These transcendent stories explore the lives of the marginalized, the rebellious, and the flighty. From a schoolyard confrontation to the journey of an 8 year old trauma victim, Yuknavitch brazenly dissects the limits of human empathy and perserverance. This book will push you past your comfort zone hungrily, evoking images of Bosch mixed with the literary rage of Rebecca Solnit.
This slim novel will appeal to the anxious among us--those concerned about the future of our planet, those wondering how they can make an impact in a country that elected our current president. But it is also startlingly funny at times, evoking the instinct of many to crack jokes in times of great peril. Offill is an expert storyteller whose ability to weave doom with humor, uncertainty with hope, and the extraordinary with the mundane is a sight to behold.
In this genre-defying collection, Ross Gay records a year of delights--beautiful, clear-eyed pieces of the world that might otherwise be overlooked. Every word is pure joy, but this is also a complex meditation on race, consumer culture, and ecology. Closely observe your own world and delight in its mysteries and read this book.
Originally published in 1975 but then pushed aside (as work by black women always has been) Corregidora tells the story of Ursa, a Kentucky blues singer of incredible power haunted by the evils of slavery. Place Jones on the highest shelf--she belongs with the other Classics.
Written from the perspective of the spirit gods inhabiting a human body, Freshwater is unlike any book I've ever read. This book is a startling, unforgettable tale of identity, mental illness, and recovery that teaches us to name our demons, to let them be seen, in order to keep them at bay.
These stories left me with my heart pounding, stunned into silence. Adjei-Brenyah uses dystopian fiction to portray the very real injustices black people face in America. Friday Black startles its reader awake, blurring the line between what's already happened and what's dangerously close to happening.
Gretel grew up along a canal with her dazzling mother, who then abandoned her as a teen. Years later, one phone call brings her murky, mythical past flooding back. In the exhilerating journey that follows, Johnson bends language, explores free-will, and allows her reader to become part of an unforgettable community. Thrilling & engrossing.
This is the gritty Southern novel I've always wanted. Maren deftly navigates between two periods in time, telling two inter-connected, muddled love stories and mixing in stunning images of the West Virginia landscape her characters inhabit. Dark & perfect.
I wasn't sure if it was possible for Lauren Groff to get better than Fates and Furies, but it appears she can do no wrong. These stories will squirm and slither into your psyche. They'll make you nervous in the way that only good writing can. Refreshing, poignant, and startlingly timely, Florida is the best of the best.
To say I read this book quickly is an understatement. I voraciously consumed it, occassionally pausing to breathe and re-read the passages I had torn through. This novel explores what it might mean to let our secret desires play out completely-- to fully embrace the weird thoughts and passing fancies that cross our minds. Our "protagonist" is a wealthy, beautiful young woman whose quest to sleep for a full year, aided by an arsenal of prescription drugs, pushes the reader to think critically about human existence. Moshfegh is hilarious, point-blank, and limitless.
This memoir reads like poetry; it ripples with honesty and heals open wounds. Rarely can a person tell a story like this without giving over to self- pity, but Mailhot simply transforms her narrative into pure power. My favorite book so far in 2018.
This story collection displays the most scope out of any collection I've read. Each story takes its reader to a different time, place, wonderfully crafted fantasy. You won't want them to end, but you'll want to see what else Benz can do.
This is the best American Romantic novel ever written. It's a beautiful coming of age story set during the age of Westward Expansion, with prose language as stunning as the landscape.
Written by a young man dying of bone cancer, this collection should be the most hopeless and heartbreaking one you've ever read. Instead, Ritvo uses language in altogether unique and unseen ways, exploring both the ordinary and the abstract through the eyes of someone deeply appreciative of the life they have been given. Four Reincarnations encourages us to find joy in the mundane, even when this joy is mixed with pain. This book is haunting in the most wonderful way.