News in November 2022
News in November 2022
The Hollywood Reporter announced that the film adaptation of A SPY BY NATURE, the first book in Charles Cumming’s Alec Milius Spy Series, will be directed by Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald and will star NORMAL PEOPLE and AFTERSUN actor Paul Mescal. Macdonald said: “I’ve wanted to make A SPY BY NATURE for many years — and when I met Paul Mescal, with his beguiling mixture of intelligence, skill and youth, I knew I’d found the perfect star…This is a very modern spy story — sexy, dangerous, morally ambivalent — and only an actor of Paul’s talent could pull it off.” St. Martin’s Press originally published the book on July 10, 2007.
It’s been an incredible week of praise and recognition for Ed Yong’ stellar AN IMMENSE WORLD. The book was shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal in Excellence for Nonfiction. The medal winners will be announced at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards event during LibLearnX on January 29 at 4:30pm CT. Meanwhile, AN IMMENSE WORLD has been featured on 2022 best-of lists from TIME (“fascinating fare”), Amazon, Goodreads, and BookPage (“an immersive, page-turning reading experience”). Random House published the book on June 21, 2022.
Namwali Serpell’s THE FURROWS was featured on TIME’s list of “The 100 Must-Read Books of 2022.” Annabel Gutterman writes: “In her follow-up to her 2019 debut THE OLD DRIFT, Namwali Serpell unravels a haunting narrative full of mystery. But it’s Serpell’s unsparing depiction of C’s grief that makes THE FURROWS so affecting. As C is forced to relive the most traumatic moment of her life, over and over again, Serpell creates a wrenching portrait of a woman reckoning with loss.” The book was also featured on best-of lists from Kirkus and BookPage, the latter of which praises: “Serpell’s award-winning debut novel, THE OLD DRIFT, was a genre-defying epic about three generations of Zambian families, and her purposely disconcerting follow-up will reinforce readers’ appreciation of her daring experimentation and keen talent.” Hogarth published the novel on September 27, 2022.
Eileen Myles’ anthology PATHETIC LITERATURE published this week to critical acclaim. David L. Ulin wrote a stunning review of the book for The Los Angeles Times, raving: “PATHETIC LITERATURE is an anthology rich in allusions: One piece speaks to another across geography and time. Moving fluidly from Jorge Luis Borges, Chester Himes and Victor Hugo to contemporary figures such as Michelle Tea, Justin Torres and Layli Long Soldier (whose poem ‘38’ is a vivid tour de force), the book is arranged alphabetically by first name, as if to turn our preconceptions inside out…The weave is so all-encompassing, the associations so multilayered, that I feel like fireworks are popping off inside my head. I want to think about these lines of communication: Kafka to Weil to Chantal Akerman, all writing on parents; Maggie Nelson also quoting Shōnagon: ‘Whatever people may think of my book, … I still regret that it ever came to light.’ I want to think about all this pathos, this emotion taking place between the lines and across the centuries. I want to think about these writers in conversation not only with one another but also within the imagination of the editor. More than anything, of course, the echoes belong to Myles, which is what gives PATHETIC LITERATURE a sensibility that is authorial as much as curatorial…PATHETIC LITERATURE represents not so much a collection as it does an ethos: ‘almost a poem,’ its creator observes. These texts and voices take us someplace unexpected, beyond the individual and into the realm of a collective, a tapestry of words that add up to a way of being in the world.” Meanwhile, Oprah Daily featured the anthology on its 2022 Holiday Gift Guide. The citation reads: “For the quirky and the weird—and who among us is not?—this singularly unexpected assemblage curated by Lambda Award–winning poet and writer Eileen Myles is an anthology like no other. This melange of work from writers of widely varying genres and forms—from Jorge Luis Borges to Rumi to Djuna Barnes—is ‘pathetic’ in the sense of being linked to pathos. In her introduction to the volume, Myles writes: ‘Each of these writers has a discomfort or a restlessness’ and has produced work that ‘acknowledges a boundary and then passes it.’ What Myles has captured here is simply this: the power of literature.” Grove Press published the anthology on November 15, 2022
Joseph Earl Thomas’ forthcoming memoir SINK is one of Vulture’s most-anticipated reads for this winter. Isle McElroy writes: “Essayist and fiction writer Joseph Early Thomas’s SINK pushes back against the expectations of coming-of-age memoirs. Eschewing the ‘I’ to instead tell the story of Joey in third person, Thomas writes about his family’s flawed attempts to show love and the hardship he faced overcoming his tumultuous childhood — and the community he later found in nerd culture, once he gave up on the urge to fit in. Thomas is a skilled prose stylist, and Sink is loaded with arresting imagery and insights into the eerie space between claustrophobia and freedom unique to childhood.” Grand Central Publishing will publish the memoir on February 21, 2023.
TIME Magazine and BookPage featured Rachel Aviv’s nonfiction debut STRANGERS TO OURSELVES on their respective best-of lists for 2022. Angela Haupt of TIME calls the book “a deeply reported exploration of mental illness…writ[ten] with empathy and nuance,” while BookPage praises it as “stunning.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux published the book on September 13, 2022.
Idra Novey’s forthcoming novel TAKE WHAT YOU NEED is one of Vulture’s most-anticipated reads for this winter. Isle McElroy writes: “Idra Novey appears capable of doing it all. She is a poet, a translator, and with TAKE WHAT YOU NEED, her third book of fiction, she is firmly establishing herself as one of the finest and bravest novelists working today…Novey is a master of the small and enormous mysteries that compose every person’s life, and TAKE WHAT YOU NEED is her most skillful exploration of artistic dedication and the ruins that accrue over the course of a life.” Viking will publish the novel on on March 14, 2023.
Brigitta Olubas appeared on the BBC’s Open Book podcast to discuss her biography of Shirley Hazzard. Farrar, Straus and Giroux published the book on November 15, 2022.
The Los Angeles Times featured Rebecca Rukeyser’s debut novel THE SEAPLANE ON FINAL APPROACH on its holiday gift guide. The citation reads: “This one’s a little naughty. Mira, 18 and obsessed with the concept of ‘sleaziness,’ sets out for an adventure on a remote Alaskan island, dreaming of a hookup with her aunt’s older stepson while working as a cleaner in a small, shady resort. As tensions among the staff boil over, Rebecca Rukeyser weaves a dreamlike spell — TWIN PEAKS by way of NORTHERN EXPOSURE. Give it to someone who wants something weird, in the best way.” Doubleday published the novel on June 7, 2022.
Joseph Earl Thomas’ forthcoming SINK received a warm review from Publishers Weekly. They praise the memoir as a “wrenching debut,” adding: “Thomas’ prose delivers an emotional gut punch…The result is a lyrical exploration of identity and survival.” Grand Central Publishing will publish the book on February 21, 2023.
MY FIRST POPSICLE, an anthology of essays edited by Zosia Mamet, published this week to a whirlwind of media attention. Mamet appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Today Show, All Things Considered, the Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle podcast, and the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books podcast to discuss the book. She was also interviewed for ELLE’s Shelf Life column, and the book was selected for Lit Hub’s November roundup. Excerpts from the collection have been featured in Slate, Bon Appetit, and TIME. Penguin Books published the collection on November 1, 2022.
Namwali Serpell’s THE FURROWS received a stunning review from The Atlantic. Reviewer Tope Folarin writes: “[A] knotty, prismatic sophomore novel…[that] traverses many genres and points of view…Serpell is just such a scholar. And this ability to embrace different genres and forms of communication is evident in her fiction as well, especially in her debut, THE OLD DRIFT. In that capacious novel, she flits from historical fiction to contemporary fiction to science fiction. By comparison, THE FURROWS is a more concise affair, both in its narrative scope and its page count. Yet it is a robust tale, especially in its treatment of Wayne, who dies but never really seems dead…Serpell code-switches with ease, an ultimately crucial skill in a story that abounds with fluctuating realities. The book swerves from a realistic chronicle that bears all the markers of a grief tale to one that seems infused with magic, from standard-English dialogue to a pitch-perfect rendering of African American Vernacular English. Serpell also references and builds upon pop culture’s alternate-reality obsession, and the narrative vertigo that these stories induce in us. When I began reading the novel, I knew that Wayne had drowned in the ocean—but the power of Serpell’s storytelling was such that as the narrative progressed, I stopped being so sure.” THE FURROWS was also featured on The New Yorker’s list of “The Best Books of 2022 So Far,” alongside praise from their previous review for the novel: “Serpell’s second novel batters against the fixities of language like a moth at a windowpane…[T]hough the novel’s story lines turn and twist, the precision of Serpell’s language remains under exquisite control—while reminding us on every page that every story is necessarily an act of falsification.” Hogarth published the novel on September 27, 2022.