We’re pleased to present an excerpt from Lee Matthew Goldberg’s new novel The Ancestor. Goldberg’s novel tells the story of an amnesic man who awakens in Alaska beside his double; the result is a harrowing novel grappling with questions of agency, violence, and the allure of the Gold Rush. Kirkus’s review dubbed the book “[a] story that blends the familiar and the supernatural in a manner that calls Stephen King’s work to mind.”
Christopher Linforth’s Directory is a short, powerful collection of flash fiction. The forty stories, which make up the book, run together to form a strange, fragmented narrative. The book falls squarely into experimental fiction, a nebulous if useful category. Directory explores the dichotomies and idiosyncrasies of the genre through the story of a pluralized narrator, part I and part we.
Today, we’re pleased to present an excerpt from Tara Isabel Zambrano’s collection Death, Desire, and Other Destinations.Its publisher describes it as a book which “”explores the rocky terrain of relationships and their fault lines, and unearths the boundaries between love, longing, and loss. Both real and surreal, lyrical and magical, sci-fi and speculative, these small stories shine a light in the darkness of seeking a human connection across space and time.” Among Zambrano’s admirers are Ben Loory and Chaya Bhuvaneswar, who dubbed Zambrano “”a new and distinctive talent in fiction.”
What happens when you blend a loving portrait of Memphis, speculative and uncanny elements, and some gloriously pulpy imagery all into one highly compelling work of fiction? Well, you might get Nine Bar Blues, the new collection from Sheree Renée Thomas. Thomas’s collection resonates on its own frequency, moving from moments of wonder to those of terror and back again. I spoke with her about the origins of this collection and how she created such a powerful work.
by Bobby Sauro
The spirits in the basement were increasing in number. There was a man, a woman, and now, an orphan child. The feeling of always being watched shredded my nerves. The father of my child said I was acting particularly crazy about all this.
My family and friends got tired of hearing about it, but I could always interest the strangers I waited on at Mary Mac’s Tea Room in the tumultuous world of the spirits.
Chris L. Terry’s second novel, Black Card, is a lot of things. It’s an immersion in one city’s punk scene, a thoughtful consideration of its narrator’s struggles with questions of identity, and an unsettling depiction of aggressions both micro and macro. Terry writes about music from his own experience, and there’s a memorably lived-in quality to Black Card, even when Terry takes the novel in more stylized directions. With the paperback edition of the novel out now, I checked in with Terry to discuss the book’s genesis, its relationship to punk, and what the (Young) Pioneers have to do with any of this.
Leah Hampton isn’t fucking around. You don’t call a short story collection what she called hers if the plan is to be indirect. But for all its bluntness, her writing is subtle and multilayered. As great as Hampton is at sketching out living, breathing people, she’s at least as adept at using symbol and metaphor. Even when I could see a plot cocking its fist back, I was helpless to dodge the blow to my gut. The worst part is I was laughing out loud moments before getting clobbered.
Apparently it’s August now. Apparently summer has turned the corner and is beginning its slow approach into autumn. Nominally these things are happening, but the passage of time has gotten a bit strange lately. Still, there are plenty of books, and that’s an excellent thing. Do you like powerful, resonant nonfiction? August has that covered. What about surreal, high-concept fiction? Also around. Here are a few of the books we’re most excited about that are due out this month.