Maybe you are weary. And who could blame you? The world grows heavy. But come--this collection is a balm, a salve for antipathy and ambivalence, hinging on tenderness and reverence. Chee is hawk-sight, registering at once past and present with sage clarity. It is as if he positions himself at the bend of time with ease, as if he stood barefoot in grass. Self-aware and careful, these essays quietly teach you to hold yourself softly, like a bird on your palm. This is a book I will return to for the rest of my life.
Some books you read for their smoke and cedar and lavender. That is to say, you read them to be held. And some books are bound with embers, waiting to catch your breath and make it flame. In these pages is something I have never before encountered, and I approach it as I do fire--with absolute reverence. Terese Marie Mailhot is a storyteller with a poet's sensibility, whose prose understands fully the weight of itself, so natural it is reflex, so beautiful you are breathless. It is fire, tide, ash, woodsmoke, fresh eyes.
Haunting and eerie, New People belongs to a new tradition of psychological horror that you will find with writers like Mariana Enriquez, Samanta Schweblin, and Ottessa Moshfegh. Maria juggles writing her dissertation on Jonestown, an impending marriage, and the sense that something inside her is splitting. Hinging on satire, this book is a litmus test of reality where Danzy Senna controls the dials, turning the chaos up by degrees.
Maybe, like me, you've loved albums deeply, desperately. They have been there for you, grown with you, named the unnameable. There are books who do the same, and then there is Hanif Abdurraqib, who is both. These are not just essays about music, or they are, but they reach into the social context of a song and an album and lay it bare. They are the music's subtext. We can only hope to be as open, as feeling.
Yukiko Motoya is the kind of writer that delights in a soft unraveling, as if you turned a coin over in your palm and caught it winking in earnest. Her stories are grounded in the material, made of shifting, walking daydreams where the unassuming holds unexpected magic. You will find whimsy and the surreal with a bent towards hilarity. Pure curio and phantasmagoria.
Maybe you are not familiar with the Combahee River Collective or statement, but it has undeniably shaped identity politics and movements since its inception in 1977. Because there was no guarantee the authors or the collective would survive, the statement was widely published. These careful, attentive interviews conducted by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor make for highly enjoyable reading. Such a good way to think about the shape of movements, and how the past informs the present.
Puerto Rico has long been at the political periphery. In this volume, Naomi Klein succinctly delineates the opposing powers struggling for tomorrow's PR: those who wish to make it an elite escape and those fighting for a PR this is self-sustaining and free from corporate and imperial rule. This is Klein's signature philosophy from The Shock Doctrine unfolding in real time. All proceeds from this book are going to Junte Gente for rebuilding Puerto Rico.
This is a collection of enumerations, one that opens as wide as dawn's peak and asks: why do you leave? Or stay? What did you forgo that you thought you would never miss? Like the mermaids that appear scattered throughout the stories, Arthurs' characters navigate liminal spaces, half-here, half-there. They are distinctly Jamaican. Their narratives speak to a deep sense of longing, one that carries the echo of generations. A stunning debut--Arthurs' style is highly fine-tuned and intuitive as playing by ear.