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    Antiracism for babies, spiritual noirs, and magical realism: the week in book deals.

    Emily Temple

    August 30, 2019, 10:27am

    My personal form of astrology is to anxiously trawl Publishers Marketplace every week. No, wait, hear me out: it’s how I can tell the only future that matters: which books I will be reading a year and a half from now. Also, it’s a nice reminder that publishing isn’t dead. After all, there are so many deals to choose from—but here are the book sales announced this week that we here at Literary Hub are most excited about, from intriguing debuts to new books from established faves.


    National Book Award winner Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, has sold “a board book meant to help parents and children discuss and uproot racism in society, and in ourselves,” entitled, you guessed it, Antiracist Baby. Usually I find this sort of thing ridiculous, but honestly, it’s never too early to train your child to be an antiracist. The book will be illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky and published next summer. In the meantime read Kendi on how racism relies on arbitrary hierarchies (for adults!) here.


    Mark Haber, author of Reinhardt’s Garden and César Aira enthusiast, has sold a new novel called Saint Sebastian’s Abyss, which is “a meditation on art, obsession, and friendship, following two best friends who built their careers writing about the same work of art and who meet after a decades-long falling out.” Sounds good to me.


    Singapore-based author of Rainbirds Clarissa Goenawan (one of our favorite Singaporean writers) has sold a new novel entitled The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, “a work of magical realism set in Japan that explores the aftermath of a university student’s suicide from the perspectives of the upperclassman who loved her, her best friend, and her mentor in the arts.” Dreamy weirdness awaits.


    Thomas Maltman, author of The Night Birds and Little Wolves, has sold a new novel to Soho Press called The Land: “a mystery and spiritual noir exploring the dark side of belief, the uniquely American obsession with apocalypse and racial identity, and the sacrifices we make for those we love.” It’s slated to come out in fall 2020, which could either be the darkest time in recent memory, or the best. Either way, this might be just the thing.

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