PositiveBooklist...inspiring ... With lyrical prose resonant of Jacqueline Woodson’s, Welteroth shows what it truly means to be a leader: to elevate others and challenge systems of oppression, without ever sacrificing a job well done. Now writing for television and judging on Project Runway, Welteroth is proof that \'living the dream\' is an ever-changing, ever-satisfying journey to behold.
PositiveBooklistBetween stories of her grandmother’s antics (bedpans, bee stings, breakfasts in bed, a parade of \'incompetent\' nurses), Cary shares her larger family history, placing the aging woman in her house in the context of her matriarchy and descendants. Cary is candid about the stress of how long her grandmother held on ... With admiration, triumph, and love, Cary captures the universal experience of close family loss.
PositiveBooklistIn this unforgettable memoir, journalist and activist Habib creates space and representation for the next generation of queer Muslim voices ... The memoir reads like a love letter to Habib’s younger self: she begs readers to embrace radical, unavoidable, beautiful change in themselves and those around them, and to know that it will always lead them closer to their truest selves.
RaveBooklistWith lyrical prose resonant of Jacqueline Woodson’s, Welteroth shows what it truly means to be a leader: to elevate others and challenge systems of oppression, without ever sacrificing a job well done ... Welteroth is proof that “living the dream” is an ever-changing, ever-satisfying journey to behold.
PositiveBooklist...a wicked tale ... Awad’s (13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, 2016) latest is sharp and utterly bonkers; think Heathers gone to grad school.
RaveBooklistDektar’s deft construction of the Ash Family’s world and their environmentalist values brings a meaningful new story to the canon of cult narratives. Perfect for fans of Philip Roth’s American Pastoral (1997) and the film Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene.
PositiveBooklist\"The book is a delicious intersection of personal essays, etymology, and travel writing. Norris’ full Greek immersion pushed her out of her comfort zone and taught her much more than the history of the comma.\
PositiveBooklistIn this wholly original analysis of style, novelist Alison (Nine Island, 2016) explores the forms and shapes that narrative can take, pushing the bounds of storytelling beyond the infamous pyramid of climax ... Her observations of the sensory aspects of literature are indulgent and delectable, and sure to elevate the experience of readers and writers alike.
PositiveBooklistPoignant and sweeping ... paints a beautiful and multifaceted portrait of domestic life in modern America. In stories ranging in length from three to eight pages, McGraw explores marriage, parenting, loss, and addiction with care and a keen ability to shade character ... The stories find humanity in every situation, no matter how unsympathetic. Readers will find themselves understanding adulterers and murderers, not for their destructive choices but for the greater sum of their lives—an impressive feat, considering the brevity of the format. Standouts from the collection include a story about a white girl cast as a Puerto Rican in a high-school production of West Side Story and a vignette about a wedding-dress designer seeing an influx of single brides commissioning gowns. Perfect for fans of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and Julie Buntin’s Marlena .
PositiveBooklist...[a] gentle and sweeping love story ... From Willa and Hesper, readers may see how relationships between twentysomethings, even when brief, have the potential to inspire unimaginable self-discovery. Set immediately before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Feltman’s novel is as titillating and tense as the experience of young adult love itself.
PositiveBooklistUser-friendly ... While the manual is invaluable for the author-to-be, it’s also an advantageous read for anyone looking to avoid sounding like an idiot in any official document, regardless of whether they have a background in or penchant for writing ... peppered with Dreyer’s playful anecdotal footnotes and acerbic wit, making for a riotous read when readers wouldn’t necessarily expect one ... A remarkably fun book about a dastardly dry subject, this will surely aid in committing the rules of the written word to memory, once and for all.
Ed. by America Ferrera
RaveBooklist...beautifully woven ... Each piece gifts readers with intimate glimpses of contributors’ private lives, rife with admiration for immigrant parents and pride in cultural backgrounds, along with the frustration and anguish that come with feeling like an outsider in their own country ... This essential collection is a love letter to all who call America home.
Niviaq Korneliussen Trans. by Anna Halager
PositiveBooklistAll of the rich identity crises are set against the biting culture of the characters’ Greenland, a conservative, bottle-up-your-feelings kind of place. Sharp, witty, and cathartic, like releasing a long-held breath.
PositiveBooklistIn this scrappy collection of personal essays, Moore opens up her psyche and personal life ... Moore is spare with the details of her childhood, emphasizing the weight of her trauma rather than the specifics of it. She explains how to survive the holidays, how to screen a mate, and how to accept love as someone who grew up without it. The essays are whip-smart, pithy, and full of an honest, conversational charm that sets Moore apart.
Wendy Guerra Trans. by Achy Obejas
PositiveBooklistLyrical and breathless ... a riveting look into the lives of artists attempting free expression in censored regimes. The story ends with the inclusion of Cleo’s weaponized poems, beautiful, heartbreaking testaments to her dissent.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
RaveBooklistAt the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, Boston nightclub queen Alexa and her friends navigate the pitfalls of 1990s romance together, stumbling as one united front through acne, bad dates, bad trips, and the risks of sex work. Between the all-nighters fueled by ketamine, cocaine, and ecstasy, Alexa works to make peace with her past ... As stupefying and white-hot as the drugs coursing through Alexa’s veins, Sycamore’s latest is a love letter to and a formal complaint about the glitter and horror of the 1990s.
PositiveBooklistHer essays, light and apolitical, do differentiate Kemper from the often hopelessly simple and optimistic characters she plays, but at her core, Kemper herself is darn sunny and sweet. Despite a couple meltdowns over lentils hidden in restaurant food, and Manhattan germs threatening to attack her newborn, Kemper solidifies her upbeat and humble persona with her first book.
RaveBooklist\"In this collection of razor-sharp essays, prolific actor and producer Bateman meditates on the fear, trauma, and access of fame ...Rarely has anyone written so honestly about the experience of being famous. In the interest of better understanding the figures we claim to know and love, Bateman’s book is a must-read.
PositiveBooklist...[an] ethereal and heady memoir ... Dieterich never explicitly names herself as the narrator, allowing for distance between herself as the author and herself as the woman aroused ... Poignant and extremely hard to shake.
PositiveBooklistThe novel slides between the time of the incident and the present, following Hope, who as an adult playwright lives in the shadow of her trauma. After the abduction, Eden and Hope drifted apart, their relationship unable to withstand the weight of the tragedy. As the story progresses, Hope pursues contact with the sister she has fetishized and obsessed over since the night their childhoods were cut short. Dark, eloquent, and bold, Kleine’s...latest is a fierce tale of survival and sisterhood.
PositiveBooklistThere is a tremendous amount of pain (wax) and a tremendous amount of courage (sitting on a futon at a sex club) ... Inspiring, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny.
RaveBooklistTambudzai now floats between temporary living situations before landing a job working for Green Jacaranda Safaris, an ecotourism company aimed at getting money from the hands of wealthy European visitors looking to witness the grittier realities of African life ... Set in the immediate aftermath of Zimbabwe’s hard-won independence, Dangarembga’s third novel is an urgent and unforgettable tale of the dangers of capitalism and colonialism in the developing world.
Sophie Lucido Johnson
PositiveBooklist OnlineIn her debut collection of essays and comics, writer and art-school-instructor Johnson pulls back the curtain on the logistics of functional polyamory. With candor and wit, she shares the romantic, sexual, and platonic experiences of her young adult life as a way of exploring her path to maintaining multiple romantic partners ... Johnson’s accessible, personal, and artistic exploration of polyamory is sure to spark conversation about the many manifestations of love.
RaveBooklistIn her first collection, Bonnaffons dazzles and cuts with 10 hilarious and cathartic short stories ... The author employs a modern magical realism, absurd, nihilistic, and playful all at once.... Resonant of Alissa Nutting’s novels and George Saunders’ Pastoralia (2000), Bonnaffon’s first collection presents a powerful and fresh new voice.
RaveBooklistThis eighteenth-century, anti-imperialist, anticapitalist love story tells the tale of notorious transgender thief Jack Sheppard...A rare manuscript of Sheppard’s memoirs is discovered in the present day by university professor Dr. Voth, also trans, whom readers get to know through the novel’s lengthy footnotes ... As the antique manuscript unfolds, things grow increasingly difficult for partners in crime Jack and Bess. The deadly plague encroaches on their English hovel, as do heartless mercantilism and a brutal police force ... Irreverent, erudite, and not to be missed.
RaveBooklist\"In her searing new essay collection, Bolin probes the generations-old obsession with young, tragic heroines ... Smart, thorough, and urgent, Bolin’s essays are a force to be reckoned with.\
Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
PositiveBooklistIn her prose as in her life, Wamariya is brave, intelligent, and generous. Sliding easily between past and present, this memoir is a soulful, searing story about how families survive.
RaveBooklist OnlineIn this one-of-a-kind essay collection, Mann explores the fruitful if fraught relationship between love and reality television. Mann is a reality TV junkie, embedded deeply in the fandom of countless franchises ... Though his essays are academic, they are also readable and heartfelt; each one includes commentary written directly to his wife, recounting episodes watched and emotions shared. Mann recounts the ways in which reality television not only reflects the culture of its viewers but also nestles its way into their hearts.
RaveBooklist\"Though Hero’s new life as an immigrant adjusting to America is complicated, the mundane routines and soulful cast of characters she encounters allow her many-times-broken heart to expand and eventually love. Castillo’s direct and urgent voice propels the sprawling epic with impressive skill. This unforgettable family saga is not to be missed.\
PositiveBooklist OnlineThe power of her work comes from her incessant curiosity and her general unwillingness to provide a singular answer to life’s biggest questions. How should a white mother navigate parenting a child of color? Must parents disclose their decision to utilize an ovum donor to their child and extended family? Orenstein’s refusal to draw conclusions breaks down barriers between the different sides of an argument and invites those with opposing viewpoints to see eye to eye.'
RaveBooklistIn addition to recounting the nightmarish debacle, Fu’s sharp book is a study of the five girls later in life ... Readers will delight in the complicated, brash, ugly, and sincere presentation of Fu’s characters.
RaveBooklistSingh’s dexterous hand for speculative science fiction is on full display in this lyrical and humanist collection. In each story, keen and ruthless female protagonists work to make sense of a world that has been defeated by the violence of nature ... Singh, both a physicist and wordsmith, is developing an exciting new subgenre all her own, and Ambiguity Machines is an enjoyable introduction to her voice.
RaveBooklistShe writes vividly of the exposed-nerve pain of losing a parent at such a tumultuous age ... The language cuts quick to the heart of Vanasco’s hurt; readers will immediately fall into the rhythm of her unrelenting inner dialogue. The greatest strength of this work is the author’s self-awareness; she admits that writing a memoir about her experience with grief might be further contributing to her personal turmoil. Vanasco’s candor, curiosity, and commitment to human understanding are not to be missed.
PositiveBooklist“Fast paced and highly engrossing, Geary’s debut perfectly balances dreary romance with sharp teen angst.”
RaveBooklistThis fiery collection of fiction does justice to growing up during the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Woods’ latest startles and sings. The eight stories vary in tone and in clip but will not soon be forgotten ... Woods’ writing is deep and dynamic. Her characters are complex and never sink into the ease of generalizations. She spares no experience in her representation of modern America; it is a rare work of literary fiction that fully showcases the rich and diverse American populace. The stories establish instant, distinct voices, much like Roxane Gay’s recent Difficult Women, and fans of Miranda July’s fiction will relish the wily creativity of Woods’ plots. This book is tight, intelligent, and important, and sure to secure Woods a seat in the pantheon of critical twenty-first-century voices.
RaveBooklistScenes of paternal neglect under the Southwestern sky call to mind certain chunks of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Told from the younger son’s point of view, Magariel’s debut is a stunning discussion of parent-child loyalty, masculinity, and how the only person we can truly save is ourselves.