Available from Tyrant Books

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Vincent and Alice and Alice has everything I’ve always loved about Shane’s work—the vivid imaginative force field, the mordant humor—while also marking a commanding departure. This is a novel of great intimacy and heart, one that held me close and moved me deeply.” – Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

From the visionary author of Light Boxes, a mind-bending office comedy, and a touching modern love story set against the backdrop of an ever-increasingly disorienting America.

Being home all the time is depressing, so I tell my boss “I’m ready for anything” in the strongest conference call voice in the world while driving my hand into a family-sized bag of tortilla chips. Without a future, no Alice, I’m ready for an adventure.

Meet Vincent. After his divorce from Alice he’s lost his way, and is mindlessly working for the State, counting down the days till retirement. When his boss tells him to participate in a program that promises not only to increase productivity, but show him his “ideal life” he thinks: what’s the harm? Others have seen new marked improvements in productivity and personal happiness. Willing to try anything to move away from the heartbreak of Alice, Vincent reluctantly complies. But what the program shows him, is that his ideal life is simply Alice. She’s back. Is she real? A clone? A hologram? Despite the lingering questions, Vincent eases back into love and begins to live his life again with Alice, that is, until the real Alice returns.

A novel about work, love, and how to live in the present moment, Vincent and Alice and Alice flings us through a shockingly funny and tender-hearted world just a few degrees different from our own, one that introduces us to a wild cast of characters, including the enigmatic CEO of PER, Dorian Blood, a mysterious under-cover cop, and the acid-tongued Elderly, a man living in his car who may be the only one who understands how to live in reality.

Available from Dzanc Books

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“In these wistful, expansive stories, Peg Alford Pursell holds up a mirror to our lives and relationships. The stories excavate the lives of her narrators with honesty and clear, luminous prose. They are mysterious in the way the best fiction is―their truths echoing long after you turn the page.”
―Karen E. Bender, National Book Award finalist and author of Refund

Following her acclaimed debut, Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, award-winning author Peg Alford Pursell explores and illuminates love and loss in 78 hybrid stories and fables. A Girl Goes into the Forest immerses readers in the complex desires, contradictions, and sorrows of daughters, wives, and husbands, artists, siblings, and mothers.

In forests literal and metaphorical, the characters try, fail, and try again to see the world, to hear each other, and to speak the truth of their longings. Powerful, lyrical, and precise, Pursell’s stories call up a world at once mysterious and recognizable.

A Girl Goes into the Forest invites fans of Lydia Davis and Helen Oyeyemi into a world where “no one can deter a person from her mistakes.”

Available from Rare Bird Books

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“‘Why can’t she get over it?’ ‘Why can’t she just move on?’ Karen Stefano will make you understand exactly why. In this taut, riveting memoir, Stefano brings you into the life of a woman in the wake of a violent assault. Tortured by what-ifs and the terrifying awareness of her own vulnerability, Stefano becomes obsessed with knowing all she can about the compounding forces that create her ‘habit of fear.’ Arresting, compelling, her journey culminates in an unexpected grace that strangely blooms out of that awful assault. This story is necessary and unforgettable―and arrives at just the right time.” —Samantha Dunn, author of Not By Accident

On a summer night in 1984, nineteen-year-old UC Berkeley sophomore Karen Thomas leaves her uniformed patrol job and walks home alone in darkness. At the threshold of her apartment a man assaults her at knife point. After a soul-chilling struggle, she manages to escape.

Though she is left traumatized by her assault and the subsequent trial of her attacker, she herself goes on to become a criminal defense lawyer, defending those accused of crimes as heinous as the one committed against her.

Fast forward to 2014, thirty years after her assault, when her life, once again, appears to be crumbling. As she stumbles her way through the days navigating a dying marriage, devastating financial loss, and an elderly mother slipping into dementia, she becomes fascinated by her own anxiety and PTSD. Why does the body remember what the mind tries so desperately to forget? Her questions prompt a delayed obsession with her assailant: What became of him? What is he doing now? She begins a quest of excavation, determined to track him down.

What she discovers is life altering.

What A Body Remembers is an honest, from-the-gut account of one woman’s journey to regain her power and confidence―a journey that continues to this day.

Available from Melville House

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“Not since Kathy Acker has a writer given us such an unapologetic and dazzling view from the inside-out of adolescence. A voice and style triumph. A brilliant cry against cultural girl inscriptions.” —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan

Debut coming-of-age novel from the “indelible, shrewd and frank and real” (Emily Gould) writer DAZED describes as “a combination of Denis Johnson and Joan Didion”

A shockingly dark, funny, and heartbreaking portrait of a young teenager’s clash with mental illness and her battle toward understanding and recovery

Ambitious, talented 14-year-old honors student Juliet is poised for success at her Southern California high school. However, she soon finds herself on an increasingly frightening spiral of drug use, self-harm, and mental illness that lands her in a remote therapeutic boarding school, where she must ultimately find the inner strength, and determination, to survive.

This highly anticipated debut–from the writer hailed as “a combination of Denis Johnson and Joan Didion” (Dazed)–brilliantly captures the intimate triumph of a girl’s struggle to become the woman she knows she can be.

Available from William Morrow

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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.

Available from Bloomsbury

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“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

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“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.

Available from Counterpoint Press

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Lake City is a darkly funny and extremely relevant debut novel about American inequality and moral authority, featuring a sad-sack antihero who takes way too long to grow up. When he finally does, the results are beautiful, and the book ultimately becomes an elegy for a now-gone Seattle, and a lesson in how the place we’re from never fully lets us go.” ―Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

Hunkered down in his childhood bedroom in Seattle’s worn-out Lake City neighborhood, idealistic but self-serving striver Lane Bueche licks his wounds and hatches a plot to win back his estranged Manhattanite wife.

He discovers a precarious path forward when he is contracted by a wealthy adoptive couple to seduce and sabotage a troubled birth mother from his neighborhood. Lane soon finds himself in a zero-sum game between the families as he straddles two cultures, classes, and worlds. Until finally, with the well-being of the toddler at stake, Lane must choose between wanting to do the right thing (if he could only figure out what that is) and reclaiming his idea of privilege.

Available from Dzanc Books

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“In the best tradition of Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Morris Collins’ Horse Latitudes is a remarkable debut novel, detailing one man’s quest for redemption through a quixotic adventure in Central America, couched in brilliant, bold lyricism, flavored with heartbreak and danger. Fast-paced and hypnotic, it holds you in its spell and won’t let go, leaving images like exotic souvenirs in its wake.” –William J. Cobb, author of The Bird Saviors

When your life vanishes, how do you do anything but follow it?”

Haunted by guilt and reeling from his shattered marriage, New York photographer Ethan flees south to a Central American country on the brink of revolution. Ethan doesn’t know if he’s seeking redemption or punishment, but—one bad choice after another—he finds himself indebted to Yolanda, who gives him a chance, if anything she’s saying is true, to find both.

Yolanda’s sister is deep in the country’s interior, waiting for a man named Soto—a slave trafficker posing as a migrant guide. The journey to find her plunges Ethan into a feverish world of demented expatriates, intelligence officers, mystics and lunatics, where loyalties are uncertain and ghosts unshakable.

A harrowing examination of post-colonial blight, Horse Latitudes is a lushly written tropical gothic—part thriller, part nightmarish journey into the corruption at the heart of US intervention in Central America.

Available from Mariner Books

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“An excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent and funny…The wildly talented Adjei-Brenyah has made these edgy tales immensely charming, via his resolute, heartful, immensely likeable narrators, capable of seeing the world as blessed and cursed at once.” –George Saunders

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

Available from Anchor

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“Meghan O’Gieblyn’s deep and searching essays are written with a precise sort of skepticism and a slight ache in the heart. A first-rate and riveting collection.” –Lorrie Moore

A fresh, acute, and even profound collection that centers around two core (and related) issues of American identity: faith, in general and the specific forms Christianity takes in particular; and the challenges of living in the Midwest when culture is felt to be elsewhere.

What does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts? The critic and essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka “Flyover Country.” She writes of her “existential dizziness, a sense that the rest of the world is moving while you remain still,” and that rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the fifteen superbly thoughtful and ironic essays in this collection. The subjects of these essays range from the rebranding (as it were) of Hell in contemporary Christian culture (“Hell”), a theme park devoted to the concept of intelligent design (“Species of Origin”), the paradoxes of Christian Rock (“Sniffing Glue”), Henry Ford’s reconstructed pioneer town of Greenfield Village and its mixed messages (“Midwest World”), and the strange convergences of Christian eschatology and the digital so-called Singularity (“Ghosts in the Cloud”). Meghan O’Gieblyn stands in relation to her native Midwest as Joan Didion stands in relation to California – which is to say a whole-hearted lover, albeit one riven with ambivalence at the same time.

Available from St. Martin’s Press

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“A beautifully written, unnerving tragedy woven from equal measures of hope and menace.” —Booklist (starred review)

Camden, NJ, 1948. When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute―unless she does as he says.

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.

Based on the experiences of real-life kidnapping victim Sally Horner and her captor, whose story shocked the nation and inspired Vladimir Nabokov to write his controversial and iconic Lolita, this heart-pounding story by award-winning author T. Greenwood at last gives a voice to Sally herself.

 

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Circa is a dark comedy featuring Henry Colmes, a high school sophomore trying to find his place in school and life. In alternating chapters, it is also the story of Henry as a thirty-something cub reporter trying to track down an elusive cult leader in order to interview him for the man’s own obituary.

Alluding to the timelessness of tragedy, Circaoffers an examination of our collective desperation for meaningful context in which to place and rationalize the actions we take.

At once heartfelt, tragic, and surreal, Circa, the debut novel from author Adam Greenfield, looks at the pivotal moments in a person’s life that lead them to make the decisions they can never take back and, ultimately, never forget.

Available from Harper

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“Goolrick’s best book yet. A brilliant mashup of all the old greats, Faulkner and Fitzgerald and DH Lawrence, The Dying of the Light reads like Absolom, Absolom! meets The Great Gatsby meets Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” —Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son

From the author of the bestselling A Reliable Wife comes a dramatic, passionate tale of a glamorous Southern debutante who marries for money and ultimately suffers for love—a southern gothic as written by Dominick Dunne.

It begins with a house and ends in ashes . . .

Diana Cooke was “born with the century” and came of age just after World War I. The daughter of Virginia gentry, she knew early that her parents had only one asset, besides her famous beauty: their stately house, Saratoga, the largest in the commonwealth, which has hosted the crème of society and Hollywood royalty. Though they are land-rich, the Cookes do not have the means to sustain the estate. Without a wealthy husband, Diana will lose the mansion that has been the heart and soul of her family for five generations.

The mysterious Captain Copperton is an outsider with no bloodline but plenty of cash. Seeing the ravishing nineteen-year-old Diana for the first time, he’s determined to have her. Diana knows that marrying him would make the Cookes solvent and ensure that Saratoga will always be theirs. Yet Copperton is cruel as well as vulgar; while she admires his money, she cannot abide him. Carrying the weight of Saratoga and generations of Cookes on her shoulders, she ultimately succumbs to duty, sacrificing everything, including love.

Luckily for Diana, fate intervenes. Her union with Copperton is brief and gives her a son she adores. But when her handsome, charming Ashton, now grown, returns to Saratoga with his college roommate, the real scandal and tragedy begins.

Reveling in the secrets, mores, and society of twentieth-century genteel Southern life, The Dying of the Light is a romance, a melodrama, and a cautionary tale told with the grandeur and sweep of an epic Hollywood classic.

Available from Holt Paperbacks

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“I had a real romance with this book.” —Miranda July

A highly anticipated collection, from the writer Maggie Nelson has called, “bracingly good…refreshing and welcome,” that explores the myriad ways in which desire and commodification intersect.

From graffiti gangs and Grand Theft Auto to sugar daddies, Schopenhauer, and a deadly game of Russian roulette, in these essays, Chelsea Hodson probes her own desires to examine where the physical and the proprietary collide. She asks what our privacy, our intimacy, and our own bodies are worth in the increasingly digital world of liking, linking, and sharing.

Starting with Hodson’s own work experience, which ranges from the mundane to the bizarre―including modeling and working on a NASA Mars mission― Hodson expands outward, looking at the ways in which the human will submits, whether in the marketplace or in a relationship. Both tender and jarring, this collection is relevant to anyone who’s ever searched for what the self is worth.

Hodson’s accumulation within each piece is purposeful, and her prose vivid, clear, and sometimes even shocking, as she explores the wonderful and strange forms of desire. Tonight I’m Someone Else is a fresh, poetic debut from an exciting emerging voice, in which Hodson asks, “How much can a body endure?” And the resounding answer: “Almost everything.”