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One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son's body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family's struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek's closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens--and Osita struggles to understand Vivek's escalating crisis--the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Electrifying." — O: The Oprah Magazine Named a Best Book of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, USA TODAY, Vanity Fair, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Shondaland, Teen Vogue, Vulture, Lit Hub, Bustle, Electric Literature, and BookPage What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew? One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.
'Astonishing.' Stylist 'Electrifying.' O: The Oprah Magazine 'Brilliant and heartbreaking.' Marie Claire 'Propulsive and resonant.' Esquire They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died. One afternoon, a mother opens her front door to find the length of her son's body stretched out on the veranda, swaddled in akwete material, his head on her welcome mat. The Death of Vivek Oji transports us to the day of Vivek's birth, the day his grandmother Ahunna died. It is the story of an over protective mother and a distant father, and the heart-wrenching tale of one family's struggle to understand their child, just as Vivek learns to recognize himself. Teeming with unforgettable characters whose lives have been shaped by Vivek's gentle and enigmatic spirit, it shares with us a Nigerian childhood that challenges expectations. This novel, and its celebration of the innocence and optimism of youth will touch all those who embrace it.
Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look? There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with the lesson that the city is safe for everyone. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature who some might call monstrous but, in reality, is anything but, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has emerged from one of her mother's paintings to hunt a true monster--and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. No one has encountered monsters in years, though, and Jam's quest to protect her best friend and uncover the truth is met with doubt and disbelief. This award-winning novel from a rising-star author asks: What really makes a monster, and how do you save the world from something if no one will admit it exists?
A National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Honoree Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for a Debut Novel Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize A New York Times Notable Book One of the most highly praised novels of the year, the debut from an astonishing young writer, Freshwater tells the story of Ada, an unusual child who is a source of deep concern to her southern Nigerian family. Young Ada is troubled, prone to violent fits. Born “with one foot on the other side,” she begins to develop separate selves within her as she grows into adulthood. And when she travels to America for college, a traumatic event on campus crystallizes the selves into something powerful and potentially dangerous, making Ada fade into the background of her own mind as these alters—now protective, now hedonistic—move into control. Written with stylistic brilliance and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace.
Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and Library Journal. What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew? One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son's body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family's struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek's closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens--and Osita struggles to understand Vivek's escalating crisis--the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations--a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.
*A Good Morning America Buzz Pick * Soon to be a series produced by Mindy Kaling * New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * A Vox Bookclub Pick * Longlisted for the 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize* “Dizzyingly original, fiercely funny, deeply wise.” —Celeste Ng, #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere “Sanjena Sathian’s Gold Diggers is a work of 24-karat genius.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post Named a Best Book of April by Bustle • PopSugar • Entertainment Weekly • Good Morning America • CNN How far would you go for a piece of the American dream? A magical realist coming-of-age story, Gold Diggers skewers the model minority myth to tell a hilarious and moving story about immigrant identity, community, and the underside of ambition. A floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is funny and smart but struggles to bear the weight of expectations of his family and their Asian American enclave. He tries to want their version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal. When he discovers that Anita is the beneficiary of an ancient, alchemical potion made from stolen gold—a “lemonade” that harnesses the ambition of the gold’s original owner—Neil sees his chance to get ahead. But events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart. Years later in the Bay Area, Neil still bristles against his community's expectations—and finds he might need one more hit of that lemonade, no matter the cost. Sanjena Sathian’s astonishing debut offers a fine-grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation into what's required to make it in America.
“David Adjmi has written one of the great American memoirs, a heartbreaking, hilarious story of what it means to make things up, including yourself. A wild tale of lack and lies, galling humiliations and majestic reinventions, this touching, coruscating joy of a book is an answer to that perennial question: how should a person be?” — Olivia Laing, author of Crudo and The Lonely City In a world where everyone is inventing a self, curating a feed and performing a fantasy of life, what does it mean to be a person? In his grandly entertaining debut memoir, playwright David Adjmi explores how human beings create themselves, and how artists make their lives into art. Brooklyn, 1970s. Born into the ruins of a Syrian Jewish family that once had it all, David is painfully displaced. Trapped in an insular religious community that excludes him and a family coming apart at the seams, he is plunged into suicidal depression. Through adolescence, David tries to suppress his homosexual feelings and fit in, but when pushed to the breaking point, he makes the bold decision to cut off his family, erase his past, and leave everything he knows behind. There's only one problem: who should he be? Bouncing between identities he steals from the pages of fashion magazines, tomes of philosophy, sitcoms and foreign films, and practically everyone he meets—from Rastafarians to French preppies—David begins to piece together an entirely new adult self. But is this the foundation for a life, or just a kind of quicksand? Moving from the glamour and dysfunction of 1970s Brooklyn, to the sybaritic materialism of Reagan’s 1980s to post-9/11 New York, Lot Six offers a quintessentially American tale of an outsider striving to reshape himself in the funhouse mirror of American culture. Adjmi’s memoir is a genre bending Künstlerroman in the spirit of Charles Dickens and Alison Bechdel, a portrait of the artist in the throes of a life and death crisis of identity. Raw and lyrical, and written in gleaming prose that veers effortlessly between hilarity and heartbreak, Lot Six charts Adjmi’s search for belonging, identity, and what it takes to be an artist in America.
Book Doubting Thomas: A Novel Description/Summary:
Thomas McGurrin is a fourth-grade teacher and openly gay man at a private primary school serving Portland, Oregon's wealthy progressive elite when he is falsely accused of inappropriately touching a male student. The accusation comes just as Thomas is thrust back into the center of his unusual family by his younger brother's battle with cancer. Although cleared of the accusation, Thomas is forced to resign from a job he loves during a potentially life-changing family drama. Davison's novel explores the discrepancy between the progressive ideals and persistent negative stereotypes among the privileged regarding social status, race, and sexual orientation and the impact of that discrepancy on friendships and family relations.
A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America.
Book All the Ugly and Wonderful Things Description/Summary:
As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold. By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy's family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. Kellen may not be innocent, but he is the fixed point in Wavy and Donal's chaotic universe. Instead of playing it safe, Wavy has to learn to fight for Kellen, for her brother, and for herself. About the Author Bryn Greenwood is a fourth-generation Kansan, one of seven sisters, and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. She earned a MA in Creative Writing from Kansas State University. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Reckless Oath We Made, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Last Will, and Lie Lay Lain. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Industry Reviews New York Times bestseller USA Today bestseller
Book Wandering in Strange Lands Description/Summary:
One of TIME's 100 Must Read Books of 2020 and one of Good Housekeeping's Best Books of the Year “One of the smartest young writers of her generation.”—Book Riot Featuring a new afterword from the author, Morgan Jerkins' powerful story of her journey to understand her northern and southern roots, the Great Migration, and the displacement of black people across America. Between 1916 and 1970, six million black Americans left their rural homes in the South for jobs in cities in the North, West, and Midwest in a movement known as The Great Migration. But while this event transformed the complexion of America and provided black people with new economic opportunities, it also disconnected them from their roots, their land, and their sense of identity, argues Morgan Jerkins. In this fascinating and deeply personal exploration, she recreates her ancestors’ journeys across America, following the migratory routes they took from Georgia and South Carolina to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California. Following in their footsteps, Jerkins seeks to understand not only her own past, but the lineage of an entire group of people who have been displaced, disenfranchised, and disrespected throughout our history. Through interviews, photos, and hundreds of pages of transcription, Jerkins braids the loose threads of her family’s oral histories, which she was able to trace back 300 years, with the insights and recollections of black people she met along the way—the tissue of black myths, customs, and blood that connect the bones of American history. Incisive and illuminating, Wandering in Strange Lands is a timely and enthralling look at America’s past and present, one family’s legacy, and a young black woman’s life, filtered through her sharp and curious eyes.
“Biting and beautiful.” — Jonny Sun, author of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devaki’s song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But as Rukmini’s star rises and Neela’s stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm. Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya’s second novel is a stirring examination of making art in the modern era, a love letter to brown women, an authentic glimpse into the music industry, and a nuanced exploration of the promise and peril of being seen.
A dazzling full-length collection of verse from one of the leading poets of our time. Over the past two decades, jessica Care moore has become a cultural force as a poet, performer, publisher, activist, and critic. Reflecting her transcendent electric voice, this searing poetry collection is filled with moving, original stanzas that speak to both Black women’s creative and intellectual power, and express the pain, sadness, and anger of those who suffer constant scrutiny because of their gender and race. Fierce and passionate, Jessica Care moore argues that Black women spend their lives building a physical and emotional shelter to protect themselves from misogyny, criminalization, hatred, stereotypes, sexual assault, objectification, patriarchy, and death threats. We Want Our Bodies Back is an exploration—and defiant stance against—these many attacks.
ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019 The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award–nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’s rap group clipping Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu. Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago. Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are. Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting.
Book A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom Description/Summary:
From the bestselling author of A Ladder to the Sky—“a darkly funny novel that races like a beating heart” (People)—comes a new novel that plays out across all of human history: a story as precise as it is unlimited. This story starts with a family. For now, it is a father and a mother with two sons, one with his father’s violence in his blood, one with his mother’s artistry. One leaves. One stays. They will be joined by others whose deeds will determine their fate. It is a beginning. Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years. They will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium and journeying across fifty countries to a life among the stars in the third, the world will change around them, but their destinies remain the same. It must play out as foretold. From the award-winning author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies comes A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom, an epic tale of humanity. The story of all of us, stretching across two millennia. Imaginative, unique, heartbreaking, this is John Boyne at his most creative and compelling.
Ever since Keith Ridgway published his landmark cult novel Hawthorn & Child, his ardent fans have yearned for more Finally, Ridgway gives us A Shock, his thrilling and unsparing, slippery and shockingly good new novel. Formed as a rondel of interlocking stories with a clutch of more or less loosely connected repeating characters, it’s at once deracinated yet potent with place, druggy yet frighteningly shot through with reality. His people appear, disappear, and reappear. They’re on the fringes of London, clinging to sanity or solvency or a story by their fingernails, consumed by emotions and anxieties in fuzzily understood situations. A deft, high-wire act, full of imprecise yet sharp dialog as well as witchy sleights of hand reminiscent of Muriel Spark, A Shock delivers a knockout punch of an ending. Perhaps Ridgway’s most breathtaking quality is his scintillating stealthiness: you can never quite put your finger on how he casts his spell—he delivers the shock of a master jewel thief (already far-off and scot-free) stealing your watch: when at some point you look down at your wrist, all you see is that in more than one way you don’t know what time it is…
“A painfully timely story . . . an artful memoir . . . a powerful, vital book about damage and the ghostly afterlives of abuse.” —Los Angeles Review of Books True crime, memoir, and ghost story, Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba’s coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously. We act mean to defend ourselves from boredom and from those who would chop off our breasts. We act mean to defend our clubs and institutions. We act mean because we like to laugh. Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty. Being rude to men who deserve it is a holy mission. Sisterhood is powerful, but being a bitch is more exhilarating . . . “Mean calls for a fat, fluorescent trigger warning start to finish—and I say this admiringly. Gurba likes the feel of radioactive substances on her bare hands.” —The New York Times “Gurba uses the tragedies, both small and large, she sees around her to illuminate the realities of systemic racism and misogyny, and the ways in which we can try to escape what society would like to tell us is our fate.” —Nylon “With its icy wit, edgy wedding of lyricism and prose, and unflinching look at personal and public demons, Gurba’s introspective memoir is brave and significant.” —Kirkus Reviews “Mean will make you LOL and break your heart.” —The Millions
Both theoretical and pragmatic, this refreshingly savvy book charts a course for the Black Lives Matter generation. In the United States, both struggles against oppression and the gains made by various movements for equality have often been led by Black people. Still, though progress has regularly been fueled by radical Black efforts, liberal politics are based on ideas and practices that impede the continued progress of Black America. Building on their original essay “The Anarchism of Blackness,” Samudzi and Anderson show the centrality of anti-Blackness to the foundational violence of the United States and to the racial structures upon which it is based as a nation. Racism is not, they say, simply a product of capitalism. Rather, we must understand how anti-Blackness shaped the contours and logics of European colonialism and its many legacies, to the extent that “Blackness” and “citizenship” are exclusive categories. As Black As Resistance makes the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This book argues against compromise and negotiation with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation. “As Black as Resistance is an urgently needed book . . . a call to action through an embrace of the anarchy of blackness as a recognition and a refusal of the deathly logics of liberalism and consumption. In the face of the ever expanding carceral state, levels of inequality, environmental degradation, and resurgent fascism, this book offers a map to imagining the liberated futures that we can and must and do make.” —Christina Sharpe, author of In the Wake: On Blackness and Being
"Garber’s gorgeous novel combines the wonder of a Hogwarts-style magic school with the Twilight-esque dynamics of a hidden magical species that has strict rules about interacting with the human world." - BOOKLIST (Starred Review) Some people ARE illegal. Lobizonas do NOT exist. Both of these statements are false. Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida. Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered. Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past—a mysterious "Z" emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong. As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence. “With vivid characters that take on a life of their own, beautiful details that peel back the curtain on Romina's Argentinian heritage, and cutting prose Romina Garber crafts a timely tale of identity and adventure.”–Tomi Adeyemi New York Times bestselling author of Children of Blood and Bone