Because I can't possibly read every single book that finds its way into my home IMMEDIATELY, though I fully intend to die trying, allow me to show off our most recently acquired precioussssess...
Jack C Buck
Truth Serum Press
Lean as they are, Jack Buck’s stories also deliver some stunning atmospherics: “What else was there to do in early March with the Michigan wind blowing snow into everyone’s house?” There are moments of willful exile; spontaneous escape; even a bizarre encounter with Mao, a devoted practitioner, in his dotage, of small naps (who knew?). Each of these brief stories is a window on a world of Buck’s choosing; it’s our good fortune that he inhabits so many worlds at once, and such fascinating ones. In their very compression the stories invite us to focus on the people and things nearest to us while never losing sight—not once—of what beckons from the far horizon. ~ Edward Hamlin, author of Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories
Dana Diehl's debut short story collection, Our Dreams Might Align, is loss and longing, is magic and what's beyond what we can see. Each story breathes into existence a new, magical world. A man makes snakes fall in love, girls prepare for the apocalypse, a couple adopts a pair of baby Komodo dragons, a husband transcends reality. These stories transport readers from the Black Forest of Germany to the rugged Isle of Skye to the depths of the ocean and deep space, all the while united by a sense of awe and deep curiosity for the natural world and our place within it.
In one of the first twenty-first century Russian novels to probe the legacy of the Soviet prison camp system, a young man travels to the vast wastelands of the Far North to uncover the truth about a shadowy neighbor who saved his life, and whom he knows only as Grandfather II. What he finds, among the forgotten mines and decrepit barracks of former gulags, is a world relegated to oblivion, where it is easier to ignore both the victims and the executioners than to come to terms with a terrible past. This disturbing tale evokes the great and ruined beauty of a land where man and machine worked in tandem with nature to destroy millions of lives during the Soviet century. Emerging from today's Russia, where the ills of the past are being forcefully erased from public memory, this masterful novel represents an epic literary attempt to rescue history from the brink of oblivion.
New Vessel Press
Running the gamut from sweet and reverent to twisted and uproarious, and with many of the stories appearing in English for the first time, this is a collection that will satisfy every reader. Dostoevsky brings stories of poverty and tragedy, Tolstoy inspires with his fable-like tales, Chekhov's unmatchable skills are on full display in a story about a female factory owner and the wretched workers, Klavdia Lukashevitch delights with a sweet and surprising tale of a childhood in White Russia, and Mikhail Zoshchenko recounts madcap anecdotes of Christmas trees and Christmas thieves. There is no shortage of vodka or wit on display here, in a collection that proves, with its wonderful variety and remarkable human touch, that Nobody Does Christmas Like the Russians.
For Clay Blackall, a lifelong resident of Providence, Rhode Island, the place has become an obsession. Here live the only people who can explain what happened to his brother, Eli, whose suicide haunts this heartbreaking, hilarious novel-in-fragments. A former movie star impersonates himself; an ex-con looks after a summer home perched atop a rock in the bay; a broken-hearted Salutatorian airs thirteen years’ worth of dirty laundry at his school’s commencement; an adjunct struggles to make room for her homeless and self-absorbed mother while revisiting a salacious high school love affair; a recent widower, with the help of a clever teen, schemes to rid his condo’s pond of Canada geese. Clay compiles their stories, invasively providing context in the form of footnotes that lead always, somehow, back to Eli. Behind Clay’s task — which seems insane, definitely doomed, and, as the pages turn, increasingly suspect — burns his desire to understand his brother‘s death and the city that has defined and ruined them both.
Full of brainy detours and irreverent asides, Exes is a powerful investigation of grief, love, and our deeply held yet ever-changing notions of home.