This week's picks comes from Marissa and Erin of Graywolf Press!
In Caddis Wood by Mary Rockcastle
The title I’m most looking forward to on Graywolf’s fall list is Mary Rockcastle’s IN CADDIS WOOD. This is Rockcastle’s first book in over 15 years (Graywolf published her much-acclaimed debut novel, RAINY LAKE, in the mid-90s), and I can assure you it was well worth the wait.
The novel is set in Minneapolis and a summerhouse in fictional Caddis Wood, Wisconsin, and follows Hallie and Carl, a much-contented and long-married couple whose bond suddenly begins to unravel in the twilight years of their marriage. First, Carl is struck with debilitating mystery illness. Then, nearly simultaneously, Carl uncovers a secret about Hallie that has him questioning their seemingly-contented devotion to one another and rewriting their shared history.
Moving back and forth between locations and time periods, Rockcastle uses Carl and Hallie’s story to explore the ebbs, flows, and clashes of married life and the ever-competing demands of family and ambition. Did I mention how beautifully, jaw-droppingly well-written it is? The lush, wooded landscape of Caddis Wood itself is the beating heart of this novel, and serves as a silent—but vivid—entity present in nearly every facet of Carl, Hallie, and their daughters’ lives.
Graywolf will publish IN CADDIS WOOD in September, and it will be the perfect novel for you to sink into during the last hazy days of summer.
Child Wonder by Roy Jacobsen
When it comes to books, I’m a sucker for the following things, in no particular order: precocious child narrators, translations, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, and things that are simultaneously funny ha-ha and funny-sad. Which is to say, Child Wonder by Roy Jacobsen, forthcoming this October, is one of my new favorite novels.
Nine-year-old Finn, the narrator of Child Wonder, is self-conscious, confused, and a bit mouthy—but he’s also charming, whip-smart, and vulnerable. As I read the book I found myself feeling very protective of Finn; he’s the type of character that instantly endears himself to you. When his life is turned upside down upon the arrival of a six-year-old half-sister he didn’t know he had, Finn struggles to find his place in an incomprehensible adult world of loyalty, moral ambiguity, and family secrets.
Roy Jacobsen has written a coming-of-age tale in 1960s Norway that is at once heartbreaking and hilarious, nostalgic and unsentimental, and has created an unforgettable protagonist in Finn. Trust me: Child Wonder belongs at the top of your must-read list for the fall.
Marisa Atkinson is the Marketing and Publicity Associate at Graywolf Press, where she has worked with Belle Boggs, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Jim Moore, Melanie Rae Thon, and others. She will read any coming-of-age or campus novel you put in front of her. She has never read The Great Gatsby, but promises it’s on her summer reading list. You can follow her on Twitter at @totesmarisa and check out Graywolf on Facebook.
Erin Kottke is the publicity director at Graywolf Press, where she has had the honor of working with Per Petterson, Ander Monson, Tiphanie Yanique, Tony Hoagland, and others. Some of her favorite non-Graywolf books are No Great Mischief by Alistair McLeod, Straight Man by Richard Russo, Ordinary Victories by Manu Larcenet, Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes, and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon, though it pained her to narrow it down to just five and she’s sure she’s leaving out some obvious ones (The Great Gatsby! Mrs. Dalloway! Le Petit Prince! Anything by Jane Austen or Sam Lipsyte or John McPhee!). She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their three-year old son, Linus. You can find her on Twitter at @eekottke and @graywolfpress.
Can I just tell you how much I adore both of these lovely ladies? They are made of awesome, really and truly!
So what do you think guys? See anything that catches your eye? Which of these books are you most excited to see release? Help TNBBC and Graywolf Press spread the buzz about these books by sharing this post with others!