The inaugural publication from Fern Books, AN IDEAL PRESENCE is a book about death, dying, care, and the cold logistics of it all. A work of fiction by an OuLiPian with the fatal energy of Alice Oswald's Memorial, I was as amazed by this polyphonic novel as I was humbled by its reverence for the profession of caregiving in our often unremarkable final hours. An instant favorite.
I read an Electric Literature interview with the author and immediately had to pick up this book of short stories. Fair warning: do not read the back cover if you dislike spoilers. I think its the best to approach these tales of loneliness and connection without knowing too much beforehand. Choi writes so softly that you may miss her quiet inclusion of vital (and often grave) context. I found myself returning to concise sentences that retexturize entire stories wondering how I almost read over them. I didn't know this was the book I needed to read until I read it.
This is one of the best books I've read in a while. Cordova's writing is straight epic and took me on a journey that I wont forget. If you need some magic in your life right now, pick this up now!
Dorothy is a fortysomething food critic that gives a whole new meaning to the word maneater. The descriptions of food are indulgent and decadent. Her tastes are highbrow but the fictional memoir style confessional brings you back down, in on the not-so-secret secret. Read it for the power and the quiet insanity, the tricks she pulls off and the ones she doesn't.
Imagine if Alexis from Schitt's Creek got banished from LA by her rich step-father to a small Washington seaside town where she butts heads with a sexy, good-hearted fisherman and sparks fly. While she's also re-connecting with her roots and finding out who she really is away from all the glitz and glam of Hollywood and social media. With some steamy scenes peppered in that will have you saying aye aye captain ;)
This book made me so happy. Not just because it has an adorable You've Got Mail set up (with 2 competing Halal restaurants and via a podcast instead of email) but also for the depth and many layers this story has about family, community, and the power of telling your own story. And yes, this book IS calling your name.
The Divorce rivals The Literary Conference and An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter as my favorite Aira to date. Nutty, full of preposterous coincidence, always veering in impossible directions. We call César Aira a writer of fiction (is he a magical realist? surrealist?) because there's no other name for what he does.
I couldn't put this book down. The beautiful prose exhales its story of re-coming of age, lifecycles of desire and grief, and reckonings with power and lust directly into the reader's consciousness. Powerful and honest fiction that quietly but consistently wowed me.
This is a read-in-one-day kind of book or stretch it out into two if you don't want it to end. Written in fragments but still stays whole, Offill outlines the very real thoughts and feelings of a wife and mother with a careful wit and quiet intelligence. One of my favorite books I will come back to again and again; you should probably just read it.
In the absorbing world of online dating, when ghosting is the all too easy and preferred exit strategy, Ghosts will sting but it'll also soothe. Alderton brings us her relatable, thirtysomething woes as Nina deals with her food writing career, her married-with-kids friends, her aging parents, and, of course, her love life. Everyone's disappearing but that's not stopping her from showing up. Set in the London city suburbs, you'll tuck right in and won't want to leave.