Here are the wonderful books which arrived at my house this week:
My friend, the ultra talented Beth Kephart, sent me TWO signed/personalized copies of: Handling the Truth (Gotham, August 2013) and Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla Resolvent (Paperback edition, New City Community Press, April 2013). Anyone who reads this blog knows my love for Beth’s work…and both of these books look amazing. Handling the Truth is a nonfiction book on the writing of memoir. I read the first three chapters right off – loved them…but then had to put the book down as my sister is visiting from New Hampshire and I want to read completely uninterrupted when I pick this book back up.
Dr. Radway’s Sarsaprilla Resolvent was first released in 2012 and was re-released this past April. It is set in 1871 Philadelphia and centers around fourteen year old William who is struggling to manage with his Pa in prison, his brother murdered, and his Ma grieving. Readers who have read Beth’s novel Dangerous Neighbors may recognize William who appeared in that book as a boy with a talent for saving animals. The novel is illustrated by the talented William Sulit.
Beth Kephart is an award-winning author of fifteen books, teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the strategic writing partner in the boutique communications firm, Fusion. Learn more about Beth by visiting her beautiful blog.
Random House sent me a copy of Enon by Paul Harding (September 2013) which I won through the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program. The novel follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a personal tragedy. Grandson of George Crosby (the protagonist of Tinkers – Harding’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel which I reviewed here), Charlie inhabits the same dynamic landscape of New England, its seasons mirroring his turbulent emotional odyssey. Along the way, Charlie’s encounters are brought to life by his wit, his insights into history, and his yearning to understand the big questions. Described as “a stunning mosaic of human experience,” I have a feeling this book is going to garner some attention.
Paul Harding is the author of the novel Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College.
Hogarth sent me a copy of This is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila (July 2013) as part of a TLC Book Tour. The book is described as “a visceral, poignant, and elegantly gritty work of debut fiction set in Hawaii, in the vein of Junot Diaz’s Drown and Danielle Evans’s Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.” Tied to the Hawaiian Islands, This Is Paradise explores the relationships among native Hawaiians, local citizens, and emigrants from (and to) the contiguous forty-eight states. Kahakauwila’s style is being called: contemporary, edgy, and mature…with a sense of history reverberating into the present. I will be touring this book on July 23rd.
Kristiana Kahakauwila, a native Hawaiian, was raised in Southern California. She earned a master’s in fine arts from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Princeton University. She has worked as a writer and editor for Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado, and Highlights for Children magazines and taught English at Chaminade University in Honolulu. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Western Washington University. Learn more about Kahakauwila and her work by visiting the author’s website.
From Other Press came a signed copy of The Center of the World by Thomas Van Essen (June 2013). Publisher’s description:
Alternating between nineteenth-century England and present-day New York, this is the story of renowned British painter J. M. W. Turner and his circle of patrons and lovers. It is also the story of Henry Leiden, a middle-aged family man with a troubled marriage and a dead-end job, who finds his life transformed by his discovery of Turner’s The Center of the World, a mesmerizing and unsettling painting of Helen of Troy that was thought to have been lost forever.
Filled with sex, beauty, and love (of all kinds), this richly textured novel explores the intersection between art and eroticism.
Thomas Van Essen graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and earned his PhD in English from Rutgers University. He lives in New Jersey with his family. The Center of the World is his first novel. Learn more about Essen and his work by visiting the author’s website.
Picador sent me a finished copy of On the Floor by Aifric Campbell (June 2013). This novel was longlisted for the Orange Prize. The story centers around a hard-living investment banker who has three days to decide her destiny. After 182 days of vodka and insomnia since Geri Molloy got dumped, the twenty-eight-year-old investment banker has a rare knack for numbers. It is January of 1991, and war in the Middle East is about to shake up the markets—and maybe also change the course of her career. Geri’s firm’s biggest client is Felix Mann, and when she finds herself caught up in a high-stakes takeover, Felix is game for the power play—but his price tag is Geri’s future. Described as “a sharp-edged story about love and money, the cruel appraisals we make of one another, and what it really means for a woman to take control of her life.”
Aifric Campbell spent thirteen years at Morgan Stanley, where she became the first woman managing director on the London trading floor. She left to earn a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of East Anglia and currently teaches at Imperial College, London. Campbell has been awarded a fellowship at UCLA and residencies at Yaddo. Learn more about Campbell and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Did any amazing books arrive at YOUR house this week?