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The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977368
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2016

If you're still reeling from the impact of Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark, poet Maggie Nelson's even more deeply personal crime memoir, The Red Parts, is right up your alley. A devastating family portrait, a meditation on misogynistic violence, a probing exploration of the true crime genre, and a ruthless deconstruction of same. Not to be missed.

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Why Art? Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683960829
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Published: Fantagraphics Books - March 13th, 2018

What is the point of art? Why do we need it? What does it do? These questions are all answered (sort of) in this surreal graphic novel.

Eleanor Davis' short comic The Emotion Room is my favorite short comic of all time, and this book is equally strange, mysterious, sad, and funny.

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Patient. Cover Image
ISBN: 9781625579232
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Published: Black Lawrence Press - November 30th, 2014

In this devastating collection, Bettina Judd confronts the sanitizing effect of history, and the depersonalized language of industrial medicine. Through a dreamlike, interlocking narrative, her poems explore how these influences combine, both retroactively and currently, to exploit, destabilize, and destroy.

Like wounds on a body, the past remains present. Healing is a question, not an inevitability.

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Freshwater Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802127358
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Published: Grove Press - February 13th, 2018

Akwaeke Emezi's harrowing, challenging debut novel depicts its central character's struggle with mental illness through the lens of Nigerian folklore. The Ogbanje are a traditionally recognized cadre of "evil" spirits who invade Nigerian families in order to destroy them. In Freshwater, a collection of these spirits attach themselves to Ada, a young Nigerian immigrant, seducing her into a cycle of divine self-destruction.

After a traumatic incident in early childhood involving a poisonous snake, Ada finds she can communicate (not always voluntarily) with a host of spirits who have infiltrated her mind and self. Traveling to the U.S. to attend college, Ada is assaulted by a boyfriend. In response, a single entity named Asughara differentiates itself from the mass of others, and begins a kind of domineering, possessive romance with Ada. Like an abusive lover, Asughara coaxes and berates Ada into radical coping behaviors, demands sacrifices, and imposes strictures on Ada's human relationships. At the same time, Ada and Asughara become intimate friends, affirmations of one another -- two godlike creatures alone in the world of humans, caged and frustrated by their shared inability to exist in the full flower of their being.

It's only March, but I can already tell this is one of the best novels I'll read in 2018.I can't wait to see what this author does next.

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Catalina: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374119751
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Published: MCD x FSG Originals - November 7th, 2017

Catalina made me homesick for Southern California in a bittersweet, kind of absurd way. Not because of its opulent locations or its obsession with pharmaceuticals and day-drinking. Rather, strangely, the book made me feel nostalgic for SoCal's creeping foundational rot, and the weird culture of glamorous possibility that allows everyone to willfully ignore it.

Los Angeles and its satellites are the perfect backdrop for the novel's dissection of hetero-feminine sexuality, so often presented as a fetish object or sleek vehicle of personal liberation, but here turned violently and subtly inward, devouring its unwilling hosts.

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Such Small Hands Cover Image
By Andres Barba, Lisa Dillman (Translator), Edmund White (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781945492006
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Published: Transit Books - April 11th, 2017

A dreamlike exploration of abuse that reads like a fairy tale and feels like a vintage European horror film. Difficult to read in places, but there's some great material here about the struggle to verbalize trauma, and the process via which failure to do so can lead to acts of violence.

cw: abuse, bullying, sexual assault

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery (Bunnicula and Friends) Cover Image
By Deborah Howe, James Howe, Alan Daniel (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416928171
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Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - August 8th, 2006

When the Monroe family discovers an abandoned baby rabbit in a movie theater during a screening of "Dracula," their paranoiac, literature-obsessed cat, Chester, is convinced that the seemingly harmless new addition is actually a malefic bloodsucker. Told from the perspective of Harold, the exasperated family dog, Bunnicula is the inaugural title in a series of hilarious, genuinely creepy horror-comedies for young readers that spoofs adult mystery, suspense, and supernatural horror conventions.