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    20 new books to check out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    March 21, 2023, 4:55am

    It’s the 21st of March, a Tuesday, which means a whole bunch of good, new books hitting shelves today. We hope you’ll add a few to your TBR pile.

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    Biography of X - Lacey, Catherine

    Catherine Lacey, Biography of X  (FSG)

    “A] staggering achievement . . . [a] masterpiece about the slippery nature of art, identity, and truth.”
    Esquire

    A Broken People's Playlist: Stories (from Songs) - Garricks, Chimeka

     Chimeka Garricks, A Broken People’s Playlist: Stories (from Songs) (HarperVia)

    “It’s a compelling format with little margin for error and which, if executed correctly, works to magnificent effect. Thankfully, Garricks is a supreme storyteller, and he manages to take us on an absorbing tour of joy and loss. Each of his tales is to be savoured; each concept has the depth of a novel.”
    –Hari Kunzru

    Matthew Desmond, Poverty: By America (Crown)

    “A short manifesto interspersed with compelling anecdotes and infused with passionate clarity . . . [Desmond is] an intimate and sensitive chronicler of inequality in American life.”
    The Progressive

    Y/N - Yi, Esther

     Esther Yi, Y/N (Astra)

    “This debut novel, a Kafkaesque fever dream about fandom and obsession, arrives right on time….Haunting yet playful, immersive yet unreal, Y/N is a brilliant dissection of consumption in all its forms—how we consume art, and how it consumes us.”
    Esquire

    Commitment - Simpson, Mona

    Mona Simpson, Commitment (Knopf)

    “Simpson is an artist of the family saga, the multigenerational narrative….A kaleidoscopic portrait of a clan of outsiders remaking itself again and again….Simpson beautifully explores the sacrifices that keep a family together even when it’s coming apart.”

    Kirkus

    Kerry Howley, Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs: A Journey Through the Deep State (Knopf)

    “Howley’s capacity for incisive empathy extends to those whom most would dismiss as kooks.”
    Bookforum

    Mary and Mr. Eliot: A Sort of Love Story - Trevelyan, Mary

    Mary Trevelyan and Erica Wagner, Mary and Mr. Eliot: A Sort of Love Story (FSG)

    “Erica Wagner shows herself to be a forensically astute reader of the memoir and letters that Trevelyan left behind.”
    Sunday Times

    Trace Evidence: Poems - Shanahan, Charif

    Charif Shanahan, Trace Evidence: Poems (Tin House)

    Trace Evidence mines the most intimate reaches of our colonial past to ask these important questions: How do we live and love with so much betrayal? Betrayal of the self, by family, lovers, friends, the body’s betrayal of itself? Notably, the book contends with an anti-Blackness beyond the familiar narratives of our contemporary moment: here, it emanates from the Arab world through the very parent who confers Blackness to her children, offering nuance and complexity to the ways in which we tend to consider the subject…. Charif’s is a necessary voice.”

    –Natasha Trethewey


    Jeff Sharlet, The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War (W.W. Norton)

    [The Undertow] induced a physiological response similar to the one I experienced while reading Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Both books are mood-altering, mind-altering odysseys.
    –The American Scholar

    The Nursery - Molnar, Szilvia

    Szilvia Molnar, The Nursery (Pantheon)

    “”Szilvia Molnar’s portrait of the postpartum world is ruthlessly true and exacting. It was electrifying to experience the days of early motherhood through Molnar’s razor sharp realism and wit.”
    –Rita Bullwinkel

    The Storyteller: Tales Out of Loneliness - Benjamin, Walter

    Walter Benjamin (illustrated by Paul Klee), The Storyteller: Tales Out of Loneliness (Verso)

    “Dreams, diaries, reviews, fragments, and short fiction make up The Storyteller, but there’s no denying that this potpourri by the German critic and philosopher Benjamin is an essential addition to the corpus of one of the 20th century’s preeminent figures. As the translators note in an elegant introduction, these pieces explore both the European oral storytelling tradition and a curious mysticism under the aegis of modernist literature…thoroughly illuminating.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Wandering Souls - Pin, Cecile

    Cecile Pin, Wandering Souls (Henry Holt)

    “A debut in name only, Wandering Souls is an astute and sure-footed excavation of family, selfhood, and loss in the shadow of colonial violence. It is also a deeply humane and genre-defying work of love and uncompromising hope through a long-overdue portrayal of Vietnamese life in the UK. A mighty achievement.”
    –Ocean Vuong

    American Mermaid - Langbein, Julia

    Julia Langbein, American Mermaid (Doubleday)

    “A comedy of wordplay. A superhero adventure. A Hollywood takedown. A hoot and a half. American Mermaid is all of these, and more. So witty and marvelous you won’t be able to put it down. So pick it up!”
    –Andrew Sean Greer

    Muckross Abbey and Other Stories - Murray, Sabina

    Sabina Murray, Muckross Abbey and Other Stories (Grove)

    “With frequent nods to both contemporary and classic ghost-story writers (Daphne Du Maurier, Henry James), the success of these stories lies not just in the well-crafted writing but in the conscious mixing of a shape-shifting old world with an unreliably secure modern world. A masterly recharging of a treasured literary tradition that Murray clearly loves and respects.”
    Library Journal

    Stay This Day and Night with Me - Gopegui, Belén

    Belén Gopegui (trans. Mark Schafer), Stay This Day and Night With Me (City Lights Books)

    “This is a beautifully written, endlessly provocative meditation on humanity’s relationship to technology, monopoly, memory and fate.”
    –Dave Eggers

    Flux - Chong, Jinwoo

    Jinwoo Chong, Flux (Melville House)

    “Chong bursts forth, Athena-like, with an impossible-to-simply-label masterpiece that melds various genres—from Bildungsroman to speculative fiction, coming-of-age drama to epic tragedy, crime documentary to noirish thriller—into an intricate literary mosaic….Chong stuns readers with a multipronged, multilayered, multivoiced, magnificent enigma.”
    Booklist

    Old God's Time - Barry, Sebastian

    Sebastian Barry, Old God’s Time (Viking)

    “I find Old God’s Time powerful enough to want to bang the drum and say as loudly and clearly as I can that Barry ought to be widely read and revered—he ought to be a laureate for fiction everywhere…Reading his novels is like braving Irish weather: You’re chilled and drenched and dazzled and baked in buffeting succession.”
    The Atlantic

    The Fake - Whittall, Zoe

    Zoe Whittall, The Fake (Ballantine)

    “A compelling, hypnotic tale about grief, lies, and truth that forces us to examine what it means to trust, to deceive, to take advantage, and to be vulnerable. Whittall’s latest is a terrifyingly honest look at the lies we tell each other and ourselves that moves at a breakneck pace until its heartbreaking yet inevitable conclusion.”
    –Alicia Elliot

    Unfortunate Ends: On Murder and Misadventure in Medieval England - Deathbot Medieval the

    The Medieval Deathbot, Unfortunate Ends: On Murder and Misadventure in Medieval England (Unbound)

    “Here’s a selection of grim deaths that have aged beautifully in the more than 600 years since they occurred.”
    Mental Floss

    Radical by Nature: The Revolutionary Life of Alfred Russel Wallace - Costa, James T.

    James T. Costa, Radical by Nature: The Revolutionary Life of Alfred Russell Wallace (Princeton University Press)

    “[Costa] gives naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace the biography he deserves in this definitive account. . . . Comprehensive and revelatory, this is a first-rate take on an overlooked figure in scientific history.”
    Publishers Weekly

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