Friday, September 29, 2017

New Books Coming Your Way, October 3, 2017

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
340 p.; Science Fiction

Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She's used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world.

Aster lives in the low deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot--if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war.

The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright
432 p.; Fiction

Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life—and his destiny—is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in Southern India and sold to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children. His family is desperate to find him, and Chellamuthu anxiously tells the Indian orphanage that he is not an orphan, he has a mother who loves him. But he is told not to worry, he will soon be adopted by a loving family in America.

Chellamuthu is suddenly surrounded by a foreign land and a foreign language. He can’t tell people that he already has a family and becomes consumed by a single, impossible question: How do I get home? But after more than a decade, home becomes a much more complicated idea as the Indian boy eventually sheds his past and receives a new name: Taj Khyber Rowland.

It isn’t until Taj meets an Indian family who helps him rediscover his roots, as well as marrying Priya, his wife, who helps him unveil the secrets of his past, that he begins to discover the truth he has all but forgotten. Taj is determined to return to India and begin the quest to find his birth family. But is it too late? Is it possible that his birth mother is still looking for him? And which family does he belong to now?

Moonbath by Yanick Lahens
264 p.; Fiction

After she is found washed up on shore, Cétoute Olmène Thérèse, bloody and bruised, recalls the circumstances that led her there. Her voice weaves hauntingly in and out of the narrative, as her story intertwines with those of three generations of women in her family, beginning with Olmène, her grandmother.

Olmène, barely sixteen, catches the eye of the cruel and powerful Tertulien Mésidor, despite the generations-long feud between their families which cast her ancestors into poverty. He promises her shoes, dresses, land, and children who will want for nothing…and five months after moving into her new home, she gives birth to a son. As the family struggles through political and economic turmoil, the narrative shifts between the voices of four women, their lives interwoven with magic and fraught equally with hope and despair, leading to Cétoute’s ultimate, tragic fate.

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
400 p.; Memoir

The years between 2008 and 2016 don’t just mark two terms of a historic presidency but define a dramatic era in politics, activism, culture, and historiography that have reshaped this country and its public discourse. During this same period, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who begins the book in an unemployment office and ends it having interviewed President Obama in the Oval office, became one of the country’s most important voices through his work at The Atlantic. There he wrote a series of blockbuster, award-winning articles that changed the public conversation around race, culture and political possibility, and became, himself, an example of how the Obama era changed individual lives and opened opportunities for new voices to find a place at the center of the American story.

This important volume offers Ta-Nehisi’s most prominent and influential Atlantic articles, from “Fear of a Black President” to “The Case for Reparations” to “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” But the book’s daring, imaginative format—real-time journalism combined with retrospective essays that range from the personal to the historical to the analytical and create a cohesive narrative arc—is the key to its uncanny ability to offer the essential account of the Obama years, while also making a powerful, transformative argument about history, identity, and the American future.

Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims
288 p.; Memoir

Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called microaggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person's inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered "the other."

The author of the New York Times bestselling anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims has written a different sort of book this time out, but one that will nevertheless resonate with the legions of students, educators, and parents to whom she is now well known, by whom she is beloved, and to whom she has always provided wise and necessary counsel about how to embrace and nurture their best selves. Real American is an affecting memoir, an unforgettable cri de coeur, and a clarion call to all of us to live more wisely, generously, and fully.

Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien
272 p.; Fiction

Set in Cambodia during the regime of the-Khmer Rouge and in present day Montreal, Dogs at the Perimeter tells the story of Janie, who as a child experiences the terrible violence carried out by the Khmer Rouge and loses everything she holds dear. Three decades later, Janie has relocated to Montreal, although the scars of her past remain visible. After abandoning her husband and son and taking refuge in the home of her friend, the scientist Hiroji Matsui, Janie and Hiroji find solace in their shared grief and pain—until Hiroji’s disappearance opens old wounds and Janie finds that she must struggle to find grace in a world overshadowed by the sorrows of her past.

Beautifully realized, deeply affecting, Dogs at the Perimeter evokes the injustice of tyranny through the eyes of a young girl and draws a remarkable map of the mind’s battle with memory, loss, and the horrors of war. It confirms Madeleine Thien as one of the most gifted and powerful novelists writing today.

The Writers' Retreat by Indu Balachandran
296 p.; Fiction
Amby Balan has had enough of the corporate life in a multinational bank in India. On a reckless whim, she quits her job and becomes a Tweet Writer for Krish Kumaar, the hunky new Kollywood superstar. Despite her glamorous new job (and the opportunity to ogle her gorgeous boss all day long) Amby still longs to fulfil her dream of becoming a writer.

She comes across an exciting ad for a Writers’ Workshop in Greece and cannot pack her bags soon enough. On the way to Crete and Santorini, she meets Mini Cherian, a bestselling children's book author who fantasizes about writing erotic novels; and Bobby Varma, who left behind the advertising world to become a travel writer.

Together, they embark on an unforgettable adventure to discover their true selves and find love in impossibly romantic Greek islands.

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