The New York Times bestselling novel THE PROPHETS by Robert Jones, Jr. has been named a Best Book of the Year So Far 2021 by Goodreads and the Amazon Book Review. In their review, Amazon writes: “The intimate connection between two male slaves toiling on a Mississippi plantation is the only thing that cuts through their otherwise brutal existence. This is the one bright spot in a lyrical but devastating debut novel that shines a harsher light on a shameful legacy that is still deeply felt today. It’s also a profound reminder of love’s power to repudiate it.” Putnam published the book January 5, 2021.
Rosecrans Baldwin's EVERYTHING NOW has been reviewed by the New York Times on the day of its highly anticipated release. They write: “To write the definitive book about Los Angeles would be impossible. In EVERYTHING NOW, the novelist Rosecrans Baldwin doesn’t try. And in not trying, he may have written the perfect book about Los Angeles. Freewheeling and polyhedral, the book could serve equally as an ornament on the coffee table of a Silver Lake architect; a pamphlet at an anti-deportation rally downtown." The Los Angeles Times also ran a feature interview with Baldwin, hailing EVERYTHING NOW as “an impressionistic, ambivalent, interview-heavy, judgment-light book of reportage about L.A. today.” MCD Books published the book on June 15, 2021.
Padma Lakshmi’s TOMATOES FOR NEELA was featured in the U.S. Book Show, which was held from May 25-27 and featured keynote speeches and discussions with authors of upcoming high-profile titles. Lakshmi sat down with Viking Children’s Books editorial director Tamar Brazis for her keynote, where she spoke about “[wanting] to create a story that taught [her] daughter about respecting the seasons, knowing when different things grew, and also where our food comes from,” as well as “[shortening] that distance…between the tomato on the dinner table and the hands that picked it.” The keynote was also highlighted on Publishers Weekly’s best-of list from the event. Viking Books for Young Readers will publish the book on August 31, 2021.
Praise has been flooding in for Joss Lake's debut novel FUTURE FEELING. A feature profile of the author in The Cut praises the book's "flamboyant surreality" and its vision of a world in which "everyone’s spiritual state is highly surveilled and fantastically color-coded... Subway cars glow the amalgamated color of their passengers’ moods. Emotional frequencies are of the utmost importance." FUTURE FEELING has also been featured in a slew of summer reading roundups, including Refinery29 ("a riotously glistering world"), Wired ("an original, trippy caper"), Bustle (“[a] Black Mirror-esque story of magic and mayhem”), Alta ("illustrates the significance of community and connection"), and The A.V. Club (“this witty, inventive debut novel sounds like a lot of fun”), as well as Pride Month reading lists from Goodreads, Harper's BAZAAR, and Parade. Soft Skull published the book on June 1, 2021.
Madeleine Schwartz profiled Xiaolu Guo's literary and film works for The New York Review. On Guo's latest novel, A LOVER'S DISCOURSE, she writes: "Guo seems interested in describing distance rather than points of commonality, capturing an inability to talk rather than a global conversation. While the language of globalized literature can be flat and universal to the point of alienation, Guo’s English, with its deliberate missteps, its open confusion, and its pockets of cold, is perhaps better able to capture a certain kind of alienation that people feel when being forced to communicate in a language that isn’t native to them." Grove Press published A LOVER’S DISCOURSE on October 13, 2020.
EVERYTHING NOW by Rosecrans Baldwin was featured in Alta Magazine's “13 New Books for June.” They write: “Baldwin offers an amalgam of voices in the form of stories, conversations, and reflections that add up to a spectacular collage portrait of Los Angeles. The result is a daring and innovative excavation of the City of Angels as 'the Great American City-State.'” MCD will publish the book on June 15, 2021.
Dawnie Walton's debut novel THE FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL & NEV was included in the Daily Beast's round-up of best summer reads. They hail it as a "showstopper,” noting: “Unsparing and raw in its exploration of the personal and political complications these characters face, the novel explodes with color, style, and music as it explores the challenges of love and art, racism and gender inequality in a story that doesn’t leave a single note out of place.” 37 Ink published the novel on March 30, 2021.
Electric Literature interviewed Olivia Laing about her critically acclaimed essay collection, EVERYBODY. They rave: “EVERBODY is both timely and attentive to the long roots of history, both complex and accessible, as well as lyrical and instructive. Armed with a wellspring of research that spans 20th-century Germany, Britain, and the United States, from philosophy to psychology, art, medicine, and activism, Laing cuts a path through the difficult business of our bodily lives. Her writing is as incisive as ever, and alive to the intricate, often messy and traumatic, realities of being a human in this fragile and fluctuating vessel through which life takes shape.” W.W. Norton & Company published the book on May 4, 2021.
Lucy Ives's forthcoming, "very cool-sounding novel” LIFE IS EVERYWHERE received a special mention from Lit Hub, where her editor Yuka Igarashi shares her excitement at making the book her first acquisition at Graywolf Press. Igarashi told Lit Hub: "We get to see Lucy’s outrageous wit, emotional precision, and sheer storytelling charisma working on an epic scale. I think this book proposes a new kind of ‘systems novel.’ It’s about how individual selves act, and are acted upon, inside various systems—family, marriage, academia, gender, society—but it also reveals the instability of our notions of selves and of systems, and shows a new way to narrate the relationship between the two. Plus it’s just very fun to read, since it includes things like the history of botulism, a fragment of sculpture with mysterious powers, stolen artifacts, secret identities, and academic scandal.” Graywolf Press will publish LIFE IS EVERYWHERE in Fall 2022.
For the second consecutive year, Maxim Loskutoff's work has been nominated for a High Plains Book Award. Winner of the 2020 Short Stories Award for his debut collection COME WEST AND SEE, Loskutoff is now one of three finalists for the 2021 Fiction Award for his first novel, RUTHIE FEAR. The High Plains Books Awards recognize “regional literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains, including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.” The final winners will be announced at a ceremony in September during the High Plains BookFest. W.W. Norton & Company published RUTHIE FEAR on September 1, 2020.