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    23 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    May 30, 2023, 9:14am

    Astonishingly—at least to me and my inability to keep track of time—it is now near the end of the month, which means that two delightful things loom ahead: the twin promises of summer and the fact that new books that are hitting shelves today. Below, you’ll find a wide-roving list, with, I hope, a little of something for everyone. There are many queer books (as befits entering Pride Month, but, of course, as also befits any month); there are novels about pirate queens and about the author of Anne of Green Gables, as well as SFF stories about alternate queer histories; new biographies and studies of the past; and powerful, provocative poetry. As May fades, I hope something below lights up your fancy.


    Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in Archives - Possanza, Amelia

    Amelia Possanza, Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in Archives

    “Incredible….Possanza’s centuries-spanning document-which melds her own story with hidden, intimate histories of drag kings and olympians, artists and activists-is a manifesto of love: of erotic love and platonic love, of familial and communal love, and maybe most importantly, self-love.”
    Electric Literature

    Everything All at Once: A Memoir - Catudal, Stephanie

    Steph Catudal, Everything All at Once

    “A brilliant, unflinching, lyrical memoir about illness and grief and the intensity of being there for people and the memories it brings up. It’s a heart-wrenching book but is also healing in its raw truth. I loved it.”
    –Matt Haig

    Good Night, Irene - Urrea, Luis Alberto

    Luis Alberto Urrea, Good Night, Irene
    (Little Brown)

    “Few delights bring as much comfort as good food, so imagine how cheering a good cup of coffee and a fresh donut would have been to soldiers on the front lines in World War II. But also imagine how women recruited to serve food to soldiers might view the value of their contribution when they see the life-and-death sacrifices those men had to make. That’s one of the animating conflicts in the heartfelt novel Good Night, Irene from Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea…. [D]evastating immediacy.”

    On Women - Sontag, Susan

    Susan Sontag, On Women

    “[T]he essays and interviews in On Women, a new collection of Susan Sontag’s work, are incapable of aging badly. Though the pieces are around fifty years old, the effect of reading them today is to marvel at the untimeliness of their genius.”
    The New Yorker

    The Celebrants - Rowley, Steven

    Steven Rowley, The Celebrants

    Big Chill, but make it Gen X-y and at least 30% more gay’: That’s one potential logline for the fizzy, emotionally intelligent latest from Guncle author Rowley.”
    Entertainment Weekly

    Everybody Come Alive: A Memoir in Essays - Alvis Walker, Marcie

    Marcie Alvis Walker, Everybody Come Alive: A Memoir in Essays
    (Convergent Books)

    “Whooo—what to say about Everybody Come Alive? It’s less book, more psalm—a lyrical, resonant refrain that those of us who are Black and live in America recognize from a deep part of our souls. It’s an alluring song, a sweet invitation for those who are non-Black to read, listen, and understand. And, most assuredly, it’s a celebration of culture, identity, and life.”
    –Karen Walrond

    Big Gay Wedding - Lane, Byron

    Byron Lane, Big Gay Wedding
    (Henry Holt)

    “Lane’s latest is even more chaotic than his debut—in a good way—with a multitude of wild yet fully fleshed out characters and a plot that never lets up. Hilarious moments blend perfectly with genuine emotional arcs.”

    Horse Barbie: A Memoir - Rocero, Geena

    Geena Rocero, Horse Barbie
    (Dial Press)

    “Witty, heartbreaking, and vivid, Horse Barbie is a must-read for anyone looking to know more about self-acceptance in the face of profound struggle, what it means to be trans, and Geena’s outstanding impact as a groundbreaking advocate, model, writer, and inspiring woman.”
    –Sarah Kate Ellis

    Bread and Circus - Matthews, Airea D.

    Airea D. Matthews, Bread and Circus

    “Like all crowning collections in an oeuvre, this book enacts, with tenderness and intelligence, an erudition that matches the capacious love of its ambitions. Formally ambidextrous, teethed with wit and uncompromising dignity, Matthews engages the archive as a breathing document, refusing to let history be done with itself, and thereby accomplishes what I love most about poetry—especially hers—that it lives, is living.”
    –Ocean Vuong

    The House on Via Gemito - Starnone, Domenico

    Domenico Starnone, The House on Via Gemito (trans. Oonagh Stransky)
    (Europa Editions)

    “Every character…is a full-fledged human being filled with desire, regret, resentment, bitterness, and hope. At the same time, the Neapolitan setting comes equally alive… Starnone, it seems, can do no wrong. A complexly structured masterpiece.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    After Anne: A Novel of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Life - Steiner, Logan

    Logan Steiner, After Anne: A Novel of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Life
    (William Morrow)

    After Anne is the never-told story behind one of literature’s most enduring characters. Logan Steiner’s beautifully written tale of the triumphs and tragedies of L. Maud Montgomery is a captivating read for anyone who grew up wishing they could adventure around Avonlea with Anne of Green Gables.”
    –Sarah James

    The Male Gazed: On Hunks, Heartthrobs, and What Pop Culture Taught Me about (Desiring) Men - Betancourt, Manuel

    Manuel Betancourt, The Male Gazed: On Hunks, Heartthrobs, and What Pop Culture Taught Me About Desiring Men

    “Witty, erudite, and self-revealing… Readers seeking an honest portrayal of one gay man’s voyage in the masculine imaginary will find a rich source of companionship.”
    Library Journal

    Uranians: Stories - McCombs, Theodore

    Theodore McCombs, Uranians: Stories
    (Astra House)

    “I have been waiting for this sumptuous, prismatic collection for literal years. Theodore McCombs is a poet of queer pasts, presents, and futures, and Uranians is a formidable debut.”
    –Carmen Maria-Machado

    Ink Blood Sister Scribe - Törzs, Emma

    Emma Törzs, Ink Blood Sister Scribe
    (William Morrow)

    “Follow where this novel leads and you will be lost in a bewitching spell, a book of magic about books of magic, and the people who reel from reading them. Go beyond the magic and you’re left with a heartbreaking tale of family where truth blurs with lies, and blood isn’t thick enough. A bold, new novel from an extraordinary new voice.”
    –Marlon James

    Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea - Chang-Eppig, Rita

    Rita Chang-Eppig, Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea

    “It is the year of lady pirates and outlaws, friends!… It’s refreshing to see not only a mixed-gender crew but also a woman with a complicated relationship to motherhood, her intended place in the world, and her ambitions. Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea is a non-stop adventure with danger at every turn, and…her adventures will make you want to take up the sword and learn to sail.”

    Working Girl: On Selling Art and Selling Sex - Giovannitti, Sophia

    Sophia Giovannitti, Working Girl: On Selling Art and Selling Sex

    “Giovannitti mines both her personal experiences as an artist and a sex worker as well as larger political ones to traces the ways the worlds of art and sex work have in common. In doing so, she finds a way to commit to art, sex, and work on her own terms – finding freedom within the larger forces at work.”

    Diary of a Tuscan Bookshop: A Memoir - Donati, Alba

    Alba Donati, Diary of a Tuscan Bookshop

    “This memoir is about the creation of the bookshop but also about so much more. This is a love letter to the town of Lucignana and the Italian literary scene as well as a meditation on Donati’s sometimes difficult relationships with family. Her prose is poetic, even melodic at times, and her insights into both books and readers are delightful.”

    In the Blood: How Two Outsiders Solved a Centuries-Old Medical Mystery and Took on the US Army - Barber, Charles

    Charles Barber, In the Blood: How Two Outsiders Solved a Centuries-Old Medical Mystery and Took on the U. S. Army
    (Grand Central Publishing)

    “An elegantly written account tackling one of the most important moral issues of our time—the role of redemption in our justice system and our society. This book offers an unforgettable rendering of a life redeemed.”
    –Jennifer Gonnerman

    Once More with Feeling - Sussman, Elissa

    Elissa Sussman, Once More with Feeling

    “Sussman…dazzles in this smart second-chance romance… Her leads are complex, appealing, and multilayered, and the perfectly paced plot offers real insight into celebrity culture and media slut-shaming. Sussman’s first-rate latest will please her existing fans and win her many new ones.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Enlightenment of Katzuo Nakamatsu - Oshiro, Augusto Higa

    August Higa Oshiro, The Enlightenment of Katzuo Nakamatsu (trans. Jennifer Shyue)
    (Archipelago Books)

    “Oshiro manages to expose decades of invisible history, including the U.S.-initiated deportation of Japanese Peruvians to U.S. prison camps during WWII. Talented polyglot Shyue enables Oshiro’s debut in English, rendering Oshiro’s dense, lyrical prose into a resonating anti-bildungsroman of a man’s dissolution.”

    Osip Mandelstam: A Biography - Dutli, Ralph

    Ralph Duttli, Osip Mandelstam: A Biography

    “A model biography by Dutli, who is better qualified than anyone else to do this, because he has a precise knowledge of every facet of the poet’s life and work. He corrects the picture presented by Celan, whose translations overemphasised the tragic, elegiac aspect of Mandelstam’s poetry.”
    –Ulrich M. Schmid

    Pleasure and Efficacy: Of Pen Names, Cover Versions, and Other Trans Techniques - Lavery, Grace Elisabeth

    Grace Elisabeth Lavery, Pleasure and Efficacy: Of Pen Names, Cover Versions, and Other Trans Techniques
    (Princeton University Press)

    “Grace Lavery is a promiscuous and a polymorphously perverse reader of culture, theory, sexuality, and embodiment. Offering a series of ornate and stunning essays on trans realism, this book makes the case for reading George Eliot as trans, for reading transition as real, possible, and desirable and for creative critiques of the straight realisms that oppose the flourishing of trans life… Prepare to be vexed, outraged, seduced, and entertained.”
    –Jack Halberstam

    The Soldier's Truth: Ernie Pyle and the Story of World War II - Chrisinger, David

    David Chrisinger, The Soldier’s Truth: Ernie Pyle and the Story of World War II

    “In this intriguing and admiring biography, Chrisinger retraces war correspondent Ernie Pyle’s steps through the European and Pacific theaters of WWII… Chrisinger’s deep admiration for his subject comes through, as does his belief in the power of storytelling as a force for good… A fascinating portrait of a reporter who gave everything to get the story.”
    Publishers Weekly

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