Four Treasures of the Sky

Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for whom she was named, revered for her beauty and cursed with heartbreak. But when she is kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, Daiyu must relinquish the home and future she imagined for herself.

From the publisher:

Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for whom she was named, revered for her beauty and cursed with heartbreak. But when she is kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, Daiyu must relinquish the home and future she imagined for herself. Over the years that follow, she is forced to keep reinventing herself to survive. From a calligraphy school, to a San Francisco brothel, to a shop tucked into the Idaho mountains, we follow Daiyu on a desperate quest to outrun the tragedy that chases her. As anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country in a wave of unimaginable violence, Daiyu must draw on each of the selves she has been—including the ones she most wants to leave behind—in order to finally claim her own name and story.

At once a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking work of historical fiction, Four Treasures of the Sky announces Jenny Tinghui Zhang as an indelible new voice. Steeped in untold history and Chinese folklore, this novel is a spellbinding feat.

 

We Are a Haunting

Going back to the ’80s, we see Key’s life consisting of nightclubs and enchantment. While training as a doula, she discovers that for her, the dead are much closer than expected and learns how to speak both to and for them, forming a connection between passed and living family members. After her death, Colly soon discovers that he shares the same sacred gift his mother had.

From the publisher:

Taking place over 30 years, We Are a Haunting follows a family of East New Yorkers struggling to maintain a connection to their history. Grandma Audrey, herself a living ancestor among the speaking dead, is about to lose her apartment; her indelible and vivacious daughter Key dies young after serving the Black women of her neighborhood, leaving behind a grieving son, Colly, who holds deep-seated disdain for a community to which he has no choice but to be accountable.
From the publisher:

Going back to the ’80s, we see Key’s life consisting of nightclubs and enchantment. While training as a doula, she discovers that for her, the dead are much closer than expected and learns how to speak both to and for them, forming a connection between passed and living family members. After her death, Colly soon discovers that he shares the same sacred gift his mother had.

His expulsion from school forces Colly across town, where he forges an understanding of how friendship, family, and community foster love in places where it may seem inherently and systemically impossible. After college, Colly returns to East New York to work with community organizers addressing structural neglect and the crumbling NYCHA blocks; to do what he can for the people that mean the most to him.

 

Brother Alive

In 1990, three boys are born, unrelated but intertwined by circumstance: Dayo, Iseul, and Youssef. They are adopted as infants and live in a shared bedroom perched atop a mosque in one of Staten Island’s most diverse and precarious neighborhoods, Coolidge.

From the publisher:

In 1990, three boys are born, unrelated but intertwined by circumstance: Dayo, Iseul, and Youssef. They are adopted as infants and live in a shared bedroom perched atop a mosque in one of Staten Island’s most diverse and precarious neighborhoods, Coolidge. The three boys are an inseparable if conspicuous trio: Dayo is of Nigerian origin, Iseul is Korean, and Youssef indeterminately Middle Eastern. Nevertheless, Youssef is keeping a secret: he sees a hallucinatory double, an imaginary friend who seems absolutely real, a shapeshifting familiar he calls Brother.

The boys’ adoptive father, Imam Salim, is known for his radical sermons, but at home he is often absent, spending long evenings in his study with whiskey-laced coffee, writing letters to his former compatriots back in Saudi Arabia. Like Youssef, he too has secrets, including the cause of his failing health and the truth about what happened to the boys’ parents. When Imam Salim’s path takes him back to Saudi Arabia, the boys will be forced to follow. There they will be captivated by an opulent, almost futuristic world, a linear city that seems to offer a more sustainable modernity than that of the West. But they will have to change if they want to survive in this new world, and the arrival of a creature as powerful as Brother will not go unnoticed.

 

Hangman

In the morning, I received a phone call and was told to board a flight. The arrangements had been made on my behalf. I packed no clothes, because my clothes had been packed for me. A car arrived to pick me up. A man returns home to sub-Saharan Africa after twenty-six years in America.

From the publisher:

In the morning, I received a phone call and was told to board a flight. The arrangements had been made on my behalf. I packed no clothes, because my clothes had been packed for me. A car arrived to pick me up.

A man returns home to sub-Saharan Africa after 26 years in America. When he arrives, he finds that he doesn’t recognize the country or anyone in it. Thankfully, someone recognizes him, a man who calls him brother―setting him on a quest to find his real brother, who is dying.

In Hangman, Maya Binyam tells the story of that search, and of the phantoms, guides, tricksters, bureaucrats, debtors, taxi drivers, relatives, riddles, and strangers that will lead to the truth.

 

Sirens & Muses

It’s 2011: America is in a deep recession and Occupy Wall Street is escalating. But at the elite Wrynn College of Art, students paint and sculpt in a rarefied bubble. Louisa Arceneaux is a thoughtful, observant nineteen-year-old when she transfers to Wrynn as a scholarship student, but she soon finds herself adrift in an environment that prizes novelty over beauty.

From the publisher:

It’s 2011: America is in a deep recession and Occupy Wall Street is escalating. But at the elite Wrynn College of Art, students paint and sculpt in a rarefied bubble. Louisa Arceneaux is a thoughtful, observant 19-year-old when she transfers to Wrynn as a scholarship student, but she soon finds herself adrift in an environment that prizes novelty over beauty. Complicating matters is Louisa’s unexpected attraction to her charismatic roommate, Karina Piontek, the preternaturally gifted but mercurial daughter of wealthy art collectors. Gradually, Louisa and Karina are drawn into an intense sensual and artistic relationship, one that forces them to confront their deepest desires and fears. But Karina also can’t shake her fascination with Preston Utley, a senior and anti-capitalist Internet provocateur, who is publicly feuding with visiting professor and political painter Robert Berger—a once-controversial figurehead seeking to regain relevance.

When Preston concocts an explosive hoax, the fates of all four artists are upended as each is unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat New York art world. Now all must struggle to find new identities in art, in society, and among each other. In the process, they must find either their most authentic terms of life—of success, failure, and joy—or risk losing themselves altogether.

 

The Sorrows of Others

A virtuosic debut exploring personhood, place, loneliness, love, and home. These ten stories about lives young and old, in China and America, in the generations after the Cultural Revolution, will captivate readers with the depth of their insights and Ada Zhang’s incisive, luminescent prose.

From the publisher:

A virtuosic debut exploring personhood, place, loneliness, love, and home.

These ten stories about lives young and old, in China and America, in the generations after the Cultural Revolution, will captivate readers with the depth of their insights and Ada Zhang’s incisive, luminescent prose. The Sorrows of Others is a dazzling collection about people confronted with being outsiders–as immigrants, as revolutionaries, and even, often, within their own families. The stories ask what happens when we leave home, and what happens when we stay? What selves do we meet and shed in the process of becoming?

 

Holding Pattern

What happens when an ambitious and successful twenty-something is forced to start over? She moves in with mom. At 28, Kathleen Cheng is back home in her childhood bedroom in Oakland, expecting to find her single mother as she’s always known her: depressed and desperate to return to China. Instead, her mother Marissa is like a renovated version of herself, unexpectedly sporty, pert, happy, and worst of all, in love.

From the publisher:

What happens when an ambitious and successful twenty-something is forced to start over? She moves in with mom.

At 28, Kathleen Cheng is back home in her childhood bedroom in Oakland, expecting to find her single mother as she’s always known her: depressed and desperate to return to China. Instead, her mother Marissa is like a renovated version of herself, unexpectedly sporty, pert, happy, and worst of all, in love. Soon Kathleen is roped into helping her mother plan her upcoming Big Sur wedding to a tech entrepreneur.

To keep herself sane, Kathleen takes a job working for an unusual start-up, and here too, she feels she’s moving backwards while the world of Silicon Valley innovates on the cutting edge. Her new job and the unexpected revelations that follow push Kathleen and Marissa’s relationship to the brink.

As mother and daughter peel back the layers of their history—the old wounds, cultural barriers, and complex affection—they must come to a new understanding of how they can propel each other forward, and what they’ve done to hold the other back. Keenly observant, tender, and warm, Holding Pattern is a hopeful novel about immigration and belonging, mother-daughter relationships, and the many ways we can learn to hold each other.

Night of the Living Rez

Set in a Native community in Maine, Night of the Living Rez is a riveting debut collection about what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after tragedy.

From the publisher:

Set in a Native community in Maine, Night of the Living Rez is a riveting debut collection about what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after tragedy.

In twelve striking, luminescent stories, author Morgan Talty—with searing humor, abiding compassion, and deep insight—breathes life into tales of family and community bonds as they struggle with a painful past and an uncertain future. A boy unearths a jar that holds an old curse, which sets into motion his family’s unraveling; a man, while trying to swindle some pot from a dealer, discovers a friend passed out in the woods, his hair frozen into the snow; a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s projects the past onto her grandson, and thinks he is her dead brother come back to life; and two friends, inspired by Antiques Roadshow, attempt to rob the tribal museum for valuable root clubs.

In a collection that examines the consequences and merits of inheritance, Night of the Living Rez is an unforgettable portrayal of a Native community and marks the arrival of a standout talent in contemporary fiction.

 

A Calm and Normal Heart

From Oklahoma to California, the heroes of A Calm & Normal Heart are modern-day homesteaders, adventurers, investigators—seeking out new places to call their own inside a Nation to which they do not entirely belong. A member of the Osage tribe, author Chelsea T. Hicks’ stories are compelled by an overlooked diaspora inside America: that of young Native people.

From the publisher:

From Oklahoma to California, the heroes of A Calm and Normal Heart are modern-day homesteaders, adventurers, investigators—seeking out new places to call their own inside a Nation to which they do not entirely belong. A member of the Osage tribe, author Chelsea T. Hicks’ stories are compelled by an overlooked diaspora inside America: that of young Native people.

In stories like “Goodbye Pizza in Los Angeles,” “The Oklahoma Ocean,” and “Moot Point,” iPhone lifestyles co-mingle with ancestral connection, strengthening relationships or pushing people apart, while generational trauma haunts individual paths. Broken partnerships and polyamorous desire signal a fraught era of modern love, even as old ways continue to influence how people assess compatibility. And in “THNXX by Alcatraz,” an indigenous student finds themselves alone on campus for Thanksgiving break, confronting racial differences and the true meaning of the national holiday. Other stories focus on women responding to and transcending familial abuse and patriarchal conditioning. Leaping back in time, “A Fresh Start Ruined” inhabits the life of Florence, an Osage woman attempting to hide her origins while social climbing in midcentury Oklahoma. And in “House of RGB” a woman settles in a home of her own, finally detaching from her pattern of seeking safety through men with the help of a series of ancestral visitations.

Whether in between college semesters or jobs, on the road to tribal dances or hasty weddings, escaping troubled homes, or choosing a new relationship, the characters of A Calm and Normal Heart occupy a complicated and often unreliable terrain. Chelsea T. Hicks brings wry humor, sprawling imagination, and a profound connection to Native experience in a collection that will subvert long-held assumptions for many readers, and inspire hope along the way.