October 31, 2020
Some of the finest books of the season are just coming out now. They can provide a welcome alternative to the daily news cycle and just might help us through the looming election week. From writers starting out to those well-seasoned authors (Bryan Washington’s much awaited debut novel, Martin Amis’s extraordinary autofiction and a beloved Portuguese-language writer’s last offering) you should be well-sated.
Buyer, Center for Fiction Bookstore
By Bryan Washington
Published by Riverhead
Washington burst on the scene with his extraordinary story collection, Lot, in 2019 and has more than fulfilled his promise with this debut novel. It begins with the growing, but hesitant romance between two young men in Houston—Benson who is Black and Mike who is Japanese American. But perhaps equally as moving is the tenderly drawn relationship between Benson and Mike’s mother, left alone together when Mike returns to Osaka to see his dying father; and Benson’s complicated relationship to his own father. An utterly lovely novel about the transformative power of family, it is a stunner. I confess to tears.
By Martin Amis
Published by Knopf
The enfant terrible of 60’s London, growing up under the shadow of a famous father and called the ‘Mick Jagger of literature’ (Daily Telegraph), Amis has a new autobiographical novel, his 25th book. The angry young man is now over 70, tempered by the usual reflections of a certain age as mortality looms. Relish his homage to his dearest friend Christopher Hitchens and other essential people in his literary life (like Saul Bellow, Iris Murdoch and Philip Larkin), as his loves and losses come alive with Amis’s usual self-awareness and self-deprecation. This is Amis at his best..
The Hour of the Star
By Clarice Lispector
Published by New Directions
Translated from the Portuguese by Benjamin Moser
It is hard to believe this year is the 100th anniversary of Lispector’s birth. Now reprinted with a wonderful introduction by Colm Tóibín (he reminds us that Elizabeth Bishop translated Lispector stories from the Portuguese in the 60s) and a reminiscence by her son, The Hour of the Star is available in a beautiful new hardcover package. Originally published in 1977, this novel of a Rio slum-dweller who fantasizes about Marilyn Monroe was the last and everlasting novel written by the mysterious Ukrainian-born Jew who grew up in Brazil, and became and remains a beloved author all over the world.
By P. Djèlí Clark
Published by Tordotcom
Wow: A speculative novel that posits the Ku Klux Klan as hell-bent on ending the world. With nods to D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, and Clark’s childhood in Trinidad and Tobago, the title refers to an ecstatic spiritual dance ritual practiced by African slaves in the West Indies and the Gullah in the American South. This horror/fantasy novel, narrated by Maryse, a fierce female resistance leader of a band of women fighters, is darkly comic, socially relevant, audacious and wholly inventive..
By Phil Kay
Published by Penguin Press
The follow-up to former US Marine Klay’s prize-winning story collection about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Redeployment), his first novel splices four voices into a chorus of woe of what happens to countries and its people when everything is taken and war seems to have no reason. A quartet of individuals tells a much larger story and from the first page we are IN the book, the engine running, anxious to read about the forces that shaped each person and to possibly learn a lesson about what happened in the Colombian conflict, and the overt and covert actions of the US that led to a perfect storm. Klay is surely one of our premier chroniclers of modern war.
A Promised Land
By Barack Obama
Published by Crown
The much-awaited new memoir by Barack Obama is coming, right before Thanksgiving.This is the first volume in his presidential memoirs and will take the reader from his first political awakenings, to his development as a passionate activist for social justice and change, to his campaigning to be the first Black president of the United States, and finally his White House experiences. Now more than ever we need to hear from him in this intimate and self-revelatory narrative of Obama’s dedication to the ideals of democracy.
We are anticipating a flood of buyers so are offering you the chance to pre-order copies to ensure you get one for yourself and for gifts, too. Email us at email@example.com to reserve your books before the holiday..