Reading Ahead in the Season’s Most Anticipated New Books

Reading Ahead in the Season’s Most Anticipated New Books

A Fortune for Your Disaster
Poems by Hanif Abdurraqib

From the book:

Tesla said there are no great inventions made by married men but then how do you explain the way space in between bodies in a shared bed can feel like an entire country? I’m saying that all inventions come at the cost of a room becoming something different than it was.

Weighing both private heartbreaks and the shared traumas of black Americans, Abdurraqib looks at the aftereffects of violence and loss and asks what might provide some kind of relief. The passage above is from a poem titled “It’s Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All of Those People Were Going to Die.” To be published by Tin House Books on Sept. 3.

A novel by Sara Stridsberg (translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner)

From the book:

The pale shadows of palm trees and clouds pursue you along the promenade like huge, unsettled animals. The salt-filled winds turn at the beach’s end and on their way back they are hotter and saltier, and it has to be something simple, Dorothy says, like a film, like a lipstick, like Marilyn.

The real-life radical Valerie Solanas had two claims to fame — the SCUM Manifesto, in which she argued for the elimination of men, and her 1968 attempted assassination of Andy Warhol. Stridsberg’s fictionalized portrait of Solanas examines these events, as well as those that came before and after, from Solanas’s troubled childhood to her last days at the seedy San Francisco hotel where she was found dead among her papers. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on Aug. 6.

A novel by Téa Obreht

From the book:

But don’t you feel released, Mama, having written it?

She did not. All that time, all that effort. Pages and pages written and rewritten, wrung out and reconstituted until she was no longer certain of her own logic. And Emmett — still dragging his feet with a rebuttal he continued to claim he was writing; still dawdling with halfhearted scraps of script he refused to let her see.

Homesteading in Amargo, Ariz., has never been easy, but as a drought wears on and the 20th century approaches, the town risks disappearing altogether. Determined to stay put, not least because this is where her young daughter is buried, Nora Lark’s path becomes interwoven with that of an outlaw turned cameleer who’s been propelled ever westward — and who comes with ghosts of his own. Published by Random House on Aug. 13.

About the artist: Born in the Dominican Republic and based in New York, Firelei Báez makes vivid paintings and sculptures that layer familiar patterns and references — Yoruba goddesses, tignons, azabache charms — in an interrogation of how the past, as well as cultural memory, shapes its descendants. A show of her work is up now (through Sept. 1) at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Fla., and her public sculpture “19.604692°N 72.218596°W” (2019), which features a large archway inspired by a Haitian palace ruin, has been installed on Manhattan’s High Line as part of its yearlong “En Plein Air” exhibition (on view through March 2020). Early next year, the New York-based James Cohan gallery will present her abstract paintings incorporating reproductions of historical maps.

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