Jann S. Wenner’s memoir LIKE A ROLLING STONE debuted on The New York Times Bestsellers list for the week of October 2, 2022, appearing at #6 on the Hardcover Nonfiction list and #7 on the Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction list. Little, Brown and Company published the book on September 13, 2022.
Rachel Aviv’s STRANGER TO OURSELVES received a rave review from The Wall Street Journal. Elizabeth Winkler writes: “The book unfolds in what are effectively case studies of subjects suffering from different disorders—depression, schizophrenia, psychosis—but these cases are not closed. They do not lend themselves to neat, scientific conclusions. Though the subjects come from different times and cultures, they all occupy what Ms. Aviv calls the ‘psychic hinterlands, the outer edges of human experience, where language tends to fail.’ Ms. Aviv wanders out to these far reaches, reporting with deep empathy and nuance on a category of experience that, she acknowledges, she might not have recognized ‘if I hadn’t been there myself’…Ms. Aviv paradoxically finds language for the most ineffable registers of human experience. She begins to name correctly what has been named wrongly. For a journalist, as for a psychiatrist, there is no higher achievement.” The book also received praise in a review from Wired, where Kate Knibbs writes: “If anyone knows the weight of stories, Aviv does. She’s a star New Yorker writer, capable of drilling into complicated, morally queasy situations and excavating definitive tales from the chaos…The strength of STRANGERS TO OURSELVES is in its engrossing case studies, which contribute vivid anecdotes to this ongoing conversation about the complex and perplexing nature of the mind…Aviv’s pain and empathy are palpable on the page; it is clear she doesn’t want to emphasize their differences but rather underline their fundamental similarity. She wants to end by pointing out, one last time, how porous the borders are between our stories.” Aviv also sat down for conversations and interviews with the LARB Radio Hour podcast, Shondaland, and The Maris Review podcast. Farrar, Straus and Giroux published STRANGERS TO OURSELVES on September 13, 2022.
LISTEN, WORLD! by Allison Gilbert and Julia Scheeres received stellar reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and the San Francisco Chronicle Datebook. Publishers Weekly raves: “[T]he authors paint a vivid picture of the challenges Elsie Robinson faced…The account is enlivened with copious excerpts from Robinson’s column and her memoir, all of which bring home her firebrand style. This entertaining account delivers.” Booklist praises the book as “[a] fascinating topic and solid biography that should please women’s history fans,” while Datebook writes: “Deeply researched, LISTEN, WORLD! includes passages from Robinson’s columns, books and letters, among other sources. Robinson was also an illustrator, and LISTEN, WORLD! includes a selection of her editorial cartoons, as well as photographs. The book’s prose is clear and engaging, with vivid descriptions…Over the course of this biography, readers come to recognize Robinson’s shockingly contemporary voice, and the authors highlight Robinson’s progressive views on the social issues of her time…A reminder to readers that though it’s now a century later, some things never change.” Seal Press will publish LISTEN, WORLD! on September 27, 2022.
Chelsea Manning’s forthcoming memoir README.txt was featured on the Oberver’s Fall Arts Preview. The citation reads: “It cannot be emphasized enough how many people are looking forward to [README.txt]…As a known whistle-blower, surveillance expert, and most certainly a woman with a full life, it makes perfect sense that she is putting out a memoir.” Farrar, Straus, and Giroux will publish the novel on October 18, 2022.
THE SEAPLANE ON FINAL APPROACH by Rebecca Rukeyser was reviewed by Anchorage Daily News. Reviewer Nancy Lord writes: “[A] dark but somehow still quite funny novel…[Rukeyser’s] descriptions are not only precise but rendered in the narrator’s particular, often peculiar, way of seeing and understanding…THE SEAPLANE ON FINAL APPROACH stars a complicated and engaging narrator against a well-wrought Alaska background. As it entertains, it also explores human nature and something about what draws people to Alaska.” Doubleday published the novel on June 7, 2021.
The New Yorker ran a beautiful profile on Namwali Serpell and her forthcoming novel, THE FURROWS. Lauren Michele Jackson writes: "Namwali Serpell's new novel reinvents the elegy...THE FURROWS (Hogarth), the fourth book and the second novel from Namwali Serpell, batters against the fixities of language like a moth at a windowpane...The novel’s engine is epistemic as well as emotional, Serpell being one of those novelists who have metabolized the quirks and the canniness of literary theory...Though the novel’s story lines turn and twist, the precision of Serpell’s language remains under exquisite control....The result is a novel that reclaims and refashions the genre of the elegy, charging it with as much eros as pathos. Furrows are the tracks we make and the tracks we cover up, and the shifting ground of Serpell’s novel denies every certainty save that the furrows are where we all live.” Elsewhere, THE FURROWS was featured on Fall previews and roundups from Observer, Lit Hub, The New York Times, and Harper’s Bazaar. Hogarth will publish the novel on September 27, 2022.
THE FIFTH ACT by Elliot Ackerman received a rave review from the Lincoln Journal Star. Reviewer J. Kemper Campbell writes: “Ackerman is a skilled writer…His graphic descriptions of he battles he fought in Afghanistan crackle with intensity, and his long-distance attempts to ensure last minute access for desperate Afghans trying to exit the airport using his many military contacts are achingly suspenseful...The true value of this book, however, is Ackerman’s hard-earned credibility as an observer of our Middle East foreign policy. Beginning with George Bush and ending with Joe Biden, no administration escapes his scathing commentary. His disgust with needless wars which cannot be won is palpable…This reviewer thanked Ackerman for his military service after reading his previous book. He now deserves another thanks for his service as a civilian.” Penguin Press published the book on August 9, 2022.
GOLDEN AX, Rio Cortez’s debut poetry collection, has been longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award in Poetry. The ten longlisted collections were selected by Kwame Dawes, Juan Felipe Herrera, Keetje Kuipers, January Gill O’Neil, and Mai Der Vang from a pool of 260 submissions. Finalists will be announced on October 4, and the winner will be announced on November 16. GOLDEN AX was also the headline title for The New Yorker’s announcement for the award. They write: “Rio Cortez’s 'Black Frasier Crane,' published this summer in The New Yorker, reimagines the famous sitcom character as a Black woman who is unable to shut off 'the mind’s / endless narration.' The poem, a rumination on race and class, appears in the collection GOLDEN AX, along with others that reimagine Cortez’s forebears as 'Afropioneers' who played a role in exploring the American West after Reconstruction. GOLDEN AX, which has been long-listed for this year’s National Book Award in Poetry, is one of several contenders that call on real or imagined ancestors.” Penguin Books published GOLDEN AX on August 30, 2022.
With its release date just on the horizon, Laura Warrell’s SWEET, SOFT, PLENTY RHYTHM is making a splash, hitting must-read and most-anticipated lists from Debutiful (“[an] unforgettable…novel whose writing should be studied. The language sings in every sentence”), Bustle (“stunning”), Kirkus ("[a] debut [with] music in [its] prose”), The Washington Post (“[an] engaging debut novel”), Lit Hub (“[a] deeply engaging multifocal debut novel”) and The Root. Warrell was also interviewed for both The Millions and The Los Angeles Times, discussing her inspirations for the novel, the challenges of conveying music on the page, her winding path to publication, and more. Lastly, the book was named one of Apple’s Best Books for September 2022. Pantheon will publish SWEET, SOFT, PLENTY RHYTHM on September 27, 2022.
Rachel Aviv’s nonfiction debut STRANGERS TO OURSELVES received a rave review from Jennifer Szalai for The New York Times Book Review. She writes: “Aviv’s narrative is so attuned to subtlety and complexity that any summary risks making it sound like she’s doing something she’s not. This isn’t an anti-psychiatry book — Aviv is too aware of the specifics of any situation to succumb to anything so sweeping and polemical. What she does is recognize the multiplicity of stories that attach to her subjects’ experiences, exploring a variety of interpretations instead of jumping at the impulse to explain them away...STRANGERS TO OURSELVES delicately balances two truths that prove remarkably difficult to hold in tandem…[and] is a book-length demonstration of Aviv’s extraordinary ability to hold space for the ‘uncertainty, mysteries and doubt’ of others.” The book was also featured on The New York Times’ compilation of “18 Books Coming in September.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publishe the book on September 13, 2022.