Holler, Child

In Holler, Child‘s eleven brilliant stories, LaToya Watkins presses at the bruises of guilt, love, and circumstance. Each story introduces us to a character irrevocably shaped by place and reaching toward something–hope, reconciliation, freedom.

From the publisher:

In Holler, Child‘s 11 brilliant stories, LaToya Watkins presses at the bruises of guilt, love, and circumstance. Each story introduces us to a character irrevocably shaped by place and reaching toward something—hope, reconciliation, freedom.

In “Cutting Horse,” the appearance of a horse in a man’s suburban backyard places a former horse breeder in trouble with the police. In “Holler, Child,” a mother is forced into an impossible position when her son gets in a kind of trouble she knows too well from the other side. And “Time After” shows us the unshakable bonds of family as a sister journeys to find her estranged brother—the one who saved her many times over.

Throughout Holler, Child, we see love lost and gained, and grief turned to hope. Much like LaToya Watkins’s acclaimed debut novel, Perish, this collection peers deeply into lives of women and men experiencing intimate and magnificent reckonings—exploring how race, power, and inequality map on the individual, and demonstrating the mythic proportions of everyday life.

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.

The Town of Babylon

In this contemporary debut novel—an intimate portrait of queer, racial, and class identity —Andrés, a gay Latinx professor, returns to his suburban hometown in the wake of his husband’s infidelity. There he finds himself with no excuse not to attend his twenty-year high school reunion, and hesitantly begins to reconnect with people he used to call friends.

From the publisher:

In this contemporary debut novel—an intimate portrait of queer, racial, and class identity —Andrés, a gay Latinx professor, returns to his suburban hometown in the wake of his husband’s infidelity. There he finds himself with no excuse not to attend his twenty-year high school reunion, and hesitantly begins to reconnect with people he used to call friends.

Over the next few weeks, while caring for his aging parents and navigating the neighborhood where he grew up, Andrés falls into old habits with friends he thought he’d left behind. Before long, he unexpectedly becomes entangled with his first love and is forced to tend to past wounds.

Captivating and poignant; a modern coming-of-age story about the essential nature of community, The Town of Babylon is a page-turning novel about young love and a close examination of our social systems and the toll they take when they fail us.

Maria, Maria & Other Stories

Set against the tropics and megacities of the Americas, Maria, Maria takes inspiration from wild creatures, tarot, and the porous borders between life and death. Motivated by love and its inverse, grief, the characters who inhabit these stories negotiate boldly with nature to cast their desired ends.

From the publisher:

Set against the tropics and megacities of the Americas, Maria, Maria takes inspiration from wild creatures, tarot, and the porous borders between life and death. Motivated by love and its inverse, grief, the characters who inhabit these stories negotiate boldly with nature to cast their desired ends. As the enigmatic community college professor in “Brujería for Beginners” reminds us: “There’s always a price for conjuring in darkness. You won’t always know what it is until payment is due.” This commitment drives the disturbingly faithful widow in “Tijuca,” who promises to bury her husband’s head in the rich dirt of the jungle, and the sisters in “Moksha,” who are tempted by a sleek obsidian dagger once held by a vampiric idol.

But magic isn’t limited to the women who wield it. As Rubio so brilliantly elucidates, animals are powerful magicians too. Subversive pigeons and hungry jaguars are called upon in “Tunnels,” and a lonely little girl runs free with a resurrected saber-toothed tiger in “Burial.” A colorful catalog of gallery exhibits from animals in therapy is featured in “Art Show,” including the Almost Philandering Fox, who longs after the red pelt of another, and the recently rehabilitated Paranoid Peacocks.

Brimming with sharp wit and ferocious female intuition, these stories bubble over into the titular novella, “Maria, Maria”—a tropigoth family drama set in a reimagined California rainforest that explores the legacies of three Marias, and possibly all Marias. Writing in prose so lush it threatens to creep off the page, Rubio emerges as an ineffable new voice in contemporary short fiction.

Nobody Gets Out Alive

Set in Newman’s home state of Alaska, Nobody Gets Out Alive is an exhilarating collection about women struggling to survive not just grizzly bears and charging moose, but the raw legacy of their marriages and families.

From the publisher:

Set in Newman’s home state of Alaska, Nobody Gets Out Alive is an exhilarating collection about women struggling to survive not just grizzly bears and charging moose, but the raw legacy of their marriages and families.

Alongside stories set in today’s Last Frontier—rife with suburban sprawl, global warming, and opioid addiction—Newman delves into remote wilderness of the 1970s and 80s, bringing to life young girls and single moms in search of a wilder, freer, more adventurous America. The final story takes place in a railroad camp in 1915, where an outspoken heiress stages an elaborate theatrical production in order to seduce the wife of her husband’s employer.

“Rich with wit and wisdom, showing us that love, marriage, and family are always a bigger and more perilous adventures than backcountry trips” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), these keenly observed stories prove there are some questions—about love, heartbreak, and the meaning of home—that can’t be outrun, no matter how hard we try. Nobody Gets Out Alive is a dazzling foil to the adventure narratives of old.

All This Could Be Different

A beautiful and capacious novel rendered in singular, unforgettable  prose, All This Could Be Different is a wise, tender, and riveting group portrait of young people forging love and community amidst struggle, and a moving story of one immigrant’s journey to make her home in the world.

From the publisher:

Graduating into the long maw of an American recession, Sneha is one of the fortunate ones. She’s moved to Milwaukee for an entry-level corporate job that, grueling as it may be, is the key that unlocks every door: she can pick up the tab at dinner with her new friend Tig, get her college buddy Thom hired alongside her, and send money to her parents back in India. She begins dating women—soon developing a burning crush on Marina, a beguiling and beautiful dancer who always seems just out of reach.

But before long, trouble arrives. Painful secrets rear their heads; jobs go off the rails; evictions loom. Sneha struggles to be truly close and open with anybody, even as her friendships deepen, even as she throws herself headlong into a dizzying romance with Marina. It’s then that Tig begins to draw up a radical solution to their problems, hoping to save them all.

A beautiful and capacious novel rendered in singular, unforgettable prose, All This Could Be Different is a wise, tender, and riveting group portrait of young people forging love and community amidst struggle, and a moving story of one immigrant’s journey to make her home in the world.

The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories

Pen/Hemingway finalist Jamil Jan Kochai ​breathes life into his contemporary Afghan characters, moving between modern-day Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora in America.

From the publisher:

Pen/Hemingway finalist Jamil Jan Kochai ​breathes life into his contemporary Afghan characters, moving between modern-day Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora in America. In these arresting stories verging on both comedy and tragedy, often starring young characters whose bravado is matched by their tenderness, Kochai once again captures “a singular, resonant voice, an American teenager raised by Old World Afghan storytellers.”

In “Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” a young man’s video game experience turns into a surreal exploration on his own father’s memories of war and occupation. Set in Kabul, “Return to Sender” follows two married doctors driven by guilt to leave the US and care for their fellow Afghans, even when their own son disappears. A college student in the US in “Hungry Ricky Daddy” starves himself in protest of Israeli violence against Palestine. And in the title story, “The Haunting of Hajji Hotak,” we learn the story of a man codenamed Hajji, from the perspective of a government surveillance worker, who becomes entrenched in the immigrant family’s life.

The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories is a moving exploration of characters grappling with the ghosts of war and displacement—and one that speaks to the immediate political landscape we reckon with today.

The Birdcatcher

Set primarily on the island of Ibiza, the story is narrated by the writer Amanda Wordlaw, whose closest friend, a gifted sculptor named Catherine Shuger, is repeatedly institutionalized for trying to kill a husband who never leaves her. The three form a quirky triangle on the white-washed island.

From the publisher:

Set primarily on the island of Ibiza, the story is narrated by the writer Amanda Wordlaw, whose closest friend, a gifted sculptor named Catherine Shuger, is repeatedly institutionalized for trying to kill a husband who never leaves her. The three form a quirky triangle on the white-washed island.

A study in Black women’s creative expression, and the intensity of their relationships, this work from Jones shows off her range and insight into the vicissitudes of all human nature – rewarding longtime fans and bringing her talent to a new generation of readers.