Monthly Archives: June 2019

This Week’s Trade Reviews

Empty Words
Mario Levrero, trans. Annie McDermott | Coffee House Press | 9781566895460 | May 2019
“More than just an exercise in chasing his own tail, Levrero takes himself into dangerous psychological territory, wrestling with the things that underlie his loopy a’s. . . . A curious, even eccentric book, and a must-read for fans of post-boom Latin American literature.”—Kirkus Reviews

Hair, It’s a Family Affair
Mylo Freeman | Cassava Republic Press | 9781911115687| April 2019
“Bright, adorable illustrations depict black characters sporting a variety of hair and clothing styles, with soft watercolor blends perfectly capturing the myriad textures of natural hair. Freeman’s art, a delightful mix of gentle and vibrant, is the true standout of this simple picture book. . . . A sweet exploration of family and expressing love through hair care rituals.”—School Library Journal

Library of Small Catastrophes
Alison C. Rollins | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595394 | April 2019
“Yet in this debut collection, Rollins is not darkly resigned but throws herself into the fray with a sort of infectious relish. . . . Much-welcomed newcomer Rollins offers sharp insights that librarians and their readers will appreciate.”—Library Journal

Natalie Scenters-Zapico | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595318 | May 2019
“A powerful message, powerfully delivered, that never dulls but remains high-octane, angry and engaged throughout.”—Library Journal

Princess Arabella is a Big Sister
Mylo Freeman | Cassava Republic Press | 9781911115724 | September 2019
“The brightly colored illustrations and straightforward story arc with a fun surprise ending are bound to please young readers. Princess Arabella and her family present black, and visual cues and characters’ names imply diversity among her friends, who are coded Muslim, Chinese, and white. A chuckle worthy royal roller coaster.”—Kirkus Reviews

Robert Schumann Is Mad Again
Norman Dubie | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595653 | June 2019
“These improvisations are like peculiar keys that fit no known locks and will no doubt find approval among those who admire surrealist poetry.”—Library Journal

Safe Houses I Have Known
Steve Healey | Coffee House Press | 9781566895613 | September 2019
“Pairing formal poetic lines with conceptually driven fragments, Healey carves a space for innovation within received forms. By blending personal narrative and found language, he evokes, and reverses, the power dynamics implicit in surveillance.”—Publishers Weekly

Soft Targets
Deborah Landau | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595660 | April 2019
“Landau’s dark fears and evocations tend to tilt her writing away from the pursuit of poetry as beautiful writing and toward work as witness and unhappy prophecy; glimmers of hope are few but welcome.”—Library Journal

Song for the Unraveling of the World
Brian Evenson | Coffee House Press | 9781566895484 | June 2019
“Evenson . . . lures readers into each twisted tale by starting not at the beginning, but . . . somewhere else, creating a sense of disorientation and unease. As each tale unspools and each surreal world clarifies into a malformed sort of logic, the creeps set firmly in. . . . Readers of literary horror will not want to miss this one.”—Library Journal

A Visit to Grandad: An African ABC
Sade Fadipe, illus. Shedrach Ayalomeh | Cassava Republic Press | 9781911115816 | July 2019
“Each spread includes multiple elements that begin with the designated letter, which will inspire repeated readings. . . . The author and illustrator are both from Nigeria, which, judging by the textual and visual references, is where the story is set. The simplicity of the text is balanced by lively, detailed watercolor illustrations full of movement and the joy of community, resulting in a book that truly is fun.”—Booklist

A Year Around the Great Oak
Gerda Muller | Floris Books | 9781782506027 | October 2019
“The book is an expanded version of a title originally published in Germany in 1991. . . . Following the story is the new material: 12 pages of further information about woodlands, in lovingly illustrated detail.”—Kirkus Reviews

You Throw Like A Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity
Don McPherson | Akashic Books/Edge of Sports | 9781617757051 | September 2019
“McPherson wants readers to begin to understand that traditional masculinity is a burden to boys and men, and to help change the narrative handed down to them. . . . This is a valuable contribution to the new choir of traditionally masculine men reevaluating themselves on their own terms.”—Publishers Weekly

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This Week’s Hot News

May-Lan Tan’s Things to Make and Break and Myriam Gurba’s Mean (both Coffee House Press) were included in Electric Literature’s June 14 article “What to Read After Watching ‘Fleabag’.”

The A.V. Club included Brian Evenson’s Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House Press) and Ha Seong-nan’s Flowers of Mold (trans. Janet Hong; Open Letter) on its June 18 list of underrated 2019 books.

Camonghne Felix’s Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books) was recommended by Blavity on June 17.

Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems was excerpted in the Spring 2019 issue of Tricycle Magazine.

C. Joseph Greaves, author of Church of the Graveyard Saints (Torrey House Press), was interviewed on Colorado NPR affiliate Colorado Public Radio on May 31.

Pat Foreman, author of A Tiny Home to Call to Call Your Own (New Society Publishers) was interviewed on Kansas NPR affiliate Kansas Radio Public Radio on June 4.

Jon Steinman, author of Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants (New Society Publishers), was interviewed by Armed Forces Radio’s Voice of America on June 6 and by Kansas NPR affiliate Kansas Public Radio’s Conversations on June 17.

On June 15, Outside Magazine included Amy Irvine’s Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness (Torrey House Press), Elena Passarello’s Animals Strike Curious Poses (Sarabande Books), and Melanie Gillman’s As the Crow Flies (Iron Circus Comics) on a list of the best adventure books of all time.

 On June 17, Publishers Weekly included Tinkers: 10th Anniversary Edition, by Paul Harding and with an introduction by Marilynne Robinson (Bellevue Literary Press) in its annual “Backlist Backbones” feature.

On June 11, the Detroit Metro Times included Michael Zadoorian’s Beautiful Music (Akashic Books) on its summer 2019 reading list for Michigan.

Pasadena Now interviewed Mary Lea Carroll, author of Saint Everywhere: Travels in Search of the Lady Saints (Prospect Park Books), on June 14.

On June 13, Dangerous Minds published an article about Christina Ward’s American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love Bananas, Spam, and Jell-O (Feral House/Process Media).

NY Spirit published an excerpt from Conversations in the Spirit: Lex Hixon’s WBAI In the Spirit Interviews: A Chronicle of the Seventies Spiritual Revolution (Monkfish Book Publishing) in its June 16 issue.

Books and Bao included Christina Hesselholdt’s Vivian (trans. Paul Russell Garrett; Fitzcarraldo Editions), Naguib Mahfouz’s The Quarter (trans. Roger Allen; Saqi Books), Wioletta Greg’s Accommodations (trans. Jennifer Croft; Transit Books) on its June 18 list of best translated books of summer 2019.

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This Week’s Awards

The results of the 2018 Foreword Reviews Indie Awards were announced on June 14 and over a dozen Consortium titles took home medals! Congratulations to all these authors:

Edna Iturralde’s Green Was My Forest (Mandel Vilar Press), Henriqueta Cristina and Yara Kono’s Three Balls of Wool (trans. Lyn Miller-Lachmann; Enchanted Lion Books), Nari Hong’s Days With Dad (Enchanted Lion Books), Tara Lynn Masih’s My Real Name Is Hanna (Mandel Vilar Press), Donovan Mixon’s Ahgottahandleonit (Cinco Puntos Press), and Xelena González and Adriana M. Garcia’s All Around Us (Cinco Puntos Press) were all recipients of 2019 Skipping Stones Honor Awards.

Annie Besant and Ryika Sen’s The Dragon’s Toothache (Karadi Tales) is shortlisted for the 2020 Jarul Book Children’s Choice Award.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Ann Quin | And Other Stories | 9781911508540 | June 2019
“This perversely lyrical novel has us rooting for a would-be murderer to just get on with it and kill the guy. . . . Author Ann Quin manages to turn insanity into comedy. . . . What else, besides the demented humor, persuades readers to consent to live in a devolving mind is the manic lyricism, images and metaphors spinning wildly and beautifully out of control. Madcap humor and dark psychology combine in this brilliant riot of a novel, first published in 1964, by a witty British writer who died too young.”—The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Empty Words
Mario Levrero, trans. Annie McDermott | Coffee House Press | 9781566895460 | May 2019
Empty Words contains two threads: the handwriting exercises (complete with distractions) and what Levrero calls ‘The Discourse,’ which has the stated aim of being about nothing. . . . As with the writing exercises, the rules here are strictly limiting. Seen another way, they are freeing. By throwing off the burden of an idea, Levrero can follow his ‘Discourse’ wherever it takes him.”—Rain Taxi

Mitochondrial Night
Ed Bok Lee | Coffee House Press | 9781566895323 | March 2019
“There is a connection between the lofty stars and the microscopic building blocks of life. Lee weaves these threads throughout the collection, tapping into the ways in which we deal with the universality of life. . . . Mitochondrial Night is an emotional and inquisitive investigation into the human condition that might just bring us one step closer to understanding our inescapable humanity.”—Rain Taxi

A Student of History
Nina Revoyr | Akashic Books | 9781617756641 | March 2019
A Student of History continues the tradition of the Los Angeles oil novel, but steers it in a new direction.”—Rain Taxi

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities
Chen Chen | BOA Editions | 9781942683339 | April 2017
“A total thrill of a debut poetry collection, gay Chinese-American poet Chen crafts a perfect balance of heartbreak and laugh-out-loud humor with pitch-perfect cadence and rhythm.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Build Yourself a Boat
Camonghne Felix | Haymarket Books | 9781608466115 | April 2019
“Felix explores what it means, politically to be a black woman in a world of Trump and personally, exploring the ways heartbreak and other points of pain change a person and their body. Build Yourself a Boat was exactly what I needed to read, and revisit, this season as men decided what women should do with their bodies and as I learned to manage heartbreak.”Electric Literature

The Ugly Truth: A Riley Ellison Mystery
Jill Orr | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551444 | June 2019
“This is the third title in Orr’s Riley Ellison mystery series, a string of books which nimbly combines whodunit tropes with a refreshingly contemporary sense of humor and well-drawn small-town characters.”—Columbia Tribune

“Muslim”: A Novel
Zahia Rahmani, trans. Matt Reeck | Deep Vellum | 9781941920756 | March 2019
“Rahmani’s language flows freely like water, despite the weight of her words and their inferences. Her writing is impactful and profound as she attempts to close the gaps in herself, trying to understand her own identity or, rather, one that has been forced upon her.”—Arab News

The Science of Lost Futures
Ryan Habermeyer | BOA Editions | 9781942683605 | May 2018
“In prose that is both eminently readable and reliably beautiful, Habermeyer uses laughter to make you think, thoughtfulness to make you laugh, and all of this to make you feel. The Science of Lost Futures is stranger than truth, and likely stranger than most works of fiction, too. But beneath its disarming charm and evocative imagination is a big beating heart.”—The Harvard Review

House of the Black Spot
Ben Sears | Koyama Press | 9781927668672 | May 2019
“Sears’ strength is absolutely as a visual storyteller, but there’s enough happening in his engaging characters, involving storylines, and light-fingered explorations of contemporary issues that the books are always something to look forward to, and the latest, House of the Black Spot, is a perfect example.”—The Comics Journal

When I Arrived at the Castle
Emily Carroll | Koyama Press | 9781927668689 | April 2019
“The perfect horror story for a rainy day or some night shrouded in fog. . . . A blood-drenched romance and a cartoon gothic opera.”—New York Journal of Books

Berlin Noir
edited by Thomas Wörtche | Akashic Books | 9781617756320 | May 2019
“The thirteen tales are well chosen and the collection skillfully put together by Wörtche. . . . This is definitely a book that should be on the list of all noir lovers.”—New York Journal of Books

The Cursed Hermit
Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes | Conundrum Press | 9781772620306 | October 2019
“Hobtown feels 90s, cool kids peeled off a Lookout Records sticker, and creepy townies as Liquid Television nightmares. It’s proper, and professional, but it’s also punk. If Ted Stearn was working with PT Anderson. A comedic tumble down into the heart of rural darkness.”—Doom Rocket

Jean-Philippe Blondel, trans. Alison Anderson | New Vessel Press | 9781939931672 | June 2019
“Fun and delightful. . . . you’ll find it impossible to tear yourself from the page. It’s compelling, sorrowful, playful, and at once completely believable and mature. . . . Love and intimacy, romance and sexuality—they’re all portrayed with a real deft hand by Blondel.”—Books and Bao

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This Week’s Hot News

Stephanie Burt mentioned C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade in an article about poetry for the Wall Street Journal on June 8.

The Los Angeles Times included Brian Evenson’s Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House Press) on its June 10 list of recommended June books.

Andrés R. Edwards, author of Renewal:  How Nature Awakens Our Creativity, Compassion, and Joy (New Society Publishers), was interviewed on Albany, New York NPR affiliate WAMC’s nationally syndicated show The Roundtable on May 16. On May 31, he was interviewed on Kansas City, Kansas NPR affiliate Kansas Public Radio’s Conversations and Grand Rapids, Michigan NPR affiliate WGVU’s Morning Show with Shelley Irwin. He was interviewed on June 3 by Hayward, Wisconsin NPR affiliate WOJB’s Morning Edition with Eric Schubring and on June 5 by Boston radio station WBIX/WXBR’s nationally syndicated The Frankie Boyer Lifestyle Show.

Bustle’s June 11 Pride Month poetry reading list included Jericho Brown’s The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press), Franny Choi’s Soft Science (Alice James Books), jayy dodd’s The Black Condition feat. Narcissus (Nightboat Books), Jan-Henry Gray’s Documents (BOA Editions), Camonghne Felix’s Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books), Keetje Kuipers’s All Its Charms (BOA Editions), and Arielle Twist’s Disintegrate/Dissociate (Arsenal Pulp Press).

Curdella Forbes, author of A Tall History of Sugar (Akashic Books) was interviewed by Publishers Weekly on June 10.

Eve L. Ewing’s 1919 (Haymarket Books) and T Fleischmann’s Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through (Coffee House Press) were included on Literary Hub’s June 5 list of most anticipated summer books.

Literary Hub interviewed Amos Mac and Rocco Kayiatos, editors of Original Plumbing: The Best of Ten Years of Trans Male Culture (The Feminist Press at CUNY), on May 30.

Kevin Allred’s Ain’t I a Diva?: Beyoncé and the Power of Pop Culture Pedagogy (The Feminist Press at CUNY) was excerpted by B*tch Media and Literary Hub on June 11. Allred was also interviewed by B*tch on June 11 and published an original essay on BUST on June 3.

Like This Afternoon Forever by Jamie Manrique (Akashic Books) was excerpted by CrimeReads on June 5. Manrique was interviewed by Gay City News on June 6.

Boston NPR affiliate 90.9’s May 21 list of book recommendations included Edward J. Delany’s The Big Impossible: Novellas + Stories (Turtle Point Press).

Sarah Bowen’s Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective and Higher Purpose (Monkfish Book Publishing) was included on BookRiot’s June 10 list of recommended memoirs. Bowen was interviewed on Publishers Weekly’s podcast Faithcast, also on June 10.

Elise Levine’s This Wicked Tongue (Biblioasis) is the A.V. Club book to read in June 2019. 

The A.V. Club published a preview of Chris Kuzma’s Lunch Quest (Koyama Books) on June 5.

BookRiot highlighted Trifonia Melibea Obono’s La Bastarda (trans. Lawrence Schimel; the Feminist Press at CUNY), Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Iliac Crest (trans. Sarah Booker; The Feminist Press at CUNY), Zahia Rahmani’s “Muslim”: A Novel (trans. Matt Reeck; Deep Vellum), and Anne Garréta’s Not One Day (trans. Emma Ramadan; Deep Vellum) in a June 11 article about diverse translations.

Electric Literature published an essay by Mui Poopoksakul, who translated Duanwad Pimwana’s Arid Dreams (The Feminist Press at CUNY) on May 28.

Electric Literature included Go Home!: Twenty-Four Journeys from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and the Feminist Press (edited by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan; The Feminist Press at CUNY) on a list of inclusive anthologies on May 31.

The Brooklyn Rail’s June 5 “Summer Round-Up” included C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade (Copper Canyon Press), Asja Bakić’s Mars (trans. Jennifer Zoble; The Feminist Press at CUNY), and Duanwad Pimwana’s Arid Dreams (trans. Mui Poopoksakul; The Feminist Press at CUNY).

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s contribution to adrienne maree brown’s Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good (AK Press) was excerpted by Yes! Magazine on May 29.

Shawna Potter, author of Making Spaces Safer (AK Press), was interviewed by Alternative Press on May 29 and published an op-ed on Alternet on May 26.

Mary Lea Carroll, author of Saint Everywhere (Prospect Park Books), was interviewed by The Coast News on June 6 and by Satellite Sisters podcast on June 11.

Virgie Tovar, author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat (The Feminist Press at CUNY), was interviewed on Leafly’s The Hash Podcast on May 29.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

The Dream of Reason
Jenny George | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595196 | April 2018
The Dream of Reason reveals a young poet who is unafraid to explore difficult territory.”—Rain Taxi

Eve L. Ewing | Haymarket Books | 9781608465989 | June 2019
“A mixture of grand voices, hushed laments, and ardent dreams, 1919 resurrects forgotten history.”—The Millions

The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago
Flint Taylor | Haymarket Books | 9781608468959 | March 2019
“A sad but necessary reminder of how citizens can be victimized by those who are supposed to protect them and how that abuse can poison entire neighborhoods. But it is also a story of a hard-won hope that resulted in some degree of justice for victims and an effort to remind children of what once happened in the hope that it won’t be repeated. The book is a chronicle of tenacity and hope alongside brutality and injustice, and in that way it is a profoundly Chicago story.” —Psychology Today

Song for the Unraveling of the World
Brian Evenson | Coffee House Press | 9781566895484 | June 2019
“[Y]ou will close the volume with the sense that Evenson has one more story to tell—the story of you, the reader, who will move on from reading even as strands of unraveling make it impossible to leave this book completely behind.”—Chicago Review of Books

All Its Charms 
Keetje Kuipers | BOA Editions | 9781942683766 | April 2019
All Its Charms is laced with both hopefulness and the prickling sting of thwarted desire. As Kuipers navigates this tension, she articulates the role of memory as a way to reconnect with meaningful records of the past, but also as a redundant link to painful experiences and people who have wronged us.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully
Karen Havelin | Dottir Press | 9781948340052 | May 2019
“By turns angry, consoling, and despondent, the book is a clear-eyed exploration of how women’s health issues are rarely taken seriously.”—The Paris Review

Vintage 1954
Antoine Laurain | Gallic Books | 9781910477670 | June 2019
“Such a great premise: A 2017 drinking party features a 1954 Beaujolais, which magically propels folks back to the Paris of the 1950s. Delightful to the last drop.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

The Library of Small Catastrophes
Alison Rollins | Copper Canyon Press | 9781556595394 | April 2019
“The range of Rollins’ poetic skill is remarkable. The result is a collection of poetry which is magnificently crafted, readable, and crucially important.”—New York Journal of Books

Socialist Realism
Trisha Low | Coffee House Press | 9781566895514 | August 2019
Socialist Realism might itself be a parable, in that it dares the reader to interpret it too literally—mistaking the showing of a wound for vulnerability, or uncertainty about political or artistic effects for a lack of commitment—but I count myself among the believers.”—Frieze Magazine

Duveen Brothers and the Market for Decorative Arts, 1880-1940
Charlotte Vignon | GILES | 9781911282341 | June 2019
“Vignon, curator of decorative arts at the Frick, looks at how Duveen Brothers dominated the trade in European decorative arts and Chinese porcelain—and at the firm’s sometimes sharp practices.”—Apollo

When I Arrived at the Castle 
Emily Carroll | Koyama Press | 9781927668689 | April 2019
“Gothic fans rejoice, Emily Carroll has returned with yet another hauntingly stunning graphic novel, When I Arrived at the Castle. It’s the lesbian and vampiric erotic horror story you didn’t know you needed.”—Study Breaks

The Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants
Jon Steinman | New Society Publishers | 9780865719071 | May 2019
“I never thought a book about grocery stores could be so engaging, but Steinman held my attention from start to finish.”—Treehugger

Frame of Mind: Punk Photos and Essays from Washington, DC and Beyond, 1997–2017
Antonia Tricarico | Akashic Books | 9781617757198 | June 2019
“In the late 1990s in Washington, DC, a seminal era in underground music was born, and photographer Antonia Tricario was steeped in it. Tricario chronicled its musicians, women and men alike, with her powerful and evocative photos, which are collected here in Frame of Mind.”—Brooklyn Digest

Houston Noir
edited by Gwendolyn Zepeda | Akashic Books | 9781617757068 | May 2019
“With sprawl and serial killers, Houston Noir packs a mean punch. . . . [it] is a welcome addition to the city’s slowly filling bookcase.”—Texas Observer

Dance of the Jakaranda
Peter Kimani | Akashic Books | 9781617754968 | February 2017
“Kimani is the first African novelist to use historical fiction to claim Indian diasporic history and political belonging as one that is unquestionably Kenyan . . . Kimani’s most radical contribution in writing Dance of the Jakaranda has been his demonstration of how historians can recover this African South Asian identity. The constitutional recognition given to Indians fifty years after their deportation shifts popular discourse a hair’s breadth away from the politics of indigeneity, giving the South Asian diasporic archive a small but significant opening to locate a thick, albeit contested, history of belonging in its Kenyan homeland—a history, as Kimani reminds us, that is replete with contradictions and rumor.”—American Historical Review

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This Week’s Award Winners

Christine Eber’s When a Woman Rises (Cinco Puntos Press) is a finalist for the Most Inspirational Fiction Book in the International Latino Book Awards.

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan (Small Beer Press/Big Mouth House) is a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.

The Clever Tailor by Srividhya Venkat and Nayantara Surendranath (Karadi Tales) won a 2019 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in the Middle East/India/Asia category.

Elizabeth McKenzie’s short story “The Big Creep” from Santa Cruz Noir (edited by Susie Bright, Akashic Books) is nominated for Best Private Eye Short Story by the Private Eye Writers of America.

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This Week’s Hot News

Roxane Gay recommended Camonghne Felix’s Build Yourself a Boat to her 603,000 Twitter followers on May 25.

The Boston Globe interviewed Graeme Simsion about his new book The Rosie Result (Text Publishing Company) on May 30.

On May 29, Bustle included Emily Carroll’s When I Arrived at the Castle (Koyama Press), Teresa Wong’s Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression (Arsenal Pulp Press), and Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball (Uncivilized Books) on its list of must-read summer graphic novels.

C.J. Farley, author of Around Harvard Square (Akashic Books/Black Sheep), was interviewed on Boston, Massachusetts local ABC affiliate WCVB 5-TV on June 2.

An excerpt from Gabriela Ybarra’s The Dinner Guest (Transit Books) was published by Literary Hub on May 28.

Kelsey Wroten, author of Cannonball (Uncivilized Books) wrote an original essay for Powell’s on June 4.

Bram Presser, author of The Book of Dirt (Text Publishing Company) was interviewed by Tablet Magazine’s podcast Unorthodox on May 30.

Brian Tuohy, author of The Fix Is Still In: Corruption and Conspiracies the Pro Sports Leagues Don’t Want You To Know About (Feral House), was interviewed by the New York Post on June 1.

Literary Hub published a poem from Exiles of Eden by Ladan Osman (Coffee House Press) on May 30.

Poetry Foundation published a conversation between Gala Mukomolova, author of Without Protection (Coffee House Press) and Franny Choi, author of Soft Science (Alice James Books) on June 3.

An excerpt from Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma by Tirzah Firestone (Monkfish Book Publishing) was published by Women’s eNews on May 28.

Sarah Bowen, author of Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective and Higher Purpose, was interviewed by Rita Vanacore on Radio Kingston on June 3 on Kingston, New York WKNY 1490 FM/107.9 AM’s Planet Seniors on June 3.

Washingtonian Magazine published a selection of pictures from Antonia Tricarico’s Frame of Mind: Punk Photos and Essays from Washington, DC, and Beyond, 1997-2017 (Akashic Books) on May 31.

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This Week’s Hot Reviews

Mothers Over Nangarhar
Pamela Hart | Sarabande Books | 9781946448262 | January 2019
“[W]hat was once only imagined is subsequently brought to devastating life. . . . [Mothers Over Nangarhar] is an homage to military families, for whom the Long War has ceased to end, despite being far removed from most Americans’ daily consciousness.”—Poetry Foundation

The Hope Fault
Tracy Farr | Gallic Books/Aardvark Bureau | 9781910709436 | October 2018
“Farr’s examination of amplectant bonds as equally capable of holding families together as they are of tearing them apart feels as real as fiction gets.”—World Literature Today

A Book for Sad Pets
Kristin Tipping | Uncivilized Books | 9781941250341 | April 2019
“[A Book for Sad Pets] is very much in the dark humor, existentialist philosophy category. . . . Tipping’s watercolor, minimalist style pairs perfectly with the brief text, and their coloring helps to achieve the right tone. A Book for Sad Pets is just too good to pass up on. Buy one for yourself, and then buy a few others to give as gifts for any occasion.”—Rogues Portal

Ascend Ascend
Janaka Stucky | Third Man Books | 9780997457834 | April 30
“Janaka Stucky is at the forefront of a trend in literature combining art and magick.”—Psychedelic Baby Magazine

Aurora Borealice
Joan Steacy | Conundrum Press | 9781772620375 | April 2019
“Steacy’s book is sure to speak to people who feel different in some way but are also living ordinary lives. Her calm and friendly presentation of her own journey provides proof of the idea that a normal life experience doesn’t necessarily exist, and intellect and talent don’t all require the same form of nurturing. You can be you, whoever you are, and move forward with your goals. And, as Steacy points out, you can do that at any age.”—The Comics Beat

Doomstead Days
Brian Teare | Nightboat Books | 9781643620022 | April 2019
“Brian Teare’s Doomstead Days is a set of verse walks that he takes in nature, a nature that he sees with rare precision, humor, and depth. But as much as he bemoans what humans have done to nature, he also sees himself as a culprit. . . . Like Oscar Wilde, Teare is aware that ‘each man kills the thing he loves.’”—Kenyon Review

Savage Conversations
LeAnne Howe | Coffee House Press | 9781566895316 | February 2018
“LeAnne Howe’s play Savage Conversations activates this space in history. She fills the wide-open gaps with a narrative of ‘what could have been,’ makes the absences present in very intimate ways.”—Full Stop

Since When
Bill Berkson | Coffee House Press | 9781566895293 | November 2018
“[Since When is] sentimental and funny, and makes you believe in a shared social project. Berkson was dedicated to this, and the example of his poetry and practice astonishes in this terrific memoir.”—Entropy Mag

All Its Charms
Keetje Kuipers | BOA Editions | 9781942683766 | April 2019
“Kuipers sees the world like a sparrow, whose ‘head [is] turned to the side / so one black eye can search the stippled sky / in ecstasy,’ even as it is being eaten alive by a magpie. She rises out of her past life of soured relationships and experiences, and she finds joy and compassion in her new life as a mother, and therein lies the beauty of the book and all its charms.”—Redactions

Festival Folk: An Atlas of Carnival Customs and Costumes
Rob Flowers | Cicada Books | 9781908714572 | April 2019
Festival Folk is a new book by Rob Flowers, an illustrator with a very distinctive and eye-catching style. . . . Each page is attention-grabbing, with color a-plenty and the figures boldly and exuberantly captured by Flowers.”—Association of Illustrators

My Real Name Is Hanna
Tara Lynn Masih | Mandel Vilar Press | 9781942134510 | September 2018
“Author Masih has done her homework. Her history is spot on and her firm, clear hand transports you into another world, leaving you with a better understanding of the madness. Be prepared to feel fear, hunger, cold, claustrophobia and desperation along with the characters. A keeper. One for your history bookshelf.”—The Florida Time-Union, Jacksonville

Don’t Hug the Pug
Matthew Hodson and Robin Jacobs | Cicada Books | 9781908714657 | October 2019
“A simple, rhyming narrative combines with larger-than-life, quirky illustrations to celebrate the natural curiosity of babies and their desire to play with things they shouldn’t!”—The Book Activist

Fly Flies
Alice Bowsher and Ziggy Hanaor | Cicada Books | 9781908714619 | September 2019
“With bold black and white illustrations, our unexpected hero’s journey of trial and error is brilliantly depicted and her final outburst is spot-on! Leaving you with a warm feeling, this story celebrates the importance of being yourself, no matter what.”—The Book Activist

A Surprise for Little Mole
Orianne Lallemand, illus. Claire Frossard | Auzou | 9782733867327 | June 2019
“The illustrations have a retro feel and are full of color and expression. They fill the page and make this a perfect story time selection. This is a sweet story that is perfect for a read aloud.”—Youth Services Book Review

“Children ages 4-8 will enjoy joining Little Mole as she and her forest friends try to uncover the mystery behind the surprise! An impressive picture book collaboration by author Orianne Lallemand and illustrator Claire Frossard, A Surprise for Little Mole will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library children’s picture book collections.”—Midwest Book Review

Hello Animals, How Do You Sleep?
Loes Botman | Floris Books | 9781782505518| April 2019
“[Botman’s] warm and detailed illustrations bring the different animals alive on the page, and the simple words and concepts make this a perfect bedtime book. Hello Animals, How Do You Sleep? is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, and community library children’s board book collections.”—Midwest Book Review

Roque Larraquy, trans. Heather Cleary | Coffee House Press | 9781566895156 | July 2018
“A mutilated novel about the art of mutilating bodies.”—Book Post

Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma
Tirzah Firestone | Monkfish Book Publishing/Adam Kadmon Books | 9781948626026 | April 2019
“The many personal and collected narratives she shares compel the reader to reflect in new and helpful ways upon one’s own life, family trauma histories known, and those perhaps dimly perceived—even long after the volume is read.”—The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

Berlin Noir
edited by Thomas Wörtche | Akashic Books | 9781617756320 | May 2019
“This collection is very modern, the stories are set now and reflect on contemporary concerns. They demonstrate a dynamism and originality that shows just how important a part of the euro-noir genre German writing is. There are thirteen stories here, as diverse as the city they are set in, each one is from in a different part of the German capital, and although they are disparate with very different intentions, a picture emerges of a troubled, multi-cultural, vibrant city that has always had its own distinct character . . . A welcome addition to one to the most fascinating long running series in crime fiction.”—NB Magazine

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This Week’s Awards and Honors

The finalists for the 2019 Firecracker Awards include Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead (Arsenal Pulp Press), Little Fish by Casey Plett (Arsenal Pulp Press), Strawberry Fields by Hilary Plum (Fence Books), False Calm: A Journey Through the Ghost Towns of Patagonia by María Sonia Cristoff (trans. Katherine Silver; Transit Books), To Float in the Space Between: A Life and Work in Conversation with the Life and Work of Etheridge Knight by Terrance Hayes (Wave Books), Baby, I Don’t Care by Chelsey Minnis (Wave Books), Body & Glass by Rodney Koeneke (Wave Books), Crosslight for Youngbird by Asiya Wadud (Nightboat Books), Dissolve by Sherwin Bitsui (Copper Canyon Press), Milk by Dorothea Lasky (Wave Books), Post Traumatic Hood Disorder by David Tomas Martinez (Sarabande Books), and The Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods by Tishani Doshi (Copper Canyon Press).

Eduardo Halfon’s Mourning (trans. Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn; Bellevue Literary Press) is a finalist for the 2019 International Latino Book Award

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