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Title Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
Author T Kira Madden
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date 2019-03-05
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781635571868
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“The book I wish I'd had growing up.” -Chanel Miller, author of Know My Name Best Books of 2019: Esquire O, The Oprah Magazine Variety Lit Hub Book Riot Electric Literature Autostraddle Finalist: NBCC John Leonard First Book Prize Lambda Literary Award New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Selection Paste Best Memoirs of the Decade Elle Best Books of the Season Washington Post Best Books of the Month Indie Next Pick Indies Introduce Pick "A fearless debut." -New York Times "[A] gorgeous reckoning." -Washington Post "Flat out breathtaking." -Lit Hub "Gripping and gloriously written." -Elle "Utterly unforgettable." -NYLON "Unnervingly satisfying." -Oprah Magazine "Deeply compassionate." -NPR.org "Truly stunning." -Cosmopolitan Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight. As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls. With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai'i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful. One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year: Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The Millions, Nylon, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Lit Hub, Refinery29, and many more

Title Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
Author T Kira Madden
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date 2020-03-03
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 336
ISBN 1635574765
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“A vast, arresting story . . . A eulogy and a love song. It's about girls and the women they become. And it's all compulsively readable.” -New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice “The literary equivalent of sucking on a Warhead: at once nostalgically sweet, stingingly sour, and unnervingly satisfying.” -Oprah Magazine “One of the best, most evocative titles of the release season.” -The Millions “Easily one of the best memoirs of the last decade.” -Lit Hub “Haunting . . . Harrowing and charged with sharp edges.” -Esquire, “Best of Spring” “Gripping and gloriously written.” -Elle, “Best of Spring” “An utterly unforgettable debut.” -NYLON “Truly stunning.” -Cosmopolitan “A memoir this fearless is bound to change readers' lives.” -Refinery29 Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight. As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls. With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai'i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.

Title Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
Author T Kira Madden
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date 2019-03-05
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781635571851
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“Frank and funny and powerful and surprising. An utterly gorgeous debut.”-Lauren Groff One of the most anticipated books of 2019--Electric Literature, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The Millions, Hyphen, Lit Hub, Nylon, The AV Club, The Advocate, The Rumpus, The Week, Books are Magic Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden's raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight. As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls. With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai'i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It's a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.

Abandon Me by Melissa Febos

Title Abandon Me
Author Melissa Febos
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date 2017-02-28
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781632866592
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Named One of the Best Books of the year by: Esquire, Refinery29, LitHub, BookRiot, Medium, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Rail, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Largehearted Boy, The Coil and The Cut. Winner of the Lambda Literary Jeanne Cordova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction Finalist, Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography Finalist, Publishing Triangle's Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction An Indie Next Pick For readers of Maggie Nelson and Leslie Jamison, a fierce and dazzling personal narrative that explores the many ways identity and art are shaped by love and loss. In her critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a lyrical study of power, desire, and fulfillment. In her dazzling Abandon Me, Febos captures the intense bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. First, her birth father, who left her with only an inheritance of addiction and Native American blood, its meaning a mystery. As Febos tentatively reconnects, she sees how both these lineages manifest in her own life, marked by compulsion and an instinct for self-erasure. Meanwhile, she remains closely tied to the sea captain who raised her, his parenting ardent but intermittent as his work took him away for months at a time. Woven throughout is the hypnotic story of an all-consuming, long-distance love affair with a woman, marked equally by worship and withdrawal. In visceral, erotic prose, Febos captures their mutual abandonment to passion and obsession -- and the terror and exhilaration of losing herself in another. At once a fearlessly vulnerable memoir and an incisive investigation of art, love, and identity, Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal.

Fatherless Daughters by Pamela Thomas

Title Fatherless Daughters
Author Pamela Thomas
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2018-03-27
Category Family & Relationships
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781982103262
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A moving, elegantly written, and exhaustively researched account of what it means for a girl to lose a father to death or divorce—with advice for fatherless daughters on how to cope. “People who lose their parents early in life are like fellow war veterans. As soon as they discover that they are talking to someone else who has lost a parent, they know they are speaking the same language without uttering a word.” Pamela Thomas gives voice to this unspoken pain in Fatherless Daughters. Still haunted by her own father’s death when she was ten, Thomas decided to explore its effects. Though her journey began as a personal one, she soon felt the need to hear from other women and ended up interviewing more than one hundred fatherless women. They ranged in age from nineteen to ninety-four; they came from all areas of the country as well as Europe and Asia; some had lost their fathers to death, others to divorce or abandonment. Each account was unique, but the impact of a father’s loss was profound in every woman’s life. Thomas begins by defining what it means to be a father in our world. She discusses the initial shock of his loss, exploring the aspects that color how a young girl experiences it: her age at the time of her father’s death or abandonment, her mother’s behavior and attitudes, her place in the family vis-à-vis siblings, and the influence of a stepfather or father-surrogates. Thomas shows how a father’s early death or abandonment affects a woman’s emotional health and self-esteem, her body image, her sexual experiences, her marriage, her family life, and her career. Perhaps most important, Thomas offers compassionate advice for coming to terms with father loss, even late in life, from actively mourning, to healing, to starting fresh.

No Tokens by Kristen Arnett

Title No Tokens
Author Kristen Arnett
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2019-03-27
Category
Total Pages 86
ISBN 0578476347
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Being Lolita by Alisson Wood

Title Being Lolita
Author Alisson Wood
Publisher Flatiron Books
Release Date 2020-08-04
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781250217226
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A dark romance evolves between a high schooler and her English teacher in this breathtakingly powerful memoir about a young woman who must learn to rewrite her own story. “Have you ever read Lolita?” So begins seventeen-year-old Alisson’s metamorphosis from student to lover and then victim. A lonely and vulnerable high school senior, Alisson finds solace only in her writing—and in a young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. North. Mr. North gives Alisson a copy of Lolita to read, telling her it is a beautiful story about love. The book soon becomes the backdrop to a connection that blooms from a simple crush into a forbidden romance. But as Mr. North’s hold on her tightens, Alisson is forced to evaluate how much of their narrative is actually a disturbing fiction. In the wake of what becomes a deeply abusive relationship, Alisson is faced again and again with the story of her past, from rereading Lolita in college to working with teenage girls to becoming a professor of creative writing. It is only with that distance and perspective that she understands the ultimate power language has had on her—and how to harness that power to tell her own true story. Being Lolita is a stunning coming-of-age memoir that shines a bright light on our shifting perceptions of consent, vulnerability, and power. This is the story of what happens when a young woman realizes her entire narrative must be rewritten—and then takes back the pen to rewrite it.

Is Rape A Crime by Michelle Bowdler

Title Is Rape a Crime
Author Michelle Bowdler
Publisher Flatiron Books
Release Date 2020-07-28
Category Social Science
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781250255754
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction TIME's 100 Must-Read Books of 2020 Publishers Weekly, Best Books of 2020 New York Times New & Noteworthy Audiobooks Lit Hubs Most Anticipated Books of 2020 Starred Review Publishers Weekly Starred Review Shelf Awareness "This standout memoir marks a crucial moment in the discussion of what constitutes a violent crime." —Publishers Weekly, Best Books of 2020 She Said meets Lucky in Michelle Bowdler's provocative debut, telling the story of her rape and recovery while interrogating why one of society's most serious crimes goes largely uninvestigated. The crime of rape sizzles like a lightning strike. It pounces, flattens, destroys. A person stands whole, and in a moment of unexpected violence, that life, that body is gone. Award-winning writer and public health executive Michelle Bowdler's memoir indicts how sexual violence has been addressed for decades in our society, asking whether rape is a crime given that it is the least reported major felony, least successfully prosecuted, and fewer than 3% of reported rapes result in conviction. Cases are closed before they are investigated and DNA evidence sits for years untested and disregarded Rape in this country is not treated as a crime of brutal violence but as a parlor game of he said / she said. It might be laughable if it didn’t work so much of the time. Given all this, it seems fair to ask whether rape is actually a crime. In 1984, the Boston Sexual Assault Unit was formed as a result of a series of break-ins and rapes that terrorized the city, of which Michelle’s own horrific rape was the last. Twenty years later, after a career of working with victims like herself, Michelle decides to find out what happened to her case and why she never heard from the police again after one brief interview. Is Rape a Crime? is an expert blend of memoir and cultural investigation, and Michelle's story is a rallying cry to reclaim our power and right our world.

Godshot by Chelsea Bieker

Title Godshot
Author Chelsea Bieker
Publisher Catapult
Release Date 2020-03-31
Category Fiction
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781948226493
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This “fiercely written and endlessly readable” novel of a teenage girl in thrall to a magnetic—and terrifying—preacher who promises to save her dying town is “a godsend” (Entertainment Weekly). Drought has settled on the town of Peaches, California. The area of the Central Valley where fourteen–year–old Lacey May and her alcoholic mother live was once an agricultural paradise. Now it’s an environmental disaster, a place of cracked earth and barren raisin farms. In their desperation, residents have turned to a cult leader named Pastor Vern for guidance. He promises, through secret “assignments,” to bring the rain everybody is praying for. Lacey has no reason to doubt the pastor. But then her life explodes in a single unimaginable act of abandonment: her mother, exiled from the community for her sins, leaves Lacey and runs off with a man she barely knows. Abandoned and distraught, Lacey May moves in with her widowed grandma, Cherry, who is more concerned with her taxidermy mouse collection than her own granddaughter. As Lacey May endures the increasingly appalling acts of men who want to write all the rules and begins to uncover the full extent of Pastor Vern’s shocking plan to bring fertility back to the land, she decides she must go on a quest to find her mother no matter what it takes. With her only guidance coming from the romance novels she reads and the unlikely companionship of the women who knew her mother, she must find her own way through unthinkable circumstances. Possessed of an unstoppable plot and a brilliantly soulful voice, Godshot is a book of grit and humor and heart, a debut novel about female friendship and resilience, mother–loss and motherhood, and seeking salvation in unexpected places. It introduces a writer who gives Flannery O’Connor’s Gothic parables a Californian twist and who emerges with a miracle that is all her own. “[A] haunting debut . . . This is a harrowing tale, which Bieker smartly writes through the lens of a teenager on the cusp of understanding the often fraught relationship between religion and sexuality . . . It's a timely and disturbing portrait of how easily men can take advantage of vulnerable women—and the consequences sink in more deeply with each page."—Annabel Gutterman, Time “Drawn in brilliant, bizarre detail—baptism in warm soda, wisdom from romance novels—Lacey's twin crises of faith and femininity tangle powerfully. Fiercely written and endlessly readable, a novel like this is a godsend. A–.”—Mary Sollosi, Entertainment Weekly “[An] absolute masterpiece . . . Imagine if Annie Proulx wrote something like White Oleander crossed with Geek Love or Cruddy, and then add cults, God, motherhood, girlhood, class, deserts, witches, the divinity of women . . . Terrifying, resplendent, and profoundly moving, this book will leave you changed." —T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine

Title The Electric Woman
Author Tessa Fontaine
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2018-05-01
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780374717025
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Editors' Choice; A Southern Living Best Book of 2018; An Amazon Editors' Best Book of 2018; A Refinery29 Best Book of 2018; A New York Post Most Unforgettable Book of 2018 "Fascinating." —Vogue “This is the story of a daughter and her mother. It’s also a memoir, a love story, and a tale of high-flying stunts . . . An adventure toward and through fear.” —Southern Living Tessa Fontaine’s astonishing memoir of pushing past fear, The Electric Woman, follows the author on a life-affirming journey of loss and self-discovery—through her time on the road with the last traveling American sideshow and her relationship with an adventurous, spirited mother. Turns out, one lesson applies to living through illness, keeping the show on the road, letting go of the person you love most, and eating fire: The trick is there is no trick. You eat fire by eating fire. Two journeys—a daughter’s and a mother’s—bear witness to this lesson in The Electric Woman. For three years Tessa Fontaine lived in a constant state of emergency as her mother battled stroke after stroke. But hospitals, wheelchairs, and loss of language couldn’t hold back such a woman; she and her husband would see Italy together, come what may. Thus Fontaine became free to follow her own piper, a literal giant inviting her to “come play” in the World of Wonders, America’s last traveling sideshow. How could she resist? Transformed into an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra, Fontaine witnessed the marvels of carnival life: intense camaraderie and heartbreak, the guilty thrill of hard-earned cash exchanged for a peek into the impossible, and, most marvelous of all, the stories carnival folks tell about themselves. Through these, Fontaine trained her body to ignore fear and learned how to keep her heart open in the face of loss. A story for anyone who has ever imagined running away with the circus, wanted to be someone else, or wanted a loved one to live forever, The Electric Woman is ultimately about death-defying acts of all kinds, especially that ever constant: good old-fashioned unconditional love.

The Clothing Of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri

Title The Clothing of Books
Author Jhumpa Lahiri
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2016-11-15
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 80
ISBN 9780525432760
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

How do you clothe a book? In this deeply personal reflection, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jhumpa Lahiri explores the art of the book jacket from the perspectives of both reader and writer. Probing the complex relationships between text and image, author and designer, and art and commerce, Lahiri delves into the role of the uniform; explains what book jackets and design have come to mean to her; and how, sometimes, “the covers become a part of me.”

Title What My Mother and I Don t Talk About
Author Michele Filgate
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Release Date 2020-08-11
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781982107352
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“You will devour these beautifully written—and very important—tales of honesty, pain, and resilience” (Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls) from fifteen brilliant writers who explore how what we don’t talk about with our mothers affects us, for better or for worse. As an undergraduate, Michele Filgate started writing an essay about being abused by her stepfather. It took her more than a decade to realize that she was actually trying to write about how this affected her relationship with her mother. When it was finally published, the essay went viral, shared on social media by Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, and many others. This gave Filgate an idea, and the resulting anthology offers a candid look at our relationships with our mothers. Leslie Jamison writes about trying to discover who her seemingly perfect mother was before ever becoming a mom. In Cathi Hanauer’s hilarious piece, she finally gets a chance to have a conversation with her mother that isn’t interrupted by her domineering (but lovable) father. André Aciman writes about what it was like to have a deaf mother. Melissa Febos uses mythology as a lens to look at her close-knit relationship with her psychotherapist mother. And Julianna Baggott talks about having a mom who tells her everything. As Filgate writes, “Our mothers are our first homes, and that’s why we’re always trying to return to them.” There’s relief in acknowledging how what we couldn’t say for so long is a way to heal our relationships with others and, perhaps most important, with ourselves. Contributions by Cathi Hanauer, Melissa Febos, Alexander Chee, Dylan Landis, Bernice L. McFadden, Julianna Baggott, Lynn Steger Strong, Kiese Laymon, Carmen Maria Machado, André Aciman, Sari Botton, Nayomi Munaweera, Brandon Taylor, and Leslie Jamison.

Wordslut by Amanda Montell

Title Wordslut
Author Amanda Montell
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2019-05-28
Category Social Science
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780062868893
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A brash, enlightening, and wildly entertaining feminist look at gendered language and the way it shapes us, written with humor and playfulness that challenges words and phrases and how we use them. “I get so jazzed about the future of feminism knowing that Amanda Montell’s brilliance is rising up and about to explode worldwide.”—Jill Soloway The word bitch conjures many images for many people, but it is most often meant to describe an unpleasant woman. Even before its usage to mean a female canine, bitch didn’t refer to gender at all—it originated as a gender-neutral word meaning genitalia. A perfectly innocuous word devolving into a female insult is the case for tons more terms, including hussy—which simply meant housewife—or slut, which meant an untidy person and was also used to describe men. These words are just a few among history’s many English slurs hurled at women. Amanda Montell, reporter and feminist linguist, deconstructs language—from insults and cursing, gossip, and catcalling to grammar and pronunciation patterns—to reveal the ways it has been used for centuries to keep women and other marginalized genders from power. Ever wonder why so many people are annoyed when women talk with vocal fry or use the word like as a filler? Or why certain gender-neutral terms stick and others don’t? Or where stereotypes of how women and men speak come from in the first place? Montell effortlessly moves between history, science, and popular culture to explore these questions and more—and how we can use the answers to effect real social change. Montell’s irresistible humor shines through, making linguistics not only approachable but both downright hilarious and profound, demonstrated in chapters such as: Slutty Skanks and Nasty Dykes: A Comprehensive List of Gendered Insults How to Embarrass the Shit Out of People Who Try to Correct Your Grammar Fuck it: An Ode to Cursing While Female Cyclops, Panty Puppet, Bald Headed Bastard and 100+ Other Things to Call Your Genitalia Montell effortlessly moves between history and popular culture to explore these questions and more. Wordslut gets to the heart of our language, marvels at its elasticity, and sheds much-needed light into the biases that shadow women in our culture and our consciousness.

Master Class by Christina Dalcher

Title Master Class
Author Christina Dalcher
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2020-04-21
Category Fiction
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780440000853
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the critically-acclaimed author of the international bestseller VOX comes a suspenseful new novel that examines a disturbing near future where harsh realities follow from unreachable standards. It’s impossible to know what you will do… Every child's potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it's off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy. When your child is taken from you. Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state's elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena's perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back. And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.

An Unexplained Death by Mikita Brottman

Title An Unexplained Death
Author Mikita Brottman
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Release Date 2018-11-06
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781250169150
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An Unexplained Death is an obsessive investigation into a mysterious death at the Belvedere—a once-grand hotel—and a poignant, gripping meditation on suicide and voyeurism “The poster is new. I notice it right away, taped to a utility pole. Beneath the word ‘Missing,’ printed in a bold, high-impact font, are two sepia-toned photographs of a man dressed in a bow tie and tux.” Most people would keep walking. Maybe they’d pay a bit closer attention to the local news that evening. Mikita Brottman spent ten years sifting through the details of the missing man’s life and disappearance, and his purported suicide by jumping from the roof of her own apartment building, the Belvedere. As Brottman delves into the murky circumstances surrounding Rey Rivera’s death—which begins to look more and more like a murder—she contemplates the nature of and motives behind suicide, and uncovers a haunting pattern of guests at the Belvedere, when it was still a historic hotel, taking their own lives on the premises. Finally, she fearlessly takes us to the edge of her own morbid curiosity and asks us to consider our own darker impulses and obsessions.

Mother Winter by Sophia Shalmiyev

Title Mother Winter
Author Sophia Shalmiyev
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Release Date 2020-02-11
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781501193095
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Lyrical and emotionally gutting." —O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE “Intellectually satisfying [and] artistically profound.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW) “Mesmeric.”—THE PARIS REVIEW “Vividly awesome and truly great." —EILEEN MYLES “Gorgeous, gutting, unforgettable." —LENI ZUMAS “Brilliant.” —MICHELLE TEA An arresting memoir equal parts refugee-coming-of-age story, feminist manifesto, and meditation on motherhood, displacement, gender politics, and art that follows award-winning writer Sophia Shalmiyev’s flight from the Soviet Union, where she was forced to abandon her estranged mother, and her subsequent quest to find her. Russian sentences begin backward, Sophia Shalmiyev tells us on the first page of her striking lyrical memoir. To understand the end of her story, we must go back to the beginning. Born to a Russian mother and an Azerbaijani father, Shalmiyev was raised in the stark oppressiveness of 1980s Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), where anti-Semitism and an imbalance of power were omnipresent in her home. At just eleven years old, Shalmiyev’s father stole her away to America, forever abandoning her estranged alcoholic mother, Elena. Motherless on a tumultuous voyage to the states, terrified in a strange new land, Shalmiyev depicts in urgent, poetic vignettes her emotional journeys through an uncharted world as an immigrant, artist, and, eventually, as a mother of two. As an adult, Shalmiyev voyages back to Russia to search endlessly for the mother she never knew—in her pursuit, we witness an arresting, impassioned meditation on art-making, gender politics, displacement, and most potently, motherhood.

All Ships Follow Me by Mieke Eerkens

Title All Ships Follow Me
Author Mieke Eerkens
Publisher Picador
Release Date 2019-04-02
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781250117816
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An engrossing, epic saga of one family’s experiences on both sides of WWII, All Ships Follow Me questions our common narrative of the conflict and our stark notions of victim and perpetrator, while tracing the lasting effects of war through several generations. In March 1942, Mieke Eerkens’ father was a ten-year-old boy living in the Dutch East Indies. When the Japanese invaded the island he, his family, and one hundred thousand other Dutch civilians were interned in a concentration camp and forced into hard labor for three years. After the Japanese surrendered, Mieke’s father and his family were set free in a country that plunged immediately into civil war. Across the globe in the Netherlands, police carried a crying five-year-old girl out of her home at war’s end, abandoned and ostracized as a daughter of Nazi sympathizers. This was Mieke's mother. She would be left on the street in front of her sealed home as her parents were taken away and imprisoned in the same camps where the country’s Jews had recently been held. Many years later, Mieke’s parents met, got married, and moved to California, where she and her siblings were born. While her parents lived far from the events of their past, the effects of the war would continue to be felt in their daily lives and in the lives of their children. All Ships Follow Me moves from Indonesia to the Netherlands to the United States, and spans generations, as Mieke recounts her parents' lives during and just after the war, and travels with them in the present day to the sites of their childhood in an attempt to understand their experiences and how it formed them. All Ships Follow Me is a deeply personal, sweeping saga of the wounds of war, and the way trauma can be passed down through generations.

Jell O Girls by Allie Rowbottom

Title JELL O Girls
Author Allie Rowbottom
Publisher Little, Brown
Release Date 2018-07-24
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9780316510639
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A "gorgeous" (New York Times) memoir that braids the evolution of one of America's most iconic branding campaigns with the stirring tales of the women who lived behind its facade - told by the inheritor of their stories. In 1899, Allie Rowbottom's great-great-great-uncle bought the patent to Jell-O from its inventor for $450. The sale would turn out to be one of the most profitable business deals in American history, and the generations that followed enjoyed immense privilege - but they were also haunted by suicides, cancer, alcoholism, and mysterious ailments. More than 100 years after that deal was struck, Allie's mother Mary was diagnosed with the same incurable cancer, a disease that had also claimed her own mother's life. Determined to combat what she had come to consider the "Jell-O curse" and her looming mortality, Mary began obsessively researching her family's past, determined to understand the origins of her illness and the impact on her life of Jell-O and the traditional American values the company championed. Before she died in 2015, Mary began to send Allie boxes of her research and notes, in the hope that her daughter might write what she could not. Jell-O Girls is the liberation of that story. A gripping examination of the dark side of an iconic American product and a moving portrait of the women who lived in the shadow of its fractured fortune, Jell-O Girls is a family history, a feminist history, and a story of motherhood, love and loss. In crystalline prose Rowbottom considers the roots of trauma not only in her own family, but in the American psyche as well, ultimately weaving a story that is deeply personal, as well as deeply connected to the collective female experience.

The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin

Title The Unpassing
Author Chia-Chia Lin
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2019-05-07
Category Fiction
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9780374719456
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Finalist for the 2019 NBCC John Leonard Prize for Best First Book. Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. One of Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Debut Novels of 2019. Named one of the Best Books of 2019 by TIME, The Washington Post, and Esquire. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. "A singularly vast and captivating novel . . . What makes Lin’s novel such an important book is the extent to which it probes America’s mythmaking about itself." --The New York Times Book Review A searing debut novel that explores community, identity, and the myth of the American dream through an immigrant family in Alaska In Chia-Chia Lin’s debut novel, The Unpassing, we meet a Taiwanese immigrant family of six struggling to make ends meet on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska. The father, hardworking but beaten down, is employed as a plumber and repairman, while the mother, a loving, strong-willed, and unpredictably emotional matriarch, holds the house together. When ten-year-old Gavin contracts meningitis at school, he falls into a deep, nearly fatal coma. He wakes up a week later to learn that his little sister Ruby was infected, too. She did not survive. Routine takes over for the grieving family: the siblings care for each other as they befriend a neighboring family and explore the woods; distance grows between the parents as they deal with their loss separately. But things spiral when the father, increasingly guilt ridden after Ruby’s death, is sued for not properly installing a septic tank, which results in grave harm to a little boy. In the ensuing chaos, what really happened to Ruby finally emerges. With flowing prose that evokes the terrifying beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, Lin explores the fallout after the loss of a child and the way in which a family is forced to grieve in a place that doesn’t yet feel like home. Emotionally raw and subtly suspenseful, The Unpassing is a deeply felt family saga that dismisses the American dream for a harsher, but ultimately more profound, reality.

In The Neighborhood Of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

Title In the Neighborhood of True
Author Susan Kaplan Carlton
Publisher Algonquin Books
Release Date 2019-04-09
Category Young Adult Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781616209292
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out. “The story may be set in the past, but it couldn’t be a more timely reminder that true courage comes not from fitting in, but from purposefully standing out . . . and that to find out who you really are, you have to first figure out what you’re not.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club. Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.