Staff Pick

As other writers have recently done, Sherrell homes in on troubling issues by framing his timely book around a letter to an unborn child. In this case the issue is climate change and the child is a real question. As Sherrell, an activist with NY Renews, struggles to determine what he “owe[s]” a future family, he turns the Problem—as he calls it throughout this deeply felt and uneasy meditation—from every conceivable angle; starting with the powerful account of a man whose self-immolation caused the briefest flutter in attention to that Problem, he examines his own growing up in a changing world; the anachronistic connection of young children to stuffed figures of animals they may never actually see; the troublesome term “environmentalist,” which he feels shows “the cheapening of a god into a religion”; the anniversary of Katrina as a model for commemoration of those lost to climate, where loss is perhaps salvaged if the moment of silence is viewed as “not the absence of sound but the presence of something that cannot be spoken”; and much more. Though feeling language is “plainly inadequate to any real consideration of the Problem,” Sherrell’s own often takes a lyrical bent, and he lavishes care and attention on describing the natural world, as if to make it—and us—linger here long enough so we can find a way through this unfathomable time.

 

Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143136538
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - August 3rd, 2021

Staff Pick

Eva is notorious for keeping her secrets, only revealing her life—if that’s what she does—once it’s seemingly over.  The narrator of Jones’s stunning second novel (published in 1976 and more vital than ever), Eva has been sentenced to a prison for the criminally insane for killing and mutilating her lover. Locked in with her memories—and a volatile cell mate who bates and laughs at her—she obsessively replays thirty+ years of verbal and physical abuse by men. As she tells and retells her story she also relates those of other Black women, making the novel an important act of witnessing—and essential reading. But beyond the unblinking look at Black women’s brutalization, as well as how the currents of violence also damage the men, the book is valuable for Jones’s jaw-dropping literary skill. Eva’s interior monologue is a mesmerizing weave of repetition and rhythm; intercutting multiple scenes and voices—often two or three different ones simultaneously—Jones impeccably captures oral cadences to convey the textures of people caught in anger, pain, and frustrated longing.

Eva's Man (Celebrating Black Women Writers) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780807028995
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Beacon Press - October 20th, 2020

Staff Pick

This beautiful novel is several love stories at once: the lifelong one between the narrator’s Omma and Abbe—her Faroese grandparents—the Omma’s for another man, and, principally, the complicated affections each character feels for the windswept archipelago itself. Growing up in Copenhagen as the third generation of her Danish-Faroese family, the speaker is intimately familiar with a “pathological homesickness” that leads her to retrace her grandparents’ lives. In a series of vivid snapshots intercut with her own occasional island sojourns, she recreates their courtship, year-long separation, European reunion, and highlights from the Second and Cold Wars. The novel is less about history, however, than it is about shifting currents of home and exile. Just as, after a lifetime away, the islands her Abbe “longed for existed somewhere outside geography,” the place Jacobsen evokes in her lyrical, spare, and utterly magical prose exists primarily in language. Open to any page, and the images pop: “at the end of March, winter simply fell off like a scab”; the cherry tree “grew and muttered to itself sentences of white and pink”; coves are “nature’s own solitary confinement cells.” And perhaps most salient: “home is a toponym…a place name,” and in Jacobsen’s vivid articulation, the word is everything.

Island Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781782275800
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Pushkin Press - September 7th, 2021

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