Widespread Praise for No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
Declared “ominous and timely” in a Kirkus Starred Review
, Stephanie Powell Watts’s riff on The Great Gatsby
continues to receive critical acclaim. “Watts writes about ordinary people leading ordinary lives with an extraordinary level of empathy and attention,” writes Jade Chang for The New York Times Book Review
. Similar praise for Watts’s empathy comes from Oprah Magazine
, applauding Watts for her “instinct for empathy, her inclination to treat wronged lovers, barren women, lonely mothers, and damaged men with uncommon gentleness.” Despite being judged against a long list of Gatsby-inspired reboots, according to The Washington Post
, “Watts has written a sonorous, complex novel that’s entirely her own.” To learn more about Stephanie Powell Watts and her debut novel, No One is Coming to Save Us
, check out Stephanie’s interview with NPR’s All Things Considered
or her essay on The Great Gatsby
published by Lit Hub
. Congratulations, Stephanie!
Dessa Featured in New York Times Magazine, Set to Perform at MLB Game
As a member of Doomtree, her Minneapolis-based hip hop collective,
Dessa has performed in New Orleans for years. But the singer/rapper/author, as she recently wrote in a feature for New York Times Magazine
, saw a whole new side of the city after experiencing it as a tourist.
Dessa, whose debut collection of essays is forthcoming from Dutton Books, will also be performing for the Minneapolis Twins’ home opener on April 3rd. As reported by the Star Tribune
, a brass quintet from the Minnesota Orchestra will accompany her as she sings the national anthem. From rapping, journalism, and MLB performances to writing her first book, congratulations to Dessa for her awesome range of accomplishments!
PBS Newshour Lauds Sam Polk’s Healthy Eating Activism in LA
Sam Polk was featured on an excellent PBS Newshour segment that highlighted his new venture, Everytable, as well as his first nonprofit, Groceryships, and his recently published memoir, "For the Love of Money."
Groceryships is a comprehensive nutritional education program for low-income families to promote a more empowered and informed relationship with grocery shopping, cooking, and food for healthier eating.
Polk conceived of Everytable as a way of competing with ubiquitous fast food in poor communities. The aim is to provide delicious, healthy, easy, and affordable grab-and-go meals to families in neighborhoods where there are few healthy options. Everytable, which was also covered in a recent New York Times story
, is trying the innovative strategy of setting prices according to the neighborhood -- the same meal will cost $4 in South LA and $8 in downtown LA -- to make nutritious food available and affordable in "food deserts" across the country.
Polk's memoir, "For the Love of Money," about his decision to abandon his Wall Street career, was published by Scribner in July, and received this great review on The New Yorker.com.
New short fiction from Monica Byrne
Two new pieces of short fiction from Monica Byrne, author of THE GIRL IN THE ROAD
(Crown), have been released -- one for reading and one for viewing.
Monica's short story "Traumphysik"
tells the story of a dreamy and spirited young physicist on an isolated Pacific atoll during World War II. The prestigious science-fiction website Tor.Com published the imaginative piece on June 29th, 2016.
And in an epic TED Talks performance
, Monica inhabits the character of a 318-year-old hologram telling her story of love and loss in a science-fictional future. The innovative piece of performance fiction -- currently viewed over half-million times! -- was featured on the TED homepage on the date of its release in May 2016. The performance originally took place, and was filmed, in February 2016.
Illustration by Keith Negley.
Adrienne Rich’s COLLECTED POEMS: 1950-2012 Receives Critical Acclaim
We are honored to announce the upcoming publication of Adrienne Rich's COLLECTED POEMS: 1950-2012
(Norton) on June 21st, 2016.
The collection, which begins with an introduction by Claudia Rankine
(recently excerpted in the New Yorker),
is already receiving tremendous attention. Dan Chiasson writes a richly laudatory review in this week's New Yorker
, in which he astutely observes Rich's precision of word choice and syntax, and her tremendous evolution as a poet and feminist over the course of her writing career, while Elizabeth Lund calls the collection "spectacular" in her stellar review in the Washington Post.
A celebration for Adrienne Rich's seminal collection
will be at Poet's House (10 Riverside Terrace, New York, NY) on June 21st at 7pm. The event will be free and open to the public.
THE STORY OF MY TEETH wins L.A. Times Book Award
Exciting news from Los Angeles! Valeria Luiselli's THE STORY OF MY TEETH
(Coffee House Press) has won the 2015 L.A. Times Book Award for fiction
. This is Valeria's second year running for winning recognition from the L.A. Times
; last year, she won their Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction for FACES IN THE CROWD
(Coffee House Press).
Richard Stratton, author of drug smuggling memoir, featured in the NY Daily News
The NY Daily News
ran a gripping feature about Richard Stratton
, whose upcoming memoir SMUGGLER'S BLUES
(Arcade) will be published on April 5, 2016. Considered "one of the last great hippie marijuana smugglers," Stratton ran marijuana and hash into the United States for decades, raking in millions with his hauls and crossing paths with the likes of Norman Mailer and James (Whitey) Bulger. The Daily News recounts Stratton's show-down of a final bust that resulted in his arrest and 25-year prison sentence.
Though the memoir focuses on his drug-running years, Hollywood followed prison for Stratton where he made use of his remarkable experiences, with stints advising on HBO's "Oz" and the documentary "Thug Life," and running Showtime's "Street Time." High time for his heart-thumping years to be immortalized on the published page!
David Cole’s Hat Tip to the NRA in NY Times Op-Ed
In his NY Times op-ed "What Liberals Can Learn from the N.R.A.
", David Cole explores the widespread grassroots activism that the N.R.A. has promoted in recent decades and how effectively they have galvanized the pro-gun political movement and changed our understanding of the constitution. Cole argues that these tactics can stand as valuable lessons to those trying to effect change from the opposite side.
The piece is drawn from Cole's upcoming book, Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law
(Basic Books), which examines the significant role of citizenship activism in major recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality, human rights, and gun control.
Eleanor Lerman’s RADIOMEN shortlisted for 2015 Indiefab Book of the Year Award
Eleanor Lerman's RADIOMEN
(The Permanent Press) has been included on the shortlist for the 2015 Indiefab Book of the Year Award in Science Fiction
Supernatural, philosophical and eerie, the literary sci-fi novel combines radios, dogs, alien encounters, and a Scientology-like cult in a story about an airport bartender with a long-repressed childhood memory of extraterrestrial encounter.
Lerman is an award-winning poet as well as novelist; her most recent collection Strange Life
was published in 2014 by Mayapple Press.
The Indiefab Awards
is sponsored by Foreword Reviews
, a book review journal dedicated to promoting books from small independent publishers, independent authors, and university presses. The awards will be presented at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in June.
New Illustrations for Margaret Wise Brown ClassicsHarperCollins Children's Books is releasing newly designed editions of some of Margaret Wise Brown's lesser-known picture books
, starting with THE DEAD BIRD illustrated by Christian Robinson.
The picture-book classic, a gently sobering story of four children finding a dead bird at the park, was first published in 1958 with illustrations by Remy Charlip. Christian Robinson, recipient of the 2016 Caldecott Honor for his illustrations in Matt de la Pena's LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, gives the timeless story a fresh look for today's readers.
THE DEAD BIRD is the first reissue of the "Explore the World of Margaret Wise Brown" program
HarperCollins Children's Books launches this month.
Alvaro Enrigue and Valeria Luiselli, “first couple of Mexican fiction,” profiled in Vogue
The new issue of Vogue
has a lovely piece on the married writers, Valeria Luiselli and Alvaro Enrigue
. The profile provides an engaging glimpse into their New York City apartment that houses their coexisting writing lifestyles. The two share how they met in Mexico City, what it is like to work side-by-side with another novelist, and their plans in the event of a Trump presidency.
Having moved to New York from Mexico City five years ago, the Mexican writers have garnered significant attention with their most recent novels: Valeria Luiselli's THE STORY OF MY TEETH has been named a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize in Fiction
and for the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) award in fiction
, and Alvaro Enrigue's SUDDEN DEATH received a rave review in the New York Times
and is a current LA Times bestseller
Donna Andrews wins Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery Novel
Our prolific Donna Andrews has won the Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery
, awarded by Left Coast Crime, for her latest novel, LORD OF THE WINGS
. This is the 20th installment in her long-running series for St. Martin's, and marks her fourth win in this category!
Valeria Luiselli’s THE STORY OF MY TEETH shortlisted for the L.A. Times Book Prize in Fiction
The L.A. Times has announced its Book Prize finalists
, and Valeria Luiselli's novel THE STORY OF MY TEETH
(Coffee House Press) is one of six books included on the shortlist for the esteemed award in fiction. Not Valeria's first honor from the L.A. Times
, she won the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction in 2015.
THE STORY OF MY TEETH has also been named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) award in fiction.
The L.A. Times Book Prizes will be awarded in Los Angeles on April 9th. Good luck, Valeria!
Coffee House Relaunches Brian Evenson Backlist to Critical Acclaim
Brian Evenson's newly released four-book set
, published by Coffee House Books in a handsome new design, consists of three reissued out-of-print novels -- Father of Lies
(1998), The Open Curtain
(2006), Last Days
(2009) -- and one new short story collection, A Collapse of Horses.
And with this publication has come exciting attention.
A profile in The New Yorker
of the literary horror icon discusses the overlap of his fiction, with its trademark "creeping uncertainty," and his devout Mormon childhood.
"Brian Evenson's Writing Is as Brutal as It Is Beautiful",
Blake Butler's glowing VICE review, uses the relaunch to assess Evenson's career, making the case that "now's a great time to be a Brian Evenson fan, new or longstanding."
The New York Times Praises Sudden Death by Alvaro EnrigueIn a stunning review in the New York Times
, Larry Rohter calls Alvaro Enrigue's newly published novel SUDDEN DEATH "droll and erudite" with "both great entertainment value and intellectual appeal." The review conveys the wild range of global history explored in this novel, from tennis courts in 17th Rome to Nazi sympathizers in France, and praises its "mischievous and picaresque" tone and its potent resonance for readers today. SUDDEN DEATH is Enrigue's fifth novel, and his first translated into English.
Rohter writes "SUDDEN DEATH is a splendid introduction to Mr. Enrigue’s varied body of work, but it also raises a question related to the themes of the novel: Why are English-language readers only now getting a glimpse of what this gifted writer has produced in a career that is already two decades old?" Something we're working to remedy.
Valeria Luiselli’s THE STORY OF MY TEETH Named NBCC Finalist
The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has announced the finalists for their 2015 literary awards
, and Valeria Luiselli's THE STORY OF MY TEETH
(Coffeehouse Press) is one of five shortlisted titles in fiction. "Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory in Mexico, Teeth
is an elegant, witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli’s own literary influences." The awards will be presented at an event in New York on March 17.
Our First Book of 2016
Martin Espada's VIVAS TO THOSE WHO HAVE FAILED
, his first collection of poems in five years, is just out from W.W. Norton. Featured are a cycle of sonnets about the Paterson Silk Strike and the immigrant laborers who envisioned an eight-hour workday, and a series of ten poems about the death of the poet’s father Frank Espada, community organizer,
civil rights activist, and documentary photographer, from a jailhouse in Mississippi to the streets of Brooklyn. Other poems confront collective grief in the wake of the killings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and police violence against people of color. Yet the poet also revels in the absurd, recalling his dubious career as a Shakespearean “actor,” finding madness and tenderness in the crowd at Fenway Park. In exquisitely wrought images, Espada’s poems show us the faces of Whitman’s “numberless unknown heroes.”
The Washington Post
in a review of the best poetry books of the month, calls it "some of Martín Espada’s most powerful writing in years."
STUNTWOMEN was the subject of an NPR piece on Sunday’s Weekend Edition
Novelist, screenwriter and film producer Mollie Gregory spoke to NPR's Rachel Martin
about her new book, Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story,
and the women who can do anything and everything. Listen all the way to the end for an amazing anecdote that elicited an "Oh, you're kidding!" from the interviewer.
Dorothy Allison writes movingly in The Huffington PostDorothy Allison's foreword
to the new anthology, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: Coming Out in the South
has been reprinted by The Huffington Post. In recalling the days before “this new wondrous age with Supreme Court decisions affirming gay and lesbian marriage,” Allison reminds us of the courage it took to self-identify as LGBT.
The Girl in the Road makes DSC Prize Longlist
We're thrilled that Monica Byrne's THE GIRL IN THE ROAD has been chosen for the longlist of the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
, which "features authors based in South Asia as well as the authors who explored South Asian life and culture from an outside perspective." Congratulations Monica!
Juan Gonzalez to be Inducted into the New York Journalism Hall of Fame
We are thrilled to announce that The New York Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
will be inducting Juan Gonzalez, NY Daily News reporter and author of HARVEST OF EMPIRE into their New York Journalism Hall of Fame, along with five other journalists this year, including Charlie Rose, Leslie Stahl and Max Frankel, former executive editor of the New York Times. He will be the first Latino journalist so honored.
Mollie Gregory Weighs in on Hollywood’s Equal Pay Problem in Variety
Mollie Gregory, author of the forthcoming STUNTWOMEN: THE UNTOLD HOLLYWOOD STORY
, joins the ongoing conversation about Hollywood's equal pay problem by taking us behind the scenes where the yawning gender wage gap continues to plague stuntwomen. Her piece, published in Variety, adds to the discussion sparked by the troubling statistics gathered by organizations such as The Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media by examining the hiring-gap and lack of upward career opportunities for stuntwomen.
Gloria Steinem Gives Shout Out to Ann Jones’s Next Time, She’ll Be DeadGloria Steinem
honors Domestic Violence Awareness Month by re-reading Ann Jones's groundbreaking NEXT TIME, SHE'LL BE DEAD
, and suggests we do the same. Steinem highlights Jones's seminal work, available on Open Road again, as a "mind-blowing, sanity-saving, revolutionary book," offering insights about the cycle of violence and parallels between domestic violence and other forms of servitude as well as practical answers to difficult questions.
Ron Childress’s novel And West is West Out This Week
n Childress's debut novel AND WEST IS WEST, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers
selection and a Salon fall books
pick, hits the stores this week. Winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, it's the riveting story of a drone pilot who follows orders and fires a missile even though she suspects the targets are innocent...and a computer geek who works at a bank, writing code that takes advantage of international instability, until his program goes haywire.
Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s Surviving Santiago Wins Moonbeam Award Gold Medal awarded to
Surviving Santiago, Lyn Miller-Lachmann's y/a novel set in Chile in the final months of the Pinochet regime, has won the Moonbeam Award Gold medal.
The Award is intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books.
Chris Lombardi, on the Bowe Bergdahl case, in Guernica
Chris Lombardi, who is completing a book on soldiers who become war resistors, writes in Guernica magazine
on the difficulty and importance of judging the Bowe Bergdahl case fairly. An important meditation.
David Cole: It’s not the Roberts Court, it’s the Kennedy Court
David Cole writes in the current issue of The Nation
, a special issue on the 10th anniversary of the Roberts Court, that not every Supreme Court decision in the ten years since John Roberts became Chief Justice has been terrible. A balanced view has to take into account liberal decisions on gay marriage, habeus corpus, Fourth Amendment privacy rights, criminal justice, and free speech, among other issues. But, he writes, "the Court is so closely divided, a single appointment could have dramatic consequences."
Evan Mandery Writes About Teaching Working Students for The New York Times Magazine
In this weekend's New York Times Magazine
, Evan Mandery writes about his talented student Ellie, and how public higher education often fails the very students it should be helping most. The piece is a call to action about the “vicious conundrum” of affordable education, where full time enrollment, which is often problematic, and at times impossible, for the working student, is a requirement for financial aid eligibility.
Vulture Chats With Our Matt McGowan About Longtime Favorite, Graywolf Press
Our Matt McGowan is quoted in a nice, long overdue piece about one of our favorite publishers, Graywolf Press
. Fiona McCrae, Graywolf’s publisher since 1994, states, “I think of success as being able to say yes to something that doesn’t necessarily look like a commercial winner . . . Knowing something is good and having to say no, that seems to me the bigger failure.”
The New York Times Pays a Visit to Valeria Luiselli’s Harlem Studio
Valeria Luiselli joins authors such as Jane Smiley, Jeannette Winterson, and Luc Sante in The New York Times Magazine’s feature on writer’s rooms
. The visit to Luiselli’s light-filled Harlem studio is captured in a lyrical photo essay that illuminates intimate details about her writing practices, workspace, and family.
New Suns, Monica Byrne’s Culture Column in Electric Literature, is Live!Monica Byrne launches her culture column, NEW SUNS, in Electric Literature
. Crowdfunded through Patreon, her column seeks to broaden and redefine our ideas about pop culture; her first post, about the budding art scene in Belize, does exactly that.
Pratap Chatterjee Discusses Drone Warfare in Poignant and Timely New York Times Op-edPratap Chatterjee writes movingly about the psychological costs of drone warfare in The New York Times
. Reminding us that remote control is not so remote after all, Chatterjee calls for an investigation into the U.S. drone wars, which take a toll both overseas, where the civilian death rate can be as high as 10 percent, and at home.
Barbara Kingsolver’s Op-Ed on Letting the Confederate Flag Go in The GuardianBarbara Kingsolver discusses the complicated meaning of the Confederate Flag for Southerners
, and why it's time to let it go. In her vision of a transformed South, she writes that Southern pride “doesn’t mean loving the lynchings, segregation and racial inequality that have bled into this place.” For Kingsolver, defining southern pride “is an endless navigation. . . . the duty is ours, and ours alone, to distinguish our past from our future.”