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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