So many wonderful releases today! A few of our favorites:
FIRE THIS TIME by Jesmyn Ward:
National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America,” The Fire Next Time,” as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.
In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, “The Progressive “magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 Letter to My Nephew, which was later published in his landmark book, “The Fire Next Time.” Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.
Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young.
PURITY by Jonathan Franzen, now in paperback:
A magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom and The Corrections.
Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. Franzen has imagined a world of vividly original characters–Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers–and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead:
From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.
In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
BRIGHT, PRECIOUS DAYS by Jay McInerney
From the best-selling author of Bright Lights, Big City: a sexy, vibrant, cross-generational New York story—a literary and commercial triumph of the highest order.
Even decades after their arrival, Corrine and Russell Calloway still feel as if they’re living the dream that drew them to New York City in the first place: book parties or art openings one night and high-society events the next; jobs they care about (and in fact love); twin children whose birth was truly miraculous; a loft in TriBeCa and summers in the Hamptons. But all of this comes at a fiendish cost. Russell, an independent publisher, has superb cultural credentials yet minimal cash flow; as he navigates a business that requires, beyond astute literary judgment, constant financial improvisation, he encounters an audacious, potentially game-changing—or ruinous—opportunity. Meanwhile, instead of chasing personal gain in this incredibly wealthy city, Corrine devotes herself to helping feed its hungry poor, and she and her husband soon discover they’re being priced out of the newly fashionable neighborhood they’ve called home for most of their adult lives, with their son and daughter caught in the balance.
Then Corrine’s world is turned upside down when the man with whom she’d had an ill-fated affair in the wake of 9/11 suddenly reappears. As the novel unfolds across a period of stupendous change—including Obama’s historic election and the global economic collapse he inherited—the Calloways will find themselves and their marriage tested more severely than they ever could have imagined.
AMERICAN HEIRESS by Jeffrey Toobin
From “New Yorker” staff writer and bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin, the definitive account of the kidnapping and trial that defined an insane era in American history
On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in college and heiress to the Hearst family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army. The already sensational story took the first of many incredible twists on April 3, when the group released a tape of Patty saying she had joined the SLA and had adopted the nom de guerre Tania.
The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Based on more than a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents, American Heiress thrillingly recounts the craziness of the times (there were an average of 1,500 terrorist bombings a year in the early 1970s). Toobin portrays the lunacy of the half-baked radicals of the SLA and the toxic mix of sex, politics, and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and re-creates her melodramatic trial. American Heiress examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors crusade.
Or did she?