The Rumpus Book Club


Set in contemporary Louisville, Leesa Cross-Smith’s mesmerizing first novel surrounding the death of a police officer is a requiem for marriage, friendship and family, from an author Roxane Gay has called “a consummate storyteller.”

Evi—a classically-trained ballerina—was nine months pregnant when her husband Eamon was killed in the line of duty on a steamy morning in July. Now, it is winter, and Eamon’s adopted brother Dalton has moved in to help her raise six-month-old Noah. Whiskey & Ribbons is told in three intertwining, melodic voices: Evi in present day, as she’s snowed in with Dalton during a freak blizzard; Eamon before his murder, as he prepares for impending fatherhood and grapples with the danger of his profession; and Dalton, as he struggles to make sense of his life next to Eamon’s, and as he decides to track down the biological father he’s never known.

Through March 31, purchase a 6-month Rumpus Book Club subscription (or a yearly Letters in the Mail subscription) and we’ll send you your own signed, hardcover copy of Whiskey & Ribbons*. Already have a subscription? Just extend or convert it and we’ll send you the book! Or give the gift of reading to a friend and keep the signed book for yourself! Click here to subscribe today!

“Cross-Smith’s thrilling debut novel, Whiskey and Ribbons, is as immediate and compelling as music. Her three lovers tell their stories, each turning over what we think we know, creating a moving triptych on love, desire, and grief, and the unexpected families life makes for us.”

– Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and has been a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Iowa Short Fiction Award. She is the author of Every Kiss A War (Mojave River Press, 2014) and the forthcoming novel Whiskey & Ribbons (Hub City Press, March 2018). Her work has appeared in Oxford American and Best Small Fictions, among many others. She is the founder/editor of WhiskeyPaper and lives and writes in Kentucky.

 *Offer valid while supplies last. Due to shipping costs, this offer is only available for US subscriptions.

How The Rumpus Book Club Works: You pay $27 a month and every month you get a book in the mail that hasn’t been released yet. We’ll discuss the book through the month while we read it. You’re then invited to an exclusive moderated online discussion with the author of the book at the end of the month which we’ll edit and run on The Rumpus as a feature article (like these).

You don’t have to participate in the exclusive author discussion or review the book; you can also just subscribe to receive a new, unpublished book every month.

We’re going to try to only read great books. We’ll fail sometimes. The books will often be hardcover, but not always. Occasionally they’ll be paperback originals. Some books we’ve featured in the book club include Wild by Cheryl Strayed, An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, Insurrections by Rion Amilcar Scott, Abandon Me by Melissa Febos, Marlena by Julie Buntin, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, and Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot. Upcoming writers include Melissa Broder, Amy Fusselman, Nicole Chung, Idra Novey, Tom Barbash, Esmé Weijun Wang, and more.

You can also save money by purchasing a one-year subscription or a 6-month subscription for yourself or a friend. And programs like our Book Club put you in direct communication with the literary community and keep The Rumpus running in one fell swoop!

Please note that we do not offer international Book Club subscriptions at this time, but we hope to in the future.





Q: Who do I contact for customer service? A: [email protected]

Q: Can I sign up for both the Poetry Book Club and The Rumpus Book Club and get a discount? A: Yes. You can subscribe to both for $48 a month.

Q: Is there a cut-off date to receive the upcoming book and to participate in the upcoming month’s discussion? A: Yes. Please subscribe by the 20th of the month to receive following month’s book and join in the chat with its author. For example, to receive our March book, make sure to subscribe by February 20.

Q: Is it true there are plans to start a poetry book club? A: It has happened! The Rumpus Poetry Book Club is in effect.

Q: Are there refunds? A: No. But it’s easy to cancel your subscription, and we’ll tell you what books we will be choosing as far in advance as possible.

Q: How do I find out about times for the Book Club chat with the author and stuff like that? A: We send announcements through our Book Club Announcement Google group (different from the discussion group) and Poetry Book Club Google group. If you joined that book club but didn’t get an invitation to the announcement group please send an email to [email protected]. It’s not mandatory to join the announcement group or the discussion group.