September 16, 2023
With September in full swing there are many events to celebrate. We mark the beginning of National Hispanic Literature Month with an indispensable anthology of literature; and two major writers grace our stage with their presence. So please come in and take advantage of our fall offerings.
Buyer, The Center for Fiction Bookstore
The Wren, the Wren
By Anne Enright
Published by Liveright
Sometimes you finish a book and immediately want to go back to page one. Enright’s blissfully beautiful novel has that effect. The title is from a poem by Phil McDaragh—the famous father and grandfather of our mother-daughter protagonists, Carmel and Nell—who haunts this generational story of Irish characters. His gorgeous nature poetry weaves throughout the book and the charismatic, narcissistic, philandering patriarch informs the lives of these two female descendants—for better and worse. Enright states, “…the book is concerned with inheritance, of both trauma and wonder.” She reminds us that we can never escape our pasts, and that remembering is a form of both honoring our heritage and finding a way forward to an independent life.
Daughters of Latin America
By Edited By Sandra Guzman
Published by Amistad
Pulling from work spanning 500 years and 140 voices, Guzman’s collection highlights many of our best Latine writers: the inimitable Audre Lorde whose parents were from Bermuda and Grenada; the emotional purity of Haitian novelist Edwidge Danticat; U.S. poet laureate Mexican American writer Ada Límon; the extraordinary and prolific Maryse Condé from Guadeloupe; Dominican American author Elizabeth Acevedo who writes for both young and adult readers; and more vital writers like Sandra Cisneros, Helena Maria Viramontes, and Julia Alvarez. There are poems, speeches, essays, and fiction, making it an essential volume for your library, as well as an introduction to authors you might not know well—available in Spanish too!.
By Naomi Klein
Published by FSG
This is just a fascinating book. Klein has written unsparingly about double identity, citing precedents of Philip Roth’s Operation Shylock, Deborah Levy’s August Blue, Sigmund Freud’s and Otto Rank’s works in psychology, and cinematic examples like The Great Dictator, Wild Strawberries, and Dead Ringers. She has said that “doubles help us look at the unfathomable.” But what makes this book most interesting is how the public has conflated her with another writer, another Naomi: Naomi Wolf⏤who she finds detestable for her conservative views, so far from Klein’s own. She combines the cultural (capitalism, climate change, branding) and the personal in these trenchant essays that will startle for their intellectual candor.
By Nathan Hill
Published by Knopf
The Nix won Hill legions of fans, and his new comic novel might even be better—a compassionately satiric look at the complicated world of love, marriage, parenting, and the wellness industry. It begins in ’90s Chicago with two young people living across the alley from one another, secretly watching each other. Jack is a Kansas photographer finding his way within the big city art scene; Elizabeth, worldly but naïve, is also searching but with the trappings of a privileged upbringing. We follow them as they mature, marry, and reproduce. Hill observes this couple fondly as they struggle through the cultural upheavals and obsessions of their times..
By Jayne Anne Phillips
Published by Knopf
Phillips completes her war trilogy (following 1984’s Machine Dreams—WWII to the Vietnam War; and 2009’s Lark & Termite—Korean War) with a novel set in the post-Civil War era. In this third installment, a mute mother and her 12-year-old daughter travel by wagon to an asylum in West Virginia (the state where Phillips was born). As young ConaLee and Eliza settle into life at the hospital we meet Dr. Kirkbride, based upon a real physician and alienist who believed in ‘moral treatment’ for the insane, among many others, and the family’s history and the ravages of war come vividly alive. As Phillips has said, “Story conquers all distance.”