Mailbox Monday – August 30, 2010

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday hosted this month at Chick Loves Lit.

As usual, I found some awesome books in my mailbox this week that I am eager to share with you.

I was very excited to receive a copy of Hiroshima In The Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto which came from Amy Riley at Winsome Media Communications. This memoir is due for release September 1st through The Feminist Press and I will be reviewing it in early October as part of a tour of the book. In June 2001, Rizzuto left her husband and two sons to travel to Hiroshima on a six month trip in order to interview survivors of the atomic bomb. Initially, the people she spoke with were reticent and revealed little new insights into their experience. But then September 11th happened…and everything changed. As the survivors in Japan began to open up in astonishing ways, Rizzuto’s marriage became strained and began to fail. The publisher’s blurb explains: “The parallel narratives of Hiroshima in the survivors’ own words, and of Rizzuto’s personal awakening show memory not as history, but as a story we tell ourselves to explain who we are.

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto won an American Book Award in 2000 for her first novel Why She Left Us. In 2001, Rizzuto was awarded a US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, in order to travel to Japan to research her next novel; while there she began work on her memoir. She teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Goddard College and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more about Rizzuto and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Erica at Harper Perennial sent me three books edited by Simon Van Booy: Why We Need Love, Why We Fight, and Why Our Decisions Don’t Matter. I’m fascinated by these little books which Van Booy says he hopes “present interesting and exciting philosophical ideas in a straightforward, but intelligent, language that can be understood by everyone.” Each book includes readings, poems, quotations and visual images to present philosophical ideas about love, arguments, and decisions which ultimately “don’t matter.” I am looking forward to ruminating over these books soon.

Simon Van Booy is the author of two collections of short stories: The Secret Lives of People in Love (read my review), and Love Begins in Winter (read my review). His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and The Daily Telegraph. Van Booy lives in New York City where he lectures at the School of Visual Arts and is involved with the Rutgers Early College Humanities program which is geared toward young adults living in underserved communities. His collection Love Begin in Winter won the 2009 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Read more about Van Booy and his work by visiting the author’s website.

Thanks to Meghan at Random House, I received a copy of Precious by Sandra Novack in time to take it with me to New Hampshire. Novak’s debut novel centers around a missing child and her ex-best friend, Sissy. Described as “complex” and “powerful,” and compared to the works of both Joyce Carol Oates and Anne Tyler, this is a novel I am looking forward to reading. Want to be tempted? Read an excerpt from the book.

Sandra Novack’s fiction has been published in The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, and Mississippi Reviews. She has appeared on the Pushcart Prize nominee list three times. Novack received her MFA from Vermont College. She currently lives in Chicago with husband. Precious is her first novel. There is a great interview with the author on the Random House site. To learn more about Novack and her work, visit the author’s website.

What awesome books found their way to YOUR home last week?

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    • Staci on August 30, 2010 at 10:41

    Precious sounds amazing and I so love that cover!!!

    • Andi on August 30, 2010 at 12:21

    I received the Van Booy books late last week, and I’m excited to give them a go. Rocketgirl is already trying to steal the Love one from me. 🙂

  1. The Hiroshima book looks very interesting. I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on it.

  2. I read Precious last year for a book tour (I think) – I know I enjoyed it, enough though the topic is dark (missing child). Enjoy!

    • Holly on August 30, 2010 at 16:21

    Great mailbox. All are new to me. Enjoy!

    • Anna on August 31, 2010 at 04:49

    I’m part of the Hiroshima in the Morning tour, too, so I’m looking forward to your thoughts. I read Precious when it came out in hardcover and thought it was pretty good.

  3. I am wishing you safe travels and sending you love. Reiko is a dear friend of mine; I look forward to your thoughts on her book.

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