Archives de catégorie : Literary

JONATHAN ABERNATHY YOU ARE KIND de Molly McGhee

At once tender, startling, and deeply funny, JONATHAN ABERNATHY YOU ARE KIND is a gimlet-eyed reckoning with late-stage capitalism, a brilliant, ferocious novel for readers of Paul Beatty’s The Sellout and Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This.

JONATHAN ABERNATHY YOU ARE KIND
by Molly McGhee
‎ Atra, Fall 2023
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Jonathan Abernathy is screwed. Jobless, behind on his student loan payments, and a self-declared failure, the only thing Abernathy has in abundance is debt. When a government loan forgiveness program offers him a job he can do literally in his sleep, he thinks he’s found his big break. That is, until he finds himself auditing the dreams of white collar workers, flagging their anxieties and preoccupations for removal.
As Abernathy finds his footing in this new role, reality and morality begin to warp around him. Soon, the lines between life and work, love and hate, right and wrong, even sleep and consciousness, have blurred.

Molly McGhee reminds me of absolutely no one. Here’s an original mind brimming over with invention and comic ferocity and a new world sensibility that serves to remind us what good hands the future of literature is in. I am hugely excited for everyone to read this mad, hilarious writer.” —Ben Marcus, Guggenheim Fellow and author of The Flame Alphabet

Molly McGhee is from a cluster of unincorporated towns outside of Nashville, Tennessee. She completed her M.F.A. in fiction at Columbia University, where, in addition to receiving a Chair’s Fellowship, she taught in the undergraduate creative writing department. She has worked in the editorial departments of McSweeney’s, The Believer, NOON, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Tor. Currently living in Brooklyn, her work has appeared in The Paris Review.

THE OTHER VALLEY de Scott Alexander Howard

Written in exquisite, spare prose, this literary debut novel is a cross between Kazuo Ishiguro’s speculative work, the clever fabulism of Ted Chiang, and the heart-rending search for where it all went wrong in Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library.

THE OTHER VALLEY
by Scott Alexander Howard
Atria/Simon & Schuster, Spring 2024
(via Frances Goldin Literary Agency)

Sixteen-year-old Odile Ozanne is an awkward, quiet girl, but everyone knows she’s destined to land a coveted seat on the Conseil. In her apprenticeship, she competes to become one of the judges to decide who amongst the town’s residents may travel across the border. If she earns the position, she’ll decree who may be escorted deep into the woods, who may cross the border’s barbed wire fence, who may make the arduous trek over the western mountain range — or perhaps the eastern range—to descend into the next valley over. It’s the same valley, the same town. However, to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness. The only border crossings permitted by the Conseil are mourning tours: furtive viewings of the dead in towns where the dead are still alive.
Odile, wise beyond her years, will surely pass the Conseil’s vetting. But when she happens upon a mourning tour she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes her dear friend Edme’s parents have crossed the border from the east, from twenty years in the future, to view their son still alive in Odile’s present.
Edme, who’s so funny and light. Edme, who’s a violin virtuoso at just sixteen! Edme, who’s the first boy to even see Odile, to really like her…. And it’s Edme who’s going to die.
Sworn to secrecy by the Conseil in order to preserve the timeline, Odile finds herself drawn even closer to the doomed boy. When Edme dies far sooner than Odile expects, when she does nothing to thwart his fate, she’s deeply shaken. The loss, her foreknowledge, the weight of her rare and varied grief all throw Odile’s own future, her adult life, into a devastating, downward spiral.
If your soul was stricken by the years, your teeth bloodied from all of life’s blows, would you risk being seen by the armed patrols, would you gamble with everyone’s lives, with your own, with the annihilation of an entire timeline to hike across the border and get back to where it all went wrong?
THE OTHER VALLEY is a dark, modern fable about time and fate. Readers will rush breathlessly to the end to see if the spark of hope in their hearts for Odile will grow again into the bright promise of her youth—or collapse into unchangeable catastrophe.

Scott Alexander Howard has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto, where he wrote an award-winning dissertation on literary emotions and the passage of time. His articles have appeared in journals such as Philosophical Quarterly and Analysis. Upon completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, he decided to pursue fiction. He now lives in Vancouver.

DON’T CRY FOR ME de Daniel Black

A Black father makes amends with his gay son through letters written on his deathbed in this wise and penetrating novel of empathy and forgiveness, for fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Robert Jones Jr. and Alice Walker.

DON’T CRY FOR ME
by Daniel Black
Hanover Square Press, February 2022
(via Dystel, Goderich & Bourret)

As Jacob lies dying, he begins to write a letter to his only son, Isaac. They have not met or spoken in many years, and there are things that Isaac must know. Stories about his ancestral legacy in rural Arkansas that extend back to slavery. Secrets from Jacob’s tumultuous relationship with Isaac’s mother and the shame he carries from the dissolution of their family. Tragedies that informed Jacob’s role as a father and his reaction to Isaac’s being gay. But most of all, Jacob must share with Isaac the unspoken truths that reside in his heart. He must give voice to the trauma that Isaac has inherited. And he must create a space for the two to find peace.
With piercing insight and profound empathy, acclaimed author Daniel Black illuminates the lived experiences of Black fathers and queer sons, offering an authentic and ultimately hopeful portrait of reckoning and reconciliation. Spare as it is sweeping, poetic as it is compulsively readable, Don’t Cry for Me is a monumental novel about one family grappling with love’s hard edges and the unexpected places where hope and healing take flight.

Sad and gripping…an example of how fiction is not just a form of literature but a place. We go there for lessons on how to live, how to change and, most important, how to forgive and seek forgiveness. » —New York Times Book Review

Heartbreaking…Poignant and moving… consistently powerful.” —Publishers Weekly

DON’T CRY FOR ME a perfect song: the epistolary dirge of a man singing to his son as he faces death by cancer. At turns intense and funny, tender and brutally honest, Jacob’s letter to his son, Isaac, is revelatory. While the story is an unflinching account of a family and a community in the Black American Midwest coming of age in the modern now, it is also full of that which makes us all human, regardless of where we are from or who we are: full of fathers trying to understand sons, sons trying to understand fathers, parents feeling as if they have failed children, children realizing how they have passed their own traumas on to others and so on. It’s a beautiful book. Read it. ” —Jesmyn Ward

Daniel Black is an author and professor of African American studies and English at Clark Atlanta University. His books include The Coming, Perfect Peace and They Tell Me of a Home. He is the winner of the Distinguished Writer Award from the Middle-Atlantic Writer’s Association and has been nominated for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, the Ernest J. Gaines Award,and the Georgia Author of the Year Award. He was raised in Blackwell, Arkansas, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY d’Ani Kayode Somtochukwu

Captivating, passionate, and utterly heartbreaking, Ani Kayode Somtochukwu’s debut novel AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY is the story of two young gay men in Nigeria who are determined to love each other despite all that stands in their way.

AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY
by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu
Roxane Gay Books/Grove Atlantic, June 2023

The first debut discovered in Roxane Gay Books’ open submission period, AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY is an arresting, beautiful, and timely novel by twenty-three-year-old Nigerian writer Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, who here announces himself as a voice to watch. August is a God-fearing track star who has left Lagos and the expectations of his overbearing sisters back home. He carries their expectations, the shame of facing himself, and the haunting memory of a mother he never knew. It’s his first semester of uni in Enugu State and he’s making his way, finding friends and maybe even love, but there’s one problem: he can’t stop thinking about Segun, an openly gay student who works at the computer lab on campus. Segun has been wounded in so many ways and is reluctant to open himself up to August, wanting only to be with a man who is comfortable in his own skin, who will see and hold and love Segun, exactly as he is.
After Segun is brutally attacked by his roommates for being gay, August cares for his lover during his recovery as best he can, while grappling with his own fears. Their relationship grows into a comfortable intimacy that defies the violence around them. But there is only so long Segun can stand being loved behind closed doors, while August lives an entirely different life beyond the world they’ve created for themselves. And when a law is passed criminalizing gay marriage, August and Segun’s love is tested like never before.
AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY is an aching story about all the ways your heart can break even when you find the courage to love. A necessary and urgent new voice, this debut is not to be missed.

Ani Kayode Somtochukwu is an award-winning Nigerian writer and queer liberation activist. His work interrogates themes of queer identity, resistance and liberation and has appeared in literary magazines across Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. His work has received wide recognition, having been longlisted for the 2017 Awele Creative Trust Prize and the 2020 Afritondo Short Story Prize. He was shortlisted for the 2017 Erbacce Prize for Poetry, the 2020 ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award, and the 2020 Toyin Falola Prize. The manuscript for this novel was awarded the 2021 James Currey Prize for African Literature.

BASIN de Scott McCulloch

A dark and compelling work by a new voice in Australian – and world – literary fiction.

BASIN
by Scott McCulloch
Black Inc. (Australia), June 2022

A nomad swallows poison and drowns himself. Resuscitated by a paramilitary bandit named Aslan, Figure is nursed back into a world of violence, sexuality and dementia. Together, Figure and Aslan traverse a coastline erupting in conflict. When the nearest city is ethnically cleansed, Figure escapes on the last ship evacuating to the other isle of the sea. Crossing village to village largely on foot, a slew of outcasts and ghosts guide him as he navigates states of cultural and metaphysical crisis.
Scott McCulloch’s debut novel, BASIN, explores the axis of landscape and consciousness. Echoing the modernist tradition, and written in an incendiary yet elliptical prose style, BASIN
maps the phenomenon of a civilisation being reborn – a hallucinatory elegy to the inter-zones of self and place.

Born in Melbourne, based between Ukraine and the Caucasus since 2014, and having recently moved to the Mediterranean, where he divides his time between Greece and Lebanon, Scott McCulloch works with prose, essay and sound. His writings have appeared in Southerly, Australian Book Review, Art & Australia, Magazine, Kill Your Darlings and elsewhere. BASIN is his

debut novel.