Lucky Breaks, by Yevgenia Belorusets

Staff Pick

The Donbas is both a battle ground and a region where ordinary people try to live their lives. Starting with her title—when is something as traumatic as a break “lucky”?-- Belorusets’s powerful collection of photos and brief stories (they range from two sentences to three pages) focuses on such dualities, even as the surrealism of Ukraine splinters into yet more ambiguities, which people try to control through various strategies of magical thinking.  In this “land of residual phenomena,” words provide “form rather than meaning” and nothing is definitive: the situation is neither peace nor war, but “something else.” Exactly what else is conveyed in a series of scenes and, especially, voices. Though many of these scraps are cast as interviews or reference an ”interlocutor,” most become monologues, a move that highlights the difficulty of maintaining connections but also the power of the individual voice and the irrepressible drive to tell one’s story.  Like the women who navigate new dangers each day, we never know where any of these fragments will take us: a tale that starts “once upon a time,” ends in a character with “a needle near her heart.” And when happiness occurs it “falls out of thin air”—much as a bomb might.

 

Lucky Breaks Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811229845
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Directions - March 1st, 2022

Liarmouth, by John Waters

Staff Pick

In a career that spans well over 40 years, King of Filth John Waters still finds ways to shock audiences. Making his fiction debut with this "feel-bad romance," he delivers a story that is at once absurd, sleazy, hilarious--and charming. The action centers on Marsha Sprinkle, luggage thief and con artist extraordinaire, for whom telling the truth is impossible. She is surrounded by a ridiculous cast of characters, such as a daughter who has a vendetta against her, a dog undergoing an identity crisis, and a talking penis. Does any of it make sense? Probably not; this is a story that takes on any number of hilarious twists,and teems with ideas that only John Waters could come up with. Overall, it's irreverent and campy--mindless in the best possible ways. 

Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374185725
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 3rd, 2022

The Corner That Held Them, by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Staff Pick

Historical fiction gravitates toward the powerful, but real history is different. The Corner That Held Them is an attempt at real historical fiction: a portrait of a nunnery from its construction in the 12th century to the novel's end point in 1382. The story’s enormous cast trundles through their lives in search of meaning, but fate has no answer for them. Some die for no reason, others fail to achieve their ambitions. This book is a bracing and even alienating experience for those accustomed to the comforts of plot and pay-off. But those who persevere will be rewarded by a narrative that makes everything else in its genre feel a little half-hearted.   


 

The Corner That Held Them Cover Image
By Sylvia Townsend Warner, Claire Harman (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781681373874
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: NYRB Classics - September 10th, 2019

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