If you want to disappear into a cabin in rural Italy, this is the book for you. Atmospheric and a bit strange, it channels some Shirley Jackson, Virginia Woolf, Ottessa Moshfegh--and even a little Richard Powers--making for a perfect interweaving of the experience of communing with the beauty of nature while struggling to carve out one's own reality. This slim book has something for everyone.
Dawidziak's outstanding biography presents its subject through a winning combination of Poe research and the perspectives of creators influenced by his work. While vividly conveying Poe as both a person and a writer, the book also takes a stab at solving the mystery of his death; this is compelling reading for Poe aficionados as well as those who've yet to read a word of his poetry or fiction.
Through the lens of a West Bank theatre production of Hamlet, Hammad gives us a nuanced and immersive look at the daily lives of Palestinians. Her cast is drawn from people of different backgrounds, citizenships, and relationships to their Palestinian identity, and the novel excels in compelling storytelling that also creates a vivid picture of both Palestine and Israel. This incredible book is already one of my favorites of 2023.