Burn it Down is a collection of essays by women exploring women’s anger. Editor Lilly Dancyger solicited essays from a broad spectrum of women and presents a variety of different types of anger, from the anger surrounding sexual assault to the anger derived from not being believed by their own doctor. The writers explore the triggers of their anger, the emotional response of the experience, and how anger impacts their lives. Lilly is a contributing editor and columnist at Catapult, runs the Memoir Monday newsletter and Brooklyn-based reading series, and is the author of a forthcoming memoir. We spoke by phone shortly after the release of the book.
Hello my name is Zac and I have a book up for pre-order from CLASH Books. About a month ago, like all authors trying to promote a new book via live readings, I started looking into 1) what cool cities I’ll be in/near in the coming months and 2) which cool friends or potential friends live in those cities. And I discovered that 1) I was planning on going to Richmond, VA for Thanksgiving this year and 2) Lindsay Lerman, whose debut novel I’m From Nowhere was just released by CLASH, lives in Richmond. Obviously what followed was a riveting tale of burgeoning friendship and authorial cross-promotion: we read each other’s books, we started planning a reading, Lindsay wrote a strikingly kind blurb for my book, I agreed to write a blurb for her book’s second run, and, of greatest benefit to you, the reader, we found ourselves in a conversation that could, given some more structure and copyediting, culminate in a nice, formal, literary interview. And well looky here, we got ourselves a nice, formal, literary interview. We got ourselves two authors in conversation, talking about things like books and philosophy and ecological disaster and MySpace.com. All the hits. Everything you could ask for.
Literature that makes me uncomfortable holds a special place in my heart. This year I’ve been lucky enough to read two books that have dug their way underneath my skin and stuck with me like angry chiggers hellbent on never letting go. The first book was Rachel Eve Moulton’s Tinfoil Butterfly. The second was my most recent read, Matthieu Simard’s The Country Will Bring Us No Peace. A bleak, strangely poetic narrative full of mystery that explores the darkest corners of human emotion, The Country Will Bring Us No Peace is an outstanding novel with a depressive atmosphere that sticks to your ribs and refuses to let go.
Joshua Chaplinsky‘s new collection, Whispers in the Ear of a Dreaming Ape, boasts one of the best titles I’ve seen in ages and a cover that suggests some lost cosmic horror classic. The stories contained within range in tone from surreal to horrific to satirical; it’s a terrific statement of purpose, and one that never lets the reader rest. I talked with Chaplinsky about the genesis of the book, the ways in which it came together, and what’s next for him.
Well, it’s November, and the days are growing shorter and shorter. (Assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere, at least.) We’d say that this group of books are an array of doorstoppers, suitable for curling up by the fire, but that’s not entirely true; most of these books are quite trim, in fact. They do represent a wide array of styles, however: from comic novels to incisive cultural studies; from surreal fiction in translation to candid usage of the essay form. Here are a few of the November books we’re most excited about.
Brian Evenson isn’t an author that fans of Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, or Chuck Palahniuk typically know, but he certainly should be, as his work is every bit as apocalyptic, surprising, and haunting. For years, Evenson’s readers have been slipping copies of his books into the hands of friends, students, and family members. When travelling, I often keep a copy of Contagion (which Evenson graciously allowed my small press, Astrophil Press, to reprint) and drop it into neighborhood lending libraries, and I must admit that I find a little thrill in knowing that I’ve done my small part in introducing people to this pitch perfect collection of stories. I am not alone in this; many of Evenson’s readers border on evangelicals, spreading the dark word of Evenson. This enthusiasm for Evenson’s work is understandable considering his ability to publish tightly wrought, layered stories that often stick with us long after having read them. There are very few authors I can think of who have a catalog as strong as Evenson; his stories feel entirely new and each of his sentences feel entirely necessary.
Recently, MCD Books has begun to establish itself as a home for some of today’s most memorable horror fiction. That’s bolstered by the recent publication of Rachel Eve Moulton’s Tinfoil Butterfly and the forthcoming publication of Andy Davidson’s The Boatman’s Daughter. To learn more about the press’s foray into horror, their aesthetic, and their future plans, I spoke with MCD Books Executive Editor Daphne Durham. Our conversation touched on everything from what constitutes literary horror to the legacies of bygone horror imprints, and includes some details of what you can expect from horror at MCD Books in the future.
We’re very happy to be publishing an excerpt from Dave Newman’s new book East Pittsburgh Downlow, out now on J.New Books. As its publisher says, “Pittsburgh’s most famous citizen, Mr. Rogers, said ‘In times of crisis, look for the helpers. East Pittsburgh Downlow is the story of the helpers. It’s the story of the helpless and people desperately trying to help themselves. In more than 600 pages, lives will change and end and people will be re-born. Families will be saved. Love will find love because that’s what love sometimes does.”