Recent Work By TNB Editors

Available from William Morrow

Sign up now to receive your copy! (Sign-up deadline for this title: March 15, 2019.)

Subscription Options

 

The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed American debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest.

The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking “good” sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.

On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.

Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again.

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. “I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society,” Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. “I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India.”

Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Sam Lipsyte. His new novel, Hark, is available from Simon & Schuster.

 

This is Sam’s second time on the podcast. He first appeared in Episode 154, on March 6, 2013.

His other books include the story collections Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and The Fun Parts, and three other novels: The Ask, The Subject Steve, and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Sarah McColl. Her debut memoir, Joy Enough, is available from Liveright Publishing.

 

McColl’s essays have appeared in Paris Review, McSweeney’s, StoryQuarterly, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, where she was named the 2017 Mary Carswell Fellow, the Millay Colony for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Wrangell Mountains Center.

She teaches creative writing and is based in Los Angeles, California.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Madhuri Vijay. Her debut novel, The Far Field, is available now from Grove Press.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Vijay was born in Bangalore. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and her writing has appeared in Best American Non-Required Reading, Narrative Magazine and Salon, among other publications. The Far Field is her first book.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Peter Stenson. His new novel Thirty Seven is available from Dzanc Books. It is the official February pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Brad Phillips. His new story collection, Essays and Fictions, is available from Tyrant Books.

 

The late Anthony Bourdain calls it: “Searingly honest, brilliant and disturbing. [Phillips] peels back the skin and bone and stares right into the human soul.”

Born in 1974, Phillips is also an accomplished visual artist  known for dark work that engages with themes of eroticism, depression, and mortality. His paintings display stylistic breadth, from text-based to photorealist, referring in many cases directly to his daily life. He lives in Toronto.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with longtime TNB contributor Duke Haney. His new essay collection, Death Valley Superstars, is available from Delancey Street Press.

Haney has spent most of his adult life working in the movie business, with twenty feature-film credits as an actor and twenty-two as a screenwriter.  He used pseudonyms for some of the screenplays and went by “D. R. Haney” as the author of a novel, Banned for Life, and an essay collection, Subversia, published by TNB Books. After he was struck by a car in a crosswalk on Sunset Boulevard, a friend claimed he walked like John “Duke” Wayne and gave him the nickname by which most people know him and he has adopted belatedly as his pen name. He plans to follow Death Valley Superstars with a novel tentatively titled XXX.

This is Duke’s second time on the podcast. He first appeared in Episode 36 on January 18, 2012.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Available from Bloomsbury

Sign up now to receive your copy! (Sign-up deadline for this title: February 15, 2019.)

Subscription Options

 

“Harrowing and beautiful. What seems most miraculous about Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is the way T Kira Madden forges out of such achingly difficult material a memoir as frank and funny and powerful and surprising as this, her utterly gorgeous debut.” ―Lauren Groff

One of the most anticipated books of 2019–Electric Literature, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The Millions, Hyphen, Lit Hub, Nylon, The AV Club, The Advocate, The Rumpus, The Week, Books are Magic, Reading Women

 

Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden’s raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.

As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls.

With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai’i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It’s a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.

Available from Dzanc Books

Sign up now to receive your copy! (Sign-up deadline for this title: January 15, 2019.)

Subscription Options

 

“With his second novel, Stenson proves to be a more articulate, more empathic, and more intelligent version of Chuck Palahniuk. Stenson’s sentences devastate, and his characters are nuanced and warm … A book that manages to break your heart, make you dizzy, and punch you in the gut all at once. You will be hard-pressed to find a novel as dark or intense in any bookstore.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

One of Boolist’s Best Ten Horror Books of 2018

The Survivors, their members known only by the order in which they joined, live alone in a rural Colorado mansion. They believe that sickness bears honesty. And that honesty bears change. Fueled by the ritualized Cytoxan treatments that leave them on the verge of death, they instigate the Day of Gifts, a day that spells shocking violence and the group’s demise.

Enter Mason Hues, formerly known as Thirty-Seven, the group’s final member and the only one both alive and free. Eighteen years old and living in a spartan apartment after his release from a year of intensive mental health counseling, he takes a job at a thrift shop and expects to while away his days as quietly and unobtrusively as possible.

But when his enigmatic boss Talley learns his secret, she comes to believe that there is still hope in the Survivor philosophy. She pushes Mason to start the group over again—this time with himself as One.

Part Fight Club, part The Girls, and entirely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, Peter Stenson’s Thirty-Seven is an audacious and austere novel that explores our need to belong. Our need to be loved. Our need to believe in something greater than ourselves, and our ultimate capacity for self-delusion.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Ingrid Rojas Contreras. Her debut novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Doubleday), is a national bestseller, an Indie Next selection, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times editor’s choice.

Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Contreras’ essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and Guernica, among others. She is the book columnist for KQED, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate, teaches writing at the University of San Francisco, and works with immigrant high school students as part of a San Francisco Arts Commission initiative bringing writers into public schools. She is working on a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Last August a photo of Brad Phillips’ book Essays and Fictions was posted on Instagram.  The picture was a close up of Anthony Bourdain’s blurb—he’d only died a couple months earlier—that read “searingly honest, brilliant, and disturbing…” I guess I’m a sucker for excellent marketing, because I wanted to read the book immediately.  I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the novel’s release, and since the Instagram caption said advanced readers copies were available, I emailed Tyrant Books and requested one.

Essays and Fictions is a perfect example of why I love to read. Reading a book for the first time, a book I’ll grow to love, is an intimate process. The words on the page somehow seep into me, and the story stays inside long after the book is finished. The eleven stories in Essays and Fictions painstakingly focus on overlapping subject matter like drug addiction, sex, pain, loss, suicide and love—topics considered ‘disturbing,’ but the writing in this book about these topics is not only beautiful, but deeply sincere.

When I really love a book, I become obsessed and I do this thing: underlining various sentences, posting the underlined sentences on Instagram stories, tweeting sentences I connect with. I google the author, what else have they written that I can read right now? During one of my Brad Phillips k-holes online I found another blurb, The Paris Review said of Brad’s work, “He doesn’t ask to be liked, even by his groupies, but he does want to communicate: ‘I’m not interested in the ones who are drawn to the creator of the work, I’m interested in the ones who are drawn to the content.’”

In Essays and Fictions, I’m drawn to both.

Brad and I corresponded in December 2018, after I finished the book, via a Google doc. The following is what we talked about.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Thomas Kohnstamm. His debut novel, Lake City, is available from Counterpoint Press. It is the official January pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Kohnstamm is also the author of Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? (Crown). He was born in Seattle and lives there with his wife and two children.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. Her new novel Sketchtasy is available from Arsenal Pulp Press.

 

This is Mattilda’s second time on the podcast. She first appeared in Episode 237 on December 25, 2013.

Described as “startlingly bold and provocative” by Howard Zinn, “a cross between Tinkerbell and a honky Malcolm X with a queer agenda” by the Austin Chronicle, and “a gender-fucking tower of pure pulsing purple fabulous” by The Stranger, Sycamore is the author of a memoir and three novels, and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Tommy Pico. A poet, performer, and screenwriter, his books include IRL, winner of the 2017 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize, Nature Poem, winner of a 2018 American Book Award, Junk, and the forthcoming Feed (Tin House Books). Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker at the Ace Hotel, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.

Photo credit: Niqui Carter

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Morris Collins. His debut novel, Horse Latitudes, is available from Dzanc Books. It was the official December 2018 pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.