Staff Pick


Like a South African Faulkner, van Niekerk has written a stunning, densely layered narrative of race, class, and frustrated dreams.  Looking back from 1996, the paralyzed and mute Milla recalls her life on an Africaaner farm: she struggles to understand her bitter marriage, her son’s estrangement and, most of all, her complex relationship with Agaat. Over forty years ago Milla saved the black child from starvation and abuse and, but for the strictures of apartheid, would have continued to treat her as an adopted daughter instead of making her a servant. Now Milla’s sole caregiver, Agaat is capable and inscrutable, tender and petty. The two women know each other so intimately they communicate without speaking. They intuit each other’s needs and know how to inflict fresh pain, even as the wounds of the past continue to fester. Resentment, unspoken love, and withheld secrets make Milla’s last months as tense, dramatic, and rich as any in her life.

Agaat Cover Image
By Marlene Van Niekerk, Michiel Heyns (Translated by), Mary Gaitskill (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781951142209
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Tin House Books - December 1st, 2020

Staff Pick

There isn’t a woman in New Salem who doesn’t recall a grandmother or an aunt using words and ways to make a house tidy or a hem neat. Witchcraft has been a punishable crime for generations, but this is the nineteenth century! Women are holding jobs and living alone! So why not band together and write the spells necessary to hang the laundry and win the right to vote?

The Once and Future Witches Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316422048
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Redhook - October 13th, 2020

Staff Pick

Andrew Smith's job is to visit the homes of those who've died alone and search for a next of kin or at least money for the funeral. In his spare time, he takes comfort in Ella Fitzgerald’s music and an online community of model train aficionados. When he absentmindedly lies at a job interview, you think that he simply just can’t be bothered explaining how it all started, but gradually you realize there’s more to it and that he’s found some sort of solace in his imaginary life. Then comes Peggy, and this is just the beginning. Dark and funny, Something to Live For is a story exploring loneliness, the ways we shield ourselves from others, and the walls we build. But it’s also a story of love and friendship and finding the strength to break those walls.

Something to Live For Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525539896
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - July 28th, 2020