the Winter by Guadalupe Nettel (trans. Rosalind Harvey; Coffee House Press), Roque Larraquy’s Comemadre (Coffee House Press), and Trifonia Melibea Obono’s La Bastarda (The Feminist Press at CUNY) on its January 31 list of recommended books written or translated by women.

On January 24, Words Without Borders interviewed translators about the process of translating humor, including Emma Ramadan, translator of Fouad Laroui’s The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers (Deep Vellum Publishing) Peter Bush, translator of Teresa Solana’s The First Prehistoric Serial Killer (Bitter Lemon Press).

The Millions included Hai-Dang Phan’s Reenactments on its February 7 list of Must-Read poetry for February.

Asja Bakić, author of Mars: Stories (trans. Jennifer Zoble; The Feminist Press at CUNY), was interviewed by Asymptote on February 6.

Angela Readman, author of Something Like Breathing (And Other Stories), created a Book Notes playlist for Largehearted Boy on February 12.

An excerpt from Mia Couto’s Rain: And Other Stories (trans. Eric M.B. Becker; Biblioasis) was published by Literary Hub on February 6.

On February 11, Book Marks’s Valentine’s Day reading recommendations included Anne Garréta’s Not One Day (trans. Emma Ramadan; Deep Vellum Publishing) and Lina Wolff’s The Polyglot Lovers (trans. Saskia Vogel; And Other Stories).

Crime Reads excerpted Evil Things by Katja Ivar (Bitter Lemon Press) on February 7.

Tony Bellotto, author of Bellini and the Sphinx (Akashic Books), was interviewed by Gabriela Pereira on her podcast DIY MFA on February 6.

Hollywood Weekly recommended Satish Kumar’s Elegant Simplicity: The Art of Living Well  (New Society Publishers) on January 29.

John Moody, author of The Frugal Homesteader(New Society Publishers), was interviewed on Small Town Homestead podcast on January 27th.

The Spring 2019 issue of Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine included cover articles by Matthew Fox, author of Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action, Stephen Fulder, a contributor to Spiritual Transmission: Paradoxes and Dilemmas on the Spiritual Path, and Rupert Sheldake, author of The Physics of Angels (all Monkfish Book Publishing). It also included Fox, Fulder, and Sheldrake on its list of “The 100 Most Spiritually Influential People Living 2019.”

Translated Lit included Mariana Dimópulos’s All My Goodbyes (trans. Alice Whitmore; Transit Books), Guillermo Saccomanno’s 77 (trans. Andrea G. Labinger; Open Letter), and Zahia Rahmani’s “Muslim”: A Novel (trans. Matthew Reek; Deep Vellum Publishing), on its list January 30 of most anticipated books of February 2019.

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Vice/Broadly included adrienne marie brown’s Pleasure Activism (AK Press), Saskia Vogel’s Permission (Coach House Books), and Teresa Wong’s Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression (Arsenal Pulp Press) on its February 9 list of “9 Books to Get You Through 2019.”

Publishers Weekly included Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball (Uncivilized Books), Emily Carroll’s When I Arrived at the Castle (Koyama Press), and Jericho Brown’s The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press) on its January 24 list of Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2019.

LeAnne Howe’s Savage Conversations (Coffee House Press) and C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade (Copper Canyon Press) were both included on Literary Hub’s February 1 list of “13 Books You Should Read This February.”

CrimeReads recommended Leonardo Padura’s Grab a Snake by the Tail (Bitter Lemon Press) on February 5.

Publishers Weekly featured Tiny Owl Press in PW Daily on February 6, highlighting Samad Behrangi’s The Little Black Fish, Ahmadreza Ahmadi’s When I Colored the World, Beverley Naidoo’s Cinderella of the Nile, and Rumi adaptation The Parrot and the Merchant.

On January 31, Asheville, North Carolina radio station WPVM’s A Better World interviewed Bobby Sullivan, author of Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics (Akashic Books).

Jericho Brown’s The Tradition, C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s Lima :: Limon (all Copper Canyon Press) and Paige Lewis’s Space Struck (Sarabande Books) are all featured on the Colorado Review’s February 1 list of 2019’s most exciting books.

Text Online published an excerpt from Trisha Low’s Socialist Realism (Coffee House Press) on February 5.

Rachel Zinman, author of Yoga for Diabetes: How to Manage your Health with Yoga and Ayurveda (Monkfish Book Publishing) was interviewed on Diabetes Strong on January 16 and late night talk radio show Divabetic on January 8.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Virginia Woolf in Manhattan
Maggie Gee | Global Book Sales/Fentum Books | 9781909572102 | March 2019

“Concerned with the modern condition, relationships, and human connection, the novel is captivated by the conflict between people’s interior lives and their ability to express that interiority to others.”—Foreword Reviews

Celestial Joyride
Michael Waters | BOA Editions | 9781942683063 | May 2016

“By no means does Celestial Joyride ever stray far from what makes it an engaging read. With language that is as concise as it is provoking, the collection transports readers to a variety of locations, encounters, and time periods—some personal and others more universal in their approach.”—American Book Review

Invasive species
Marwa Helal | Nightboat Books | 9781937658939 | January 2018

“Candid and confident about its ecosystems of influence, at times wildly omnivorous and polylingual, purposefully pedestrian at others, the lyrical avatar of Invasive species is one whose existential impulse seems to be rabid availability—to the poet’s multitude of peoples and places—negotiated crossways by a slick, uppercutting investment in infiltration rather than naturalization, divergence (not ‘diversity’), and didacticism as a form of information smuggling.”—Adroit Journal

Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return
Martin Riker | Coffee House Press | 9781566895286 | October 2018

“A masterclass in writing compelling, well-crafted fiction.”—Boulevard Review

Comemadre
Roque Larraquy | Coffee House Press | 9781566895156 | July 2018

“[Comemadre] spins old unreliable narrator techniques into a freshly comic and grotesque examination of the various ways that we try to justify the unjustifiable.”—Barrelhouse

The Madeleine Project
Clara Beaudoux, trans. Alison Anderson | New Vessel Press | 9781939931498 | September 2017

“A coherent, compelling biography of a stranger. . . . With Twitter and other social media now used routinely—arguably, dominantly—to “out” the foibles and depredations of public figures, The Madeleine Project demonstrates a radically different possibility: the resurrection of another’s life—including delicate allusion to her secrets—with empathy, admiration, and the eye of a curator, or perhaps an artist.”—Book and Room

A Matter of Taste: A Farmer’s Market Devotee’s Semi-Reluctant Argument for Inviting Scientific Innovation to the Dinner Table
Rebecca Tucker | Coach House Books | 9781552453674 |November 2018

“Tucker cuts right to the core of the actual issues, without sepia-toned photos of rolling farm hills and accompanying folk guitar music.”—Adventures in Poor Taste

The House of Lost and Found
Martin Widmark, illus. Emilia Dziubak | Floris Books | 9781782505426 | September 2018

“Polish artist Emilia Dziubak’s illustrations contrast the gloom and doom of the old man’s sorrowful and lacking life in his rundown house with the life and comfort that just one flower and one little boy can bring. The old man’s despair is common in life and the story of his renewal is told and illustrated with compassion and hope.”—Vermont Country Sampler

It’s Only the End of the World
J.A. Henderson | Floris Books/Kelpies | 9781782505174 | November 2018

“Henderson’s cast of characters are a surprising array of society, from the best to the worst, with personalities to match. The witty banter will inspire many moments of merriment, and more than a few bouts of laughter. The growth of each character over the course of the tale gives hope for even the roughest personality, and the building of friend and family bonds tugs at the heart. This quick tale featuring a far-fetched conspiracy and looming Armageddon will fit most readers who enjoy Jeff Strand and Chris Grabenstein.”—Manhattan Book Review

Evie and the Strawberry Patch Rescue
Stefanie Dahle | Floris Books | 9781782505600 | May 2019

“The illustrations are very detailed and take a little time to see everything happening on the page —a beetle scooping water out of a flooded home, a butterfly flapping its wings to help dry a rug, and a small bug carrying a stack of tea cups.  I could see slowly reading this book with a young child so they can notice all the illustrations that enrich the text.”—Youth Services Book Review

Farmer Falgu Goes to the Kumbh Mela
Chitra Soundar, illus. Kanika Nair | Karadi Tales | 9788181903556 | September 2018

“The simple story is complemented by vivid, warm, deeply colored illustrations. Text appears in different colors and sizes, emphasizing the onomatopoeia and sensory experiences of Farmer Falgu. . . . Perfect for multicultural story time for ages 4-6, and for families seeking culturally relevant stories from Hindu mythology.”—Youth Services Book Review

Charlie’s Magical Carnival  
Marit Törnqvist | Floris Books | 9781782504603 | September 2018

Charlie’s Magical Carnival opens with a carnival that comes to town; but Charlie’s party hat, red balloon, and other embellishments are not to be found. Parents who choose this book for its unfolding pages (which likely won’t stand up to the rigors of library lending) will find colorful carnival fun depicted both visually and in text in this fun story.”—Midwest Book Review

The Wolf Who Learned Self-Control
Orianne Lallemand, illus. Eleonore Thuillier | Auzou | 9782733861479 | October 2018

The Wolf Who Learned Self-Control reviews the dilemma of a wolf whose moods change so fast, he confuses everyone around him. Obviously, he has little self-control over his emotions: the problem is, how does he learn this? Wolf may be “too excitable” but he is personable, and can be trained. His friends step in and unexpected results lend to a fine set of adventures as Wolf confronts his fears and his abilities and grows from his experience.”—Midwest Book Review

The Night Monster
Sushree Mishra, illus. Sanket Pethkar | Karadi Tales | 9788181903310 | September 2018

“The pictures are engaging, dark and muted, adding a dream-like quality to the book. They bring a sense of mystery and superbly illustrate Avi’s fear, stopping short of being scary. Some of the letters are only revealed by lifting flaps, adding reader interest and participation to the story. This is a great read-aloud book for younger children.”—BYU Children’s Book & Media Review

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