Ed Yong’s AN IMMENSE WORLD received a stunning rave review from Mark Cocker in The New Statesman: “[Yong] seeks to offer his reader a panoramic, complex portrait of the sensory capacities that underpin a multitude of life ways…Chapter by chapter, the author builds an understanding of how each of the primary human senses – smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch – operate in other species. But Yong also delves into sensory experiences beyond our ken, which modern science is beginning to uncover…Yong’s excursion into the extraordinarily complex interior lives of so many creatures – insects, turtles, finches, robins, elephants, sharks, octopuses, whales and jewel wasps – shows us that there is an entire universe of unfathomable beauty all around us.” Random House published AN IMMENSE WORLD on June 21, 2022.
Antonia Angress’s debut novel SIRENS & MUSES published to warm reception this week. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a wonderful review of the novel, in which Ellen Akins praises: “Angress is very good at getting what people think about and what they want when they make art, whether from political conviction, a performative impulse or a deep need to convey what they see…The moments of recognition and frustration, revelation and betrayal, desire and revulsion are convincing and moving, and Angress' portrayal of the intersection — or disconnect — of art, politics, idealism and practicality within the web of familial, romantic,and professional relationships is painterly, in the best sense of the word.” Angress was interviewed by Eva Dunsky for the Chicago Review of Books, where she shared her writing process for SIRENS & MUSES: “I worked on including either imagistic or thematic echoes so that the different storylines were speaking to each other even if they weren’t intersecting…There’s sort of a meta aspect to this book—a lot of the ideas and anxieties it explores were ideas and anxieties I had as I was writing it. I picture the book as a problem I kept creating as I was trying to solve it, almost like an Escher drawing: a problem that falls into itself again and again and which you can’t climb out of because you’re creating it as you go.” The book was featured on must-read lists from The Millions, Reads Rainbow, and Lambda Literary, and Lit Hub featured a personal essay by Angress titled “Fantasy vs. Reality: When the Muse Finally Speaks.” Ballantine Books published SIRENS & MUSES on July 12, 2022.
Nada Alic’s highly anticipated BAD THOUGHTS enjoyed a celebratory launch this week. The New York Times published a fantastic review from A. Cerisse Cohen: “Nada Alic’s debut story collection pierces superficial appearances to access deeper human connection…[E]ach story pushes into weirder, more vulnerable territory as it captures the (usually female) narrator’s borderline perverse thoughts. Alic depicts contemporary womanhood with a wry, uncensored voice reminiscent of those in Miranda July’s off-kilter SoCal tales.” The Cut published an interview between Alic and Katja Vujić, in which Alic discussed her influences and inspirations: “I see my characters going through a misguided hero’s journey. They’re all seeking freedom or power or love, and going about it in all the wrong ways. One of the main things that I find a lot of humor in is how we perform self. The journey from my thoughts to my mouth feels like a game of telephone sometimes; there’s so much going on internally, and I don’t know if I always communicate it well. I often betray myself, and I think a lot of people do. A lot of it comes from trying to dismantle a lot of the shame that I feel and using humor to normalize the fact that we all have good and bad thoughts swirling inside of us — we have the full spectrum of a human experience.” BAD THOUGHTS was also featured on must-read lists from Lit Hub and The London Times, and Electric Lit featured a listicle from Alic titled “9 Books About Women Who Can’t Get Out of Their Heads” in honor of her book’s publication. Vintage published BAD THOUGHTS on July 12, 2022.
The New York Times named GIRLS THEY WRITE SONGS ABOUT on its list of “10 New Books We Recommend This Week (July 7).” The book was also featured on Entertainment Weekly’s best books of June 2022, praised as a “heady, intimate tale.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux published the novel on June 21, 2022.
Lars Horn sat down with Book Forum to discuss their book VOICE OF THE FISH. Interviewer Ayden Leroux writes: “VOICE OF THE FISH submerg[es] the reader in the mythological layers of the marine..Horn’s prose hums in a way that often transcends language. Each essay in VOICE OF THE FISH is a chamber that opens into experiences through which Horn became embodied: the occasions Horn modeled for their mother’s artworks; an assault and an injury which made them lose their ability to speak, read, and write; learning the mystical circumstances of their birth; and inking their skin slowly with tattoos.” Graywolf Press published the book on June 7, 2022.
PATHETIC LITERATURE, the forthcoming anthology edited by Eileen Myles, was featured on Lit Hub’s list of “The Most-Anticipated Books of the Year 2022, Part Two.” Lit Hub associate editor Katie Yee writes: “Eileen Myles (of CHELSEA GIRLS and COOL FOR YOU) is reclaiming ‘pathetic.’ Tracing the word back to its roots, they are taking us on a great literary tour of pathos, of feeling. Reaching across continents and genres, this anthology collects poetry, prose, and drama from the likes of Jorge Luis Borges, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Victoria Chang, and Qiu Miaojin (a personal favorite). When else does this spectacular gang get together under one roof? It’s a call for a rare kind of emotional honesty and earnestness and a response to our embarrassment over feeling feelings.” Grove Press will publish the anthology on November 15, 2022.
THE FIFTH ACT by Elliot Ackerman was featured on Lit Hub’s list of “The Most-Anticipated Books of the Year 2022, Part Two.” Lit Hub editor-in-chief Johnny Diamond writes: “The history of the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is only beginning to be written, and it will likely be decades before a fuller picture emerges. But an early and important voice in that story will be that of writer and veteran Elliott Ackerman, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The history of any war will always be an ongoing collation of subjectivities—as such Ackerman brings his own deeply personal perspective as a marine (and later as a CIA paramilitary officer) who returns to Afghanistan on the eve of its return to the Taliban to help in impromptu, large-scale evacuations. Ackerman then works backward to look at 20 years of American misadventure in the Middle East, and the deep impact it has on two decades of his life.” Penguin Press will publish the book on August 9, 2022.
STRANGERS TO OURSELVES by Rachel Aviv was featured on Lit Hub’s list of “The Most-Anticipated Books of the Year 2022, Part Two.” Lit Hub deputy editor Emily Firetog writes: “Rachel Aviv’s New Yorker pieces are always stunning portraits of people in crisis, but her stories of complex medical mysteries are some of the most striking and memorable pieces of journalism I’ve read. In her debut nonfiction book, Aviv investigates people who have ‘come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are’—a woman who lives as a saint, an incarcerated mother recovering after psychosis, a man looking for revenge on psychoanalysts. In examining the way we tell stories about disorders of the mind, Aviv questions the very core of what is normal and what is reality. An incredibly researched, empathetic, and moving book.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish the book on September 13, 2022.
The Irish Times review of DARK EARTH by Rebecca Stott awards the novel immense praise. Reviewer Helen Cullen raves: “A stunningly vivid, elegant historical fantasy that recreates Londinium after the Romans...Stott has created a work of elegant historical fantasy with great intellect, curiosity, imagination and empathy that is utterly compelling. The fusion of the author’s great passions, literature and history, has found a magnificent outlet in this unique and extraordinary novel. No other author would have attempted this challenge, nor could have succeeded in wielding its components into something so powerful. A definite contender for this year’s literary prizes, it is difficult to imagine any reader not becoming bewitched by DARK EARTH.” BuzzFeed also featured the novel on its best-of list for July, with BuzzFeed writer Kirby Beaton describing the book as a “dazzling blend of history and fantasy.” Random House will publish the novel on July 19, 2022.
Danielle Steel’s latest novel, SUSPECTS, made its debut on The New York Times Bestsellers list for the week of July 17, 2022, appearing at #3 on Print Hardcover Fiction and #7 on Combined Print & E-Book Fiction. Delacorte Press published the book on June 28, 2022.