The Magical Language of Others is a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter. After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji Koh's parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in California. Overnight, Eun Ji finds herself abandoned and adrift in a world made strange by her mother's absence. Her mother writes letters, in Korean, over the years seeking forgiveness and love--letters Eun Ji cannot fully understand until she finds them years later hidden in a box.
As Eun Ji translates the letters, she looks to history--her grandmother Jun's years as a lovesick wife in Daejeon, the horrors her grandmother Kumiko witnessed during the Jeju Island Massacre--and to poetry, as well as her own lived experience to answer questions inside all of us. Where do the stories of our mothers and grandmothers end and ours begin? How do we find words--in Korean, Japanese, English, or any language--to articulate the profound ways that distance can shape love? Eun Ji Koh fearlessly grapples with forgiveness, reconciliation, legacy, and intergenerational trauma, arriving at insights that are essential reading for anyone who has ever had to balance love, longing, heartbreak, and joy.
The Magical Language of Others weaves a profound tale of hard-won selfhood and our deep bonds to family, place, and language, introducing--in Eun Ji Koh--a singular, incandescent voice.
A memoir from one of Britain's legendary singers, folklorists, and music historians.
A legendary singer, folklorist, and music historian, Shirley Collins has been an integral part of the folk-music revival for more than sixty years. In her new memoir, All in the Downs, Collins tells the story of that lifelong relationship with English folksong--a dedication to artistic integrity that has guided her through the triumphs and tragedies of her life.
All in the Downs combines elements of memoir--from her working-class origins in wartime Hastings to the bright lights of the 1950s folk revival in London--alongside reflections on the role traditional music and the English landscape have played in shaping her vision. From formative field recordings made with Alan Lomax in the United States to the "crowning glories" recorded with her sister Dolly on the Sussex Downs, she writes of the obstacles that led to her withdrawal from the spotlight and the redemption of a new artistic flourishing that continues today with her unexpected return to recording in 2016.
Through it all, Shirley Collins has been guided and supported by three vital and inseparable loves: traditional English song, the people and landscape of her native Sussex, and an unwavering sense of artistic integrity. All in the Downs pays tribute to these passions, and in doing so, illustrates a way of life as old as England, that has all but vanished from this land.
Generously illustrated with rare archival material.
"It's hard to overstate the importance of this gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking book, which tackles sexual violence and its aftermath while also articulating the singular pain of knowing -- or loving, or caring for, or having a history with -- one's rapist. Vanasco is whip-smart and tender, open and ruthless; she is the perfect guide through the minefield of her trauma, and ours." --Carmen Maria Machado in Bustle
A Most Anticipated Book of Fall at Time, NYLON, Bustle, Pacific Standard, The Millions, Publishers Weekly, Chicago Tribune and more!
Solitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement--in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana--all for a crime he did not commit. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America's prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world.
Arrested often as a teenager in New Orleans, inspired behind bars in his early twenties to join the Black Panther Party because of its social commitment and code of living, Albert was serving a 50-year sentence in Angola for armed robbery when on April 17, 1972, a white guard was killed. Albert and another member of the Panthers were accused of the crime and immediately put in solitary confinement by the warden. Without a shred of actual evidence against them, their trial was a sham of justice that gave them life sentences in solitary. Decades passed before Albert gained a lawyer of consequence; even so, sixteen more years and multiple appeals were needed before he was finally released in February 2016.
Remarkably self-aware that anger or bitterness would have destroyed him in solitary confinement, sustained by the shared solidarity of two fellow Panthers, Albert turned his anger into activism and resistance. The Angola 3, as they became known, resolved never to be broken by the grinding inhumanity and corruption that effectively held them for decades as political prisoners. He survived to give us Solitary, a chronicle of rare power and humanity that proves the better spirits of our nature can thrive against any odds.
"Croft's photos, mixed in with her text, create continuity between memoirist and protagonist, despite their differing names. Her musings on language and occasional inclusion of Cyrillic script serve the same purpose. They make Homesick into a translator's Bildungsroman, one in which art is first a beacon, then a home." --NPR
The coming of age story of an award-winning translator, HOMESICK is about learning to love language in its many forms, healing through words and the promises and perils of empathy and sisterhood. Sisters Amy and Zoe grow up in Oklahoma where they are homeschooled for an unexpected reason: Zoe suffers from debilitating and mysterious seizures, spending her childhood in hospitals as she undergoes surgeries. Meanwhile, Amy flourishes intellectually, showing an innate ability to glean a world beyond the troubles in her home life, exploring that world through languages first. Amy's first love appears in the form of her Russian tutor Sasha, but when she enters university at the age of 15 her life changes drastically and with tragic results.
A NEW YORK TIMES AND NEW YORKER TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR
"Beautiful, literary, and devastating."--New York Times Book Review - "Revelatory."--Entertainment Weekly - "A masterly Silicon Valley gothic."--Vogue -"Mesmerizing, discomfiting reading... A book of no small literary skill."--New Yorker - "Extraordinary... An aching, exquisitely told story."--People - "The sleeper critical hit of the season."--Vulture
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR NPR, AMAZON, GQ, VOGUE (UK), BUSTLE, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, AND INDIGO
Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents―artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs―Lisa Brennan-Jobs's childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he'd become the parent she'd always wanted him to be. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is a poignant coming-of-age story from one of our most exciting new literary voices.Praise for Small Fry
"An intimate, richly drawn portrait... The reader of this exquisite memoir is left with a loving, forgiving remembrance and the lasting impression of a resilient, kindhearted and wise woman who is at peace with her past."--San Francisco Chronicle
"A heartbreaking memoir, beautifully rendered...It's a love story for the father that she had, flaws and all... A wise, thoughtful, and ultimately loving portrayal of her father."--Seattle Times
Co-winner of the 2018 French-American Foundation Translation Prize in Nonfiction
Winner of the 2017 Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her entire body of work
Winner of the 2016 Strega European Prize Considered by many to be the iconic French memoirist's defining work, The Years was a breakout bestseller when published in France in 2008, and is considered in French Studies departments in the US as a contemporary classic. The Years is a personal narrative of the period 1941 to 2006 told through the lens of memory, impressions past and present--even projections into the future--photos, books, songs, radio, television and decades of advertising, headlines, contrasted with intimate conflicts and writing notes from six decades of diaries. Local dialect, words of the times, slogans, brands and names for the ever-proliferating objects, are given voice here. The voice we recognize as the author's continually dissolves and re-emerges. Ernaux makes the passage of time palpable. Time itself, inexorable, narrates its own course, consigning all other narrators to anonymity. A new kind of autobiography emerges, at once subjective and impersonal, private and collective. On its 2008 publication in France, The Years came as a surprise. Though Ernaux had for years been hailed as a beloved, bestselling and award-winning author, The Years was in many ways a departure: both an intimate memoir "written" by entire generations, and a story of generations telling a very personal story. Like the generation before hers, the narrator eschews the "I" for the "we" (or "they", or "one") as if collective life were inextricably intertwined with a private life that in her parents' generation ceased to exist. She writes of her parents' generation (and could be writing of her own book): "From a common fund of hunger and fear, everything was told in the "we" and impersonal pronouns."
Written in taut, mesmerizing, often hilarious scenes, Night Moves captures the fierce friendships and small moments that form us all. Drawing on her personal journals from the aughts, Jessica Hopper chronicles her time as a DJ, living in decrepit punk houses, biking to bad loft parties with her friends, exploring Chicago deep into the night. And, along the way, she creates an homage to vibrant corners of the city that have been muted by sleek development. A book birthed in the amber glow of Chicago streetlamps, Night Moves is about a transformative moment of cultural history--and how a raw, rebellious writer found her voice.
Rerun Era is a captivating, propulsive memoir about growing up in the environmentally and economically devastated rural flatlands of Oklahoma, the entwinement of personal memory and the memory of popular culture, and a family thrown into trial by lost love and illness that found common ground in the television. Told from the magnetic perspective of Joanna Howard's past selves from the late '70s and early '80s, Rerun Era circles the fascinating psyches of her part-Cherokee teamster truck-driving father, her women's libber mother, and her skateboarder, rodeo bull-riding teenage brother.
Illuminating to our rural American present, and the way popular culture portrays the rural American past, Rerun Era perfectly captures the irony of growing up in rural America in the midst of nationalistic fantasies of small town local sheriffs and saloon girls, which manifested the urban cowboy, wild west theme-parks, and The Beverly Hillbillies. Written in stunning, lyric prose, Rerun Era gives humanity, perspective, humor, and depth to an often invisible part of this country, and firmly establishes Howard as an urgent and necessary voice in American letters.
Told using seven key emotions--fear, grief, joy, distraction, anger, disgust, and hope--Seven Signs of Life opens the door, and heart, of the hectic life inside a hospital to reveal what it means to be alive and how it feels to care for others.
Like a cursed oracle, I foresaw my future years ago not knowing that it was my own. Confined in a cell four meters long, imprisoned on absurd, Kafkaesque charges, novelist Ahmet Altan is one of many writers persecuted by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's oppressive regime. In this extraordinary memoir, written from his prison cell, Altan reflects upon his sentence, on a life whittled down to a courtyard covered by bars, and on the hope and solace a writer's mind can provide, even in the darkest places.
"There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime." --Julia Alvarez
In this searing memoir, Jaquira Díaz writes fiercely and eloquently of her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age.While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Díaz found herself caught between extremes. As her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was supported by the love of her friends. As she longed for a family and home, her life was upended by violence. As she celebrated her Puerto Rican culture, she couldn't find support for her burgeoning sexual identity. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico's history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz writes with raw and refreshing honesty, triumphantly mapping a way out of despair toward love and hope, to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be. Reminiscent of Tara Westover's Educated, Kiese Laymon's Heavy, Mary Karr's The Liars' Club, and Terese Marie Mailhot's Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz's memoir provides a vivid portrait of a life lived in (and beyond) the borders of Puerto Rico and its complicated history--and reads as electrically as a novel.
For as long as they can remember, Cyrus Grace Dunham felt like a visitor in their own body. Their life was a series of imitations--lovable little girl, daughter, sister, young gay woman--until their profound sense of alienation became intolerable. Moving between Grace and Cyrus, Dunham brings us inside the chrysalis of gender transition, asking us to bear witness to an uncertain and exhilarating process that troubles our most basic assumptions about who we are and how we are constituted. Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs, A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved queer coming of age story. Named one of Fall 2019's Most Anticipated Books by: TimeNYLONVogueELLEBuzzfeed BustleO MagazineHarper's Bazaar
A raw, funny, and fiercely honest account of becoming a mother before feeling like a grown up. When Meaghan O'Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties and decided to keep the baby, she realized that the book she needed -- a brutally honest, agenda-free reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood -- didn't exist. So she decided to write it herself.
And Now We Have Everything is O'Connell's exploration of the cataclysmic, impossible-to-prepare-for experience of becoming a mother. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O'Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the fantasies of a "natural" birth experience that erode maternal self-esteem, post-partum body and sex issues, and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity. Channeling fears and anxieties that are still taboo and often unspoken, And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank, funny, and visceral motherhood story for our times, about having a baby and staying, for better or worse, exactly yourself.
In Mighty Justice, trailblazing African American civil rights attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree recounts her inspiring life story that speaks movingly and urgently to our racially troubled times. From the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, to the segregated courtrooms of the nation's capital; from the male stronghold of the army where she broke gender and color barriers to the pulpits of churches where women had waited for years for the right to minister--in all these places, Roundtree sought justice. At a time when African American attorneys had to leave the courthouses to use the bathroom, Roundtree took on Washington's white legal establishment and prevailed, winning a 1955 landmark bus desegregation case that would help to dismantle the practice of "separate but equal" and shatter Jim Crow laws. Later, she led the vanguard of women ordained to the ministry in the AME Church in 1961, merging her law practice with her ministry to fight for families and children being destroyed by urban violence.
Dovey Roundtree passed away in 2018 at the age of 104. Though her achievements were significant and influential, she remains largely unknown to the American public. Mighty Justice corrects the historical record.
One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year: Vogue, Parade, Esquire, Bitch, and Maclean's
A New York Times and Washington Post Book to Watch
A fiercely personal memoir about coming of age in the male-dominated literary world of the nineties, becoming the first female literary editor of Esquire, and Miller's personal and working relationship with David Foster Wallace
A naive and idealistic twenty-two-year-old from the Midwest, Adrienne Miller got her lucky break when she was hired as an editorial assistant at GQ magazine in the mid-nineties. Even if its sensibilities were manifestly mid-century--the martinis, powerful male egos, and unquestioned authority of kings--GQ still seemed the red-hot center of the literary world. It was there that Miller began learning how to survive in a man's world. Three years later, she forged her own path, becoming the first woman to take on the role of literary editor of Esquire, home to the male writers who had defined manhood itself-- Hemingway, Mailer, and Carver. Up against this old world, she would soon discover that it wanted nothing to do with a "mere girl."
But this was also a unique moment in history that saw the rise of a new literary movement, as exemplified by McSweeney's and the work of David Foster Wallace. A decade older than Miller, the mercurial Wallace would become the defining voice of a generation and the fiction writer she would work with most. He was her closest friend, confidant--and antagonist. Their intellectual and artistic exchange grew into a highly charged professional and personal relationship between the most prominent male writer of the era and a young woman still finding her voice.
This memoir--a rich, dazzling story of power, ambition, and identity--ultimately asks the question "How does a young woman fit into this male culture and at what cost?" With great wit and deep intelligence, Miller presents an inspiring and moving portrayal of a young woman's education in a land of men.
"The memoir I've been waiting for: a bold, incisive, and illuminating story of a woman whose devotion to language and literature comes at a hideous cost. It's Joanna Rakoff's My Salinger Year updated for the age of She Said a literary New York now long past; an intimate, fiercely realist portrait of a mythic literary figure; and now, a tender reckoning with possession, power, and what Jia Tolentino called the 'Important, Inappropriate Literary Man.' A poised and superbly perceptive narration of the problems of working with men, and of loving them."-- Eleanor Henderson, author of 10,000 Saints
While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson and a woman named Annemarie--letters are that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters' language--but does not see Carson as history has portrayed her.
And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of Carson's life: She wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at Carson's childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives Carson's days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and Carson, she sees the way Carson's story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results articulate something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.
In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of America's most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.
In the vein of Mary Karr's Lit, Augusten Burroughs' Dry and Sarah Hepola's Blackout, As Needed for Pain is a raw and riveting--and often wryly funny--addiction memoir from one of New York media's most accomplished editors which explores his never-before-told story of opioid addiction and the drastic impact it had on his life and career.
Dan Peres wasn't born to be a media insider. As an awkward, magic-obsessed adolescent, nothing was further from his reality than the catwalks of Paris or the hallways of glossy magazine publishers. A gifted writer and shrewd cultural observer, Peres eventually took the leap--even when it meant he had to fake a sense of belonging in a new world of famed fashion designers, celebrities, and some of media's biggest names. But he had a secret: opiates.
Peres's career as an editor at W magazine and Details is well known, but little is known about his private life as a high-functioning drug addict. In As Needed for Pain, Peres lays bare for the first time the extent of his drug use--at one point a 60-pill-a-day habit.
By turns humorous and gripping, Peres's story is a cautionary coming-of-age tale filled with unforgettable characters and breathtaking brushes with disaster. But the heart of the book is his journey from outsider to insecure insider, what it took to get him there, and how he found his way back from a killing addiction.
As Needed for Pain offers a rare glimpse into New York media's past--a time when print magazines mattered--and a rarefied world of wealth, power, and influence. It is also a brilliant, shocking dissection of a life teetering on the edge of destruction, and what it took to pull back from the brink.