News · 11/28/2010

Cyber Monday suggestions

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, so while you’re shopping from your offices, cubes, and coffee shop chairs, we hope you’ll take some suggestions from this list of books published by our contributors throughout 2010 or upcoming and available for pre-order. Links have been provided to purchase them directly from their publishers, and whenever possible from Indiebound.

(And contributors, if we missed your book please let us know and it will be added ASAP.)


How They Were Found

stories by Matt Bell

In his debut collection How They Were Found, Matt Bell draws from a wide range of genres to create stories that are both formally innovative and imaginatively rich. In one, a 19th-century minister follows ghostly instructions to build a mechanical messiah. In another, a tyrannical army commander watches his apocalyptic command slip away as the memories of his men begin to fade and fail. Elsewhere, murders are indexed, new worlds are mapped, fairy tales are fractured and retold and then fractured again. Throughout these thirteen stories, Bell’s careful prose burrows at the foundations of his characters’ lives until they topple over, then painstakingly pores over the wreckage for what rubbled humanity might yet remain to be found.

Get it from Keyhole Press | Indiebound


Baby & Other Stories

stories by Paula Bomer

Paula Bomer is a dangerous writer. The short stories in her debut collection are subversive portraits of the modern American family. From a husband who traces his internal crisis to witnessing his wife giving birth, to a mother who forces her young son on a rainy walk through a cemetery as she contemplates the detritus of her marriage, Bomers characters are hauntingly familiar. Their fear and rage, their failures and desires are our own.

Get it from Word Riot | Indiebound


Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom

a novella by Mel Bosworth

“Mel Bosworth possesses a genuine and gentle humor. In Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom, he introduces us to David and Samantha who exist in a world which allows them to be innocent and absurd and doesn’t punish them for it, a world in which the future is fixed and known yet completely invented as it’s approached. This paradox tugs at our perception of narrative, the future already past. During the short time they have together, they’re not ashamed to have fun, or to embrace their fear of what’s already happened. David and Samantha shape the world around them, a world many of us would rather live in.” — Eric Beeny, author of Snowing Fireflies

Get it from Brown Paper Publishing


The Strong Man

a novel by Matt Briggs

Matt Briggs follows up his 2004 American Book Award-winning novel, Shoot the Buffalo, with the story of Ben Wallace, a hospital lab tech who joins the Army reserve as a way to slight his father, a Vietnam-era draft dodger. When Ben is called up for Operation Desert Shield, the first Gulf War, he realizes he wants to experience what his grandfather has called “the enlightenment of war.”

Get it from Publication Studio


Slut Lullabies

stories by Gina Frangello

Following her debut novel, My Sister’s Continent, which delved “fearlessly into questions of identity, abuse…trust, trespass, and delusion” (Booklist), Gina Frangello continues her exploration of the power dynamics of gender, class, and sexuality in this collection of diverse, vibrant short fiction. Slut Lullabies is unsettling. Like the experience of reading a private diary, these stories leave one feeling slightly traitorous while also imprinting a deep recognition of truths you did not know you felt.

Get it from Emergency Press | Indiebound


The Plum Rains & Other Stories

stories by John Givens

The Plum Rains & Other Stories brings to life the uniquely beautiful and violent world of Japan in the last decade of the seventeenth century. The tales include young peony girls’ yearning for a life outside the pleasure quarters, a rogue samurai seeking solace in Zen Buddhism, a teenage sociopath carving a bloody swathe across the landscape, and many more.

Get it from The Liffey Press | Indiebound



a novel by Peter Grandbois

Relying on the alchemy of images, Nahoonkara opens up an oneiric space of wonder, one that exists both within the natural world and within our own minds, a place outside preconceived notions of reality and identity, a place where we are free to reimagine ourselves.

Get it from Etruscan Press | Indiebound


Evolution Revolution

a novel by Lily Hoang

What if evolution was decided by committee and revolution by mere chance? What if man was a subspecies? What if man, as a subspecies, was woman, with tiny red wings on her thighs and pasted shut eyes? What if she flew in the sky or slept on the moon, and what if the earth was a saltless water world filled with forgetful, vengeful two-headed mermen? Welcome to The Evolutionary Revolution, a fabulist story of sense-making for the 21st century. In this twinning tale of freak shows and prophets, tract homes and impending doom, award-winning author Lily Hoang collapses time and narrative into a brilliant novel of beginnings and ends, where sentences undo each other and opposites don’t cancel each other out. As Anna Joy Springer notes in the book’s introduction, “In literature, as sometimes in life, it’s a scary kind of fun to be manipulated by a pretty girl, who changes the game on a whim.”

Get it from Les Figues | SPD


2010 Press 53 Open Awards Anthology

includes a novella by Jen Michalski

Includes writing by Terresa Haskew, Clinton B. Campbell, Maureen A. Sherbondy (Poetry), Amy Willoughby-Burle, Thor Jourgensen, Maureen A. Sherbondy (Flash Fiction), Jason Stout, Ray Morrison, Michael Garriga (Short-Short Story), Katey Schultz, Kurt Rheinheimer, David James Poissant (Short Story), Lisa Nikolidakis, Leslie Tucker, Jen Julian (Creative Nonfiction), and Matthew James Babcock and Jen Michalski (Tied for First Prize, Novella).

Get it from Press 53 | Indiebound



a novel by Adam Moorad

Oikos accurately captures the woe of everyday life for a generation without a common gripe. Lamb should not be seen as one person but as a composite image of every man born between 1982 and 1989: mostly distant, lost, and wondering what our parents had that we do not. This novella could, through one darker prism, be seen as a letter in response to the American dream handed down to us by parents whose Great Cold War disallowed them the ability to think straight and so drove us willy-nilly into more than one real war. It could be seen as a laundry listing of emotions experienced by anyone trapped in a cooling romance. However it is seen, Oikos’ craft garners a certain respect for accurate description, and that is enough reason to rank it among the better novellas of the new decade.

Get it from Not A Press


Giraffes in Hiding: The Mythical Memoirs of Carol Novackh3.

Carol Novack proves once again that she is the all-time champion of wild, wigged out, original prose/poetry and poetic prose. The first full-length collection of her work is a feast of fusions, inventions, myths, dreams, forms, and possibilities. There’s no one like Novack, and here she is at her best as she chases her ontological tail round and round the intelligible, unknown worlds of her subconscious (and ours). Think Alice in Wonderland on acid simultaneously dancing with Tristan Tzara, Rimbaud, Oedipus, Pandora, Gertrude Stein, Proust, Kerouac, and that weird kid next door who ate all of the heads off your Barbie Dolls and you’ll begin to get a feel for what she’s up to.” — Mary Mackey

Get it from Spuyten Duyvil | SPD


What May Have Been: Letters of Jackson Pollock and Dori G

a novel by Gary Percesepe and Susan Tepper

A novel in letters between the artist Jackson Pollock and his fictional lover, a young woman called Dori G. Robert Olen Butler writes, “Brilliantly conceived, brilliantly executed, this is a stunning book about art and about life.”

Get it from Červená Barva Press


Damn Sure Right

stories by Meg Pokrass

A debut collection from a writer who Grant Bailie says, “writes with a passion, humor and a dream-like vividness that is equal parts engaging and addictive. No one this side of Amy Hempel is more capable of saying more with a handful of well-chosen words, and no one, any side of anyone is better at stretching language into such brilliant new hallucinatory shapes.”

Get it from Press 53


Cut Through The Bone

stories by Ethel Rohan

In this stripped-raw debut collection, Ethel Rohan’s thirty stories swell with broken, incomplete people yearning to be whole. Through tight language and searing scenarios, Rohan brings to life a plethora of characters — exposed, vulnerable souls who are achingly human.

Get it from Dark Sky Books


Our Island Of Epidemics

stories by Matthew Salesses

Fourteen tiny tales recount the story of a community of island dwellers who catch their island’s strange and fleeting epidemics—epidemics like memory loss, unrequited love, magic, extrasensitive hearing, talking to animals, and dissociation—and the relationship that the people of the island have with their home, with each other, and with the diseases. That is, until one man becomes immune.

Get it from Pank



a novel by Shya Scanlon

The year is 2212, the weather is out of control, and Seattle is being rebuilt with electricity generated from negative human emotion. In a strange and turbulent world fueled by secrecy and voyeurism, a bored housewife named Helen vanishes, and Citizen Surveillant Maxwell Point, the man whose job it’s been to watch her, must recount the years leading up to her disappearance. As Helen is drawn back to the city on an increasingly absurd errand to find a man she once loved, Maxwell begins to suspect foul play. But is he so dependent on the very thing he’s trained to protect that it colors not only his judgment, but his grip on reality? In this novel inspired by the troubled relationship between an author and his craft, Shya Scanlon renders a surreal, dystopian world in which alternate motives are required and people must hide even from themselves—a world in which the only real freedom is powerlessness.

Get it from Flatmancrooked | Indiebound


Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer

edited by Robert Swartwood

The stories in this collection run the gamut from playful to tragic, conservative to experimental, but they all have one thing in common: they are no more than 25 words long. Includes tales by Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub, and James Frey.

Get it from Indiebound


99 Problems: Essays About Running and Writing

essays by Ben Tanzer

A unique and fascinating new look at the curious relationship between physical activity and creative intellectualism, 99 Problems will have you looking at the arts in an entirely new way, and maybe even picking up a pair of running shoes yourself.

Get it from CCLaP


The Zoo, a Going: (The Tropic House)

fiction by J. A. Tyler

“Tyler is asking, through his stories: What is it to see the words that cover a thing instead of seeing the thing itself? Why do we have to name a thing in order to see it? Why do we constantly obliterate what s there in front of us in order to resurrect it in our imaginations as something altogether different? He asks these questions in a good way, a way that continues to quest, rather than seeking to obliterate the questions with answers.” — Ken Sparling

Get it from sunnyoutside | Powells


Threatened Species

a novella and stories by Jeff Vande Zande

Two weeksthat’s all the time Ed Winters has with his son Danny before Ed’s ex-wife and her new husband move with the boy to Paris. Those days, filled with fly fishing, camping, and an unplanned cross-country road trip, grow ever more desperate as Ed struggles to face the reality of losing the boy, and Danny of losing his home. Set amid the streams and backroads of Michigan and Montana, Threatened Species is a harsh but beautiful ode to fathers and sons. The novella is collected here with five other Michigan stories.

Get it from Whistling Shade Press | Indiebound


Ampersand, Mass.

stories by William Walsh

The first full-length collection from the author of Without Wax, Questionstruck, and Pathologies, and one of the most daring writers around.

Get it from Keyhole Press | Indiebound


Lambs of Men

a novel by Charles Dodd White

Returning from the horrors of the First World War to recruit volunteers in his remote Appalachian home, Marine Sergeant Hiram Tobit finds the country changed. His mother has committed suicide, dredging up old resentments between Hiram and his father, Sloane. When a gruesome act of violence stuns the insular mountain community, father and son must journey together to see justice carried out while coming to terms with a deeply troubled family history.

Get it from Casperian Books | Indiebound