The Big Both Ways
By John Straley
It’s 1935 and jobs are scarce, but Slippery Wilson walks off his job at a logging camp after a gruesome accident kills a coworker. He’s headed for Seattle with all his savings; he plans to buy a piece of farmland and be his own boss.
When he stops to help a woman get her car out of a ditch, his life takes a serious detour. The woman is Ellie Hobbs, an anarchist from the docks of Seattle who watches out for her young niece and dreams of flying planes. But right now, she’s got one busted nose and has just stuffed a dead man’s body into the trunk of her car. So begins the action that will take Slip, Ellie, her niece, and her noisy yellow bird on a heart-stopping adventure up the Inside Passage from Puget Sound to Alaska.
By Jeff Vandermeer
A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden.
It’s Jeff Vandermeer: you know you’ll love it.2 .
By Gayl Jones
Gayl Jones’s first novel, Corregidora, won her recognition as a writer whose work was gripping, subtle, and sure. It was praised, along with her second novel, Eva’s Man, by writers and critics from all over the nation: John Updike, Maya Angelou, John Edgar Wideman, and James Baldwin, to name a few. The publication of The Healing, her first novel in over twenty years, is a literary event.
Harlan Jane Eagleton is a faith healer, traveling by bus to small towns, converting skeptics, restoring minds and bodies. But before that she was a minor rock star’s manager, and before that a beautician. She’s had a fling with her rock star’s ex-husband and an Afro-German horse dealer; along the way she’s somehow lost her own husband, a medical anthropologist now traveling with a medicine woman in Africa. Harlan tells her story from the end backwards, drawing us constantly deeper into her world and the mystery at the heart of her tale-the story of her first healing.
The Healing is a lyrical and at times humorous exploration of the struggle to let go of pain, anger, and even love. Slipping seamlessly back through Harlan’s memories in a language rich with the textured cadences of the black Southerner, Gayl Jones weaves her story to its dramatic-and unexpected-beginning.
Me Dying Trial
By Patricia Powell
Me Dying Trial, Patricia Powell’s masterful debut novel, establishes her as a major voice in Caribbean literature. Gwennie Augusta Glaspole, a schoolteacher, is trapped in an unhappy marriage and quickly saddled with six children. Gwennie resists Jamaican cultural expectations of playing dutiful wife and mother, struggling in a loveless, often abusive relationship, she eventually relocates to Connecticut. Dealing with issues of religion, sexuality, immigration, domestic violence, and gender inequality, Powell has proven to be “a Generation-X vanguard for the Caribbean literary world” (Boston Magazine), and much more.4 .
The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison
By Edited by John F. Callahan and Marc C. Conner
A radiant collection of letters from the renowned author of Invisible Man that trace the life and mind of a giant of American literature, with insights into the riddle of identity, the writer’s craft, and the story of a changing nation over six decades
These extensive and revealing letters span the life of Ralph Ellison and provide a remarkable window into the great writer’s life and work, his friendships, rivalries, anxieties, and all the questions about identity, art, and the American soul that bedeviled and inspired him until his death. They include early notes to his mother, written as an impoverished college student; lively exchanges with the most distinguished American writers and thinkers of his time, from Romare Bearden to Saul Bellow; and letters to friends and family from his hometown of Oklahoma City, whose influence would always be paramount.
These letters are beautifully rendered first-person accounts of Ellison’s life and work and his observations of a changing world, showing his metamorphosis from a wide-eyed student into a towering public intellectual who confronted and articulated America’s complexities.
The Serious Goose
By Jimmy Kimmel
Meet a very Serious Goose in late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s first fun and funny picture book! There is nothing silly about this goose. You CANNOT make her laugh, so DON’T EVEN TRY!
Written, illustrated, and lettered by Jimmy Kimmel, this picture book challenges young readers to bring the silly out of a very Serious Goose. Inspired by Jimmy’s nickname for his kids, The Serious Goose reminds us to be silly in a serious way. Put your little comedians in front of a mylar mirror and challenge them to make this no-nonsense goose smile. This delightful read-aloud is guaranteed to create gaggles of giggles time and time again!
Kimmel’s proceeds from sales of The Serious Goose will be donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and children’s hospitals around the country.6 .
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