Make room on your shelves: this final row of new releases in April demands your attention. Amy Kobuchar takes on big tech in her new book, the spiritual leader Sadhguru helps you find peace and tranquility, while Carrie Fountain provides the perfect coda to National Poetry Month. And there’s so much more, too. Scroll down for other titles we’re excited about this week!
The Life by Carrie Fountain
An acclaimed poet deepens her exploration of the domestic in a new collection of playful and wise poems
The poems in Carrie Fountain’s third collection, The Life, exist somewhere, as Rilke says, between “our daily life” and “the great work”—an interstitial space where sidelong glances live alongside shouts to heaven. In elegant, colloquial language, Fountain observes her children dressing themselves in fledgling layers of personhood, creating their own private worlds and personalities, and makes room for genuine marvels in the midst of routine. Attuned to the delicate, fleeting moments that together comprise a life, these poems offer a guide by which to navigate the signs and symbols, and to pilot if not the perfect life, the only life, the life we are given.
Robot Artists & Black Swans: The Italian Fantascienza Stories by Bruce Sterling
The Godfather of Cyberpunk has emerged in this new collection of Italian-themed fantasy and science-fiction stories. Bruce Sterling now introduces us to his alter ego: Bruno Argento, the preeminent author of fantascienza. Sterling, writing as Argento, skillfully combines cutting-edge technology with art, mythology, and history.
“It’s as if Sterling is the only writer paying attention.”–Locus
In the Esoteric City, a Turinese businessman’s act of necromancy is catching up with him. The Black Swan, a rogue hacker, programs his way into alternate versions of Italy. A Parthenopean assassin awaits his destiny in the arms of a two-headed noblewoman. Infuriating to both artists and scientists, a robot wheelchair makes uncategorizable creations.
Bruno Argento is the acknowledged master of Italian science fiction. Yet that same popular fantascienza author also is known in America–as Bruce Sterling. In Robot Artists and Black Swans, we present the first collection of their uniquely visionary Italian-themed fiction, including tales never before published in English.
White Magic by Elissa Washuta
Bracingly honest and powerfully affecting, White Magic establishes Elissa Washuta as one of our best living essayists.
Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, “starter witch kits” of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning.
In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life—Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham—to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.
Little and Often: A Memoir by Trent Preszler
“Little and Often is a beautiful memoir of grief, love, the shattered bond between a father and son, and the resurrection of a broken heart. Trent Preszler tells his story with the same level of art and craftsmanship that he brings to his boat making, and he reminds us of creativity’s power to transform and heal our lives. This is a powerful and deeply moving book. I won’t soon forget it.” —Elizabeth Gilbert
Trent Preszler thought he was living the life he always wanted, with a job at a winery and a seaside Long Island home, when he was called back to the life he left behind. After years of estrangement, his cancer-stricken father had invited him to South Dakota for Thanksgiving. It would be the last time he saw his father alive.
Preszler’s only inheritance was a beat-up wooden toolbox that had belonged to his father, who was a cattle rancher, rodeo champion, and Vietnam War Bronze Star Medal recipient. This family heirloom befuddled Preszler. He did not work with his hands—but maybe that was the point. In his grief, he wondered if there was still a way to understand his father, and with that came an epiphany: he would make something with his inheritance. Having no experience or training in woodcraft, driven only by blind will, he decided to build a wooden canoe, and he would aim to paddle it on the first anniversary of his father’s death.
While Preszler taught himself how to use his father’s tools, he confronted unexpected revelations about his father’s secret history and his own struggle for self-respect. The grueling challenges of boatbuilding tested his limits, but the canoe became his sole consolation. Gradually, Preszler learned what working with his hands offered: a different perspective on life, and the means to change it.
Little and Often is an unflinching account of bereavement and a stirring reflection on the complexities of inheritance. Between his past and his present, and between America’s heartland and its coasts, Preszler shows how one can achieve reconciliation through the healing power of creativity.
Karma: A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny by Sadhguru
A new perspective on the overused and misunderstood concept of “karma” that offers the key to happiness and enlightenment, from the New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned spiritual master Sadhguru.
What is karma? Most people understand karma as a balance sheet of good and bad deeds, virtues and sins—the mechanism that decrees that we cannot evade the consequences of our own actions. In reality, karma has nothing to do with reward and punishment. Karma simply means action: your action, your responsibility. It isn’t some external system of crime and punishment, but an internal cycle generated by you. Accumulation of karma is determined only by your intention and the way you respond to what is happening to you. Over time, it’s possible to become ensnared by your own unconscious patterns of behavior.
In Karma, Sadhguru seeks to put you back in the driver’s seat, turning you from a terror-struck passenger to a confident driver navigating the course of your own destiny. By living consciously and fully inhabiting each moment, you can free yourself from the cycle. Karma is an exploration and a manual, restoring our understanding of karma to its original potential for freedom and empowerment instead of a source of entanglement. Through Sadhguru’s teachings, you will learn how to live intelligently and joyfully in a challenging world.
Whereabouts: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies—her first in nearly a decade—about a woman questioning her place in the world, wavering between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties.
Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. In the arc of one year, an unnamed narrator in an unnamed city, in the middle of her life’s journey, realizes that she’s lost her way. The city she calls home acts as a companion and interlocutor: traversing the streets around her house, and in parks, piazzas, museums, stores, and coffee bars, she feels less alone.
We follow her to the pool she frequents, and to the train station that leads to her mother, who is mired in her own solitude after her husband’s untimely death. Among those who appear on this woman’s path are colleagues with whom she feels ill at ease, casual acquaintances, and “him,” a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. Until one day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun’s vital heat, her perspective will abruptly change.
This is the first novel Lahiri has written in Italian and translated into English. The reader will find the qualities that make Lahiri’s work so beloved: deep intelligence and feeling, richly textured physical and emotional landscapes, and a poetics of dislocation. But Whereabouts, brimming with the impulse to cross barriers, also signals a bold shift of style and sensibility. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement.
Antitrust enforcement is one of the most pressing issues facing America today—and Amy Klobuchar, the widely respected senior senator from Minnesota, is leading the charge. This fascinating history of the antitrust movement shows us what led to the present moment and offers achievable solutions to prevent monopolies, promote business competition, and encourage innovation.
In a world where Google reportedly controls 90 percent of the search engine market and Big Pharma’s drug price hikes impact healthcare accessibility, monopolies can hurt consumers and cause marketplace stagnation. Klobuchar—the much-admired former candidate for president of the United States—argues for swift, sweeping reform in economic, legislative, social welfare, and human rights policies, and describes plans, ideas, and legislative proposals designed to strengthen antitrust laws and antitrust enforcement.
Klobuchar writes of the historic and current fights against monopolies in America, from Standard Oil and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to the Progressive Era’s trust-busters; from the breakup of Ma Bell (formerly the world’s biggest company and largest private telephone system) to the pricing monopoly of Big Pharma and the future of the giant tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
She begins with the Gilded Age (1870s-1900), when builders of fortunes and rapacious robber barons such as J. P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt were reaping vast fortunes as industrialization swept across the American landscape, with the rich getting vastly richer and the poor, poorer. She discusses President Theodore Roosevelt, who, during the Progressive Era (1890s-1920), “busted” the trusts, breaking up monopolies; the Clayton Act of 1914; the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914; and the Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950, which it strengthened the Clayton Act. She explores today’s Big Pharma and its price-gouging; and tech, television, content, and agriculture communities and how a marketplace with few players, or one in which one company dominates distribution, can hurt consumer prices and stifle innovation.
As the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, Klobuchar provides a fascinating exploration of antitrust in America and offers a way forward to protect all Americans from the dangers of curtailed competition, and from vast information gathering, through monopolies.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good white person of liberal leanings must be in want of a Black friend.
In the biting, hilarious vein of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life comes Ben Philippe’s candid memoir-in-essays, chronicling a lifetime of being the Black friend (see also: foreign kid, boyfriend, coworker, student, teacher, roommate, enemy) in predominantly white spaces.
In an era in which “I have many black friends” is often a medal of Wokeness, Ben hilariously chronicles the experience of being on the receiving end of those fist bumps. He takes us through his immigrant childhood, from wanting nothing more than friends to sit with at lunch, to his awkward teenage years, to college in the age of Obama, and adulthood in the Trump administration—two sides of the same American coin.
Ben takes his role as your new black friend seriously, providing original and borrowed wisdom on stereotypes, slurs, the whole “swimming thing,” how much Beyoncé is too much Beyoncé, Black Girl Magic, the rise of the Karens, affirmative action, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other conversations you might want to have with your new BBFF.
Oscillating between the impulse to be “one of the good ones” and the occasional need to excuse himself to the restrooms, stuff his mouth with toilet paper, and scream, Ben navigates his own Blackness as an “Oreo” with too many opinions for his father’s liking, an encyclopedic knowledge of CW teen dramas, and a mouth he can’t always control.
From cheating his way out of swim tests to discovering stray family members in unlikely places, he finds the punchline in the serious while acknowledging the blunt truths of existing as a Black man in today’s world.
Extremely timely, Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend is a conversational take on topics both light and heavy, universal and deeply personal, which reveals incisive truths about the need for connection in all of us.
New in Paperback
The End of October: A Novel by Lawrence Wright
Stray: A Memoir by Stephanie Danler
The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by Andre Leon Talley
These titles and more are available for purchase in-store or online from BookPeople today.