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    21 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    May 9, 2023, 4:55am

    As May continues, and as the incredible fact that summer is almost here looms, here are some exciting new books to consider picking up today. Below, you’ll find a wide-ranging list, from new releases of classic tales and retellings of others to moving memoirs to provocative arguments about authorship and imperialism, and much, much more. I hope you’ll consider some of these intriguing titles!

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    Retrospective - Vasquez, Juan Gabriel

    Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Retrospective (trans. Anne McLean)

    “Imagine two Colombian adolescents as the only guests in a Communist party foreigners’ hotel in China. Juan Gabriel Vásquez is a Colombian writer with the talent to keep a magician’s equilibrium between reality and fiction….Beautifully written and gripping.”
    The Guardian

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    Oh My Mother!: A Memoir in Nine Adventures - Wang, Connie

    Connie Wang, Oh My Mother! A Memoir in Nine Adventures

    “An empathetic, nuanced study… Wang drives to the heart of how a daughter comes to know her mother as someone with a life beyond motherhood… A creative and entertaining shared memoir of identity, place, and [Wang and her mother’s] indelible connection to each other.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Big Two-Hearted River: The Centennial Edition - Hemingway, Ernest

    Ernest Hemingway, Big Two-Hearted River: The Centennial Edition

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    “In Hemingway, fishing was always and infinitely metaphorical; Nick Adams plumbs the depths of his soul as he dangles a line.”
    The New York Times Book Review

    Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World - Grabar, Henry

    Henry Grabar, Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World
    (Penguin Press)

    Paved Paradise, by Slate columnist Henry Grabar, investigates a topic that’s somehow simultaneously mundane and radicalizing: our extremely American, almost existential search for a parking spot… Seeing the country through a ‘parking rules everything around me’ lens is an eye-opening education.”

    Fever of Unknown Origin: Poems - McGrath, Campbell

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    Campbell McGrath, Fever of Unknown Origins: Poems

    “At every moment in these powerful, supple, beautifully meditated poems, Campbell McGrath immerses himself in what he calls the ‘riot of stimuli,’ while at the same time, at every moment, he emerges from his immersions with pellucid images and stunning perceptions and rises into vision, dimension, grace. An astonishing book, capacious and intimate, and one that provokes endless thought and feeling.”
    Vijay Seshadri

    Tomorrow Perhaps the Future: Writers, Outsiders, and the Spanish Civil War - Watling, Sarah

    Sarah Watling, Tomorrow Perhaps the Future: Writers, Outsiders, and the Spanish Civil War

    “British historian Watling… illuminates a varied group of women who devoted their talents and passion—and, in some cases, gave their lives—to telling the world about what was happening during the Spanish Civil War… This book belongs in all library collections next to Adam Hochschild’s Spain in Our Hearts.”

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    The Sorrows of Others - Zhang, Ada

    Ada Zhang, The Sorrows of Others
    (Public Space Books)

    “The characters in The Sorrows of Others would make an uncommon and special botanical collection had they been plants: They have their given roots—Chinese or Chinese American—that bind them to their shared history, and yet they also each nurture their own set of roots, expanding, liberating, and redefining themselves. Ada Zhang is a bighearted and sensitive writer, and these stories, looking simultaneously to the past and to the future, are a triumph.”
    –Yiyun Li

    Even If Everything Ends - Liljestrand, Jens

    Jens Liljestrand, Even If Everything Ends
    (Gallery/Scout Press)

    “A sense of apocalyptic doom throws the relatively petty concerns of the characters into sharp relief even as their humanity is affirmed by the author’s careful attention to their quirks and unique perspectives… An absorbing and sobering reckoning with all-too-familiar disasters, both personal and planetary.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Our Hideous Progeny - McGill, C. E.

    C. E. McGill, Our Hideous Progeny

    “This is no typical revisiting of Shelley’s iconic tale… This is a post-Gothic treat, an enjoyably moody, fog-drenched fictional commemoration of women in science.”

    American Breakdown: Our Ailing Nation, My Body's Revolt, and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Who Brought Me Back to Life - Lunden, Jennifer

    Jennifer Lunden, American Breakdown: Our Ailing Nation, My Body’s Revolt, and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Who Brought Me Back to Life
    (Harper Wave)

    “Part medical mystery, part literary excavation, Jennifer Lunden’s intimate and intricate debut chronicles her search for the source of her unexplained chronic illness and the parallels she finds in the biography of Alice James… [H]er scalpel-like prose also identifies and resects the illness latent in our entire ailing system—personal, political, planetary… This mesmerizing book is an essential story for our time, maybe the story.”
    –Ted Genoways

    Out of the Sugar Factory - Elmiger, Dorothee

    Dorothee Elmiger, Out of the Sugar Factory (trans. Megan Ewing)
    (Two Lines Press)

    Out of the Sugar Factory is W. G. Sebald meets Agatha Christie, with a remarkable touch all Elmiger’s own. One of Switzerland’s most promising young writers reminds us that history itself is one great, sordid mystery that must be continually reinvestigated, even if it can’t be solved.”
    –Jessi Jezewska Stevens

    Atalanta - Saint, Jennifer

    Jennifer Saint, Atalanta
    (Flatiron Books)

    “Saint deftly draws the reader into the legends of Atalanta, bringing the world of ancient Greece alive. The detail and description is lush: you can hear the rustle of the green leaves and taste the salty spray of the sea as the Argo rides forth on its quest. A story of adventure and love against all odds, this is an ancient tale limned with gold.”
    –Luna McNmara

    Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies: How Doubting the Bard Became the Biggest Taboo in Literature - Winkler, Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Winkler, Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies: How Doubting the Bard Became the Biggest Taboo in Literature
    (Simon and Schuster)

    “No, Elizabeth Winkler doesn’t reveal the true identity of the writer Ruth Bader Ginsburg termed ‘the literary genius known by the name William Shakespeare.’ But she does explain how we’ve wound up with, among an army of others, a republican Shakespeare and a monarchist Shakespeare, a Shakespeare who hated his wife and one who loved his, a Shakespeare who wrote all the plays and a Shakespeare who could not write at all. Along her intrepid way, Winkler charts, with refreshing clarity, the much-contested ground underfoot, studded with flinty convictions, gnarled fictions, and a surprising number of land mines.”
    –Stacy Schiff

    Wild Dances: My Queer and Curious Journey to Eurovision - Adams, William Lee

    William Lee Adams, Wild Dances: My Queer and Curious Journey to Eurovision
    (Astra House)

    Wild Dances is a pitch-perfect piece of autobiographical storytelling, a love song to the inspirational power of pop and the enduring resilience of queer kids with big dreams. William Lee Adams, already known to the world in his scintillating Eurovision commentator persona, proves to possess a rare talent as a writer.”
    –Kai Cheng Thom

    Like the Appearance of Horses - Krivak, Andrew

    Andrew Krivak, Like the Appearance of Horses
    (Bellevue Literary Press)

    “Krivak’s resplendent multigenerational family saga expertly braids the horrors of war with the struggles of those waiting for loved ones to return home.”

    Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Loving and Living Alone - Key, Amy

    Amy Key, Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Loving and Living Alone
    (Liveright Publishing Corporation)

    “British poet and essayist Key (Isn’t Forever) takes an intimate, idiosyncratic look at single life in her evocative first memoir… Filled with lyrical turns of phrase, this insightful take on living solo will appeal to poets, dreamers, and anyone marching to the beat of their own drum. It’s a lush and moving memoir.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The World of Sugar: How the Sweet Stuff Transformed Our Politics, Health, and Environment Over 2,000 Years - Bosma, Ulbe

    Ulbe Bosma, The World of Sugar: How the Sweet Stuff Transformed Our Politics, Health, and Environment Over 2,000 Years
    (Belknap Press)

    “Bosma lucidly depicts how a commodity… was central to the development of European imperialism, transatlantic slavery, the Industrial Revolution, economic protectionism, and the postcolonial politics and environmental degradation of the Global South… This is a comprehensive and alarming look at how one commodity changed the world.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Collected Regrets of Clover - Brammer, Mikki

    Mikki Brammer, The Collected Regrets of Clover
    (St. Martin’s Press)

    “Brammer writes with grace and heart about the complicated and complex world of grief. The Collected Regrets of Clover explores anticipatory grief, denial, anger, loss, and—as the title suggests—regret. Despite the heavy subject, though, Brammer’s debut is never dark or hopeless… [and] is ultimately a beautiful story of belonging and connection and, cliché though it may sound, what it really means to live life to its fullest.”
    Shelf Awareness

    The Private Life of Spies and the Exquisite Art of Getting Even: Stories of Espionage and Revenge - McCall Smith, Alexander

    Alexander McCall Smith, The Private Life of Spies and the Exquisite Art of Getting Even

    “Each story provides a unique cast of characters and distinctly different plots, each offers a gentle portrait of people and society. And each is guided by the mastery of a consummate storyteller, offering another treasure to his already glittering library.”
    New York Journal of Books

    Class War: A Literary History - Steven, Mark

    Mark Steven, Class War: A Literary History

    “Class war is everywhere and in every era. And yet it is not in all places and times the same; it is the stuff of history, and history is what changes… Louverture to LeGuin, this book is a wonder in its reach and attention, breathing vitality into core concepts while outmaneuvering the staid orthodoxies hobbling all too much class discourse in the 21st century. Like all the best history: a way forward.”
    –Joshua Clover

    Pieces of Blue - Sloan, Holly Goldberg

    Holly Goldberg Sloan, Pieces of Blue
    (Flatiron Books)

    Pieces of Blue is as propulsive as it is observant and atmospheric. Sloan understands her characters deeply, and makes us need to know what happens to them. In fact, a lot happens to them, and we want to know it all. This novel is a family story, a love story, and a mystery. I couldn’t put it down.”
    –Meg Wolitzer

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