Akhil Sharma's new collection, A LIFE OF ADVENTURE AND DELIGHT is out today from W. W. Norton. It's been getting wonderful early reviews:
The stories in Akhil Sharma’s A Life of Adventure and Delight sweep across the page like monsoons―filled with energy, chaos, surprise, and rapture, they ravish and transform the very nature of reading. — Adam Johnson
One reads Akhil Sharma’s stories as one might watch waves approach the shore on which one stands, understanding that something unseen and powerful is driving them. The waves and the stories are beautiful, deceptively simple, and potentially dangerous. —Viet Thanh Nguyen
There’s a great duality to these stories: simple, but complex, funny enough to laugh out loud at, but emotionally devastating, foreign, yet familiar. What an exciting and original writer this is, and what a knock-out collection. — David Sedaris
Readers wade into these stories as though stepping into a calm river only to be caught by the undercurrent of the most devastating kind―the demand of everyday existence. Akhil Sharma’s words touch the deep experience that often remains wordless. He is truly the Chekhov of our time. — Yiyun Li
Victoria Redel's new novel, BEFORE EVERYTHING is out today from Viking. It's been receiving some great advance praise:
“Redel has crafted a lyrical ode to female friendship, proving that bonds can somehow be made of iron and elastic, sometimes strong and sometimes frail. She fleshes out the five main characters admirably for such a short book, linking each of their most vulnerable memories to their shared crisis. Fans of Anne Tyler and Jennifer Close will adore this warmhearted and clear-eyed novel.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
Gorgeous, a heartbreaker, a non-stop dazzler, a major achievement. Thank you, Victoria Redel. — Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours
Victoria Redel bears witness to a remarkable group of women, effortlessly weaving back and forth through time, each thread revealing the cracks and secrets of their complex lives, while also drawing them closer. . . . Redel proves that female friendship is the quiet, steady engine that truly runs the world. — Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
Before Everything is, well, everything you want a novel about life, death, and friendship to be—smart, moving, sweeping, poetic, stinging, just beautiful. I loved these women (and their men) and this elegy to their long-reaching bonds. — Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing
Before Everything is a riveting, timely story that explores the unsettlingly beautiful, emotionally charged landscape that is revealed when old friends embrace what they have never before admitted: the limits of mortality and the boundlessness of friendship. — Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
Christopher Bollen's new novel, THE DESTROYERS is out today from Harper. It's been getting some fantastic early reviews:
“Bollen manages to create a novel that is equal parts literary and thrilling. His beautiful sentences linger, and each of his characters have rich, complicated pasts that unfold over time… The novel ultimately offers a cinematic and insightful reflection on wealth and the horrendous things it can drive people to do, even to the ones they love.” — Publishers Weekly
“Beautiful people visiting glamorous places, being wicked enough to bring Patricia Highsmith to mind. It just isn’t summer without this kind of globe-trotting glamour to read about, especially when most of it is set in the Aegean. Bollen is stylish enough to know what sells… Escapism, as calculating as it gets.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The writing is sharp, languid, and lovely, and the first-person point of view is a narrowly focused beam that eventually grows to encompass the entirety of the island. Current events, including the plight of refugees and descriptions of terrorist acts, add depth and give the story a 'torn from the headlines' feel." — Library Journal
A smart, sophisticated literary thriller. — Jay McInerney
Equal parts Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Destroyers is at once lyrical and suspenseful, thoughtful and riveting. — Garth Greenwell
Possessed of both cold-blooded electricity and a beguiling elegance, The Destroyers enfolds. A propulsive, hypnotic portrait of rot at paradise’s heart and of the sprawling, inescapable tendrils of class and avarice. — Sophie McManus
Check out the excerpt at LitHub here.
Vincent Scarpa interviews Anna Journey for Electric Literature:
"Journey has a preternatural gift for artful swerving and associative shifting, so that—in the title essay, for example—a recollection of a breakdown and an ensuing call to a suicide hotline opens into a consideration of taxidermy and lyric time. In writing about her mother’s penchant for telling macabre stories at the dinner table, Journey makes a connection to campfire songs, and suddenly we’re delivered into a new space the essay has created to argue for the cultural importance of American roots music. And in providing the reader with a portrait of a tattoo artist named after a pirate-themed rum, Journey is concurrently turning our attention to the ways in which we inscribe our skins and spirits through the intimate gestures of ink. All of this without the work ever feeling as though Journey has her thumb on the scale, which is no small feat. This restraint is a mark of brilliance as well as an act of generosity. It’s a vote for the reader’s autonomy and an invitation to wonder and wander inside the latitudes laid out in the work; spaces in which Journey is both our cartographer and our fellow traveler."
Check out the full interview at Electric Lit here.
Anna Journey's debut essay collection, AN ARRANGEMENT OF SKIN is out today from Counterpoint.
It's been receiving some great early reviews:
"Zoos of antiquity, modern-day tattooed pirates, and ghost stories are all drawn together with Journey’s poetic talent... This is a retrospective that does not alienate with its personal tone. Rather, the reader is invited to reflect on a life’s many transitions and how they become part of the self." ―Booklist, starred review
"Reading the essays in Anna Journey’s elegant, haunting new collection, An Arrangement of Skin, is like cracking open a closet door and peering in to see a tight and private collection of oddities, secrets, and skeletons . . . These are intimate, delicate essays about the many skins we inhabit, illuminating even in their darkness." ―The Boston Globe
“‘Done with the compass, done with the chart!’ cried Emily Dickinson, tossing aside familiar ways of navigating the body’s wild seas. Anna Journey’s adventurous book traces what it is to be flesh in a surprising suite of essays that turns—like Ovid’s poems, or Plath’s—around images of dismemberment and metamorphosis. She might be our first Southern Gothic essayist, and she invigorates the form with both a poet's lyricism and the distinctive signature of her character: a vulnerable heart wedded to an acute, comic, unsparing eye.” —Mark Doty
"An Arrangement of Skin embodies what thrills me most in the essay form—an artist trying, over and over, to find the different paths into the subterranean realms of her subconscious. An early and unlikely image—taxidermy—contains the essence of the various tensions that connect these thoughts. For Journey, taxidermy 'evokes that ineffable spark of life: call it a soul, a personality, a sentience'. An Arrangement of Skin is by turns transformative and vital, and with it Journey takes her place alongside Biss, Jamison, and D’Ambrosio." – Nick Flynn