Like Never Let Me Go, Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro’s eighth novel, is set in a near future that feels much like the present. While the earlier novel is almost unbearably sad, this one leaves the reader in a more positive frame of mind. This might seem surprising, seeing that Klara, the first-person narrator, is a humanoid “Artificial Friend” (AF), manufactured to be a companion for children who are confined to the home because schooling is done remotely. But Klara is an exceptional AF with remarkable empathy for the fourteen-year-old Josie who chooses her.
DARRIN DOYLE teaches at Central Michigan University, and is the author of The Big Baby Crime Spree and Other Delusions, his fifth book of fiction, as well as the story collections Scoundrels Among Us and The Dark Will End the Dark (Tortoise Books) and the novels The Girl Who Ate Kalamazoo (St. Martin’s Press) and Revenge of the Teacher’s Pet: A Love Story (LSU Press). He lives in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, with three other humans and a cat.
JOANNA C. VALENTE is an alien from Saturn’s rings. They have written, illustrated, and edited a few books. Sometimes they take photos and bake ugly desserts. Their latest poetry collection, A Love Story, is forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press.
Today, we’re pleased to present an excerpt from Greg Gerke’s essay collection See What I See. Among those praising the book is Christine Schutt, who said, “See What I See is the very brew needed in these parched times. Greg Gerke’s generous, thoughtful reflections on the beguiling experience of art are full of uplift and reverence for the illuming efforts of writers and filmmakers: Louise Glück, William H. Gass, and William Gaddis, Stanley Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson, to name but a few.” Read on for one of the essays to be found within the pages of this book.
In Italy they’re celebrating seven centuries of Dante ⎯ The Divine Comedy was finished in 1321, also the year Dante died ⎯ but I doubt anyone there has whipped up a carnival so wild as Dinty Moore’s. Long a champion of creative non-fiction, in this text he delivers what might be called “multi-media creative.” To Hell With It tosses together Moore’s hand-drawn cartoons and his old family photos, it toys with his Catholic-school catechism and meanders with him through the Midwestern flea markets, and the whole way, whatever the ostensible subject, it works canto by canto through Dante’s formidable opener to the Comedy, the Inferno.
HOMELESS is based out of New York City. He is the author This Hasn’t Been a Very Magical Journey so Far (Expat, 2018) and Please Buy This Book So I Can Feel Validated & (Finally) Love Myself (House of Vlad, 2019), and has the personality of a duct-taped Wiffle ball bat. His hobbies include staring into empty McDonald’s bags, blowing his nose into empty McDonald’s bags, and drawing on empty McDonald’s bags. Clash will be publishing his next book, Shithead Laureate, in 2021.
ALEXANDRA NAUGHTON is the author of a novel, American Mary (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), and ten poetry collections, including a place a feeling something he said to you (Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2020), Rapid Transit (Nomadic Press, 2018), and You Could Never Objectify Me More Than I’ve Already Objectified Myself (Punk Hostage Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in Sporklet, Cosmonauts Avenue, Maudlin House, Witch Craft Magazine, Everyday Genius, Expat Lit, and elsewhere. Subscribe to her Substack at talkaboutit.substack.com.
What does April have in store for avid readers? Mind-expanding fiction, incisive nonfiction, and emotionally affecting poetry — and that’s just the beginning. What is perhaps most notable about this month’s intriguing books is how wide a range they cover, from traditional to experimental. Regardless of where your own tastes fall, there’s likely something due out this month that will get your attention. Here’s a look at some of the April books that have piqued ours.