Padma Lakshmi said, “Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of cooking with the women in my family. It is the foundation for all I have spent my life working on.” Her debut children’s book, Tomatoes for Neela, which was illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures, as well as to our own, through food. It hit number 1 on Amazon Books Children’s Travel books list. She participated in a Barnes & Noble Storytime for her new book which Viking Books for Young Readers published the hardcover August 31, 2021.
Maggie Nelson's 10th work, ON FREEDOM: FOUR SONGS OF CARE AND CONSTRAINT was published this week to a storm of positive praise and acclaim. In the New York Times book Review they rave: "With patience and equipoise, she helps us parse those specificities. . .Nelson displays the same eloquent equipoise when she ventures into recent debates about the ethics and politics of sex. . .In discussion after discussion, Nelson shows the same alertness to context, intellectual modesty and the conviction that ethical goodness is never all on one side." The Los Angeles Times describes how Nelson "bounds across knotty subjects like #MeToo, sex positivity, addiction, queer theory, anxiety and carceral feminism without tiring of the painstaking work of untangling controversies. . . . After reading Nelson, your understanding of the word ["freedom"], and of humanity itself, will expand in surprising directions."
Graywolf Press published the book September 7, 2021.
L. Alison Heller’s THE NEIGHBOR’S SECRET has been chosen as a Book of the Month Club selection for September 2021! The thriller also received a starred review from BookPage: “Heller excels at the complex characterization required to engage readers, resulting in a book that’s truly impossible to put down. The myriad anxieties her characters feel—fear for their children, their reputation, their community—are entirely relatable. A sense of dread and foreboding permeates the narrative. We know a murder is coming; Laurel, Abe and Lena all seem on the verge of imploding. With such a wonderful buildup and a truly surprising finish, The Neighbor’s Secret is a delight to read.” Flatiron will publish the book on October 5, 2021.
THE ONES WHO DON'T SAY THEY LOVE YOU by Maurice Carlos Ruffin was lauded in a review in the Los Angeles Times. The reviewer writes:
“ While Ruffin’s stories can’t help but transport the reader to humid, sunken, decaying New Orleans, it’s too easy to say this book is merely a set of love songs to the city. What makes such collections ring true is the way they subvert conventional knowledge. For too long, tourism has been a shorthand for worldliness. While mass and social media offer a superficially cosmopolitan perspective on global culture, writers like Ruffin reveal that travel is often less about cultural immersion than blithe escapism . . . Time and again, Ruffin constructs a life’s history in the space of a page or two. His skill as a writer and his birthright as a New Orleanian equip him for the task. Masquerading is a way of life in the city, even outside Carnival season.” One World published the stories August 17, 2021.
On the day of its anticipated release, NOW BEACON, NOW SEA: A SON'S MEMOIR by Christopher Sorrentino was reviewed in the New York Times. They write: “NOW BEACON, NOW SEA is perhaps more straightforward than [Sorrentino's] voicey, plotty novels, and his memoir indulges in novelistic and cinematic flourishes — cascading lists, lyrical still lifes — only occasionally. . . Acute, intimate and exceedingly fair, Sorrentino’s memoir is a post-mortem that examines not the causes of his parents’ deaths but the endurance and effects of their confounding marriage." Esquire also featured the memoir on their list of the Best Books of Fall 2021, deeming it an “unflinching look at the mother who terrified, confounded, and enraged him . . . . Mothers and sons have rarely been captured with such dark intimacy as in NOW BEACON, NOW SEA, an open wound of grief and regret.” Catapult published the memoir September 7, 2021.
Maggie Nelson's highly anticipated essay collection, ON FREEDOM: FOUR SONGS OF CARE AND CONSTRAINT, is featured on Vogue Magazine's list of the Best Books To Read This Fall. They write: "Nelson’s probing inquiry sits on equal footing with her effortlessly fluid prose, which moves between first-person, anecdotal stories and intense critical examination with the utmost readability. Ultimately Nelson’s approach is one that seeks liberation and transcendence, whether sexual, narcotic, or purely biological—something that radiates palpably from her writing, even when she delves into some of the darkest corners of the human psyche.” ON FREEDOM was also featured on Kirkus Review's list of 150 Most Anticipated Fall Books. Graywolf Press publishes the book on September 7, 2021.
On the day of its highly anticipated release, THE ONES WHO DON'T SAY THE LOVE YOU, Maurice Carlos Ruffin's sophomore work, was reviewed in the New York Times. They reviewer writes: "Ruffin writes with the clipped motion of the best comic books, and the unsparing tenderness of a poet. Readers enamored with the relentless lyricism of his novel may be surprised to find a gentler voice guiding these stories, without judgment. This softness is exactly what binds these patchwork chronicles into a vibrant and true mosaic of a place.” Ruffin also sat down for an interview with Entertainment Weekly, where he discussed his writing and love for his hometown New Orleans, Louisiana. One World published the book August 17, 2021.
The New York Times bestselling novel OF WOMEN AND SALT by Gabriela Garcia is selected as one of Book Page's Best Debut Books so far in 2021. Flatiron Books published the novel on March 30, 2021.
The New York Times bestselling novel THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones, Jr. is selected as one of Book Page's Best Debut Books so far in 2021.Putnam published the novel January 5, 2021.
THE FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL & NEV by Dawnie Walton was selected by Wild author, Cheryl Strayed for her Literati's Cheryl Strayed Wild Reads Book Club September Pick. Cheryl described the novel as a "polyphonic powerhouse of a novel reads like a rock and roll biography so authentic you’ll find yourself longing to download the music (that doesn’t exist)...Dawnie Walton skillfully takes the reader on a wildly entertaining and illuminating journey that spans the past five decades, offering both an intimate history lesson and a profound rumination on questions about pop culture that remain relevant now." 37 Ink published the novel March 30, 2021.