DARK EARTH by Rebecca Stott
Rebecca Stott’s DARK EARTH published to fantastic press. The book was featured on must-read lists from Lit Hub, Publishers Weekly, and The Lesbrary. Danik Ellis of Lesbrary raves: “With an intimate yet cinematic scope, DARK EARTH re-creates an ancient world steeped in myth and folklore, and introduces us to unforgettable women who come to vibrant life on the page. A heart-in-mouth adventure full of moments of tenderness, this is a beautiful, profound novel about oppression and power that puts a female perspective on a historical period dominated by men’s stories.” Random House published the novel on July 19, 2022.
THE FURROWS by Namwali Serpell was featured on The Million’s "Great Second-Half 2022 Book Preview." The citation reads: “Serpell’s latest novel, which follows her expansive debut THE OLD DRIFT, begins with an epigraph from Marcel Proust: 'People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive.' THE FURROWS chronicles the overpowering 'aura of life' of the presumably drowned boy as he swims through the consciousnesses of those who mourn him.” Hogarth will publish the novel on September 27, 2022.
Rio Cortez’s debut poetry collection GOLDEN AX received a stunning review from Diego Báez for the Poetry foundation. Báez praises the poem “Covered Wagon as Spaceship” for its “haunting, bucolic imagery” and “chilling final line,” and “Black Frasier Crane” for its “send-up that is utterly gutting.” Penguin Books will publish the collection on August 30, 2022.
Kendra Allen’s FRUIT PUNCH is among The Washington Post’s “12 noteworthy books for July and August.” Becky Meloan praises: “Allen’s powerful debut memoir reckons with coming of age after a childhood assault…As [Allen] tries to understand herself, she cleverly forces consideration of her humanity...Her writing is filled with insight and humor, and provides a nuanced representation of often-marginalized voices.” FRUIT PUNCH also appeared on The Root’s listicle of “10 Books by Black Authors [They] Can’t Wait to Read This August.” Ecco will publish FRUIT PUNCH on August 9, 2022.
Nada Alic’s debut short story collection, BAD THOUGHTS, is enjoying a wealth of great press in the weeks following its release. A gorgeous rave from Shy Watson in Southwest Review reads: “I finished these stories with the impression that Nada Alic sees and understands all; that she, like many of her characters, may have a direct line to God. While endlessly entertaining, the book also taught me something: that, as people, we only do what we must.” Another review in Washington Square Review praises Alic’s twenty-first century realism: “Alic was able to capture the dark authenticity of the worst of our thoughts, and still remain sincere and funny. The characters don’t attempt to be likable, but that makes them feel real...The humor is devastating and the devastation is palpable. It feels good to read something that doesn’t try to be prescriptive of the times we’re living in—it just tells you how it is, and then it lets you sit in that feeling.” Alic was also interviewed by Sophia June for Nylon, who praises: “Reading about the women in Alic’s stories is akin to calling a good friend to tell them something embarrassing you said only to find out they said something worse...Talking to Alic gives the same salve” and by Denise S. Robbins for the Chicago Review of Books, who writes: “The characters in [BAD THOUGHTS] paint a portrait of an author grappling with womanhood, adulthood, meaning, and ego death, all with a sense of irony and self-mockery.” Alic also made a playlist inspired by the book for Largehearted Boy, and the book was selected as The Nervous Breakdown’s August Book Club pick. Vintage published BAD THOUGHTS on July 12, 2022.
Antonia Angress’ sparkling debut SIRENS & MUSES continues to earn wonderful press in the weeks following its publication. Glamour named SIRENS & MUSES one of “The 10 Hottest New Books to Read This Month,” praising: “SIRENS AND MUSES holds the reader’s attention like a gallery so compelling that a visitor is torn between staring at one work and rushing on to the next room... Each artist's subject matter is distinct but they share the same obsessive focus on value—value of their art, the value of connections, of integrity, of legacy. There's romance and eroticism here, extending between the women but also between the artists and their work.” Angress also published an essay in the July/August print edition of Poets & Writers titled “Sanctuary: How My Mother’s Art Shaped Me as a Writer.” Angress writes: “Living between worlds can feel like living nowhere. But the skills my childhood taught me—code-switching, shape-shifting, finding points of connection across language, culture, & nationality—have proved essential to the art of fiction.” Ballantine Books published SIRENS & MUSES on July 12, 2022.
Rebecca Rukeyser sat down with best-selling author Carmen Maria Machado for ELLE.com to discuss “Youth and Sleaze” in Rukeyser’s debut novel, THE SEAPLANE ON FINAL APPROACH. Machado praises: “[Rukeyser] spends a great deal of the book outlining various things that are or are not sleazy and also trying to identify and pursue sleaziness, as she recognizes it. It’s a tremendous engine for the book, way more than I would’ve expected if you just described it to me…I think what makes me so interested in the setting in particular, besides the physical specificness of it, which is so beautifully written in this book, is also the quality of it being the last frontier. This idea, the way they talk about, it’s very westward expansion, homesteads. There's even this quality of almost colonialist storytelling. It’s constantly a space of invention and just forging ahead and authenticity.” Doubleday publish the novel on June 7, 2022.
Tomi Obaro’s sparkling debut DELE WEDS DESTINY continues to accumulate a wealth of positive press following its publication. The book is Good Morning America’s Buzz Pick for July, and BookRiot featured the novel on its list of “The Best Books Out This Week (June 28)” alongside enthusiastic praise: “[A] sensational debut from a dazzling new voice in contemporary fiction…Pick this one up for a take on complex female friendship that features women from a culture we don’t always see this from. The messy lives of Funmi, Enitan, and Zainab is set against the backdrop of Nigerian food, clothing, and music, which are all brought to life brilliantly by Obaro.” Obaro sat down in conversation with Maris Kreizman for Lit Hub’s The Maris Review podcast, where she discussed taking risks while writing her novel: “In some ways the big risk about writing this book, the thing that was exciting but also scary, was deciding to inhabit the point of view of women who had grown up in Nigeria. I don’t really speak Yoruba; I had friends who spoke Yoruba go through. That also made the writing fun, allowing myself to speak with authority and also reminiscing. So much of the book, especially when I was writing in New York and far away from my parents, was thinking about food that I loved and missed and wanted. Those scenes tended to be fun to write.” Lastly, Good Housekeeping selected the novel as a “Best Book to Read This Month,” calling it a “heartwarming, relatable depiction of female friendship loyalty and friendship.” Knopf published the book on June 28, 2022.
Chelsea Manning’s forthcoming memoir README.txt was featured on Lit Hub’s list of “The Most-Anticipated Books of the Year 2022, Part Two.” Lit Hub managing editor Emily Temple writes: “This fall, FSG is publishing a memoir by Chelsea Manning, the US Army intelligence analyst who famously announced her gender identity and began transitioning after she was convicted of leaking sensitive documents in 2011, and whose sentence was commuted by President Obama in 2017. According to the publisher, in the book Manning recounts how her pleas for increased institutional transparency and government accountability took place alongside a fight to defend her rights as a trans woman. She reveals her challenging childhood, her struggles as an adolescent, what led her to join the military, and the fierce pride she took in her work. We also learn the details of how and why she made the decision to send classified military documents to WikiLeaks. This powerful, observant memoir will stand as one of the definitive testaments of the digital age.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish the memoir on October 18, 2022.
Kirkus awarded Namwali Serpell’s forthcoming novel THE FURROWS an exceptional starred review. The reviewer writes: “[A] brilliant second novel…If THE OLD DRIFT was an epic effort to outdo Marquez and Rushdie, this slippery yet admirably controlled novel aspires to outdo Toni Morrison, and it earns the comparison. It’s deeply worthy of rereading and debate. Stylistically refreshing and emotionally intense, cementing Serpell’s place among the best writers going.” THE FURROWS also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly: “In the brilliant and impressionistic latest from Serpell (THE OLD DRIFT), a young woman traverses the trenches of grief that have shaped her life...In a series of shocking twists, Serpell shatters comfortable ideas about grief and melds…glittering narrative shards into a searching, unforgettable story. It’s a considerable shift from the huge canvas of her previous work, and no less captivating.” The book was also featured on Lit Hub’s most-anticipated “The Most-Anticipated Books of the Year 2022, Part Two.” Lit Hub senior editor Corinne Segal writes: “Namwali Serpell’s latest book follows the fallout from a family’s tragic loss after their son disappears at the age of seven, his body never found. Serpell, who won the 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction and 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing, is one of the world’s most exciting contemporary novelists, and I’m eagerly anticipating this new work from her.” Hogarth will publish the novel on September 27, 2022.