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    Keith Haring! Helen Oyeyemi! Xochitl Gonzalez! 25 new books out today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    March 5, 2024, 4:47am

    Spring is here! That can mean many things to many people, but, in general, it can be a time of rebirth and renewal, a slow shift from the paradigms of winter. And if there are new blossoms to look forwards to, there are also many new books to get excited about—a veritable salmagundi of new things to read. Below, you’ll find no less than twenty-five new ones out today, including fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. And it’s an embarrassment of riches, really, given how many established names and powerful new writers there are to choose from, especially if you’re in the mood for fiction.

    You’ll find a reality-bending new novel by Helen Oyeyemi; stories by Russell Bank that capture America’s chaotic present; a new novel from Xochitl Gonzalez that follows a first-generation student’s quest to rehabilitate a female artist who died under suspicious circumstances; Marina Yuszcuk’s haunting, innovative novel of vampirism and female identity; Katie M. Flynn’s chilling collection of interconnected stories that echo Karen Russell’s fiction, yet are all Katie M. Flynn; and much, much more. You’ll find new poetry from Diane Seuss, Rose McLarney, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips.

    And while today’s list is a little fiction-heavy, nonfiction lovers will still find some delights. There’s a comprehensive, intensely atmospheric new biography of the iconic queer artist Keith Haring; Anna Shechtman gives us a book that blends memoir with a woman-centered history of the crossword puzzle; Tessa Hulls offers up a visually striking graphic memoir that conjures up Alison Bechdel and Joe Sacco; a memoir by drag extraordinaire RuPaul; a history of the basketball film Hoosiers and the Black American history of hoops; a look at how we got to an America defined by conspiracies and paranoia by Arthur Goldwag; and more.

    There’s so much to choose from, and I hope you’ll find something marvelous below to start March off with.


    Parasol Against the Axe - Oyeyemi, Helen

    Helen Oyeyemi, Parasol Against the Axe

    “Oyeyemi’s language, along with her ability to drop clues and invite questions without clear answers, makes the reading experience a world unto its own….The pleasure of Parasol Against the Axe lies in figuring out what is real and what is imag­ined—and if, in Oyeyemi’s world, the differ­ence even matters.”

    American Spirits - Banks, Russell

    Russell Banks, American Spirits

    “What a beautiful farewell gift the great Russell Banks has left us in American Spirits. Better than anything I’ve read, this book gave me hope about our current political situation….These three utterly compelling stories are so truthful about America as to be almost unbearable. They’re funny, frank, full of love and each of them delivers an epic punch, in its own flavor—they feel Shakespearean in their daring—in how fearlessly they exploit the dramatic space they’ve mapped out.”
    –George Saunders

    The Great Divide - Henriquez, Cristina

    Cristina Henríquez, The Great Divide
    (Ecco Press)

    “Against the backdrop of the construction of the Panama Canal, Cristina Henriquez’s commanding and fearless prose conducts us through the very depth of the Panamanian jungle….Violent empire and volatile sickness combine for harrowing effect in this vivid novel that interrogates all that is sacrificed in the name of progress. By turns macabre and also truly joyful, The Great Divide left me with a powerful ache for forgotten histories that will not soon leave me.”
    –Xochitl Gonzalez

    Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring - Gooch, Brad

    Brad Gooch, Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring

    “It’s all here: the grade school Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss; the adolescent acid trips; the fondness for Post-it notes and flying saucers; the long tails of Dubuffet and Burroughs; the encounters with Madonna, Warhol….Brad Gooch takes us deep into Keith Haring’s imagination while somehow managing to fix the aura and energy of the 1980s New York art scene to the page. A keen-eyed, beautifully written biography, atmospheric, exuberant, and as radiant as they come.”
    –Stacy Schiff

    The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle - Shechtman, Anna

    Anna Shechtman, The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle

    “As a memoir of the female body, The Riddles of the Sphinx is, by turns, intensely cerebral and sensual. As a history of wordplay, it is rigorous yet delightful. As a work of nonfiction, it is accomplished, hypnotic, and, at moments, tremendously unsettling. In revealing how femininity can turn into a monstrous ideal, Shechtman stages a serious reckoning with not just her past, but with the whole history of feminist thought.”
    –Merve Emre

    A History of Women in 101 Objects - Hirsch, Annabelle

    Annabelle Hirsch, A History of Women in 101 Objects
    (Crown Publishing Group)

    “Hirsch makes an engaging book debut with a feminist chronicle of women’s lives from prehistoric times to the present….Filled with illuminating anecdotes, the collection is as entertaining as it is informative.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Modern Poetry: Poems - Seuss, Diane

    Diane Seuss, Modern Poetry: Poems

    Modern Poetry is filled with such agility, as Seuss’s finely tuned lyricism counterpoints in stunning ways her almost bathetic directness. At no point does this collection about poetry feel insular or solipsistic; rather, it leaps from the page with great urgency, in no small part because of the charm and affability of Seuss’s speaker….She is someone to who one wants to listen.”
    Preposition Magazine

    Colorfast - McLarney, Rose

    Rose McLarney, Colorfast
    (Penguin Books)

    “Exquisite….Rose McLarney looks into the hard surfaces of southern Appalachia with a scrutiny at once ferocious and patient….In almost every poem there’s a prayer to see—to glimpse the real value of gems and girls, slow craftwork, grief itself. McLarney is rare, her vision rare, her voice holding fast to candor and wisdom.”
    –Joanna Klink

    Silver: Poems - Phillips, Rowan Ricardo

    Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Silver: Poems

    “Musical and erudite, the latest from Phillips offers an extended ars poetica in which poetry is ‘a ritual that the sun organizes/ and arranges’….Readers will take pleasure in this poetical flowering.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Anita de Monte Laughs Last - Gonzalez, Xochitl

    Xochitl Gonzalez, Anita de Monte Laughs Last

    “Part campus novel, part ghost story, Xochitl Gonzalez’s second novel fearlessly takes on racism and misogyny in the rarefied world of fine art and art history….Anita de Monte Laughs Last boldly questions the choices behind what we are taught and demands that the complete story be disclosed.”

    Fruit of the Dead - Lyon, Rachel

    Rachel Lyon, Fruit of the Dead

    “A brilliant and luminous reimagining of the Persephone myth. Lyon explores power, consent, motherhood, capitalism, and addiction, in prose as lush and entrancing as her book’s seductive island setting. Incantatory and razor-sharp, Fruit of the Dead casts a powerful spell.”
    –Jesse Chaffee

    Thirst - Yuszczuk, Marina

    Marina Yuszcuk, Thirst (trans. Heather Cleary)

    “This isn’t your typical meet-cute. When two women—one grieving, the other a vampire, both of them alienated and yearning for more—cross paths in a Buenos Aires cemetery, romance blooms. Channeling Carmen Maria Machado and Anne Rice, Yuszczuk reimagines the vampire novel, with a distinctly Latin American feminist Gothic twist.”
    The Millions

    Feeding Ghosts: A Graphic Memoir - Hulls, Tessa

    Tessa Hulls, Feeding Ghosts: A Graphic Memoir

    Feeding Ghosts swallows you up in swirling eddies of ink. A visual jungle gym with the iconography of David B., the journalistic thoroughness of Joe Sacco (I learned so much), the intellect of Alison Bechdel, and a vulnerable heart completely unique to Tessa Hulls. I loved it.”
    –Craig Thompson

    The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir - Rupaul

    RuPaul, The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir
    (Dey Street Books)

    “RuPaul writes with a maturity that readers can sense he earned early in life and a memory that brings alive moments both outrageous and transcendent. Touching also on belonging, love, and sobriety, this vibrant and multifaceted celebrity memoir will have readers rapt.”

    3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool - Kaplan, James

    James Kaplan, 3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool
    (Penguin Press)

    “Kaplan, the author of the definitive biography of Frank Sinatra, gives us a peek inside group genius at work….Throughout this vibrant text, the author captures the time and atmosphere perfectly–the music, the personalities, the fragrant aroma of weed in the air–and he brings us right into the performances….A marvelous must-read for jazz fans and anyone interested in this dynamic period of American music.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Pelican Girls - Malye, Julia

    Julia Malye, Pelican Girls

    Pelican Girls is a marvelous achievement, an immersive and moving novel, as beautifully written as it is impeccably researched. I haven’t been this swept away by a piece of historical fiction since Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet.”
    –Jess Walter

    The Extinction of Irena Rey - Croft, Jennifer

    Jennifer Croft, The Extinction of Irena Rey

    “A wild and wonderfully unruly novel about translation and transmission, The Extinction of Irena Rey is a showcase for Jennifer Croft’s acrobatic intellect, delicious humor, and voluptuous prose.”
    –Katie Kitamura

    My Heavenly Favorite - Rijneveld, Lucas

    Lucas Rijneveld, My Heavenly Favorite

    “Lucas Rijneveld’s My Heavenly Favorite is a novel of exquisite discomfort and delicious poetry. Rijneveld writes with peerless moral courage and a sheer delight in the abject that we must each face in ourselves. This book unsettled me even as it made me laugh and gasp. I’m in awe.”
    –Brandon Taylor

    The Politics of Fear: The Peculiar Persistence of American Paranoia - Goldwag, Arthur

    Arthur Goldwag, The Politics of Fear: The Peculiar Persistence of American Paranoia

    “Since the founding, the United States has provided a haven for conspiracy theorists, bigots, cultists, and violent extremists. In The Politics of Fear, Arthur Goldwag offers a lively tour of America’s heart of darkness. Chronicling decades of fear-soaked ideas and the individuals who espoused them, The Politics of Fear is provocative and unforgettable.”
    –Matthew Dallek

    The Real Hoosiers: Crispus Attucks High School, Oscar Robertson, and the Hidden History of Hoops - McCallum, Jack

    Jack McCallum, The Real Hoosiers: Crispus Attucks High School, Oscar Robertson, and the Hidden History of Hoops

    “Much of the folklore surrounding the groundbreaking Crispus Attucks High School men’s basketball teams has been sanitized and glossed over. No longer. Jack McCallum, the dean of basketball journalism, does it again with The Real Hoosiers, exhaustingly excavating, and expertly crafting the true story of Hoosier basketball to deliver a jewel that resonates far beyond any hardwood court.”
    –Jonathan Abrams

    Say Hello to My Little Friend - Capó Crucet, Jennine

    Jennine Capó Crucet, Say Hello to My Little Friend
    (Simon & Schuster)

    “Capó Crucet’s new novel is a madcap, beautiful romp through a version of Miami I’ve been waiting to see in literature for years: a place of newness and impermanence, where the fluidity of language and culture and history is as central to its identity as the ocean….I loved this brilliant, hilarious novel, read it compulsively, and loved most of all its protagonist…a young man hellbent on achieving the American dream of reinvention, and at the same time in danger of discovering more about himself and his roots than he ever hoped to know.”
    –Daniel Alarcón

    Ellipses - Lawrence, Vanessa

    Vanessa Lawrence, Ellipses

    “Vanessa Lawrence’s masterful debut deftly explores the stakes facing a young, queer, Asian female writer navigating the scary waters of the New York magazine world. Every page is a prose treasure, eloquently nailing the pulse of an often ruthless milieu while managing to make us laugh at its excesses and failures.”
    –Carolyn Ferrell

    The Tower - Carr, Flora

    Flora Carr, The Tower

    “An unforgettable, spellbinding debut—Flora Carr’s The Tower offers an immersive and intimate portrait of Mary Queen of Scots and the women in her orbit, revealing their humanity beyond the stories and myths.”
    –Lindsay Lynch

    Island Rule: Stories - Flynn, Katie M.

    Katie M. Flynn, Island Rule: Stories
    (Gallery/Scout Press)

    “A wonderfully eerie collection, Island Rule haunts and delights. Flynn’s writing is taught and teeming, making a world of bone mounds and monsters as alarmingly real as teenage angst and midlife crises. The creeping darkness of Island Rule revels in exploring darkness at the edges of our world, and what happens when we invite it in.”
    –Erika Swyler

    Mona of the Manor - Maupin, Armistead

    Armistead Maupin, Mona of the Manor

    “Maupin is a peerless visionary who created a queer community of friends decades ago and is still at the top of his game with this funny, endearing, and totally captivating literary escapade…. Fifty years in, the Tales of the City series continues, and this novel is as charming, witty, and magical as its predecessors.”
    Library Journal

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