Bookshop Staff Picks: 2020 Indie Press Favorites

By Bookshop.org

By Bookshop.org

Ramifications

Daniel Saldaña Paris

$16.95 $15.59

(Coffee House) A quizzical reflection on separation and solitude, Ramifications immerses itself in the swirling indignities of a youth marked by uncertainty. Daniel Saldaña París has penned an elusive, clouded chronicle of boyhood interrupted. —Justin

Fiebre Tropical

Juli Delgado Lopera

$17.95 $16.51

(Feminist Press) A glowing, irreverent, sweaty story about a Colombian teen coming out/of-age in Miami as she gets swept up simultaneously in lesbian lust and strict evangelism, this is a debut novel to remember. —Sarah

Pets

Yuka Igarashi, Mark Leidner, et al.

$17.95 $16.51

(Tyrant) This anthology is as wide-reaching in form as it is in emotion. From love to hate to grief to respect, this collection of essays, poems, and stories covers the whole spectrum of animal companionship. —Nathan

Igifu

Scholastique Mukasonga

$18.00 $16.56

(Archipelago) In Igifu, we find the idyllic nestled alongside atrocity and tradition marred by dispossession. A dire warning and a captivating triumph. —Justin

Not a Novel: A Memoir in Pieces

Jenny Erpenbeck

$16.95 $15.59

(New Directions) These essays are as varied as an opera is to an obituary, but they culminate into the most felt portrait of a writer's struggles and successes. —Nathan

We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility

Marc Lamont Hill

$12.95 $11.91

(Haymarket) Clear and incisive essays and interviews on America in 2020, and how we can better imagine pragmatic and possible versions of freedom, by journalist-professor-bookseller Marc Lamont Hill. —Angela

On Lighthouses

Jazmina Barrera

$19.95 $18.35

(Two Lines) Part memoir and part literary criticism, this quirky and charming book is a lovely investigation of solitude and isolation, of literal beacons of hope weathering literal storms. —Kevin

The Louvre: The Many Lives of the World's Most Famous Museum

James Gardner

$30.00 $27.60

(Grove) An elegant and insightful story of French art, history, and politics as witnessed by the walls of a legendary institution from its roots as a settlement in 5000 BCE through the modern day. —Sarah

Obit

Victoria Chang

$17.00 $15.64

(Copper Canyon) Obit touches loss in its components, a piece-at-a-time process that feels close to how grief is experienced off the page. Chang’s obituaries for facets of life she lost along with her mother are brave, relentlessly questioning, without agenda—companions to us all. —Angela

DMZ Colony

Don Mee Choi

$20.00 $18.40

(Wave) Using multiple voices and translation as a poetic device, Don Mee Choi creates space for rarely told stories, challenging us to reconsider our conceptualization of dominant histories, particularly histories of war and colonialism. —Chloe

The Life Assignment

Ricardo Alberto Maldonado

$16.95 $15.59

(Four Way) My favorite sad gay poetry collection of the year, this bilingual book grieves what’s been lost in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria, to colonialism, to capitalism, and in translation, with so much wit and irony. —Kevin

Homie: Poems

Danez Smith

$16.00 $14.72

(Graywolf) Danez Smith celebrates and questions, brings humor and hurt to the myriad forms friends take—showing these acts can all be one and the same. Homie is as ardent, sharp, and soft as the neon cover art—and as friendship! —Angela

The Devil and the Dark Water

Stuart Turton

$26.99 $24.83

(Sourcebooks) Like his first book, it's a very eerie mystery, but that's about where the similarities end. The setting is a boat in the 1600s where one of the world's greatest detectives is being transported to be put on trial. However, soon after departing, accidents and tragedies ensue that all point to a much stronger power luring over the ship. Given that the best detective is stuck in a cell, it's up to everyone else to figure out what's going on. —Mario

Breasts and Eggs

Mieko Kawakami

$27.00 $24.84

(Europa) A deeply emotional and funny examination of modern Japanese womanhood following three women figuring out who they are. Strange, moving, exciting. —Jacob

The Spencer Haywood Rule: Battles, Basketball, and the Making of an American Iconoclast

Marc J Spears and Gary Washburn

$28.00 $25.76

(Triumph) Indentured servitude, Olympic Gold, Supreme Court victory: Haywood is one of our best living athletes and a shining athletes' rights advocate. This beautiful memoir details his life and his fight, still, for recognition of early NBA players and reforms they forged. —Angela

Stranger Faces

Namwali Serpell

$15.95 $14.67

(Transit) A probing, provocative exploration of the human face and what we see when we look upon one, both actually and by projection, the essays in this book comprise a brilliant theory of meaning making. —Cosme

All Lara's Wars

Wojciech Jagielski

$23.95 $22.03

(Seven Stories) With exhaustive scrutiny and a deep sense of compassion, Jagielski’s latest chronicles the harrowing ordeal of a mother whose sons are driven toward violent conflict in the name of a radical cause. —Justin

The Bitch

Pilar Quintana

$14.99 $13.79

(World Editions) A stunning sucker punch of a novel, a dead-on depiction of surrogate motherhood gone sour. Pilar Quintana reveals a Colombia rife with division, rich in superstition, and yearning for connection. —Justin