MY FIRST POPSICLE, an anthology of essays edited by Zosia Mamet, published this week to a whirlwind of media attention. Mamet appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Today Show, All Things Considered, the Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle podcast, and the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books podcast to discuss the book. She was also interviewed for ELLE’s Shelf Life column, and the book was selected for Lit Hub’s November roundup. Excerpts from the collection have been featured in Slate, Bon Appetit, and TIME. Penguin Books published the collection on November 1, 2022.
Namwali Serpell’s THE FURROWS received a stunning review from The Atlantic. Reviewer Tope Folarin writes: “[A] knotty, prismatic sophomore novel…[that] traverses many genres and points of view…Serpell is just such a scholar. And this ability to embrace different genres and forms of communication is evident in her fiction as well, especially in her debut, THE OLD DRIFT. In that capacious novel, she flits from historical fiction to contemporary fiction to science fiction. By comparison, THE FURROWS is a more concise affair, both in its narrative scope and its page count. Yet it is a robust tale, especially in its treatment of Wayne, who dies but never really seems dead…Serpell code-switches with ease, an ultimately crucial skill in a story that abounds with fluctuating realities. The book swerves from a realistic chronicle that bears all the markers of a grief tale to one that seems infused with magic, from standard-English dialogue to a pitch-perfect rendering of African American Vernacular English. Serpell also references and builds upon pop culture’s alternate-reality obsession, and the narrative vertigo that these stories induce in us. When I began reading the novel, I knew that Wayne had drowned in the ocean—but the power of Serpell’s storytelling was such that as the narrative progressed, I stopped being so sure.” THE FURROWS was also featured on The New Yorker’s list of “The Best Books of 2022 So Far,” alongside praise from their previous review for the novel: “Serpell’s second novel batters against the fixities of language like a moth at a windowpane…[T]hough the novel’s story lines turn and twist, the precision of Serpell’s language remains under exquisite control—while reminding us on every page that every story is necessarily an act of falsification.” Hogarth published the novel on September 27, 2022.
Aurora James, the groundbreaking fashion entrepreneur and founder of the 15 Percent Pledge, announced her forthcoming memoir WILDFLOWER. In a note to future readers, James writes: “WILDFLOWER is not just my story, it’s a story that in so many ways is about all of us — and the pressures we feel to blossom even in the harshest conditions...I hope that this book can serve as a vessel to allow us to come together and talk about the good parts and talk about the hard parts and ultimately create space for each other to get more of what we need...You and I were always born to be wildflowers.” James appeared on NBC News Daily on November 1 to discuss the book. She is also a 2022 Glamour Woman of the Year honoree. Crown will publish WILDFLOWER on May 9, 2023.
THE SWANK HOTEL by Lucy Corin was featured on The New Yorker’s list of “The Best Books of 2022 So Far,” alongside praise from their previous review of the novel: “[A] hypnotic, antic novel…Corin conveys a sense that insanity is everywhere.” Graywolf Press published the book on October 5, 2021.
THE STARS ARE NOT YET BELLS by Hannah Lillith Assadi was featured on The New Yorker’s list of “The Best Books of 2022 So Far.” Riverhead Books published the novel on January 11, 2022.
GIRLS THEY WRITE SONGS ABOUT by Carlene Bauer was featured on The New Yorker’s list of “The Best Books of 2022 So Far,” alongside an excerpt of their previous praise of the novel: “[A] prickly-coy novel…Bauer is a crackerjack chronicler of the slide into humility which follows ravenous early adulthood.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux published the book on June 21, 2022.
VERY COLD PEOPLE by Sarah Manguso was featured on The New Yorker’s list of “The Best Books of 2022 So Far,” alongside an excerpt from their previous review of the novel: “The poet and memoirist Sarah Manguso’s debut novel has a fairy-tale quality, a ring of the nursery rhyme lent by its symmetries, prototypical figures, and brutality…In minimalist, austere prose, Manguso conjures the torpor, stasis, and ambient suffering that envelop a whole town.” Hogarth published the novel on February 8, 2022.
The New York Times featured Meg Howery’s debut novel THEY’RE GOING TO LOVE YOU on its list of “15 Books Coming in November,” writing: “Howrey, a former dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, brings an insider’s view of the discipline to this buzzy novel, which is about a choreographer grappling with painful family memories after receiving the news that her father is dying.” Doubleday will publish the book on November 15, 2022.
STRANGERS TO OURSELVES by Rachel Aviv was featured on The New Yorker’s list of “The Best Books of 2022 So Far.” The citation reads: “Aviv, a staff writer, offers a groundbreaking exploration of mental illness and the mind, through a series of portraits that illuminate the connections between identity and diagnosis. Aviv’s original reporting, about the challenges of taking psychiatric drugs, first appeared in the magazine, in 2019.” Farrar, Straus, & Giroux published the book on September 13, 2022.
THE FURROWS by Namwali Serpell continues to receive stellar media attention. Serpell was featured on the cover of Publishers Weekly’s October issue, and THE FURROWS was selected as one of Publishers Weekly’s top 10 books of 2022. THE FURROWS and THE OLD DRIFT were jointly selected as NPR’s “Book of the Day” on October 14, and Serpell was interviewed by NPR’s Scott Simon and Juana Summers. Serpell was also interviewed by CBC Radio and Electric Literature, the latter of which praises Serpell’s prose as “[having] a cutting nature to it, sharp and to the point, allowing you to truly feel these characters and their voices.” Lastly, Serpell appeared on LARB’s Radio Hour, where the accompanying blurb praises THE FURROWS as a work that “defies narrative conventions and readerly expectations.” Hogarth published the novel on September 27, 2022.