Bette Howland$26.00 $23.40
Reading these linked stories feels like living in a neighborhood and watching days go by for all the faces you recognize on the corners. Howland's sociological lucidity is unmatched, and her (re)discovery by A Public Space is long overdue.
Yuko Tsushima$24.00 $21.60
One year in the life of a single mother in a bad apartment with good light. Originally published in serially, in real time, each chapter covers one month, and add up to a year spent learning self-reliance. Nothing much happens, maybe, but life.
Ammiel Alcalay$11.95 $10.99
The boundaries between fiction and else are not crossed by Ammiel Alcalay, they are burned at the stake. There is potentially a tight little naturalist novel hidden in Islanders, but the fragmentary presentation de- then re-constructs the arguable goal of naturalism: to make the reader feel the rotation of the earth from one day to the next, to the next, to the next . . .
Solie's poetics are fierce, uncompromising, and smart as hell. Imagine the enjambments of early John Ashbery with the insight of Judith Butler and the scenery of Alice Munro. Now open the book to page 6 and read "Rental Car."
Claudia Rankine$16.00 $14.72
Rankine is probably the greatest living poet—and while Citizen may be a better place to start for its range and its political application, Don't Let Me Be Lonely is by comparison a much more intimate experience, like the poems were written in a whisper on the top of a bridge. The arms of these poems ache because they are reaching out to you, dear reader. Take them.
Lydia Davis$9.94 $9.14
Davis describes the cows that graze in a field across from her home. Nothing happens to them, and they don't do much, but this is the work of an unparalleled artist: it is physically enrapturing to read about these cows—these lovely, strange creatures, in this lovely, strange booklet.
When asked how she would describe her life's work—as an experimental documentarian, an avant-garde filmmaker—Akerman said: "Daughter." This memoir detailing her mother's sickness is full of pain, but it is a life's work to love who made you, to the end, and to see yourself with and without them.
The way Caren Beilin messes with time is exciting and dizzying, like riding a roller-coaster, and both everyone you have ever loved and everyone you have ever been hurt by (if these are separate people) are on the roller-coaster with you, and they are all telling you jokes, and you cannot see the tracks but you can feel the air rushing.
Mbembe is often described as an inheritor of Frantz Fanon and Michel Foucault: his political deconstruction of the "postcolony" is a decolonializing force to be reckoned with. I remember reading the titular essay of this work on Tumblr in, like, 2011 (?), and find it now similarly as I did then: Mbembe is an ocean of political insight and rage, crashing.
Deb Olin Unferth$16.00 $14.72
Unferth’s formal invention, always a central aspect of her work, is here at its most incisive and most playful, giving us such an incredible multitude of perspectives, both human and not, to reconcile with the mass-scale tragic absurdities of factory farming, of climate change, and of our interconnected human experience. She is my favorite living fiction writer.