Gail and Jon Durbin moved to the Chicago suburbs to set up house as soon as Gail got pregnant. But then she miscarried—once, twice, three times. Determined to expand their family, the Durbins turn to adoption. When several adoptions fall through, Gail’s desire for a child overwhelms her. Carli is a pregnant teenager from a blue collar town nearby, with dreams of going to college and getting out of her mother’s home. When she makes the gut wrenching decision to give her baby up for adoption, she chooses the Durbins. But Carli’s mother, Marla, has other plans for her grandbaby. In Other People’s Children, three mothers make excruciating choices to protect their families and their dreams—choices that put them at decided odds against one another. You will root for each one of them and wonder just how far you’d go in the same situation. This riveting debut is a thoughtful exploration of love and family, and a heart pounding page turner you’ll find impossible to put down.
Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?
Only men are affected by the virus; only women have the power to save us all.
The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien a women's world.
What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus's consequences, told through first person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the male plague; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal the loss of husbands and sons to the political the changes in the workforce, fertility and the meaning of family.
In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney Baird creates an unforgettable tale of loss, resilience and hope.
An Indian American magical realist coming of age story, spanning two continents, two coasts, and four epochs, in razor sharp and deeply funny prose, Sathian captures what it is to grow up as a member of a family, of a diaspora, and of the American meritocracy.
A floundering second generation teenager growing up in the Bush era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is authentic, funny, and smart. He just doesn't share the same drive as everyone around him. His perfect older sister is headed to Duke. His parents' expectations for him are just as high. He tries to want this version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul de sac, Anita Dayal.
But Anita has a secret: she and her mother Anjali have been brewing an ancient alchemical potion from stolen gold that harnesses the ambition of the jewelry's original owner. Anjali's own mother in Bombay didn't waste the precious potion on her daughter, favoring her sons instead. Anita, on the other hand, just needs a little boost to get into Harvard. But when Neil who needs a whole lot joins in the plot, events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart.
Ten years later, Neil is an oft stoned Berkeley history grad student studying the California gold rush. His high school cohort has migrated to Silicon Valley, where he reunites with Anita and resurrects their old habit of gold theft only now, the stakes are higher. Anita's mother is in trouble, and only gold can save her. Anita and Neil must pull off one last heist.
Gold Diggers is a fine grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation in to questions of identity and coming of age that tears down American shibboleths.
A love story set in nineteenth century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman.
The sky opens up I hear them laugh.
They don’t feel the sadness in the air.
They don’t feel the danger coming, riding in on the wind.
In the hinterlands of old Norway, Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold.
Maeva tries to hide the girl from the suspicious townsfolk of the austere village of Ørken, just as she conceals her own magical ancestry from her daughter. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish.Following both mother and daughter from the shadows and through time, an inquisitive shapeshifter waits for the Fates to spin their web, and for Maeva to finally reclaim who she once was. And as Maeva’s elusive past begins to beckon, she realizes that she must help her daughter navigate and control her own singular birthright if the child is to survive the human world.
But the protective love Pieter has for his family is threatening the secure life they have slowly built and increasingly becoming a tragic obstacle. Witnessing this, Maeva comes to a drastic conclusion: she must make Leidah promise to keep a secret from Pieter—a perilous one that may eventually free them all.
From an award winning storyteller comes a stunning debut novel about a New Mexican family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice.
It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty three year old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen year old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother’s house, setting her life on a startling new path.
Vivid, tender, funny, and beautifully rendered, The Five Wounds spans the baby’s first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo’s mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel’s mother, Marissa, whom Angel isn’t speaking to; and disapproving Tíve, Yolanda’s uncle and keeper of the family’s history. Each brings expectations that Amadeo, who often solves his problems with a beer in his hand, doesn’t think he can live up to.
The Five Wounds is a miraculous debut novel from a writer whose stories have been hailed as “legitimate masterpieces” (New York Times). Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that will linger long after the final page, bringing to life their struggles to parent children they may not be equipped to save.
Inspired by true events, this vivid and moving story of a young woman zookeeper and the elephant she's compelled to protect through the German blitz of Belfast during WWll speaks to not only the tragedy of the times, but also to the ongoing sectarian tensions that still exist in Northern Ireland today—perfect for readers of historical and literary fiction alike.
In October 1940, twenty year old zookeeper Hettie Quin meets Violet, a three year old elephant arriving at the Belfast docks from Ceylon. Soon she becomes Violet's dedicated zookeeper at the Bellevue Zoo. In mourning for the recent loss of her sister and the abandonment of her father, she finds contentment in her relationship with Violet and her fellow zookeepers.
Six months later, in April 1941, Belfast is attacked. One evening, over five hours, 674 bombs are dropped and almost a thousand civilians are killed. During the bombings, Hettie Quin fights to save her elephant and survive the destruction and escalating sectarian unrest of the city.
Inspired by the life of Denise Austin, S. Kirk Walsh deftly renders the changing relationship between Hettie and her young charge, and their growing dependence on each other for survival and solace. The Elephant of Belfast is a complicated portrait of love, loss, grief, and resilience.
New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins makes her fiction debut with this electrifying novel, for fans of Ta Nehisi Coates and Jacqueline Woodson, that brings to life one powerful and enigmatic family in a tale rife with secrets, betrayal, intrigue, and magic.Laila desperately wants to become a mother, but each of her previous pregnancies has ended in heartbreak. This time has to be different, so she turns to the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power.
When a deal for Laila to acquire a piece of caul falls through, she is heartbroken, but when the child is stillborn, she is overcome with grief and rage. What she doesn’t know is that a baby will soon be delivered in her family—by her niece, Amara, an ambitious college student—and delivered to the Melancons to raise as one of their own. Hallow is special: she’s born with a caul, and their matriarch, Maman, predicts the girl will restore the family’s prosperity.
Growing up, Hallow feels that something in her life is not right. Did Josephine, the woman she calls mother, really bring her into the world? Why does her cousin Helena get to go to school and roam the streets of New York freely while she’s confined to the family’s decrepit brownstone?
As the Melancons’ thirst to maintain their status grows, Amara, now a successful lawyer running for district attorney, looks for a way to avenge her longstanding grudge against the family. When mother and daughter cross paths, Hallow will be forced to decide where she truly belongs.
Engrossing, unique, and page turning, Caul Baby illuminates the search for familial connection, the enduring power of tradition, and the dark corners of the human heart.
A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life's curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing and maybe even a second chance just when they least expect it.
Forty four year old Alice Holtzman is stuck in a dead end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn't turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren't helping her feel better these days.
In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake's sincere interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm.
And then there's Harry, a twenty four year old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice's ad for part time farm help, he's shocked to find himself hired. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.
Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don't turn out the way you expect.
A sensual novel, Popisho conjures a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits. Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own.
Somewhere far away or maybe right nearby lies an archipelago called Popisho. A place of stunning beauty and incorrigible mischief, destiny and mystery, it is also a place in need of change.
Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation, anointed by the gods to make each resident one perfect meal when the time is right. Anise, his long lost love, is on a march toward reckoning with her healing powers. The governor’s daughter, Sonteine, is getting married, her father demanding a feast out of turn. And graffiti messages from an unknown source are asking hard questions. A storm is brewing. Before it comes, before the end of the day, this wildly imaginative narrative will take us across the islands, their history, and into the lives of unforgettable characters.
The prize winning, bestselling author of Gingerbread; Boy, Snow, Bird; and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a vivid and inventive new novel about a couple forever changed by an unusual train voyage.
When Otto and Xavier Shin declare their love, an aunt gifts them a trip on a sleeper train to mark their new commitment and to get them out of her house. Setting off with their pet mongoose, Otto and Xavier arrive at their sleepy local train station, but quickly deduce that The Lucky Day is no ordinary locomotive. Their trip on this former tea smuggling train has been curated beyond their wildest imaginations, complete with mysterious and welcoming touches, like ingredients for their favorite breakfast. They seem to be the only people onboard, until Otto discovers a secretive woman who issues a surprising message. As further clues and questions pile up, and the trip upends everything they thought they knew, Otto and Xavier begin to see connections to their own pasts, connections that now bind them together.
A spellbinding tale from a star author, Peaces is about what it means to be seen by another person whether it's your lover or a stranger on a train and what happens when things you thought were firmly in the past turn out to be right beside you.
Award winning author Willy Vlautin explores the impact of trickle down greed and opportunism of gentrification on ordinary lives in this scorching novel that captures the plight of a young woman pushed to the edge as she fights to secure a stable future for herself and her family.
Barely thirty, Lynette is exhausted. Saddled with bad credit and juggling multiple jobs, some illegally, she’s been diligently working to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother Kenny. Portland’s housing prices have nearly quadrupled in fifteen years, and the owner is giving them a good deal. Lynette knows it’s their last best chance to own their own home—and obtain the security they’ve never had. While she has enough for the down payment, she needs her mother to cover the rest of the asking price. But a week before they’re set to sign the loan papers, her mother gets cold feet and reneges on her promise, pushing Lynette to her limits to find the money they need.
Set over two days and two nights, The Night Always Comes follows Lynette’s frantic search—an odyssey of hope and anguish that will bring her face to face with greedy rich men and ambitious hustlers, those benefiting and those left behind by a city in the throes of a transformative boom. As her desperation builds and her pleas for help go unanswered, Lynette makes a dangerous choice that sets her on a precarious, frenzied spiral. In trying to save her family’s future, she is plunged into the darkness of her past, and forced to confront the reality of her life.
A heart wrenching portrait of a woman hungry for security and a home in a rapidly changing city, The Night Always Comes raises the difficult questions we are often too afraid to ask ourselves: What is the price of gentrification, and how far are we really prepared to go to achieve the American Dream? Is the American dream even attainable for those living at the edges? Or for too many of us, is it only a hollow promise?
London has changed a lot over the years. The Soho that Precious and Tabitha live and work in is barely recognisable any. And now, the building they call their home is under threat; its billionaire owner Agatha wants to kick the women out to build expensive restaurants and luxury flats. Men like Robert, who visit the brothel, will have to go elsewhere. The collection of vagabonds and strays in the basement will have to find somewhere else to live. But the women are not going to go quietly. They have plans to make things difficult for Agatha but she isn't taking no for an answer.
Hot Stew is an insightful and ambitious novel about property, ownership, wealth and inheritance. It is about the place we occupy in society, especially women, and the importance placed on class and money. It doesn't shy away from asking difficult questions but does so with humour and intelligence.
Award winning author Elizabeth McCracken is an undisputed virtuoso of the short story, and this new collection features her most vibrant and heartrending work to date
In these stories, the mysterious bonds of family are tested, transformed, fractured, and fortified. A recent widower and his adult son ferry to a craggy Scottish island in search of puffins. An actress who plays a children’s game show villainess ushers in the New Year with her deadbeat half brother. A mother, pining for her children, feasts on loaves of challah to fill the void. A new couple navigates a tightrope walk toward love. And on a trip to a Texas water park with their son, two fathers each confront a personal fear.
With sentences that crackle and spark and showcase her trademark wit, McCracken traces how our closely held desires—for intimacy, atonement, comfort—bloom and wither against the indifferent passing of time. Her characters embark on journeys that leave them indelibly changed—and so do her readers. The Souvenir Museum showcases the talents of one of our finest contemporary writers as she tenderly takes the pulse of our collective and individual lives.
535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador's children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.
Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king's son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.
All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It's a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.
Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities
One of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories.
In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair.
In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I?
This summer has the potential to change everything.
The summer of 1936 in Parsons, Georgia, is unseasonably hot, and Opal Pruitt can sense a nameless storm coming. She hopes this foreboding feeling won’t overshadow her upcoming eighteenth birthday or the annual Founder’s Day celebration in just a few weeks. As hard as she works in the home of the widow Miss Peggy, Opal enjoys having something to look forward to.
But when the Ku Klux Klan descends on Opal’s neighborhood of Colored Town, the tight knit community is shaken in every way. Parsons’s residents—both Black and white—are forced to acknowledge the unspoken codes of conduct in their post Reconstruction era town. To complicate matters, Opal finds herself torn between two unexpected romantic interests, awakening many new emotions. She never thought that becoming a woman would bring with it such complicated decisions about what type of person she wants to be.
In When Stars Rain Down, Angela Jackson Brown introduces us to a small Southern town grappling with haunting questions still relevant today—and to a young woman whose search for meaning resonates across the ages.
A deeply moving novel about a woman who thought she never wanted to be a mother and the many ways that life can surprise us
In every woman there are many stories .
Rose Napolitano is fighting with her husband, Luke, about prenatal vitamins. She promised she'd take them, but didn't. He promised before they got married that he'd never want children, but now he's changed his mind. Their marriage has come to rest on this one question: Can Rose find it in herself to become a mother? Rose is a successful professor and academic. She's never wanted to have a child. The fight ends, and with it their marriage.
But then, Rose has a fight with Luke about the vitamins again. This time the fight goes slightly differently, and so does Rose's future as she grapples with whether she can indeed give up the one thing she thought she knew about herself. Can she reimagine her life in a completely new way? That reimagining plays out again and again in each of Rose's nine lives, just as it does for each of us as we grow into adulthood. What are the consequences of our biggest choices? How would life change if we let go of our preconceived ideas of ourselves and became someone completely new? Rose Napolitano's experience of choosing and then choosing again shows us in an utterly compelling way what it means, literally, to reinvent a life and, sometimes, become a different kind of woman than we ever imagined.
A stunning novel about love, loss, betrayal, divorce, death, a woman's career and her identity, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano is about finding one's way into a future that wasn't the future one planned, and the ways that fate intercedes when we least expect it.
Most Anticipated: The Great First Half 2021 by The MillionsNew York’s last bohemia—the glittering, decadent downtown club scene of the 1980s—is the setting for this brilliantly winning novel about a smart, vulnerable young woman taking a deep dive into her dark side, essential for fans of Sweetbitter, Fleabag, and books by Patti Smith.New York, 1984: Twenty two year old Phoebe Hayes is a young woman in search of excitement and adventure. But the recent death of her father has so devastated her that her mother wants her to remain home in Balti to recover. Phoebe wants to return to New York, not only to chase the glamorous life she so desperately craves but also to confront Ivan, the older man who painfully wronged her. With her best friend Carmen, she escapes to the East Village, disappearing into an underworld haunted by artists, It Girls, and lost souls trying to party their pain away. Carmen juggles her junkie poet boyfriend and a sexy painter while, as Astrid the Star Girl, Phoebe tells fortunes in a nightclub and plots her revenge on Ivan. When the intoxicating brew of sex, drugs, and self destruction leads Phoebe to betray her friend, Carmen disappears, and Phoebe begins an unstoppable descent into darkness. She may have a chance to save herself—and Carmen, if she can find her—but to do it she must face what’s hiding in the shadows she’s been running from—within her heart and in the dangerous midnight streets.A love letter to gritty 1980s New York City, Astrid Sees All is an irresistible, original novel about female friendship, sex and romance, and what it’s like to be a young woman searching for an identity.
One of O, The Oprah Magazine’s “Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels That Will Sweep You Away” and LitHub’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2021.” For fans of Amy Bloom’s White Houses and Colm Tóibín’s The Master, a page turning novel about Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington and the art, drama, and romance that defined her coming of age during World War II.1940. A train carrying exiled German prisoners from a labor camp arrives in southern France. Within moments, word spreads that Nazi capture is imminent, and the men flee for the woods, desperate to disappear across the Spanish border. One stays behind, determined to ride the train until he reaches home, to find a woman he refers to simply as “her.” 1937. Leonora Carrington is a twenty year old British socialite and painter dreaming of independence when she meets Max Ernst, an older, married artist whose work has captivated Europe. She follows him to Paris, into the vibrant revolutionary world of studios and cafes where rising visionaries of the Surrealist movement like Andre Breton, Pablo Picasso, Lee Miller, Man Ray, and Salvador Dali are challenging conventional approaches to art and life. Inspired by their freedom, Leonora begins to experiment with her own work, translating vivid stories of her youth onto canvas and gaining recognition under her own name. It is a bright and glorious age of enlightenment—until the shadow of war looms over Europe and headlines emerge denouncing Max and his circle as “degenerates,” leading to his arrest and imprisonment. Left along as occupation spreads throughout the countryside, Leonora battles terrifying circumstances to survive, reawakening past demons that threaten to consume her. As Leonora and Max embark on remarkable journeys together and apart, the full story of their tumultuous and passionate love affair unfolds, spanning time and borders as they seek to reunite and reclaim their creative power in a world shattered by war. When their paths cross with Peggy Guggenheim, an art collector and socialite working to help artists escape to America, nothing will be the same. Based on true events and historical figures, Leonora in the Morning Light is an unforgettable story of love, art, and destiny that restores a twentieth century heroine to her rightful place in our collective imagination.
A genre defying, continents spanning saga of Korean myth, scientific discovery, and the abiding love that binds even the most broken of families. Elsa Park is a particle physicist at the top of her game, stationed at a neutrino observatory in the Antarctic, confident she's put enough distance between her ambitions and the family ghosts she's run from all her life. But it isn't long before her childhood imaginary friend—an achingly familiar, spectral woman in the snow—comes to claim her at last. Years ago, Elsa's now catatonic mother had warned her that the women of their line were doomed to repeat the narrative lives of their ancestors from Korean myth and legend. But beyond these ghosts, Elsa also faces a earthly fate: the mental illness and generational trauma that run in her immigrant family, a sickness no less ravenous than the ancestral curse hunting her. When her mother breaks her decade long silence and tragedy strikes, Elsa must return to her childhood home in California. There, among family wrestling with their own demons, she unravels the secrets hidden in the handwritten pages of her mother’s dark stories: of women’s desire and fury; of magic suppressed, stolen, or punished; of the hunger for vengeance. From Sparks Fellow, Tin House alumna, and Harvard graduate Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn is a wondrous and necessary exploration of the myths we inherit and those we fashion for ourselves.
A literary novel set on the coast of Maine during the 1960s, tracing the life of a family and its matriarch as they negotiate sharing a home.
Margreete’s Harbor begins with a fire: a fiercely independent, thrice widowed woman living on her own in a rambling house near the Maine coast forgets a hot pan on the stovetop, and nearly burns her place down.
When Margreete Bright calls her daughter Liddie to confess, Liddie realizes that her mother can no longer live alone. She, her husband Harry, and their children Eva and Bernie move from a settled life in Michigan across the country to Margreete’s isolated home, and begin a new life.
Margreete’s Harbor tells the story of ten years in the history of a family: a novel of small moments, intimate betrayals, arrivals and disappearances that coincide with America during the late 1950s through the turbulent 1960s. Liddie, a professional cellist, struggles to find space for her music in a marriage that increasingly confines her; Harry’s critical approach to the growing war in Vietnam endangers his new position as a high school history teacher; Bernie and Eva begin to find their own identities as young adults; and Margreete slowly descends into a private world of memories, even as she comes to find a larger purpose in them.
An overwhelmed new mom discovers unexpected parallels between life in twenty first century America and her grandmother's account of their family's escape from the Nazis in this sharp, heartfelt novel.
A fresh perspective one that's both haunting and hilarious on dual timeline war stories, a feat that only a writer of Kuznetsova's caliber could pull off. Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
Larissa is a stubborn, brutally honest woman in her eighties, tired of her home in Kiev, Ukraine tired of everything really, except for her beloved granddaughter, Natasha. Natasha is tired as well, but that's because she just had a baby, and she's struggling to balance her roles as a new mother, a wife, a struggling actress, and a host to her husband's slacker best friend, Stas, who has been staying with them in their cramped one bedroom apartment in upper Manhattan.
When Natasha asks Larissa to tell the story of her family's Soviet wartime escape from the Nazis in Kiev, she reluctantly agrees. Maybe Natasha is just looking for distraction from her own life, but Larissa is desperate to make her happy, even though telling the story makes her heart ache. Larissa recounts the nearly three year period when she fled with her self absorbed sister, parents, and grandmother to a factory town in the Ural Mountains where they faced starvation, a cholera outbreak, a tragic suicide, and where she was torn in her affections for two brothers from a wealthy family. But neither Larissa nor Natasha can anticipate how loudly these lessons of the past will echo in their present moments.
Something Unbelievable explores with piercing wit and tender feeling just how much our circumstances shape our lives and what we pass on to the younger generations, willingly or not.
In September of 1940, during the Blitz in London, Audrey Stocking is blending in with other civilians who are trying to survive the nightly bombings, but she has a secret. She's not British; she's German. Her fake passport and nearly perfect English allow her to blend in as she works hard to help evacuate British children into the countryside. Audrey longs to reunite with her family in Germany, but her double life, the bombings, and the watchful British Military Intelligence have forced her to stay put. And then there are the paralyzing nightmares .
Lieutenant Wesley Bowers, an American soldier training with London's Bomb Disposal Company 5, meets Audrey when an air raid leaves an unexploded bomb on the floor of her flat. She is attractive, intelligent, and compassionate, and there's an immediate connection between them. As they get to know each other, Wesley realizes Audrey is the one bright spot amid the war's unending bleakness and constant threat of death. But will he still feel the same if he discovers the secrets she is hiding? Secrets even Audrey is unaware of?
In Times of Rain and War is a gripping and heartbreakingly beautiful story about the strength and resilience of the human heart and spirit, reminding us there is always hope in hard times.
A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award winning writer that connects the lives of young people from small towns in Alaska and the American west. Each story is unique, yet universal.
In this book, the impact of wildfire, a wayward priest, or a mysterious disappearance ricochet across communities, threading through stories. Here, ordinary actions such as ice skating or going to church reveal hidden truths. One choice threatens a lifelong friendship. Siblings save each other. Rescue and second chances are possible, and so is revenge.
On the surface, it seems that nothing ever happens in these towns. But Bonnie Sue Hitchcock shows that underneath that surface, teenagers' lives blaze with fury, with secrets, and with love so strong it burns a path to the future.
An exhilarating debut by a young writer from Pakistan: provocative, funny, disarmingly original stories that upend traditional notions of identity and family, and peer into the vulnerable workings of the human heart.
From the high stakes worlds of television and politics to the intimate corridors of home including the bedroom these wryly observed, deeply revealing stories look at life in Pakistan with humor, compassion, psychological acuity, and emotional immediacy. Childhood best friends agree to marry in order to keep their sexuality a secret. A young woman with an anxiety disorder discovers the numbing pleasures of an illicit love affair. A radicalized student's preparations for his sister's wedding involve beating up the groom. An actress is forced to grow up fast on the set of her first major tv show, where the real intrigue takes place off screen. Every story bears witness to the all too universal desire to be loved, and what happens when this longing gets pushed to its limits. Are You Enjoying? is a free spirited, confident, indelible introduction to a galvanizing new talent.
From an exhilarating new literary voice the story of four transplants braving the explosive political tensions behind the deceptive, spectacular, endlessly self reinventing city of Las Vegas.
On Friday, May 1st, 2015 a bomb detonates in the infamous Positano Luxury Resort and Casino, a mammoth hotel (and exact replica of the Amalfi coast) on the Las Vegas Strip.
Six months prior, a crop of strivers converge on the desert city, attempting to make a home amidst the dizzying lights: Ray, a mathematically minded high stakes professional poker player; Mary Ann, a clinically depressed cocktail waitress; Tom, a tourist from the working class suburbs of Rome, Italy; and Lindsay, a Mormon journalist for the Las Vegas Sun who dreams of a literary career. By chance and by design, they find themselves caught up in backroom schemes for personal and political power, and are thrown into the deep end of an even bigger fight for the soul of the paradoxical town.
A furiously rowdy and ricocheting saga about poker, happiness, class, and selflessness, Paradise, Nevada is a panoramic tour of America in miniature, a vertiginously beautiful systems novel where the bloody battles of neo liberalism, immigration, labor, and family rage underneath Las Vegas’ beguiling and strangely benevolent light. This exuberant debut marks the beginning of a significant career.
From the internationally bestselling author of
, this thrilling new novel of an Antarctica expedition gone wrong and its far reaching consequences leaves the reader moved and subtly changed, as if she had become part of the story (Hilary Mantel).
Remember the training: find shelter or make shelter, remain in place, establish contact with other members of the party, keep moving, keep calm.
Robert 'Doc' Wright, a veteran of Antarctic surveying, was there on the ice when the worst happened. He holds within him the complete story of that night but depleted by the disaster, Wright is no longer able to communicate the truth. Instead, in the wake of the catastrophic expedition, he faces the most daunting adventure of his life: learning a whole new way to be in the world. Meanwhile Anna, his wife, must suddenly scramble to navigate the sharp and unexpected contours of life as a caregiver.
From the Booker Prize longlisted, American Academy of Arts Letters Award winning author of Reservoir 13, this is a novel every bit as mesmerizing as its setting. Tenderly unraveling different notions of heroism through the rippling effects of one extraordinary expedition on an ordinary family, Lean, Fall, Stand explores the indomitable human impulse to turn our experiences into stories even when the words may fail us.
I’m not yours and you’re not mine. That’s what I say to his dreaming face as I watch the shadows of his dark eyelashes dance by the light of a Tilley lamp.
It’s not the first lie I’ve told myself. When I was sixteen, I wanted to fly. I was going to take off like an angel from heaven and leave the muck and madness of Northern Ireland behind as I struck out across the west coast of Donegal heading straight for America.Nothing but the Land of Happy Ever After would do for me.
It was him I blamed for clipping my wings.I fashioned a cage out of self pity then and slipped it over my head like a boned corset to hold myself together and to lock him out.
But hate cannot bind two people to each other for twenty five years, no matter how many dark skies have to be weathered. Only love can do that. It’s the first truth I’ve told myself.
From one of our most preeminent writers, a tale that captures the shifting meanings of the past, and how our experience colors those meanings.
Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, one of the seven elderly trustees of the now defunct (for thirty four years) Temple Academy for Boys, is preparing a memoir of his days at the school, intertwined with the troubling distractions of present events. As he navigates, with faltering recall, between the subtle anti Semitism that pervaded the school's ethos and his fascination with his own family's heritage in particular, his illustrious cousin, the renowned archaeologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie he reconstructs the passions of a childhood encounter with the oddly named Ben Zion Elefantin, a mystifying older pupil who claims descent from Egypt's Elephantine Island. From this seed emerges one of Cynthia Ozick's most wondrous tales, touched by unsettling irony and the elusive flavor of a Kafka parable, and weaving, in her own distinctive voice, myth and mania, history and illusion.
Crisis slid from distant threat to imminent probability and we tuned it out like static Francesca is Caro's stepmother, and Pauly's mother. A scientist, she can see what is going to happen.The high house was once her holiday home; now looked after by locals Grandy and Sally, she has turned it into an ark, for when the time comes. The mill powers the generator; the orchard is carefully pruned; the greenhouse has all its glass intact. Almost a family, but not quite, they plant, store seed, and watch the weather carefully.A stunning novel of the extraordinary and the everyday,The High House explores how we get used to change that once seemed unthinkable, how we place the needs of our families against the needs of others and it asks us who, if we had to, we would save.
A masterpiece of a family in crisis from twice Booker shortlisted author Damon Galgut'Emotionally powerful and thrilling,' Gabriel Byrne'A literary masterpiece' Sarah HallThe Promise charts the crash and burn of a white South African family, living on a farm outside Pretoria. The Swarts are gathering for Ma's funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stand for not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.The narrator's eye shifts and blinks: moving fluidly between characters, flying into their dreams; deliciously lethal in its observation. And as the country moves from old deep divisions to its new so called fairer society, the lost promise of than just one family hovers behind the novel's title.In this story of a diminished family, sharp and tender emotional truths hit home. Confident, deft and quietly powerful, The Promise is literary fiction at its finest.'Gorgeous and pleasurable' Tessa Hadley'The most important book of the last ten years' Edmund White'Simply: you must read it' Claire Messud
An incredible story following two sisters, both deaf and raised in cultlike seclusion by deaf parents, and the shattering consequences that unfold when that isolation comes to an end
Sisters Lili and Dori Ackerman are deaf. Their parents beautiful, despondent Anna; fearsome and admired Alex are deaf too. Alex, a scrap metal collector and sometime prophet, opposes any attempts to integrate with the world of the hearing; to escape its destructive influence, the girls are educated at home. Deafness is no disability, their father says, but an alternative way of life, preferable by far to that of the strident, hypocritical hearing.
Lili and Dori grow up semi feral, living in a world they have created together. Lili writes down everything that happens, just the facts. And Dori, the reader, follows her. On the block where the girls spend their childhood, the family is united against a hostile and alien world. They watch the hearing like they would fish in an aquarium.
But when the outside world intrudes, the cracks that begin to form will span the rest of their lives. Separated from the family that ingrained in them a sense of uniqueness and alienation, Lili and Dori must relearn how to live, and how to tell their own stories.
Sly, surprising, and as sharp fanged as its protagonists, Yaara Shehori's Aquarium is a stunning debut that interrogates the practices of storytelling and storyhearing.
A remarkable debut about intergenerational female relationships and resistance found in the unlikeliest of places, We, Jane explores the precarity of rural existence and the essential nature of abortion.
Searching for meaning in her Montreal life, Marthe begins an intense friendship with an older woman, also from Newfoundland, who tells her a story about purpose, about a duty to fulfill. It's back home, and it goes by the name of Jane.
Marthe travels back to a small town on the island with the older woman to continue the work of an underground movement in 60s Chicago: abortion services performed by women, always referred to as Jane. She commits to learning how to continue this legacy and protect such essential knowledge. But the nobility of her task and the reality of small town, rural life compete, and personal fractures in the small movement become clear.
We, Jane probes the importance of care work by women for women. It underscores the complexity of relationships in close circles, and beautifully captures the inevitable heartache of understanding home. From a celebrated translator of cutting edge fiction, this is Red Clocks meets Women Talking; a quiet, compelling novel about the magnitude of women's friendships and connection—individually and across eras.
A daughter's fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born
In present day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.
From 19th century cigar factories to present day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia'sOf Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals personal and political, self inflicted and those done by others that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is than a diaspora story; it is a story of America's most tangled, honest, human roots.
Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9781982159467.
For readers of Valeria Luiselli and Edwidge Danticat, an urgent and lyrical novel about a Colombian family fractured by deportation, offering an intimate perspective on an experience that so many have endured—and are enduring right now. At the dawn of the new millennium, Colombia is a country devastated by half a century of violence. Elena and Mauro are teenagers when they meet, their blooming love an antidote to the mounting brutality of life in Bogotá. Once their first daughter is born, and facing grim economic prospects, they set their sights on the United States. They travel to Houston and send wages back to Elena’s mother, all the while weighing whether to risk overstaying their tourist visas or to return to Bogotá. As their family expands, and they move again and again, their decision to ignore their exit dates plunges the young family into the precariousness of undocumented status, the threat of discovery menacing a life already strained. When Mauro is deported, Elena, now tasked with caring for their three small children, makes a difficult choice that will ease her burdens but splinter the family even further. Award winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, herself the daughter of Colombian immigrants and a dual citizen, gives voice to Mauro and Elena, as well as their children, Karina, Nando, and Talia—each one navigating a divided existence, weighing their allegiance to the past, the future, to one another, and to themselves. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality for the undocumented in America, Infinite Country is the story of two countries and one mixed status family—for whom every triumph is stitched with regret and every dream pursued bears the weight of a dream deferred.
From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships.
A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the span of the next twenty years.
On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he'll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle's headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn't protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.
When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers each determined to see her child inherit a better life will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.
As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What's Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.
From the celebrated author of the New York Times bestseller Behold the Dreamers, comes a sweeping, wrenching story about the collision of a small African village and an America oil company.
We should have known the end was near.
So begins Imbolo Mbue’s powerful second novel, How Beautiful We Were. Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company.
Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean up and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle would last for decades and come at a steep price.
Told through the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold onto its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom.
The unforgettable story of a community on the wrong end of Western greed, How Beautiful We Were will enthrall you, appall you, and show you what is possible when a few people stand up and say this is not right. A masterful novel by a spellbinding writer engaged with the most urgent questions of our day.”—David Ebershoff, bestselling author of The Danish Girl
The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman returns with an unforgettable story about the meaning of freedom. Coming of age as a free born Black girl in Reconstruction era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark.
When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come. Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new novel resonates in our times and is perfect for readers of Brit Bennett, Min Jin Lee, and Yaa Gyasi.
The long awaited new novel from one of America’s most highly regarded contemporary writers, The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed and disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of left wing intellectuals and politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese “aunt,” he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise―but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen, from the oppression of the state, to the self torture of addiction, to the seemingly unresolvable paradox of how he can reunite his two closest friends, men whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition.
Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen’s position in the firmament of American letters
WINNER of the LEE SMITH NOVEL PRIZE
Evie Austin, native of Hatteras Island, North Carolina and baddest girl on the planet, has not lived her life in a straight line. There have been several detours―career snafus, bad romantic choices, a loved but unplanned child―not to mention her ill advised lifelong obsession with boxer Mike Tyson. Evie is not plucky, but when life’s changes smash over her like the rough surf of the local shoreline, she muddles through―until that moment of loss and longing when muddling will no longer suffice. This is the story of what the baddest girl on the planet must find in herself when a bag of pastries, a new lover, or quick trip to Vegas won’t fix anything, and when something than casual haplessness is required. The Baddest Girl on the Planet is inventive, sharp, witty, and poignant. Readers will want to jump in and advise this baddest girl on the planet―or at least just give her a shake or a hug―at every fascinating turn.
Shay is surprised when her husband Senna declares his intention to build her a spectacular dream house on an idyllic beach in the tropical island nation of Madagascar.
But the Red Island House casts a spell from the moment she sees it, and before she knows it Shay has become the somewhat reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and education, and her connection to the continent of her ancestors.
At first, she’s content to be an observer of the passionate affairs and fierce ambitions and rivalries around her. But as she and her husband raise children and establish their own rituals on the island, Shay finds herself drawn ever deeper into an extraordinary place with its own laws and logic, a provocative paradise full of magic and myth whose fraught colonial legacy continues to reverberate. Soon the collision of cultures comes right to Shay’s door, forcing her to make a life altering decision.
A sweeping novel about marriage and loyalty, identity and heritage, fate and freedom, Red Island House reintroduces readers to a powerhouse literary voice and an extravagantly lush, enchanted world.
Kabul, 1978: The daughter of a prominent family, Sitara Zamani lives a privileged life in Afghanistan’s thriving cosmopolitan capital. The 1970s are a time of remarkable promise under the leadership of people like Sardar Daoud, Afghanistan’s progressive president, and Sitara’s beloved father, his right hand man. But the ten year old Sitara’s world is shattered when communists stage a coup, assassinating the president and Sitara’s entire family. Only she survives.
Smuggled out of the palace by a guard named Shair, Sitara finds her way to the home of a female American diplomat, who adopts her and raises her in America. In her new country, Sitara takes on a new name—Aryana Shepherd—and throws herself into her studies, eventually becoming a renowned surgeon.
New York, 2008: Thirty years after that fatal night in Kabul, Aryana’s world is rocked again when an elderly patient appears in her examination room—a man she never expected to see again. It is Shair, the soldier who saved her, yet may have murdered her entire family. Seeing him awakens Aryana’s fury and desire for answers—and, perhaps, revenge.
When two hardscrabble young boys think they’ve committed a crime, they flee into the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Will the adults trying to find and protect them reach them before it’s too late?
It’s the summer of 1994 in Claypot, Wisconsin, and the lives of ten year old Fischer “Fish” Branson and Dale “Bread” Breadwin are shaped by the two fathers they don’t talk about.
One night, tired of seeing his best friend bruised and terrorized by his no good dad, Fish takes action. A gunshot rings out and the two boys flee the scene, believing themselves murderers. They head for the woods, where they find their way onto a raft, but the natural terrors of Ironsforge gorge threaten to overwhelm them.
Four adults track them into the forest, each one on a journey of his or her own. Fish’s mother Miranda, a wise woman full of fierce faith; his granddad, Teddy, who knows the woods like the back of his hand; Tiffany, a purple haired gas station attendant and poet looking for connection; and Sheriff Cal, who’s having doubts about a life in law enforcement.
The adults track the boys toward the novel’s heart pounding climax on the edge of the gorge and a conclusion that beautifully makes manifest the grace these characters find in the wilderness and one another. This timeless story of loss, hope, and adventure runs like the river itself amid the vividly rendered landscape of the Upper Midwest.
Irish columnist Megan Nolan's ACTS OF DESPERATION, about a young woman's toxic relationship with a beautiful but cruel man, told through a propulsive interior monologue that interrogates female desire, insatiability, envy, love addiction, and how it is that a woman can still need the love of a man to make herself feel real, to Jean Garnett at Little, Brown, at auction, for publication in spring 2020.
A mesmerizing and suspenseful coming of age novel about an orphan hiding within the walls of her former family home—and about what it means to be truly seen after becoming lost in life
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.
Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her, before they were taken from her in a car crash. And home is where you stay, no matter what.
Eddie is a teenager trying to forget about the girl he sometimes sees out of the corner of his eye. But when his hotheaded older brother senses her, too, they are faced with the question of how to get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists. And as they try to cast her out, they unwittingly bring an unexpected and far real threat to their doorstep.
Written with grace and enormous heart, Girl in the Walls is a novel about carrying on through grief, forging unconventional friendships, and realizing, little by little, that we don’t need to fear what we do not understand.
An exploration of fate and female agency in a world very similar to our own except that the markings on women's bodies reveal the future. A piercing indictment of rape culture, a read about what happens when women are objectified and stripped of choice and what happens when they fight back.
Celeste Morton has eagerly awaited her passage to adulthood. Like every girl, she was born with a set of childhood markings the freckles, moles, and birthmarks on her body that foretell her future and that of those around her and with puberty will come a new set of predictions that will solidify her fate. The possibilities are tantalizing enough to outweigh the worry that the future she dreams of won't be the one she's fated to have and the fear of her changeling period the time when women are nearly irresistible to men and the risk of abduction is rife.
Celeste's beloved brother, Miles, is equally anticipating her transition to adulthood. As a skilled interpreter of the future, a field that typically excludes men, Miles considers Celeste his practice ground and the only clue to what his own future will bring. But when Celeste changes, she learns a devastating secret about Miles's fate: a secret that could destroy her family, a secret she will do anything to keep. Yet Celeste isn't the only one keeping secrets, and when the lies of brother and sister collide, it leads to a tragedy that will irrevocably change Celeste's fate, set her on a path to fight against the inherent misogyny of fortune telling, and urge her to create a future that is truly her own.
A rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home The Nasr family is spread across the globe—Beirut, Brooklyn, Austin, the California desert. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three American children: all have lived a life of migration. Still, they’ve always had their ancestral home in Beirut—a constant touchstone—and the complicated, messy family love that binds them. But following his father's recent death, Idris, the family's new patriarch, has decided to sell. The decision brings the family to Beirut, where everyone unites against Idris in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets—lost loves, bitter jealousies, abandoned passions, deep set shame—that distance has helped smother. But in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together. In a novel teeming with wisdom, warmth, and characters born of remarkable human insight, award winning author Hala Alyan shows us again that “fiction is often the best filter for the real world around us” (NPR).
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Beate Haas, who defected from East Germany as a child, is notified that her parents' abandoned mansion is available for her to reclaim. Newly divorced and eager to escape her bleak life in upstate New York, where she moved as an adult, she arrives with her two teenagers to discover a city that has become an unrecognizable ghost town. The move fractures the siblings' close relationship, as Michael, free to be gay, takes to looting empty houses and partying with wannabe anarchists, while Adela, fascinated with the horrors of the Holocaust, buries herself in books and finds companionship in a previously unknown cousin. Over time, the town itself changes from dismantled city to refugee haven and neo Nazi hotbed, and eventually to a desirable seaside resort town. In the midst of that change, two episodes of devastating, fateful violence come to define the family forever.
Moving seamlessly through decades and between the thoughts and lives of several unforgettable characters, Thomas Grattan's spellbinding novel is a multigenerational epic that illuminates what it means to leave home, and what it means to return. Masterfully crafted with humor, gorgeous prose, and a powerful understanding of history and heritage, The Recent East is the profoundly affecting story of a family upended by displacement and loss, and the extraordinary debut of an empathetic and ambitious storyteller.
The USA Today bestselling author of In Another Time reimagines the pioneering, passionate life of Marie Curie using a parallel structure to create two alternative timelines, one that mirrors her real life, one that explores the consequences for Marie and for science if she’d made a different choice.
In Poland in 1891, Marie Curie (then Marya Sklodowska) was engaged to a budding mathematician, Kazimierz Zorawski. But when his mother insisted she was too poor and not good enough, he broke off the engagement. A heartbroken Marya left Poland for Paris, where she would attend the Sorbonne to study chemistry and physics. Eventually Marie Curie would go on to change the course of science forever and be the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
But what if she had made a different choice?
What if she had stayed in Poland, married Kazimierz at the age of twenty four, and never attended the Sorbonne or discovered radium? What if she had chosen a life of domesticity with a constant hunger for knowledge in Russian Poland where education for women was restricted, instead of studying science in Paris and meeting Pierre Curie?
Entwining Marie Curie’s real story with Marya Zorawska’s fictional one, Half Life explores loves lost and destinies unfulfilled—and probes issues of loyalty and identity, gender and class, motherhood and sisterhood, fame and anonymity, scholarship and knowledge. Through parallel contrasting versions of Marya’s life, Jillian Cantor’s unique historical novel asks what would have happened if a great scientific mind was denied opportunity and access to education. It examines how the lives of one remarkable woman and the people she loved – as well as the world at large and course of science and history—might have been irrevocably changed in ways both great and small.
The author of Break in Case of Emergency follows up her debut with a moving novel about motherhood and marriage, adolescence and bodily autonomy, family and love, religion and sexuality, and the delicate balance between the purity of faith and the messy reality of life.
Book smart, devoutly Catholic, and painfully unsure of herself, Jane becomes pregnant in high school; by her early twenties, she is raising three children in the suburbs of western New York State. In the fall of 1991, as her children are growing older and independent, Jane is overcome by a spiritual and intellectual restlessness that leads her to become involved with a local pro life group. Following the tenets of her beliefs, she also adopts a little girl from Eastern Europe. But Mirela is a difficult child. Deprived of a loving caregiver in infancy, she remains unattached to her new parents, no matter how much love Jane shows her. As Jane becomes consumed with chasing therapies that might help Mirela, her relationships with her family, especially her older daughter, Lauren, begin to fray.
Feeling estranged from her mother and unsettled in her new high school, Lauren begins to discover the power of her own burgeoning creativity and sexuality—a journey that both echoes and departs from her mother’s own adolescent experiences. But when Lauren is confronted with the limits of her youth and independence, Jane is thrown into an emotional crisis, forced to reconcile her principles and faith with her determination to keep her daughters safe. The Fourth Child is a piercing love story and a haunting portrayal of how love can shatter—or strengthen—our beliefs.
Ada’s life is a mess. She just caught her boyfriend cheating on her after a humiliating attempt at losing her virginity, and she’s had it up to here with her gorgeous older sister’s unsolicited advice.
But things really hit the fan during a family vacation in Hawaii, where Ada discovers her own mother is having an affair. Apparently, everyone is falling into bed with people they shouldn’t. Everyone except Ada. But when Ada decides she’s going to stop trying and start doing—sex, that is—her best laid plan overlooks an inconvenient truth:
Feelings, romantic or not, always get in the way.
A heart wrenching first novel about the power of place and family ties, the weight of the stories we choose to tell, and the burden of those we hide
Frozen in grief after the loss of her son at sea, Edith Baines stares across the water at a schooner, under full sail yet motionless in the winter wind and surging tide of the Northern Reach. Edith seems to be hallucinating. Or is she? Edith's boat watch opens The Northern Reach, set in the coastal town of Wellbridge, Maine, where townspeople squeeze a living from the perilous bay or scrape by on the largesse of the summer folk and whatever they can cobble together, salvage, or grab.
At the center of town life is the Baines family, land rich, cash poor descendants of town founders, along with the ne'er do well Moody clan, the Martins of Skunk Pond, and the dirt farming, bootlegging Edgecombs. Over the course of the twentieth century, the families intersect, interact, and intermarry, grappling with secrets and prejudices that span generations, opening new wounds and reckoning with old ghosts.
W. S. Winslow's The Northern Reach is a breathtaking debut about the complexity of family, the cultural legacy of place, and the people and experiences that shape us.
Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with a thrilling novel where an eighteen year old girl's search for answers lands her in one of the most terrifying situations imaginable.
Trapped in a well, surrounded by dirt, scratching at the walls trying to find a way out.
Four days of a thirst so strong, that when it finally rains, I drink as much as possible from the dripping walls, not even caring how much dirt comes with it.
Since my escape. Since no one believed I was taken to begin with – from my own bed, after a party, when no one else was home…
Six months of trying to find answers and being told instead that I made the whole incident up.
Since I logged on to the Jane Anonymous site for the first time and found a community of survivors who listen without judgment, provide advice, and console each other when needed.
A month of chatting with a survivor whose story eerily mirrors my own: a girl who’s been receiving triggering clues, just like me, and who could help me find the answers I’m searching for.
Since she mysteriously disappears, and since I’m forced to ask the questions: will my chance to find out what happened to me vanish with her? And will I be next?
Growing up, David Almerin Ames and his brothers, Link and Simon, believed the wild patch of Maine where they lived along the Penobscot River belonged to them. Running down the state like a spine, the river shared its name with the people of the Penobscot Nation, whose ancestral territory included the entire Penobscot watershed—the land upon which the Ames family eventually made their home.
The brothers’ affinity for the natural world derives from their iconoclastic parents, Arnoux, a romantic artist and Vietnam War deserter who builds boats by hand, and Falon, an activist journalist who runs The Lowering Days, a community newspaper which gives equal voice to indigenous and white issues.
But the boys’ childhood reverie is shattered when a bankrupt paper mill, once the Penobscot Valley’s largest employer, is burned to the ground on the eve of potentially reopening. As the community grapples with the scope of the devastation, Falon receives a letter from a Penobscot teenager confessing to the crime—an act of justice for a sacred river under centuries of assault.
For the residents of the Penobscot Valley, the fire reveals a stark truth. For many, the mill is a lifeline, providing working class jobs they need to survive. Within the Penobscot Nation, the mill is a bringer of death, spewing toxic chemicals and wastewater products that poison the river’s fish and plants.
As the divide within the community widens, the building anger and resentment explodes in tragedy, wrecking the lives of David and those around him.
Evocative and atmospheric, pulsating with the rhythms of the natural world, The Lowering Days is a meditation on the flow and weight of history, the power and fragility of love, the dangerous fault lines underlying families, and the enduring land where stories are created and told.
A search for a mysterious customer in Rome leads a young bookseller to confront the complicated history of her family, and that of Italy itself, in this achingly intimate debut with echoes of Lily King and Elif Batuman.Working at a bookstore in Berkeley in the years after college, Gabriele becomes intrigued by the orders of signor Vietri, a customer from Rome whose numerous purchases grow increasingly mystical and esoteric. Restless and uncertain of her future, Gabriele quits her job and, landing in Rome, decides to look up Vietri. Unable to locate him, she begins a quest to unearth the well concealed facts of his life.
Following a trail of obituaries and military records, a memoir of life in a village forgotten by modernity, and the court records of a communist murder trial, Gabriele meets an eclectic assortment of the city’s inhabitants, from the widow of an Italian prisoner of war to members of a generation set adrift by the financial crisis. Each encounter draws her unexpectedly closer to her own painful past and complicated family history—an Italian mother diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized during her childhood, and an extended family in Rome still recovering from the losses and betrayals in their past. Through these voices and histories, Gabriele will discover what it means to be a person in the world; a member of a family and a citizen of a country—and how reconciling these stories may be the key to understanding her own.
A disaffected adjunct's life is disrupted by a miscarriage, forcing her to reckon with her body, work, relationships, and sense of self
As an adjunct professor of English with no hope of finding a permanent position, Dorothy feels like a janitor in the temple who continued to sweep because she had no idea what else to do but who had lost her belief in the essential sanctity of the enterprise. No one but her boyfriend knows that she's just had a miscarriage, not even her therapists Dorothy has two of them. As the days go by and Dorothy continues to bleed, her sense of contingency grows. How can she ever hope to feel in control of her life, when she can't control her body?The Life of the Mind is a novel about endings: of youth, of professional aspiration, of possibility, of the illusion that our minds can ever free us from the tyranny of our bodies. Through encounters with women her friends, her therapists, her doctor, her mentor, and her mother Dorothy comes up against the disappointments and limitations of intimacy. Living in a contemporary moment characterized by an ambient, pervasive dread, Dorothy is oppressed by the anxiety that a future disaster is looming and yet already here. In a world without plot, she tries, and fails, to achieve a sense of closure.
Consistently alive to how stories end and begin again, The Life of the Mind is a moving, often witty, and starkly original examination of how life also does, as they say, go on.
A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper follows a Dakota family's struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most.
Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, a former science teacher who tells her stories of plants, of the stars, of the origins of the Dakota people. Until, one morning, Ray doesn't return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato where the reserved, bookish teenager meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they've inherited.
On a winter's day many years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home. A widow and mother, she has spent the previous two decades on her white husband's farm, finding solace in her garden even as the farm is threatened first by drought and then by a predatory chemical company. Now, grieving, Rosalie begins to confront the past, on a search for family, identity, and a community where she can finally belong. In the process, she learns what it means to be descended from women with souls of iron women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss, through war and the insidious trauma of boarding schools.
Weaving together the voices of four indelible women, The Seed Keeper is a beautifully told story of reawakening, of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors.
A sharp, witty collection of stories about brilliant, broken women that are just the right amount wrong.
Whether diving into complicated relationships or wrestling with family ties, the girls and women who populate this collection―misfits and misanthropes, bickering sisters, responsible daughters, and unhappy wives―don't always find themselves making the best decisions. A woman struggles with a new kind of love triangle when she moves in with a divorced dad. A lonely teenage beach attendant finds uneasy comradeship with her boss. A high school English teacher gets pushed to her limits when a student plagiarizes. Often caught between desire and duty, guilt and resentment, these characters discover what it means to get lost in love, and do what it takes to find themselves again. Utterly singular and wholly unforgettable, Duffy Comparone's stories manage to be slyly, wickedly funny at even their darkest turns and herald the arrival of an irreverent and dazzling new voice.
A mesmerizing postmodern debut novel, The Scapegoatis a propulsive and destabilizing literary mystery that follows a man at a university in the San Francisco Bay area as he investigates his father's death
N is employed at a prestigious California university, where he has distinguished himself as an aloof and somewhat eccentric presence. His meticulous, ordered life is violently disrupted by the death of his estranged father unanticipated and, as it increasingly seems to N, surrounded by murky circumstances. His investigation leads him to a hotel built over a former Spanish mission, a site with a dark power and secrets all its own. On campus, a chance meeting with a young doctor provokes uncomfortable feelings on the direction of his life, and N begins to have vivid, almost hallucinatory daydreams about the year he spent in Ottawa, and a shameful episode from his past.
Meanwhile, a shadowy group of fringe academics surfaces in relation to his father's death. Their preoccupation with a grim chapter in California's history runs like a surreal parallel to the staid world of academic life, where N's relations with his colleagues grow and hostile. As he comes closer to the heart of the mystery, his ability to distinguish between delusion and reality begins to erode, and he is forced to confront disturbing truths about himself: his irrational antagonism toward a young female graduate student, certain libidinal impulses, and a capacity for violence. Is he the author of his own investigation? Or is he the unwitting puppet of a larger conspiracy?
With this inventive, devilish debut, saturated with unexpected wit and romanticism, Sara Davis probes the borders between reality and delusion, intimacy and solitude, revenge and justice. The Scapegoat exposes the surreal lingering behind the mundane, the forgotten history underfoot, and the insanity just around the corner.
Ghost stories tap into our most primal emotions as they encourage us to confront the timeless question: What comes after death? Here, in tales that are by turn scary, funny, philosophic, and touching, you'll find that question sharpened, split, reconsidered and met with a multitude of answers.
A spirit who is fated to spend eternity reliving the exact moment she lost her chance at love, ghostly trees that haunt the occupant of a wooden house, specters that snatch anyone who steps into the shadows, and parakeets that serve as mouthpieces for the dead: these are just a few of the characters in this extraordinary compendium of one hundred ghost stories. Kevin Brockmeier's fiction has always explored the space between the fantastical and the everyday with profundity and poignancy. As in his previous books, The Ghost Variations discovers new ways of looking at who we are and what matters to us, exploring how mysterious, sad, strange, and comical it is to be alive or, as it happens, not to be.
A new literary voice wryly funny, honest and observational, depicts one woman's attempt to keep her four chickens alive while reflecting on a recent loss.
Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the forty below nights of a brutal Minnesota winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined. This book is a meditation on life and longing.
A sister trying to hold back her brother from the edge of the abyss, for readers of Jesmyn Ward and Tommy Orange.
In the tourist town of Ciudad de Tres Hermanas, in the aftermath of their mother's passing, two siblings spend a final weekend together in their childhood home. Seeing her brother, Rafa, careening toward a place of no return, Rufina devises a bet: if they can make enough money performing for privileged tourists in the plaza over the course of the weekend to afford a plane ticket out, Rafa must commit to living. If not, Rufina will make her peace with Rafa's own plan for the future, however terrifying it may be.
As the siblings reckon with generational and ancestral trauma, set against the indignities of present day prejudice, other strange hauntings begin to stalk these pages: their mother's ghost kicks her heels against the walls; Rufina's vanished child creeps into her arms at night; and above all this, watching over the siblings, a genderless, flea bitten angel remains hell bent on saving what can be saved.
This Machiavellian fantasy follows a scholar's quest to choose the next ruler of her kingdom amidst lies, conspiracy, and assassination.
When the death of Iron Queen Sarelin Brey fractures the realm of Elira, Lysande Prior, the palace scholar and the queen’s closest friend, is appointed Councillor. Publically, Lysande must choose the next monarch from amongst the city rulers vying for the throne. Privately, she seeks to discover which ruler murdered the queen, suspecting the use of magic.
Resourceful, analytical, and quiet, Lysande appears to embody the motto she was raised with: everything in its place. Yet while she hides her drug addiction from her new associates, she cannot hide her growing interest in power. She becomes locked in a game of strategy with the city rulers – especially the erudite prince Luca Fontaine, who seems to shift between ally and rival.
Further from home, an old enemy is stirring: the magic wielding White Queen is on the move again, and her alliance with a traitor among the royal milieu poses a danger not just to the peace of the realm, but to the survival of everything that Lysande cares about.
In a world where the low born keep their heads down, Lysande must learn to fight an enemy who wears many guises… even as she wages her own battle between ambition and restraint.
Queer, dirty, insightful, and so funny (Andrea Lawlor), this coyly revolutionary debut story collection imagines new origins and futures for its cast of unforgettable protagonists—almost all of whom are named Sarah.NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2021 BY THE MILLIONS * OPRAH MAGAZINE * LAMBDA LITERARY * ELECTRIC LITERATURE * REFINERY29 * COSMO * THE ADVOCATE * ALMA * PAPERBACK PARIS * WRITE OR DIE TRIBE * READS RAINBOWIn Sarahland, Sam Cohen brilliantly and often hilariously explores the ways in which traditional stories have failed us, both demanding and thrillingly providing for its cast of Sarahs new origin stories, new ways to love the planet and those inhabiting it, and new possibilities for life itself. In one story, a Jewish college Sarah passively consents to a form life in pursuit of an MRS degree and is swept into a culture of normalized sexual violence. Another reveals a version of Sarah finding pleasure—and a new set of problems—by playing dead for a wealthy necrophiliac. A Buffy loving Sarah uses fan fiction to work through romantic obsession. As the collection progresses, Cohen explodes this search for self, insisting that we have to resist and repair than our own personal narratives. Readers witness as the ever evolving Sarah gets recast: as a bible era trans woman, an aging lesbian literally growing roots, a being who transcends the earth as we know it. While Cohen presents a world that will clearly someday end, Sarah will continue.In each Sarah's refusal to adhere to a single narrative, she potentially builds a better home for us all, a place to live that demands no fixity of self, no plague of consumerism, no bodily compromise, a place called Sarahland.
Marj Charlier’s The Rebel Nun is based on the true story of Clotild, the daughter of a sixth century king and his concubine, who leads a rebellion of nuns against the rising misogyny and patriarchy of the medieval church.
At that time, women are afforded few choices in life: prostitution, motherhood, or the cloister. Only the latter offers them any kind of independence. By the end of the sixth century, even this is eroding as the church begins to eject women from the clergy and declares them too unclean to touch sacramental objects or even their priest husbands.
Craving the legitimacy thwarted by her bastard status, Clotild seeks to become the next abbess of the female Monastery of the Holy Cross, the most famous of the women’s cloisters of the early Middle Ages. When the bishop of Poitiers blocks her appointment and seeks to control the nunnery himself, Clotild masterminds an escape, leading a group of uncloistered nuns on a dangerous pilgrimage to beg her royal relatives to intercede on their behalf. But the bishop refuses to back down, and a bloody battle ensues. Will Clotild and her sisters succeed with their quest, or will they face excommunication, possibly even death?
In the only historical novel written about the incident, The Rebel Nun is a richly imagined story about a truly remarkable heroine.
A searing and exhilarating new collection from the award winning author of
The Boys of My Youth
who “honors the beautiful, the sacred, and the comic in life” (Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award–winner for
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ ChoiceWhen “The Fourth State of Matter,” her now famous piece about a workplace massacre at the University of Iowa was published in The New Yorker, Jo Ann Beard immediately became one of the most influential writers in America, forging a path for a new generation of young authors willing to combine the dexterity of fiction with the rigors of memory and reportage, and in the process extending the range of possibility for the essay form. Now, with Festival Days, Beard brings us the culmination of her groundbreaking work. In these nine pieces, she captures both the small, luminous moments of daily existence and those instants when life and death hang in the balance, ranging from the death of a beloved dog to a relentlessly readable account of a New York artist trapped inside a burning building, as well as two triumphant, celebrated pieces of short fiction. Here is an unforgettable collection destined to be embraced and debated by readers and writers, teachers and students. Anchored by the title piece––a searing journey through India that brings into focus questions of mortality and love—Festival Days presents Beard at the height of her powers, using her flawless prose to reveal all that is tender and timeless beneath the way we live now.
A searing novel about memory, abandonment, and betrayal from the acclaimed and bestselling Russell Banks At the center of Foregone is famed Canadian American leftist documentary filmmaker Leonard Fife, one of sixty thousand draft evaders and deserters who fled to Canada to avoid serving in Vietnam. Fife, now in his late seventies, is dying of cancer in Montreal and has agreed to a final interview in which he is determined to bare all his secrets at last, to demythologize his mythologized life. The interview is filmed by his acolyte and ex–star student, Malcolm MacLeod, in the presence of Fife’s wife and alongside Malcolm’s producer, cinematographer, and sound technician, all of whom have long admired Fife but who must now absorb the meaning of his astonishing, dark confession.
Imaginatively structured around Fife’s secret memories and alternating between the experiences of the characters who are filming his confession, the novel challenges our assumptions and understanding about a significant lost chapter in American history and the nature of memory itself. Russell Banks gives us a daring and resonant work about the scope of one man’s mysterious life, revealed through the fragments of his recovered past.
From author and filmmaker Sandi Tan, director of the acclaimed documentary Shirkers, comes a novel about a neighborhood of immigrants, seekers, lovers, and lurkers.
The residents of Santa Claus Lane do their best to stay out of each other’s way, but desire, fury and mischief too often propel these suburban neighbors to collide. Precocious Korean American sisters Mira and Rosemary find their world rocked by a suicide, and they must fight to keep their home; a charismatic and creepy drama teacher grooms his students; a sardonic gay horror novelist finds that aging is terrifying than any monster; and a white hippie mom and her adopted Vietnamese daughter realize that their anger binds them rather than pushes them apart. Lurkers is an homage to the rangy beauty of Los Angeles and the surprising power that we have to change the lives of those around us.
A rich, bighearted debut that takes us from working class Staten Island in the wake of the September 11th attacks to moneyed London a decade later, revealing a story of loss, motherhood, and love, perfect for fans of Gail Honeyman and Ann Napolitano.
As the Twin Towers collapse, Gigi Stanislawski flees her office building and escapes lower Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry. Among the crying, ash covered, and shoeless passengers, Gigi, unbelievably, finds someone she recognizes Harry Harrison, a British man and a regular at her favorite coffee shop. Gigi brings Harry to her parents' house, where they watch the television replay the planes crashing for hours, and she waits for the phone call that will never come: the call from Frankie, her younger brother.
Ten years later, Gigi, now a single mother consumed with bills and unfulfilled ambitions, meets Harry, again by chance, and they fall deeply, headlong in love. But their move to London and their new baby which Gigi hoped would finally release her from the past leave her feeling isolated, raw, and alone with her grief. As Gigi comes face to face with the anguish of her brother's death and her rage at the unspoken pain of motherhood, she must somehow find the light amid all the darkness. Startlingly honest and shot through with unexpected humor, When I Ran Away is an unforgettable first novel about love for our partners, our children, our mothers, and ourselves pushed to its outer limits.
Set in 1999 Japan,Satellite Love is a heartbreaking and beautifully unconventional debut novel about a girl, a boy, and a satellite and a bittersweet meditation on loneliness, alienation, and what it means to be human.
On the eve of the new millennium, in a city in southern Japan that progress has forgotten, sixteen year old Anna Obata looks to the stars for solace. An outcast at school, and left to fend for herself and care for her increasingly senile grandfather at home, Anna copes with her loneliness by searching the night sky for answers. But everything changes the evening the Low Earth Orbit satellite (LEO for short) returns her gaze and sees her as no one else has before. After Leo is called down to Earth, he embarks on an extraordinary journey to understand his own humanity as well as the fragile mind of the young woman who called him into being. As Anna withdraws further into her own mysterious plans, he will be forced to question the limits of his devotion and the lengths he will go to protect her. Full of surprising imaginative leaps and yet grounded by a profound understanding of the human heart, Satellite Love is a brilliant and deeply moving meditation on loneliness, faith, and the yearning for meaning and connection. It is an unforgettable story about the indomitable power of the imagination and the mind's ability to heal itself, no matter the cost, no matter the odds.
A novel about three women at turning points in their lives, and the one night that changes everything.
One night, three women go to the theater to see a play. Wildfires are burning in the hills outside, but inside the theater it is time for the performance to take over.
Margot is a successful, flinty professor on the cusp of retirement, distracted by her fraught relationship with her adult son and her ailing husband. After a traumatic past, Ivy is is now a philanthropist with a seemingly perfect life. Summer is a young drama student, an usher at the theater, and frantically worried for her girlfriend whose parents live in the fire zone.
While the performance unfolds on stage, so does the compelling trajectory that will bring these three women together, changing them all. Deliciously intimate and yet emotionally wide ranging, The Performance is a novel that both explores the inner lives of women as it underscores the power of art and memory to transform us.
Skyward Inn, within the high walls of the Western Protectorate, is a place of safety, where people come together to tell stories of the time before the war with Qita. But safety from what?
Qita surrendered without complaint when Earth invaded; Innkeepers Jem and Isley, veterans from either side, have regrets but few scars. Their peace is disturbed when a visitor known to Isley comes to the Inn asking for help, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future.
Did humanity really win the war?
A thoughtful, literary novel about conflict, identity and community; a fresh new perspective in speculative fiction from critically acclaimed writer Aliya Whiteley. Jamaica Inn by way of Jeff Vandermeer, Ursula Le Guin, Angela Carter and Michel Faber, Skyward Inn is a beautiful story of belonging, identity and regret.
The debut collection of raucous, dark, strange, satirical stories from the former Late Show with Stephen Colbert writer and New Yorker contributor, featuring a foreword by Stephen Colbert
A bride so desperate to get in shape for her wedding that she enrolls in a new kind of workout program that promises the moon but costs than she bargained for. A snowman who, on the wish of a child, comes to life in a decidedly less savory way than in the childhood classic. And in the title story, a time hopping 1940s starlet tries to claw her way to the top in modern day Hollywood, despite being ridiculously unwoke.
In this uproarious, addictive debut, Jen Spyra takes a culture that seems almost beyond parody and holds it up to a funhouse mirror, immersing the reader in a world of prehistoric influencers, woodland creatures plagued by millennial neuroses, and an all out birthday bash determined to be the most lavish celebration of all time, by any means necessary.
Welcome, brave soul, to the world of Jen Spyra.
A profound and life affirming debut about migration, trauma, and the healing power of community. A young woman sits in her apartment in an unnamed English city, absorbed in watching the small dramas of her assorted neighbors through their windows across the way. Traumatized into muteness after a long, devastating trip from war torn Syria to the UK, she believes that she wants to sink deeper into isolation, moving between memories of her absent boyfriend and family and her homeland, dreams, and reality. At the same time, she begins writing for a magazine under the pseudonym the Voiceless, trying to explain the refugee experience without sensationalizing it—or revealing anything about herself. Gradually, as the boundaries of her world expand—as she ventures to the neighborhood corner store, to a gathering at a nearby mosque, and to the bookstore and laundromat, and as an anti Muslim hate crime shatters the members of a nearby mosque—she has to make a choice: Will she remain a voiceless observer, or become an active participant in her own life and in a community that, despite her best efforts, is quickly becoming her own? With brilliant, poetic prose that captures all the fragments of this character's life, and making use of fragments of text from Tweets and emails to the narrator's own articles, journals, and fiction, Silence Is a Sense explores what it means to be a refugee and to need asylum, and how fundamental human connection is to survival.
A Most Anticipated in 2021 Pick for The Independent Buzzfeed The Nerd Daily
When we came to America, we brought anger and socialism and hunger. We also brought our demons.
In Burning Girls and Other Stories, Veronica Schanoes crosses borders and genres with stories of fierce women at the margins of society burning their way toward the center. This debut collection introduces readers to a fantasist in the vein of Karen Russell and Kelly Link, with a voice all her own.
Emma Goldman yes, that Emma Goldman takes tea with the Baba Yaga and truths unfold inside of exquisitely crafted lies. In Among the Thorns, a young woman in seventeenth century Germany is intent on avenging the brutal murder of her peddler father, but discovers that vengeance may consume all that it touches. In the showstopping, awards finalist title story, Burning Girls, Schanoes invests the immigrant narrative with a fearsome fairytale quality that tells a story about America we may not want but need to hear.
Dreamy, dangerous, and precise, with the weight of the very oldest tales we tell, Burning Girls and Other Stories introduces a writer pushing the boundaries of both fantasy and contemporary fiction.
With a foreword by Jane Yolen
An intimate work of autobiographical fiction by one of ex Yugoslavia's greatest writers about his family's experience as refugees from the Bosnian war a timeless story of love, memory, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Today, it seems, was the day I was meant to die. When a writer suffers a heart attack at the age of fifty, he must confront his mortality in a country that is not his native home. Confined to a hospital bed and overcome by a sense of powerlessness, he reflects on the fragility of life and finds extraordinary meaning in the quotidian. In this affecting autobiographical novel, Semezdin Mehmedinovic explores the love he and his family have for one another, strengthened by trauma; their harrowing experience of the Bosnian war, which led them to flee for the United States as refugees; eerie premonitions of Donald Trump's presidency; the life and work of a writer; and the nature of memory and grief.
Poetically explosive and pure to the core, My Heart serves as a kind of mirror, reflecting our human strengths and weaknesses along with the most important issues on our minds love and death, the present and the past, sickness and health, leaving and staying.
An energetic, witty collection of stories where the supernatural meets the anomalies of everyday life deception, infidelity, lost cats, cute memes, amateur pornography, and .
There are analogies between being female and being left handed, I think, or being an animal.
A woman answers a Craigslist ad (to write erotic diaries for money). A woman walks onto a tennis court (from her home at the bottom of the ocean). A woman goes to the supermarket and meets a friend's husband (who happens to be an immortal demon). A woman goes for a run (and accidentally time travels).
Cosmogony takes accounts of so called normal life and mines them for inconsistencies, deceptions, and delights. Incorporating a virtuosic range of styles and genres (Wikipedia entry, phone call, physics equation, encounters with the supernatural), these stories reveal how the narratives we tell ourselves and believe are inevitably constructed, offering a glimpse of the structures that underlie and apparently determine human existence.
Funny, acerbic Edie Richter is moving with her husband from San Francisco to Perth, Australia. She leaves behind a sister and mother still mourning the recent death of her father. Before the move, Edie and her husband were content, if socially awkward―given her disinclination for small talk.
In Perth, Edie finds herself in a remarkably isolated yet verdant corner of the world, but Edie has a secret: she committed an unthinkable act that she can barely admit to herself. In some ways, the landscape mirrors her own complicated inner life, and rather than escaping her past, Edie is increasingly forced to confront what she's done. Everybody, from the wildlife to her new neighbors, is keen to engage, and Edie does her best to start fresh. But her relationship with her husband is fraying, and the beautiful memories of her father are heartbreaking, and impossible to stop. Something, in the end, has to give.
Written in clean spare prose that is nevertheless brimming with the richness and wry humor of the protagonist's observations and idiosyncrasies, Edie Richter is Not Alone is Rebecca Handler’s debut novel. It is both deeply shocking and entirely quotidian: a story about a woman's visceral confrontation with the fundamental meaning of humanity.
A group of housemates in Sydney’s inner city contend with gentrification, divisive politics, stalled careers, their own complicated privilege as second generation Australians, and the evolving world of dating in this moving, funny, and stylish debut novel.
Sydney’s inner city is very much its own place, yet also a stand in for gentrifying inner city suburbs the world over. Here, four young housemates struggle to untangle their complicated relationships while a poignant story of loss, grieving, and recovery unfolds.
The nameless narrator of this story has recently lost her father and now her existence is split in two: she conjures the past in which he was alive and yet lives in the present, where he is not. To others, she appears to have it all together, but the grief she still feels creates an insurmountable barrier between herself and others, between the life she had and the one she leads.
Wry, relatable, lyrical, and beautifully told, a book about politics, desire, youth, relationships and friends, Friends and Dark Shapes introduces a bold new Australian voice to American readers.
A wrenching debut about the causes and effects of poverty, as seen by a father and son living in a pickupEvicted from their trailer on New Year’s Eve, Henry and his son, Junior, have been reduced to living out of a pickup truck. Six months later, things are even desperate. Henry, barely a year out of prison for pushing opioids, is down to his last pocketful of dollars, and little remains between him and the street. But hope is on the horizon: Today is Junior’s birthday, and Henry has a job interview tomorrow.To celebrate, Henry treats Junior to dinner at McDonald’s, followed by a night in a real bed at a discount motel. For a moment, as Junior watches TV and Henry practices for his interview in the bathtub, all seems well. But after Henry has a disastrous altercation in the parking lot and Junior succumbs to a fever, father and son are sent into the night, struggling to hold things together and make it through tomorrow.In an ingenious structural approach, Jakob Guanzon organizes Abundance by the amount of cash in Henry’s pocket. A new chapter starts with each debit and credit, and the novel expands and contracts, revealing the extent to which the quality of our attention is altered by the abundance—or lack thereof—that surrounds us. Set in an America of big box stores and fast food, this incandescent debut novel trawls the fluorescent aisles of Walmart and the booths of Red Lobster to reveal the inequities and anxieties around work, debt, addiction, incarceration, and health care in America today.
Did you ever have a friend who made you see the world differently?
From the acclaimed author of the story collection Escape Routes comes a timely, bittersweet and beautifully observed coming of age story about a friendship that defines two lives, and about the value of loyalty in a divided world.
It’s a lonely life for Stan, at a new school that feels ordeal than fresh start, and at home where he and his mother struggle to break the silence after his father’s death. When he encounters fearless, clever Charlie on the local common, all of that begins to change. Charlie’s curiosity is infectious, and it is Charlie who teaches Stan, for the first time, to stand on his own two feet. But will their unit of two be strong enough to endure in a world that offers these boys such different prospects?
The pair part ways, until their paths cross once again, as adults at a London party. Now Stan is revelling in all that the city has to offer, while Charlie seems to have hit a brick wall. He needs Stan’s help, and above all his friendship, but is Stan really there for the man who once showed him the meaning of loyalty?
Twins Anna and Adam live in an abandoned commune in a volatile landscape where they prepare for the world ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. They meet at dawn and dusk.Their only companion is Koan, the commune's former leader, who still exerts a malignant control over their daily rituals. But when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam thought they knew to be true is thrown into question.Dazzling, unsettling and incredibly moving, Redder Days is a stunning exploration of the consequences of corrupted power, the emotional impact of abandonment, and the endurance of humanity in the most desperate of situations.'So immense and beautiful, it's both gorgeously composed and an addictive page turner. Sue Rainsford is an extraordinary writer' DONAL RYAN'Unnervingly, thrillingly strange . a masterpiece of literary horror' CAL FLYN'Lyrical, hypnotic and provocative, I devoured Redder Days in a single, slightly furious sitting and have been haunted by it ever since' JAN CARSON
Whenever a Happy Thing Falls, a riveting debut novel from Reuters journalist Eric M. Johnson, is a coming of age story about corporate greed, familial rupture, falling apart, and putting yourself back together. It was published in March 2021 by Cloud Hands Press.
Bale Ratcliffe is flourishing during a semester studying abroad in London, enjoying literature and poetry classes and an exciting budding romance with a precocious young actress. But as graduation approaches, Bale’s father, Bruce Ratcliffe, a shrewd businessman obsessed with his son's material success and a hidden agenda, forces Bale to throw away his dreams of becoming a writer and the love of his life to join an elite investment bank run by his friend.
Plunged into a chaotic corporate culture rife with greed, criminality, misogyny, and racism, Bale’s life crumbles during months of 100 hour work weeks and mounting alcohol and drug abuse. Spiraling out of control, Bale eventually causes an explosive event inside the firm’s office after a late night debauch, and escapes to a rural cabin where, over the course of a weekend, he must decide what he stands for and how he can ultimately save his own life.
An Ordinary Wonder is a story of the courage needed to be yourself.
Oto leaves for boarding school with one plan: excel and escape his cruel home. Falling in love with his roommate was certainly not on the agenda, but fear and shame force him to hide his love and true self.
Back home, weighed down by the expectations of their wealthy and powerful family, the love of Oto's twin sister wavers and, as their world begins to crumble around them, Oto must make drastic choices that will alter the family's lives for ever.
Richly imagined with art, proverbs and folk tales, this moving and modern novel follows Oto through life at home and at boarding school in Nigeria, through the heartbreak of living as a boy despite their profound belief they are a girl, and through a hunger for freedom that only a new life in the United States can offer.
An Ordinary Wonder is a powerful coming of age story that explores complex desires as well as challenges of family, identity, gender and culture, and what it means to feel whole.
* 'Exceptional' Observer * 'Unforgettable' TLS * 'Outstanding' Irish Times *The new novel from the author of Perfidious Albion a darkly comic and profoundly affecting novel about resistance, radicalism and redemption.'A poignant story of friendship and isolation, of human connections made and lost' GuardianMaya is homeless. When her site is razed by ruthless authorities, she's detained. But then, Maya is given a lifeline; a chance to re enter society again. A tech company angling to raise its philanthropic profile offers her a job and a flat. There's one caveat: Maya must document her inspiring progress on Instagram to show that anyone can be productive; perfect.Yet Maya realises that sickness is a kind of revolution. With other outcasts, Maya starts a movement: billboards promoting wellness are defaced all over London and her media feed is flooded with obscene, filthy images. Suddenly, questions arise about the forces unleashed: liberation and madness, protest and anarchy, rebellion and chaos.'Sam Byers's mastery of tone and attentiveness to every psychological shift confirms him as one of the most accomplished novelists of his generation.' Sunday Times
A stunning debut about the magic and confusion of childhood. A beautiful, painful, at times funny novel about how a little boy perceives the world, and how his environment leads him on a path to manhood he doesn't want to follow.
Kai lives in a mixed race family on a rural council estate in Somerset where he and his three older sisters have three different dads, and his mum is being led into crack addiction by his petty thief father. He idolises his dad, adores his friend Saffie and the school rabbit Flopsy, and is full of ambition to be the fastest runner in Middledown Primary like Linford Christie. He and Saffie build a secret world of friendship in the school garden. But Kai's natural optimism, imagination and energy run up against adult behaviour he doesn't understand: his parents' on and off romance, his dad's increasing addiction and the limitations of poverty. Despite the people who try to look out for him, notably his loving Nanny Sheila and his big sister Leah, Kai's life drifts towards a tragedy from which it is hard for him to recover. The refuge he seeks in his love of nature, and the wild rabbits who have made their burrows in the woods, may not be refuge enough.Drawing on her own upbringing but turning lived experience into compelling narrative, Karla Neblett has created a vivid language that is both crafted and raw to tell a story of class, race and how our society fails working class young men.