News in February 2022
News in February 2022
LONG DIVISION by Kiese Laymon is winner of the 53rd NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction. In his acceptance speech, Laymon said: “Black writers do not say this out loud enough, but this award is the award that most of us dream of being nominated for if we’re lucky enough to win.” Scribner published the novel on June 1, 2021.
OUR AMERICAN FRIEND by Anna Pitoniak received a flurry of critical acclaim following its publication last week. In a starred review from Booklist, reviewer Stephanie Turza writes: “Pitoniak has glazed current events with an intriguing veneer of fiction…[She] skillfully drives the pace of the novel forward in multiple time lines, letting characters emerge and recede…Exploring interpersonal loyalties and the difference between cowardice and patience, the well-researched and twist-FILLED OUR AMERICAN FRIEND is a natural next-read for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld, A. Natasha Joukovsky, and Stacey Swann.” The book also received a glowing review from Justine Harman for The New York Times: “From its very first sentence, [OUR AMERICAN FRIEND] wastes no time hitting a dramatic note…[Pitoniak] skilfully nests each Russian doll inside the next, keeping each chapter of the story intact as she builds a new one around it. The result is an elegant and well paced ‘thriller’…Like EMILY IN PARIS meets SCANDAL — fantastic fun.” The Christian Science Monitor placed the novel at #3 on its list of “Tales of Courage and Grit Lead the 10 Books of February.” Lastly, Pitoniak appeared on MSNBC to discuss the real-life world events that inspired the novel. Simon & Schuster published the novel on February 15, 2022.
VANDERBILT by Anderson Cooper is celebrating over 20 weeks on The New York Times Business Bestseller list. Harper published the book on September 21, 2021.
Wayne Koestenbaum’s ULTRAMARINE published this week to a stunning review from the Poetry Foundation. Reviewer David Woo writes: “In ULTRAMARINE, the third volume of his ‘trance' diaries, the poet, essayist, painter, queer gadfly, erudite aesthete, and conflicted moralist Wayne Koestenbaum assembles 474 pages of brief thoughts, dreams, and observations… I especially loved his representations of ephemeral cultural phenomena…ULTRAMARINE amply succeeds in animating the reader to move into the sphere of the poet’s otherness.” Koestenbaum also sat down for an in-depth interview with Tony Leuzzi of The Brooklyn Rail to discuss ULTRAMARINE, which Leuzzi calls “enthrall[ing] and “brim[ming] with quotable moments.” Nightboat Books published the book on February 22, 2022.
IN SENSORIUM by Tanaïs continues to enjoy positive press following its publication this week. Akwaeke Emezi recommended the book for ELLE magazine’s Shelf-Life feature. They chose the book as the one that “sits on [their] nightstand,” praising Tanaïs as “brilliant” and the book as “an incredible and evocative text that [they] can’t wait to drown in.” Lit Hub also highlighted the book on its list of “20 New Books to Dive into This Week.” Harper published the book on February 22, 2022.
Tomi Obaro sat down with Oprah Daily as part of the feature “12 Authors Share Their Favorite Black-Owned Bookstores,” amongst fellow “esteemed authors” Stacey Abrams, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Jacqueline Woodson. Obaro endorsed Marcus Books in Oakland, California, “struck…by the sheer range and breadth of the books they sell.” Knopf will publish DELE WEDS DESTINY on June 28, 2022.
The New York Times featured VERY COLD PEOPLE by Sarah Manguso on a list of Editor’s Choice must-reads. They write: “The memoirist and essayist Manugso’s first novel is about Ruthie, who grows up in a small, perpetually snowy Massachusetts town…[She] writes poignantly of Ruthie’s faith in a maternal love that isn’t really there, and of her dawning comprehension of what might have made it impossible. ‘Manguso also writes poetry, and this is apparent in her fiction,’ our critic Alexandra Jacobs says. ‘Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.’” Hogarth published the novel on February 8, 2022.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CONTAGION by Laura Kipnis received a starred review from Booklist. Reviewer Carol Haggas writes: “By tapping into the Zoom-fueled zeitgeist, Kipnis brings an ironic perspective to this most intimate of subjects. Disarmingly honest, voyeuristically campy, Kipnis’ discussion of COVID-19-influenced coupledom is both witty and wise.” The New York Times also featured the book on a list of Editor’s Choice must-reads: “In her latest book, the critic, polemicist and professor Kipnis examines the state of romance in stuffy enclosures during the days of Covid…The book is ‘perfectly equidistant between riff and investigation,’ our critic Molly Young writes. ‘Kipnis launches provocations with the frequency of a tennis ball machine.’” Pantheon published the book on February 8, 2022.
Mary Kuryla of Lit Hub featured THE STARS ARE NOT YET BELLS by Hannah Lillith Assadi in her literary roundup of “Deeply Flawed Mother Figures of Literature.” She writes: “In Assadi’s rendering of dementia, we are rewarded with a privileged view of a mother’s secrets and passions simply by virtue of what insists in the mind and what muddles. Can we be surprised that motherhood and its demands, for all its insistence, winds up in the muddle?” Riverhead Books published the novel on January 11, 2022.
On the day of its release, New York Magazine ran an exclusive excerpt of THE YEAR THAT BROKE AMERICA by Andrew Rice. Rice also sat down for an interview with The Los Angeles Times about the book. Harper published the book on February 22, 2022.
EVERYBODY by Olivia Laing is an “octafinalist” for the 2022 BookTube Prize Award for Fiction. The prize was established in 2019 “to bring an award to everyday readers who are active content producers and participants in the bookish community on YouTube and other social media—called BookTube.” Quarterfinalists will be announced in April/May, semifinalists in June/July, finalists in August/September, and the winners will be announced on October 8, 2022. W.W. Norton & Company published the book on May 4, 2021.
CHINA ROOM by Sunjeev Sahota is an “octafinalist” for the 2022 BookTube Prize Award for Fiction. The prize was established in 2019 “to bring an award to everyday readers who are active content producers and participants in the bookish community on YouTube and other social media—called BookTube.” Quarterfinalists will be announced in April/May, semifinalists in June/July, finalists in August/September, and the winners will be announced on October 8, 2022. Viking published the novel on July 13, 2021.