Hart's exquisite debut novel focuses on a young woman’s abject yearning for an older woman. Like a moth drawn to a flame, young and inexperienced Mallory is drawn to this more worldly woman, whose cold and mysterious demeanor only enhances the attraction. In a series of vignettes crafted of sensual and intimate language, Hart brings readers directly into Mallory's pseudo-coming-of-age, showing us her vulnerability and adoration for someone who, even as she grows older, she never quite equals. This is a powerful evocation of desire, loss, and disappointment, a story that is at once about the pitfalls of falling in love with someone out of reach and the heartbreak that is part and parcel of growing up.
A work as depraved and perverse as it is beautiful, Williams’s debut novel paints a haunting and macabre portrait of a family trying to survive in the aftermath of a cataclysmic apocalypse. In mesmerizing prose, Williams delivers a wild ride through the ruins of the future as she follows a matriarch whose grip on her illegitimate brood is already precarious when her younger children destabilize her vision further by searching for what lies beyond their encampment.
Beginning with a vague feeling of unease, then turning up the volume until you feel your ears pop, Fu's deeply unsettling short stories expose the horrific that lurks at the junctures of technology and social interaction. Whether it's a toy that allows you to fast forward and rewind an animal's life in brutal detail for entertainment or a stranger sitting in on a wake for someone she knows only because she followed his social media account, these narratives capture the sincerity with which we reach out to one another and reveal how commodifying these moments turns them cold. For anyone who has felt alarmed by the way social media has transformed personal interactions, this is a powerful, resonant collection.