July 25, 2020
When we started these newsletters COVID-19 had just begun to spread and the bookstore closed for quarantine. Now, over four months later, our bookstore has reopened and we are delighted to welcome our members and customers back to shop in person. This week’s collection includes both a most eagerly anticipated memoir and an assortment of noted titles that reflect living in a pandemic, reminding us that both fiction and nonfiction can transform unbearable events into exceptional literature.
Buyer, Center for Fiction Bookstore
By Natasha Trethewey
Published by Ecco
The combination of gorgeous writing and true crime makes Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey’s story of her mother’s murder in Atlanta by her former stepfather when she was nineteen a propulsive reading experience. Her new memoir illuminates the making of a poet whose life as a biracial woman has been informed by racism, rejection from the Black community, and a tragedy that left its indelible mark.
Intimations: Six Essays
By Zadie Smith
Published by Penguin Books
Smith’s essays are as transcendent as her fiction. Her recent observations about living in isolation and the remarkable change to our daily living are trenchant and compassionate—another reminder that art can arise from crisis. Royalties from the sale of Intimations will be donated to charity..
Lockdown: Stories of Crime, Terror, and Hope During a Pandemic
By NICK KOLAKOWSKI & STEVE WEDDLER
Published by Polis Books
A rip-roaring fiction anthology featuring a variety of small press writers in the styles of horror, dystopian fiction, noir, comic hijinks, and more, all contributing to a great cause: proceeds from the book will support BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, helping independent booksellers recover from the current crisis.
And we’re hosting a not-to-be-missed fundraiser for BINC on August 6th with The Antibody featuring Jericho Brown, Carmen Maria Machado, Celeste Ng, and Karen Russell!
The Old Drift
By Namwali Serpell
Published by Hogarth
Get lost in an epic story (now in paperback) with a mixture of genres (thriller, sci-fi, historical fiction, magical realism). This Zambian writer’s artfully blended story of three generations particularly resonates with the effect HIV/AIDS had on South-Central Africa. Longlisted for last year’s Center for Fiction First Novel Prize..
They Came Like Swallows
By William Maxwell
Published by Vintage
The second work of fiction, published in 1937, by one of the New Yorker’s most enduring writers, William Maxwell, whose work readers should definitely revisit. He tackles the devastating impact of the 1918 flu epidemic in his portrayal of one Midwestern family and the woman at its center who affects her sons’ and husband’s lives so deeply.