Reviewed on Hyperallergic in April 2020

By Hyperallergic

By Hyperallergic

In the Dream House: A Memoir

Carmen Maria Machado

$26.00 $23.40

Toni Morrison famously said, “If you find a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This is that book for Carmen Maria Machado. Focusing on relationships between women, the author also considers how heterosexual relationships shape and limit our understanding of what constitutes partner abuse. —Kate Silzer

Calder: The Conquest of Space: The Later Years: 1940-1976

Jed Perl

$60.00 $54.00

In the second and final volume of a definitive biography, the art critic Jed Perl recalls how the innovative artist revolutionized sculpture. Some of Perl’s most engaging passages are those in which he finds meaning in his subject’s working methods or analyzes certain aesthetic issues that emerged from Calder’s oeuvre. —Edward M. Gómez

Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Octavia E. Butler and John Jennings

$24.99 $22.49

This adaptation occasionally produces an overwhelming effect, as it takes a while to strike a balance between Duffy’s dense text and Jennings’s artwork. Yet its heavy tone, which bounces between the protagonist's attempts to process and her moments of clarity, retains Octavia Butler’s cadence. —Ayoola Solarin

Us Two Together

Ephameron

$29.95

Ephameron gracefully depicts the onset of a neurodegenerative disease, which is not tangible, by fully portraying the tactile fragility of paper as it gets adorned, and weighed down by the artist’s hand. But while at times the graphic novel is a heart-wrenching meditation on illness, it resonates in multiple senses. It presents a tragedy in slow motion, replete with lyricism and tenderness. —Angelica Frey

Robert Hutchison Architecture: Memory Houses

Taiji Miyasaka

$32.00 $28.80

“Memory Houses,” in its myriad forms, is an excellent and subtle paean to the power of design, which beyond being useful in the creation of physical spaces to house and shape our daily life, offers tools for the conceptual construction of spaces to hold grief, fix memory, or build the possibilities of new mental architecture. —Sarah Rose Sharp

Familiar Face

Michael Deforge

$21.95 $19.76

In the futuristic setting of this graphic novel, the alienation induced by rapid technological advancement is accelerated to a fantastical degree. Far from a “Sometimes I think smartphones … are making us dumber!” treatise, it instead takes seriously the new challenges that come with a new world. —Dan Schindel

The Paper Camera

Youmna Chlala

$18.00

Beirut-born artist and poet Youmna Chlala's first full-length work of poetry is an affair of places — Beirut, Cyprus, Damascus, Paris, New York, unidentified villages, endless ports and airports: places named and evoked, but never, much as the poet’s roving sensibility longs to, inhabited as home. As its title suggests, Chlala composes the poem less as a traditional linguistic edifice than as a record of moments, flashes outside of language itself — as a “paper camera.” —Mark Scroggins

The Shore

Chris Nealon

$16.00 $14.72

Chris Nealon’s fourth volume of poems registers the violence and resentment that lurk beneath the surface of contemporary bourgeois American existence. It is is a marvelously, heartbreakingly lyrical book, recasting a Stevensian or Whitmanian personal voice to confront or puzzle through the emotional challenges of our own tentative, pre- or post-apocalyptic moment. —Mark Scroggins

Peter Kayafas: The Way West

$50.00 $45.00

Peter Kayafas captures the contemporary soul of a region long obscured by its own enduring myths. Having heeded his own artistic injunction to go west, the photographer has come back with what surely constitutes one of the most exhaustive, vivid photographic studies of a region to be produced anywhere in recent decades. —Edward M. Gómez

Photographing Tutankhamun: Archaeology, Ancient Egypt, and the Archive

Christina Riggs

$28.95

Christina Riggs’s book illuminates the reasons behind our fascination with one of Ancient Egypt’s most famous tombs. It is is an academic text written primarily for an academic audience, so in places its style and parade of archival details can be overwhelming to a non-specialist reader. However, the analysis is thorough and rewarding. —Michael Press

Shahidul Alam: The Tide Will Turn

Vijay Prashad

$30.00 $27.00

The book centers on the 100 days Shahidul Alam spent in prison for protesting Bangladesh’s religious, nationalist government, but also wisely focuses on the conditions that made the esteemed photographer's arrest inevitable. As much as it is a collection of photographs tracing the protest movement, it's also a well-researched, firsthand history of contemporary Bangladeshi history. —Jonah Kay

I Seem to Live: The New York Diaries 1950-1969, Volume 1

$45.00 $40.50

This first volume of the filmmaker’s journals charts his progress from immigrant life in Williamsburg to the center of the American avant-garde. Nearly every page of this doorstopper contains passages remarkable for their vivacious conviction, their poetic uncertainty, and their artist’s exemplary suffering. —Nolan Kelly

Radical Virtuosity: Ana Mendieta and the Black Atlantic

Genevieve Hyacinthe

$39.95 $35.96

In her groundbreaking recent book, scholar and Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at California College of the Arts Genevieve Hyacinthe, deploys the lens of feminism to claim the primacy of Mendieta’s Cuban heritage. Framing the roots of Cuban culture in the traditions of the Black Atlantic, Hyacinthe’s scholarship also addresses a historical blind spot in cultural criticism, which has too often viewed feminism as the dominion of Western whiteness. —Ela Bittencourt