Still Warm From the Press: 5 Titles

Pitch Dark and Speedboat by Renata Adler (New York Review of Books)

We’ve been waiting for these two titles from Adler since the announcement of them in early January. While the award-winning Speedboat promises the same impact today as it had in the 1970s, lauded for its unconventional narrative-exposé of the American landscape (a touchstone for writers like David Foster Wallace & Elizabeth Harken), its follow-up Pitch Dark promises the same verve with grating journalistic ability… only distilled to one moment, poised at a critical moment of an affair a woman has with a married man. Pathos abounds!

Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems by Franz Wright (Knopf)

Franz Wright amazed us with his Earlier Poems alone, but Kindertotenwald is a confirmation of sheer versatility. Love how the New York Journal of Books puts it: “At times Mr. Wright is intuitively brilliant, a true poet speaking prose, yet at times these read simply as prose. Tone is consistent and carefully modulated, though it varies and is embedded in the subconscious. It’s as though someone woke up from a deep sleep and began speaking.”

I Await The Devil’s Coming by Mary Maclane (Melville House)

Maclane is clearly a genius, but you can tell that she’s still working out her “philosophy”. Her writing is intense, but also playful and often quite funny. Though her name is synonymous with sexuality now, Maclane wrote about everything in her 1902 diary. Then a 19-year-old living in urban Montana, the book ranges from existential and depressed to intentionally silly and ridiculous. One of our staff picks!

The Book of My Lives by Alexander Hemon (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

There’s a good interview on the New York Times about the processes behind this *highly*-praised book and its Bosnian-born Chicago writer: What happens when a fiction writer breaks the resisted urge to write non-fiction on the subject of his old and new homes, in the process excising and exterminating “that precious, youthful part of (himself) that had believed (he) could retreat from history and hide from evil in the comforts of art”?

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