News in May 2022
News in May 2022
Cleyvis Natera’s debut novel NERUDA ON THE PARK received stunning praise from The New York Times Book Review. Reviewer Mia Alvar praises it as “earnest [and] provocative,” adding: “[L]ove – profound, mundane, imperfect – so warmly suffuses the book its pages practically glow with it…Natera’s style is refreshingly direct and declarative, and at its best, this approach feels confident and sharp, a mirror capturing the bleak comedies of life in a threatened community…NERUDA ON THE PARK avoids pat answers, but tenderly and thoughtfully invites readers to weigh our own obligations to the places and people who made us. Ballantine Books published the novel on May 24, 2022.
Tomi Obaro sat down for an interview with The Bookseller to discuss her upcoming debut novel DELE WEDS DESTINY, which interviewer Grace Shutti praises as “cleverly” and “skillfully” written. Obaro spoke about the “pageantry of a certain kind of very opulent Nigerian wedding,” and her enthusiasm for the “direction Nigerian fiction is taking”: “For so long there’s been a certain kind of Nigerian mentality of achieving excellence and a very narrow definition of what that means: literary fiction and prestige in a certain way. So just to see more genres is exciting.” Knopf will publish the book on June 28, 2022.
THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones, Jr. is a finalist for the 2022 Chautauqua Prize, which aims to “celebrate a book that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and to honor the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts.” The Chautauqua Institution praises THE PROPHETS as a “stunning work” that “fearlessly reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.” The winner will be announced in early June. G.P. Putnam’s Sons published the book on January 5, 2021.
Time Magazine featured Rebecca Rukeyser’s debut novel THE SEAPLANE ON FINAL APPROACH on its list of must-read titles for this summer, praising it as “a snappy character study and a meditation on sleaziness.” Doubleday will publish the novel on June 7, 2022.
HOW YOU GET FAMOUS BY Nicole Pasulka was selected for The New York Book Review’s Summer Preview. The citation reads: “Pasulka, a journalist, spent a decade following drag culture in Brooklyn, which she writes contains ‘both the most experimental corners of the drag world and the most professional,’ and is ‘more messy, freewheeling and avant-garde’ than how the art form appears in its increasingly mainstream appearances on TV and elsewhere.” Simon & Schuster will publish the book on June 7, 2022.
AN IMMENSE WORLD by Ed Yong was selected for The New York Times Book Review’s Summer Preview. The citation reads: “Yong, who’s become well known as a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for The Atlantic, helping to make sense of the pandemic, here turns his attention to sensory experiences throughout the animal kingdom. All creatures, from ticks to elephants, perceive the world in different ways. Yong does the best he can to put readers inside those bubbles of perception.” Random House will publish the book on June 21, 2022.
With less than one week until its US release, NERUDA ON THE PARK by Cleyvis Natera continues to accumulate critical acclaim. Elle magazine featured the book on its list of must-read books for this summer, and Zibby Owens selected the book as a Good Morning America May Book Club pick: “The inventive structure makes Cleyvis Natera's debut novel immediately stand apart from others; section sub-heads in each fictitious chapter keep the reader (well, me!) completely engaged as we follow one Dominican family in New York trying to stop the construction of a new high-rise in their neighborhood…NERUDA ON THE PARK is a creative, original work.” Natera also sat down for an interview with Refinery29 Somos, where she discussed “character development, the tension of being a so-called successful person in a low-income immigrant neighborhood, what it means to be home, Dominican beauty standards, and more.” Ballantine Books will publish the novel on May 24, 2022.
THE MOVEMENT MADE US by David Dennis, Jr. in collaboration with his father, David Dennis, Sr., continues to amass strong press following its publication. In an interview with Atlanta Magazine, Dennis, Jr. discusses “the national impact that activists such as his father had,” and the importance of sharing his stories: “The value is in writing something that shows what can be done in this country, and what has been done, for us to read, remember, and realize this is exactly what we can do and build upon.” Dennis, Jr. also participated in speaking engagements with Mississippi Free Press, WGNO in New Orleans, and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum as part of his book tour through the American South. Harper published THE MOVEMENT MADE US on May 10, 2022.
AN IMMENSE WORLD by Ed Yong earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer writes: “Pulitzer-winning journalist Yong (I CONTAIN MULTITUDES) reveals in this eye-opening survey animals’ world through their own perceptions…[Yong]’s a strong writer and makes a convincing case against seeing the world as only humans do: ‘By giving in to our preconceptions, we miss what might be right in front of us. And sometimes what we miss is breathtaking.’ This is science writing at its best.” Random House will publish the book on June 21, 2022.
Ahead of its summer release, Lucy Cooke’s BITCH has already gained impressive critical acclaim. A starred review from Kirkus describes the book as “[a] cheerful and knowledgeable popular science review of female animals” and “[a] top-notch book of natural science that busts myths as it entertains,” adding: “Readers will receive a superb education in the evolution and mechanics of animal sex as well as countless colorful anecdotes describing bizarre reproductive behavior. Readers will find the familiar account of female spiders eating males as they try to mate, but there is much more to discover in Cooke’s fascinating pages.” Meanwhile, a review from Publishers Weekly praises the book as “zippy” with “vivid detail,” adding: “The author has a charmingly irreverent style that, among other things, pokes holes in the sexist scientific research of old that used cherry-picked data to conclude females weren’t worth studying. This hits the right balance between informative and entertaining; popular science fans will want to check it out.” Basic Books will publish the book on June 14, 2022.
Sarah Manguso’s VERY COLD PEOPLE received a rave review from The Guardian. Reviewer Laura Elkin writes: “Well into a career that encompasses poetry, memoir and projects such as her 2017 collection of quotable fragments 300 ARGUMENTS, the American author Sarah Manguso has turned to the novel…[VERY COLD PEOPLE] is a testament to the marks left by the past from generation to generation, and the frigid world of Waitsfield offers Manguso the perfect metaphor for it: ‘The salted snow left white lines on the flagstones, and even if you poured hot water over them and scrubbed, as my mother did each spring, those ghosts of winter never quite disappeared.’” Hogarth published the novel on February 8, 2022.
Rebecca Stott’s debut novel DARK EARTH received a starred review from Kirkus. The reviewer writes: “The conflict at the climax of this novel is not a clash of arms but a battle between brute power and cunning, between selfish greed and communal strength. Stott fills holes in written history with magic, mythic resonance, and 21st-century wish fulfillment.” Random House will publish the novel on July 19, 2022.