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The Stick Soldiers

by Hugh Martin Cornelius Eady

At age nineteen, Hugh Martin withdrew from college for deployment to Iraq. After training at Fort Bragg, Martin spent 2004 in Iraq as the driver of his platoon sergeant's Humvee. He participated in hundreds of missions including raids, conducting foot patrols, clearing routes for IEDs, disposing of unexploded ordnance, and searching thousands of Iraqi vehicles. These poems recount his time in basic training, his preparation for Iraq, his experience withdrawing from school, and ultimately, the final journey to Iraq and back home to Ohio.Hugh Martin holds an MFA from Arizona State University. He is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

The Winged Seed

by Li-Young Lee

"It has true spiritual importance for contemporary American literature."-Edward HirschUpon its initial publication, acclaimed poet Li-Young Lee's memoir The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (1995), received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. In lyrical prose, Lee's extraordinary story begins in the 1950s when his parents fled China's political turmoil for Indonesia. Along with many other Chinese members of the population, his family was persecuted under President Sukarno. Falsely accused and charged for crimes against the state, his father spent a year and a half in jail as a political prisoner, half of that time in a leper colony. While his entire family was being transported to a prison colony, they escaped and fled to Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and back to Hong Kong where his father rose to prominence as an evangelical preacher. Eventually, the family sought asylum in the United States in 1962. When the author was six, they emigrated to a small town in western Pennsylvania where his father became a Presbyterian minister. This reissued edition contains a new foreword by the author and never-before-seen photos of the family from different stages of their journey.Li-Young Lee is the author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry that have garnered such awards as the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University; the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection; the Writer's Award from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Nine Rabbits

by Angela Rodel Virginia Zaharieva

"Zaharieva packs several genres into one, including but not limited to pastoral idyll, sexual coming-of-age story, and feminist memoir. Ultimately, she presents life in all its messiness and possibility, vivid enough for the reader to almost taste."-Publishers Weekly"Gutsy, fresh and vivid, this story of one woman's brave quest through life will take you on a wild ride."-Kapka Kassabova, author of Street Without a Name and Twelve Minutes of LoveI turned up in the seaside town of Nesebar-an inconvenient four-year-old grandchild, just as my grandmother was raising the last two of her six children, putting the finishing touches on the house, ordering the workmen around and doing some of the construction work herself-thank God for that, because at least it used up some of her monstrous energy. Otherwise who knows what would've become of me.In Bulgaria during the height of communism in the 1960s, six-year-old Manda survives her cruel grandmother and rural poverty by finding sheer delight in the world-plump vegetables, garden gnomes, and darkened attic corners. The young Manda endures severe beatings, seemingly indestructible. But as a middle-aged artist in newly democratic Bulgaria, she desperately tries to feed her damaged soul with intrepid creativity and humor.Virginia Zaharieva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1959. She is a writer, psychotherapist, feminist, and mother. Her novel Nine Rabbits is among the most celebrated Bulgarian books to appear over the past two decades and the first of Zaharieva's work made available in North America.Angela Rodel is an award-winning translator. Born and educated in the United States with degrees in linguistics from Yale and the University of California, Los Angeles, she currently resides in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Clementine Classics: Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

by Clementine The Hedgehog

Sometimes reading the classics is a chore, but not so with the snarky annotations by Clementine the Hedgehog. Having made her debut as a weekly book reviewer of note on Tumblr in 2012, Clem now takes on Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. On each page, she inserts her keen insights, dark sense of humor, and cut-the-crap commentary, crafting a 21st-century literary criticism for distraction addicts everywhere. "This is obviously my favorite review to date, as it was WRITTEN BY A HEDGEHOG, and COMES WITH A HEDGEHOG GIF."-Emma Straub"Tumblr book review series of the year."-Rachel Fershleiser, head of Tumblr literary outreachClementine Classics, a new series from Black Balloon Publishing, gives classic works of literature the contemporary annotations they deserve. Obsessed, possessed, and thoroughly distressed by the originals, today's writers riff, rant, praise, and flay these old books, giving them new life. The series' beautifully designed e-books are both an act of sincere literary criticism and a new, composite form of humor writing.

And Every Day Was Overcast

by Paul Kwiatkowski

"This illustrated novel about growing up poor near the swamps of South Florida has a lurid vibrancy. Its prose is lit from below, like a vaguely scummy in-ground swimming pool, and the author's photographs-of ranch houses, randy adolescents, alligators, drug paraphernalia, fishing tackle, convenience stores-are what you might get if you combined William Eggleston's talents with Terry Richardson's. 'My hometown, Loxahatchee, was built over Seminole Indian burial grounds,' Mr. Kwiatkowski writes. 'In exchange for land we inherited bad conscience. It was in my blood.' His book is full of young people, seen as if from a passing Camaro, having a good time and trying to get out alive."-New York Times, Holiday Gift Guide, Dwight Garner"A completely original and clearheaded voice."-Ira Glass, host of This American Life"We finish And Every Day Was Overcast in a delirious state of disassociation, not unlike the kids whose lives it seeks to evoke. This, of course, is why we turn to books-or one reason, anyway-to see the world as we have not before. The shabby suburbs of And Every Day Was Overcast may not be unknown to us, but Kwiatkowski's ruthless excavation give us a new language by which we hear stories that might otherwise go unheard."-The Los Angeles Times, David UlinPhoto-Eye Best Books of 2013 (Selected by Doug Rickard)"A tale of trailer parks, drugs and teenage construction and destruction, Paul K has brought forth an American diary hugely personal and partially universal. Through skillfully written prose and raw imagery that's authored, found and stolen, we witness the protagonist's young life on display. It's not pretty nor should it be. A scrapbook of intention and carefully put together pieces, we witness elation and pain and the special concoction of America's 'Florida' in all its glory.""Kwiatkowski's novel succeeds in doing much more than simply conveying the isolated experiences of one idle teenager with a penchant for drugs, pornography and reckless sexual encounters. Through a marriage of images and words, the novel illustrates the result of adolescent malaise against Florida's eerie, subtropical backdrop."-Fault Magazine"The characters are vivid and cruelly drawn . . .The novel is driven forward by [their] relationships, each captured in pithy chapters accompanied by a series of photographs."-HOTSHOE magazine"With aesthetic conviction comparable to that of Harmony Korine, this alternative novel is sure to have you nostalgic and reaching for the cheapest brand of beer you ever got your teenage hands on."-Nylon"I can count on my fingers the number of great books that seamlessly mix photographs and literary text in a compelling way. Paul Kwiatkowski's And Every Day is Overcast not only achieves this rare feat, he does so with an artistry that makes the achievement nearly invisible. . . A landmark in visual storytelling."-Alec SothOut of South Florida's lush and decaying suburban landscape bloom the delinquent magic and chaotic adolescence of And Every Day Was Overcast. Paul Kwiatkowski's arresting photographs amplify a novel of profound vision and vulnerability. Drugs, teenage cruelty, wonder, and the screen-flickering worlds of Predator and Married...With Children shape and warp the narrator's developing sense of self as he navigates adventures and misadventures, from an ill-fated LSD trip on an island of castaway rabbits to the devastating specter of HIV and AIDS. This alchemy of photography and fiction gracefully illuminates the travesties and triumphs of the narrator's quest to forge emotional connections and fulfill his brutal longings for love.Paul Kwiatkowski is a New York-based writer and photographer. This is his first novel. His work has appeared in numerous outlets, including Juxtapoz, Beautiful Decay, Dazed and Confused, Fault, Dust, and American Suburb X.

Our Man in Iraq

by Robert Perisic Will Firth

"Robert Perisic depicts, with acerbic wit, a class of urban elites who are trying to reconcile their nineties rebellion with the reality of present-day Croatia. . . . The characters' snide remarks could easily sound cynical but the novel has a levity informed by the sense of social fluidity that comes with democracy."-The New Yorker"Robert Perisic is a light bright with intelligence and twinkling with irony, flashing us the news that postwar Croatia not only endures but matters."-Jonathan Franzen"This jivey-and I should say x-rated-story stays with us."-Alan Cheuse, "All Things Considered" NPR"Despite the serious themes, the novel is largely comic and in many ways falls into the same genre of satirical anti-war novels that includes The Good Soldier by Jaroslav Hasek and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. Perisic constructs a series of long and entertaining scenes full of quirky dialogue and rhythmic interior monologue."-The Times Literary Supplement"In this raucous and funny novel about an entire country's post-traumatic stress syndrome, Toni discovers that you can't entirely escape your past no matter how must you try to live your life in fast forward."-Huffington Post"In addition to being a delightfully acerbic primer on a literarily underrepresented part of Europe, Our Man in Iraq may well prove to be one of those rare cases where something is actually gained in translation."-Toronto Star"Given the uncountable billions of words they have dedicated to the war in Iraq, it might be easy for Americans to think of it as belonging solely to them. Even its possession by the Iraqis can feel tenuous at times. So it is a refreshing reminder of the new global village to read a novel like Robert Perisic's Our Man in Iraq, which studies the fighting in Baghdad from the distant shores of Croatia."-Boston Globe"A must-read... brilliantly captures modern-day Zagreb." -The GuardianOne of The Millions most anticipated books of 2013"How deeply satisfying it is to hear Perisic's wry voice take a different angle, and tell a different story."-ZYZZYVA"This smart, cutting book powerfully illustrates the horrible hangover of war."-Publishers WeeklySaddam is a young villager from the outskirts of Basra, named after the president. What can he do? He spreads his hands wide like a scarecrow, and I spread mine too, and we chat like two scarecrows in the field, except there are no crops, no grass, and no birds for us to scare away, only sand and scrap iron, and his village, said Saddam, is in a bad place. So he stuck all his goats in a pickup truck and took to the road like Kerouac, except there's no literature here, and no shade.2003: As Croatia lurches from socialism into globalized capitalism, Toni, a cocky journalist in Zagreb, struggles to balance his fragile career, pushy family, and hotheaded girlfriend. But in a moment of vulnerability he makes a mistake: volunteering his unhinged Arabic-speaking cousin Boris to report on the Iraq War. Boris begins filing Gonzo missives from the conflict zone and Toni decides it is better to secretly rewrite his cousin's increasingly incoherent ramblings than face up to the truth. But when Boris goes missing, Toni's own sense of reality-and reliability-begins to unravel.Our Man In Iraq, the first of Robert Perisic's novels to be translated into English, serves as an unforgettable introduction to a vibrant voice from Croatia. With his characteristic humor and insight, Perisic gets to the heart of life made and remade by war.

Louise: Amended

by Louise Krug

"A massive brain trauma robbed fashionable young Louise of the shallow currency she'd banked on all her life, and the resulting struggle is a page-turner in which a person's very soul deepens before your eyes. Louise: Amended rewards a reader's time-a must read."-Mary KarrA beautiful young woman from Kansas is about to embark on the life of her dreams-California! Glossy journalism! French boyfriend!-only to suffer a brain bleed that collapses the right side of her body, leaving her with double vision, facial paralysis, and a dragging foot. An unflinching, wise, and darkly funny portrait of sudden disability and painstaking recovery, the memoir presents not only Louise's perspective, but also the reaction of her loved ones-we see, in fictional interludes, what it must have been like for Louise's boyfriend to bathe her, or for her mother to apply lipstick to her nearly immobile mouth. Challenging the notion that one person's tragedy is a single person's story, Louise: Amended depicts a dismantling-and rebirth-of an entire family.At age twenty-two, Louise Krug suffered a brain bleed and underwent an emergency craniotomy that disrupted her ability to walk, see, and move half her face. Now, six years later, Louise has astounded doctors and loved ones by recovering not only much of her vision and mobility, but a ferocious spirit and enviable grace. She currently lives with her husband Nick and daughter Olive in Lawrence, Kansas, where she's a PhD candidate and teacher.

Maverick Jetpants in The City of Quality

by Bill Peters

". . . Bill Peters belongs in the ranks of serious literary artists."-New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice"By turns funny and moving, this debut richly captures life in a decaying American city."-Publishers Weekly"A complex and inventive debut, innovative with language and delightfully unique."-Largehearted Boy"Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality is Peters' energetic novelistic response to . . . the universal passage from adolescence to adulthood, the impermanence of friendship and familiar landscapes. . . Readers looking for a story about the slippery transition from silliness to sincerity will find in Maverick Jetpants a style to savor and get lost in."-HTML Giant"There were times, while reading Maverick Jetpants, I thought: This isn't a book. It's a panic attack. In a good way. In the way where everything about it is frantic and urgent."-Necessary Fiction"Peters has done something just this side of insane with this book; he's created a character that speaks in a voice everyone will recognize, even while half the words he says allude to things none of us were part of."-Bookslut"Peters proves himself adept at wordplay through the wildly inventive language of the characters."-The Coffin Factory"One of the most inventive novels published this year."-The Los Angeles Review"Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality announces the arrival of a powerful and innovative young voice in American fiction."-Literate Man"They aren't necessarily found in a prime spot in every writer's toolbox, but fictional private languages can be evocatively effective when used well. Bill Peters's novel Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality is one example of this."-Vol. 1 Brooklyn"With all the elements of the best coming-of-age novels, Maverick offers a voice and a story that could connect with someone of just about any age, as long as they have the appreciation for nimble, far out, and witty repartee."-ForeWord Reviews"Full of madcap energy, swagger, and brinksmanship."-Fiona Maazel, author of Last, Last Chance"Do you want laughter, suffering, and friendship, Rochester-style? Do you want to marinate in raucous sadness? I know you do. So be ready, everybody. Here comes the Vomit Cruiser to rescue your sense of humor, and Bill Peters to rescue your heart."-Sam Lipsyte, author of Homeland and Venus DriveRochester, New York, 1999: An arsonist is loose on the streets of a city in decline. Gone are the days of Rioting in the Vomit Cruiser, searching for a possible Tokyo Rocking Horse. In this hilarious, wildly original debut novel, Nathan Gray and best friend Necro live by the code of Joke Royalty, a system of in-jokes known only to a select few. But as the reality of full-time employment, possible spouses, and Neo-Nazis encroaches, their friendship unravels, threatening their dreams of becoming Kodak Park Winjas.Among the gravest Hellstacheries: Necro's strangely vicious drawings and his sudden interest in a group of weapons enthusiasts who may or may not be responsible for the fires erupting through downtown. With no Holy Grail Points left to his name, Nate ventures into Rochester's strangest corners to find out if his best friend is a domestic terrorist Pinning Bow Ties on the Dead or simply Maverick Jetpantsing on with his life-perhaps even beyond The City of Quality.Bill Peters grew up in Rochester, New York, and has received fiction fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the University of Massachusetts. He works as a copy editor for the New York Times News Service, the wire service for the New York Times, and lives in Gainesville, Florida. This is his first novel.

No Space for Further Burials

by Feryal Ali Gauhar

"In No Space for Further Burials, Feryal Ali Gauhar has crafted a novel of unrelenting truth held in transcendent prose and an exquisite grace. There is no easy redemption here, but there is light and more light."-Chris Abani, author of GraceLand and Song for Night"In writing through the eyes of an American captive in Afghanistan, Feryal Ali Gauhar has fashioned a fascinating two-way mirror in which we see the author creating an Other confronting Otherness. As in Richard Powers' hostage novel Ploughing in the Dark, the mask of character reveals as much as it conceals."-Stewart O'Nan, author of Songs for the Missing"An unbearably beautiful book, one you will not soon forget. . . . What Gauhar shows us is that in a war there are only those who die and those who survive, and sometimes even those lines get blurred. And that's what keeps you hungrily turning the pages."-Radhika Jha, author of SmellSet in Afghanistan in late 2002, No Space for Further Burials is a chilling indictment of the madness of war and our collective complicity in the perpetuation of violence. The novel's narrator, a US Army medical technician in Afghanistan helping to "liberate" the country from the Taliban, has been captured by rebels and thrown into an asylum. The other inmates are a besieged gathering of society's forgotten and unwanted refugees and derelicts, disabled and different, resilient and maddened, struggling to survive the lunacy raging outside the asylum compound. The novel becomes a powerful evocation of the country's desolate history of plunder and war, waged by insiders and outsiders, all fueled by ideology, desperation, and greed.This astonishingly powerful story unfolds the tragedy of Afghanistan, as told by the captive narrator in hauntingly beautiful prose. While the characters try to cope with their individual destinies, the terrible madness of war is counterpointed with the poignancy of their lives and the narrator's own peculiar predicament-the "victor" now a victim, his ambivalence a metaphor for everything Afghanistan symbolizes.Feryal Ali Gauhar studied political economy at McGill University in Montreal, and has worked as a filmmaker and broadcaster in Europe and the United States. She has been imprisoned by two military regimes in Pakistan for her pro-democracy activism. In 1999 she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. She lives in Lahore, Pakistan, with fourteen cats, three dogs, a turtle, and four donkeys.

Demons in the Spring

by Joe Meno

"An inspired collection of 20 stories, brilliant in its command of tone and narrative perspective...Creativity and empathy mark the collection . . . Illustrations enhance the already vivid storytelling."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"Spanning worlds, generations, cultures and environments, each of Meno's short stories in this stellar collection explores depression, loneliness and insanity in the world . . ."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Eclectic, funny, constantly surprising-these are the things a short story collection should be allowed to be, and Joe Meno's Demons in the Spring absolutely is . . . a rich, unforgettable stew of a book."--Dave EggersThe limited-edition hardcover of Demons in the Spring was a finalist for the 2009 Story Prize, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2008, a Time Out Chicago Best Book of 2008, and it drew starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. It is a collection of twenty short stories with illustrations by twenty artists from the fine art, graphic art, and comic book worlds.Joe Meno is the best-selling author of five novels, including the smash hits Hairstyles of the Damned and The Boy Detective Fails (both published by Akashic Books), and two story collections. He was the winner of the 2003 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction and is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago.

So Much Things to Say

by Colin Channer Kwame Dawes

Contributors include: Robert Pinsky, Derek Walcott, Elizabeth Alexander, Amiri Baraka, Martin Espada, Terrance Hayes, Valzyna Mort, Sonia Sanchez, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Patricia Smith, Saul Williams, Staceyann Chin, and 88 others.Imagine a night of a hundred poets reading their work to an audience of intensely engaged, responsive, and lively people. Imagine the reading taking place under a tent pitched on a grassy lawn that overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Imagine the sun setting, imagine the scent of curried goat and fried fish wafting through the air, imagine the heat, imagine the cool tongue of wind off the sea, imagine a stage like an ancient shrine with a podium artfully pieced together with bamboo, strips of still green wood, leaves, twine, and shells. Imagine one hundred poets, some whose names you know and some you have never heard of, stepping onto the stage, opening their mouths and hearts, and singing out poems of such variety, complexity, beauty, and passion.This is what a poetry reading at the Calabash International Literary Festival is like, and this new anthology provides readers a taste of what this festival offers year after year.Edited by Kwame Dawes and Colin Channer, two of the founders of the festival, this is an exciting example of Calabash's commitment to create a festival that is diverse, inspirational, earthy, and daring each May. This anthology is at once a celebration of ten years of a remarkable literary event as it is a gesture of love to seek ways to continue to fund and support this festival for the future. All profits from this publication will go toward the running of the festival, which remains free and open to the public.

Mesopotamia

by Arthur Nersesian

"The immortal shadow of Elvis Presley gyrates wildly through this satiric exploration of America's fascination with tabloid journalism." --Publishers Weekly"Thoroughly entertaining . . . A quirky, hard-edged, slightly absurdist thriller from a writer who definitely bears watching." --Booklist"In his paean to the perplexities of dislocation and discovery-both in bohemian life and in life at large-Nersesian makes us eager to see what happens when the curtain finally rises."-The New York Times Book Review, on UnlubricatedThings have not been going well for journalist Sandy Bloomgarten. Her job went down the drain and her marriage quickly followed. After a lengthy bender, she awakens one morning to the stark realization that she is flat broke. Nonetheless, she's still a crack reporter and when a tabloid offers her a freelance assignment in Memphis-just a stone's throw from her childhood home in Mesopotamia, Tennessee-she takes it.Though sent there for one story, she winds up tracking down another: someone is killing Elvis impersonators who perform at the annual Sing-the-King festival. The few clues lead her to several unlikely characters: a cheating local minister constantly on the make, a strange band of misfits who only cover Elvis tunes, and a small-town private eye who blew himself up along with his crystal meth lab. As Sandy's investigation closes, she realizes that she is sitting on what could be the story of the century. The only problem is she can never reveal what she has found.Arthur Nersesian's latest novel is a satiric thriller that takes an amusing view of America's predilection with the superficial over the relevant, and celebrity excitement over real news.Arthur Nersesian is the author of nine novels, including the cult-classic The Fuck-Up (more than 100,000 copies sold), dogrun, and Suicide Casanova. He lives in New York City.

Indian Country Noir

by Sarah Cortez Liz Martínez

Step into Indian Country. Enter the dark welter of troubled history throughout the Americas, where the heritage of violence meets the ferocity of intent.Features brand-new stories by: Mistina Bates, Jean Rae Baxter, Lawrence Block, Joseph Bruchac, David Cole, Reed Farrel Coleman, O'Neil De Noux, A.A. Hedge Coke, Gerard Houarner, Liz Martínez, R. Narvaez, Kimberly Roppolo, Leonard Schonberg, and Melissa Yi.Sarah Cortez, a law enforcement officer, is the award-winning author of the poetry collection How to Undress a Cop. She brings her heritage as a Tejana with Mexican, French, Comanche, and Spanish blood to the written page.Liz Martínez's stories have appeared in Manhattan Noir, Queens Noir, and Cop Tales 2000. She is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and she lives in New York.

Moscow Noir

by Natalia Smirnova Julia Goumen

The more you watch Moscow, the more it looks like a huge chameleon that keeps changing its face--and it isn't always pretty. Following Akashic Books' international success with London Noir, Delhi Noir, Paris Noir, and others, the Noir series explores this fabled and troubled city's darkest recesses.Features brand-new stories by: Alexander Anuchkin, Igor Zotov, Gleb Shulpyakov, Vladimir Tuchkov, Anna Starobinets, Vyacheslav Kuritsyn, Sergei Samsonov, Alexei Evdokimov, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Maxim Maximov, Irina Denezhkina, Dmitry Kosyrev, Andrei Khusnutdinov, and Sergei Kuznetsov.Natalia Smirnova was born in 1978 in Moscow. In 2006, together with Julia Goumen, she founded Goumen&Smirnova Literary Agency, representing Russian authors worldwide.Julia Goumen was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1977. She holds a PhD in English and has worked in publishing since 2001.

Glorious

by Bernice L. Mcfadden

"The seeming inevitability of cruel fate juxtaposes the triumph of the spirit in this remarkably rich and powerful novel, Glorious. Bernice McFadden's fully realized characters are complicated, imperfect beings, but if ever a character were worthy of love and honor, it is her Easter Bartlett. This very American story is fascinating; it is also heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and beautifully written."--Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route"Riveting. . . . I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes."--Toni Morrison, on The Warmest DecemberGlorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden's rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.Glorious is ultimately an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption.Bernice L. McFadden is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including the classic Sugar and Nowhere Is a Place, which was a Washington Post best fiction title for 2006. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honors from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is working on her next novel.

Richmond Noir

by Tom De Haven Brian Castleberry Andrew Blossom

The River City emerges as a hot spot for unseemly noir.Brand-new stories by: Dean King, Laura Browder, Howard Owen, Yazmina Beverly, Tom De Haven, X.C. Atkins, Meagan J. Saunders, Anne Thomas Soffee, Clint McCown, Conrad Ashley Persons, Clay McLeod Chapman, Pir Rothenberg, David L. Robbins, Hermine Pinson, and Dennis Danvers.FROM THE INTRODUCTION TO RICHMOND NOIR:"In The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Henry Miller tosses off a hard-bitten assessment of the City on the James: 'I would rather die in Richmond somehow,' he writes, 'though God knows Richmond has little enough to offer.' As editors, we like the dying part, and might point out that in its long history, Richmond, Virginia has offered up many of the disparate elements crucial to meaty noir. The city was born amid deception, conspiracy, and violence . . ."These days, Richmond is a city of winter balls and garden parties on soft summer evenings, a city of private clubs where white-haired old gentlemen, with their martinis or mint juleps in hand, still genuflect in front of portraits of Robert E. Lee. It's also a city of brutal crime scenes and drug corners and okay-everybody-go-on-home-there's-nothing-more-to-see. It's a city of world-class ad agencies and law firms, a city of the FFV (First Families of Virginia) and a city of immigrants--from India, Vietnam, and Africa to Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. It's a city of finicky manners (you mustn't ever sneeze publicly in Richmond) and old-time neighborliness, and it's a city where you think twice about giving somebody the finger if they cut you off on the Powhite Parkway (that's pronounced Pow-hite, not Po-white, thank you very much) because you might get your head blown off by the shotgun on the rack . . ."

The Failure

by James Greer

The Failure is a picaresque novel set in Los Angeles about two guys who conceive and badly execute a plan to rob a Korean check-cashing store in order to finance the prototype for an impossibly ridiculous Internet application."James Greer, one of the nimblest and most multilayered American fiction writers, has, with his latest novel The Failure, pulled off a sublime and shivery-smooth literary hat-trick-cum-emotional-gotcha. I defy anyone to come up with an equation to explain how this book's first impression as a ridiculously clever, funny crime story can gradually disclose a metanovel built from far more encyclopedic scratch only to reveal upon its conclusion a central, overriding thought so heartfelt literally it trembles your lower lip. This is one stunning piece of work." --Dennis Cooper, author of Ugly Man"James Greer's The Failure is such an unqualified success, both in conception and execution, that I have grave doubts he actually wrote it." --Steven SoderberghJames Greer is the author of the novel Artificial Light (Akashic Books), which won a California Book Award for Best Debut Novel, and the nonfiction book Guided By Voices: A Brief History (Grove Press), a biography of the band for which he once played bass guitar. He is currently working with director Steven Soderbergh on a rock musical about Cleopatra starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. He lives in Los Angeles.

The Uncomfortable Dead

by Paco Ignacio Taibo II Subcomandante Marcos

"Great writers by definition are outriders, raiders of a sort, sweeping down from wilderness territories to disturb the peace, overrun the status quo and throw into question everything we know to be true. . . . On its face, the novel is a murder mystery, and at the book's heart, always, is a deep love of Mexico and its people." --Los Angeles TimesSubcomandante Marcos is a spokesperson and strategist for the Zapatistas, an indigenous insurgency movement based in Mexico.Paco Ignacio Taibo II is the author of numerous works of award-winning fiction and nonfiction, which have been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Mexico City.

Mexico City Noir

by Paco Ignacio Taibo II

Brand-new stories by: Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Eugenio Aguirre, Eduardo Antonia Parra, Bernardo Fernández Bef, Óscar de la Borbolla, Rolo Díez, Victor Luiz González, F.G. Haghenbeck, Juan Hernández Luna, Myriam Laurini, Eduardo Monteverde, and Julia Rodríguez.Paco Ignacio Taibo II was born in Gijón, Spain, and has lived in Mexico since 1958. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, which have been published in many languages around the world, including a mystery series starring Mexican Private Investigator Héctor Belascoarán Shayne. He is a professor of history at the Metropolitan University of Mexico City.

The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis

by Dennis Cooper Mark Gluth

A phenomenal debut novella to further establish the literary excellence of Dennis Cooper's Little House on the Bowery series."In The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis, Mark Gluth does something I've never seen another author do: he captures perfectly the feel of daydreams. Though everybody in the book daydreams, Gluth doesn't simply describe their thoughts; instead, he does something better and more brilliant--he infuses his words with the deceptive simplicity and surrealism of the fantasies we dream up for ourselves. Like daydreams, his book is brief but powerful; like daydreams, it is both heartbreakingly hopeful and heart-stoppingly honest. It's a reverie that's a revelation. It is great."--Derek McCormack, author of The Show that SmellsThe Late Work of Margaret Kroftis begins during the later days of Margaret Kroftis's life. She is a writer, living alone. As she experiences a personal tragedy the narrative moves forward in an emotionally coherent manner that exists separately from linear time. Themes of loss and grief cycle and repeat and build upon each other. They affect the text and create a complex structure of crosshatched narratives within narratives. These mirror each other while also telling unique stories of loss that are both separate from Margaret's as well as deeply intertwined.This groundbreaking debut demonstrates an affinity with the work of such contemporary European writers as Agota Kristof and Marie Redonnet, while existing in a place and time that is uniquely American. Composed in brief paragraphs and structured as a series of vignettes, pieces of fiction, and autobiography, The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis creates a world in which a woman's life is refracted through dreamlike logic. Coupled with the spare language in which it is written, this logic distorts and heightens the emotional truths the characters come to terms with, while elevating them beyond the simply literal.Mark Gluth's writing has previously appeared in the anthology Userlands (Akashic, 2007) and Ellipsis magazine. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife and their two dogs.Dennis Cooper's (series editor) novels have been translated into eighteen foreign languages. He has guest-edited sections of fiction and nonfiction for BookForum, Nerve, the L.A. Weekly Literary Supplement, and the Village Voice Literary Supplement. He is a contributing editor of ArtForum magazine and lives in Los Angeles.

Black Music

by Leroi Jones

"Jones has learned-and this has been very rare in jazz criticism-to write about music as an artist."-Nat Hentoff ksBlack Music is a book about the brilliant young jazz musicians of the early 1960s: John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, and others. It is composed of essays, reviews, interviews, liner notes, musical analyses, and personal impressions from 1959-1967. Also includes Amiri Baraka's reflections in a 2009 interview with Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly.LeRoi Jones (now known as Amiri Baraka) is the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey from 2002 to 2004 by the New Jersey Commission on Humanities. His most recent book, Tales of the Out & the Gone (Akashic Books, 2007), was a New York Times Editors' Choice and winner of a PEN/Beyond Margins Award. He lives in Newark, New Jersey.

Jesus Boy

by Preston L. Allen

"Allen has created a consummate tragicomedy of African Americanfamily secrets and sorrows, and of faith under duress and wide open to interpretation. Perfect timing andcrackling dialogue, as well as heartrending pain balanced by uproarious predicaments, make for a shout-hallelujah tale of transgression and grace, a gospel of lusty and everlasting love."--Booklist"Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu-the chained (mis)fortunes of the players, their vanities and grotesqueries, their quasi-philosophical ruminations on chance. Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict's daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand."--The New York Times Book Review, on All or NothingInto an austere community of Christian believers at the Church of Our Blessed Redeemer Who Walked Upon the Waters come the star-crossed African American Romeo and Juliet. In the world of Jesus Boy, Romeo is sixteen-year-old Elwyn Parker, a devout and sincere piano prodigy who learns too late that the saintly girl he has had a crush on all his life is inexplicably pregnant and soon to be wed. Juliet is the beautiful widow, Sister Morrisohn, age forty-two, who, in the pain and confused emotions of her grieving, ends up in Elwyn's arms.Despite the problems posed by their age difference and the strict prohibitions of their strong religious beliefs, Elwyn and Sister Morrisohn's love is true, and as it grows among the ascetics, abstainers, and holy ghost rollers of their church, it exposes with wit, poignancy, and insight the dark secrets and ancient crimes of the pious. In Jesus Boy, Elwyn learns through tragedy and epiphany that the holy are no different from the rest of us.

Orange County Noir

by T. Jefferson Parker Gary Phillips

Orange County, California, brings to mind the endless summer of sand and surf, McMansion housing tracts, a conservative stronghold, and tony shopping centers. It's a place where pilates classes are run like boot camps, real estate values are discussed at your weekly colonic, and ice cream parlors on Main Street, USA, exist side-by-side with pho shops and taquerias. Orange County Noir pulls back the veil to reveal what lurks behind the curtain.Features brand-new stories by: Susan Straight, Robert S. Levinson, Rob Roberge, Nathan Walpow, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Dan Duling, Mary Castillo, Lawrence Maddox, Dick Lochte, Robert Ward, Gary Phillips, Gordon McAlpine, Martin J. Smith, and Patricia McFall.Editor Gary Phillips is the author of many novels and short stories. He lives in Southern California.

Wall Street Noir

by Peter Spiegelman

Brand-new stories by: John Burdett, Peter Blauner, Charles Ardai, Henry Blodget, Twist Phelan, Larry Light, James Hime, Jason Starr, Lauren Sanders, Tim Broderick, Reed Farrel Coleman, Jim Fusilli, Mark Haskell Smith, and more. Peter Spiegelman is the Shamus Award-winning author of Black Maps (Knopf, 2003), Death's Little Helpers (Knopf, 2005), and Red Cat (Knopf, 2007), which feature private detective and Wall Street refugee John March. Spiegelman is a twenty-year veteran of the financial services and software industries, and has worked with banks, brokerage houses, and central banks in major markets around the world. He lives in Connecticut.

Twin Cities Noir

by Steven Horwitz Julie Schaper

"Local editors Schaper and Horwitz have assembled a noteworthy collection of noir-infused stories mixed with laughter...The Akashic noir short-story anthologies are avidly sought and make ideal samplers for regional mystery collecting."--Library Journal"The best pieces in the collection turn the clichés of the genre on their head . . . and despite the unseemly subject matter, the stories are often surprisingly funny."-City Pages (Minneapolis)Brand-new stories from John Jodzio, Tom Kaczynski, and Peter Schilling, Jr., in addition to the original volume's stories by David Housewright, Steve Thayer, Judith Guest, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, K.J. Erickson, William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, Brad Zellar, Mary Sharratt, Pete Hautman, Larry Millett, Quinton Skinner, Gary Bush, and Chris Everheart."St. Paul was originally called Pig's Eye's Landing and was named after Pig's Eye Parrant--trapper, moonshiner, and proprietor of the most popular drinking establishment on the Mississippi. Traders, river rats, missionaries, soldiers, land speculators, fur trappers, and Indian agents congregated in his establishment and made their deals. When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, the town leaders, realizing that a place called Pig's Eye might not inspire civic confidence, changed the name to St. Paul, after the largest church in the city . . . Across the river, Minneapolis has its own sordid story. By the turn of the twentieth century it was considered one of the most crooked cities in the nation. Mayor Albert Alonzo Ames, with the assistance of the chief of police, his brother Fred, ran a city so corrupt that according to Lincoln Steffans its 'deliberateness, invention, and avarice has never been equaled.' As recently as the mid-'90s, Minneapolis was called 'Murderopolis' due to a rash of killings that occurred over a long hot summer . . . Every city has its share of crime, but what makes the Twin Cities unique may be that we have more than our share of good writers to chronicle it. They are homegrown and they know the territory--how the cities look from the inside, out . . ."

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