News in February 2021
News in February 2021
The San Francisco Book Review published a rave review of Kiese Laymon’s HOW TO SLOWLY KILL YOURSELF AND OTHERS IN AMERICA. They write: “Laymon’s collection of essays reaches the pinnacle of truth-telling that only essayists with this author’s candor and depth can achieve. Most of us don’t deserve the honesty that Laymon serves on the page, but it’s what the reader receives: plain truth, often painful, thoroughly unvarnished. Laymon engages the reader intellectually about collective pain emanating from various streams of violence against Black life: systemic, structural, and interpersonal. More importantly, his prose evokes a visceral reaction: one that inspires empathy, underscoring great love for humanity.” Scribner published the book on November 10, 2020.
THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones Jr. was featured in the Irish Times. Ruth McKee raves: "[THE PROPHETS] is an intimate portrayal of the relationship between the two men, written in language that is sumptuous, lyrical but with sharp teeth. It is a sweeping story, encompassing interconnected lives on the plantation, from kitchen maid to preacher, but it’s also interior, visionary and searching. Unflinching and brutal at times, it pays homage to the revelatory power of love. The writing is heir to James Baldwin and Toni Morrison and bears witness to the heritage of queer black men; the story has always been there, but is told now for perhaps the first time, in voices that sing, deep as a well." G.P. Putnam’s Sons published the book on January 5, 2021.
Conor Dougherty’s latest piece for The New York Times, “The Californians Are Coming. So Is Their Housing Crisis,” previews some of the ideas in his new preface to GOLDEN GATES. He writes: “The action might be local, but the message should carry nationwide: The only way to solve the housing crisis is to address it in every city it visits. Otherwise we’re just spreading it around.” Penguin Press published the hardcover on February 18, 2020, and published the paperback edition with the new preface on February 16, 2021.
Brian Muraresku’s THE IMMORTALITY KEY is the focus of a 13-minute animated video titled “The Best-Kept Secret in History,” created by the popular YouTube channel After Skool. The video currently has 250,000+ views. St. Martin’s Press published the book on September 29, 2020.
CROSSING THE LINE author Kareem Rosser joined TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones to talk about how the “Work to Ride” program at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia led to his becoming a polo star. He also discussed his memoir with Joe Donahue on WAMC’s Roundtable and with CBS News' Jeff Glor. St. Martin’s Press published the book on February 9, 2021.
THE PRETTIEST STAR by Carter Sickels is the winner of the 2021 Southern Book Prize in Fiction. Announced on February 14, the prize is awarded to “the best Southern book of the year” as nominated by Southern indie booksellers and voted on by their customers. Land Arnold of Letters Bookshop in Durham, North Carolina writes: “Intimate and, at times, heartbreaking, Sickels has written a powerful novel that turns the wonderful trick of creating unique characters and telling under represented stories to delve into the universal themes of family, of coming home, of what it means to simply be.” Hub City Press published the novel on May 19, 2020.
NOW BEACON, NOW SEA by Christopher Sorrentino was blurbed by author Rick Moody. He writes: "Few, if any, are the memoirs of mothers and sons that are as excoriating and unforgettable as Christopher Sorrentino’s. Written equally in wrath and powerfully and patiently illuminated love, Sorrentino‘s account of filial anguish will linger long in memory. What an imperative contribution to the memoir form and to our literature generally. I could not admire this book more." Catapult will publish the book on September 7, 2021.
THE ONES WHO DON’T SAY THEY LOVE YOU by Maurice Carlos Ruffin was blurbed by LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND author Rumaan Alam. He writes: "Some are funny, some poetic, others near heartbreaking, but the true hallmark of Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s stories is an interest in what language can do. This is the work of a playful and exuberant writer who is always a joy to read." One World will publish the book on August 17, 2021.
EVERYYTHING NOW by Rosecrans Baldwin received a glowing blurb from INTERIOR CHINATOWN author Charles Yu. He writes: “With a novelist's eye and a searching curiosity, Rosecrans Baldwin has created a sprawling work that explores a place and its people, as well as culture, history, geography and ecology. A feat of imagination that fed my mind, heart and soul." The book was also blurbed by theLAnd Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Weiss, who writes: “[T]he rare work that understands L.A. for its Sphinx-like inscrutability and complex history. It refuses to lapse into cheap stereotype or inherited cliché, yet remains skeptical of the cultish lure and sunbaked weirdness. This is the meticulously reported and three-dimensional contemporary history that the city needs." MCD will publish the book on June 15, 2021.
Nicholas Kristof, co-author of TIGHTROPE, appeared on the PBS podcast Attribution. He discusses how TIGHTROPE “explores why some people, including many childhood friends from his #6 school bus, have dramatically different life outcomes than others. The deeply honest and personal conversation delves into the friends, lives and what contributed to [his] success.” Knopf published the book on January 14, 2020.
HUSH author Dylan Farrow was featured in the Elle Magazine profile “Dylan Farrow Would Like to Reintroduce Herself.” Jada Yuan writes: “[T]he first time we talked, late last year, it hadn’t quite sunk in for [Farrow] that she had her own debut young adult fantasy novel, HUSH, on bookshelves like the ones she’d perused as a teenager. In a lot of ways, the release of HUSH has served as a debut for the 35-year-old author as well, in her new life as a full-time writer and working mother, defined by no one but herself.” Wednesday Books published the novel on October 6, 2020.
THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones Jr. continues to receive a wealth of praise from various outlets. The New Yorker’s Briefly Noted calls the book “a panoramic vision of love and cruelty.” The Rumpus features the novel as part of its Black History Month reading list, writing: “THE PROPHETS masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.” Spy lists the book on its “Best and Most Anticipated Books of 2021,” writing: “Told with a lyricism that echoes Toni Morrison, Robert Jones Jr. has crafted a subtle masterpiece that will leave you mesmerized for days afterward. Enjoy one of the best books 2021 has to offer.” Jones Jr. was also interviewed for the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books podcast, where he spoke about "adopting James Baldwin as a spiritual godfather, how a serendipitous find inspired ‘The Prophets,’ and what it means to be a black queer writer." G.P. Putnam’s Sons published the book on January 5, 2021.