What to Read When You’ve Made It Halfway Through 2018
We’re halfway through another year, and still standing (just barely). How are we making it through life during the Trump administration? Books.
So, we’ve asked Rumpus editors to share the forthcoming 2018 titles they are most eagerly anticipating. These books transport us to different worlds, give us glimpses into lives we might never otherwise know, and offer us respite from reality.
If a title is marked as a Rumpus Book Club or Poetry Book Club selection, you can receive this book before its release date and participate in an exclusive conversation with its author! Just head to our store and become a member today!
And, because you deserve it, go ahead and preorder yourself a few books, too!
Choose Your Own Disaster by Dana Schwartz (Grand Central Publishing, June 19, 2018)
Join Dana Schwartz on a journey revisiting all of the terrible decisions she made in her early twenties through the Internet’s favorite method of self-knowledge: the quiz. Part-memoir, part-very long personality test, Choose Your Own Disaster is a manifesto about the millennial experience and modern feminism and how the easy advice of “you can be anything you want!” is actually pretty fucking difficult when there are so many possible versions of yourself it seems like you could be. Dana has no idea who she is, but at least she knows she’s a Carrie, a Ravenclaw, a Raphael, a Belle, a former emo kid, a Twitter addict, and a millennial just trying her best.
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books, June 19, 2018)
In seventy poems bearing the same title, Terrance Hayes explores the meanings of American, of assassin, and of love in the sonnet form. Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these poems are haunted by the country’s past and future eras and errors, its dreams and nightmares. Inventive, compassionate, hilarious, melancholy, and bewildered—the wonders of this new collection are irreducible and stunning. A Rumpus Poetry Book Club upcoming selection!
100 Demon Dialogues by Lucy Bellwood (Toonhound Studios, June 19, 2018)
Cartoonist Lucy Bellwood is beset by a tiny, petulant demon who embodies workaholism, imposter syndrome, and fear of missing out. Fed up with its constant nagging, she sets out to defang and humanize her inner critic in a series of conversational comics. From overcoming self-doubt to prioritizing self-care, Bellwood and her demon embody a hilarious and relatable partnership that will resonate with people from all walks of life. And don’t miss our EIC, Marisa Siegel, in conversation with Lucy at McNally Jackson on June 24!
Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg (One World, June 26, 2018)
Jack Sheppard and Edgeworth Bess were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of eighteenth-century London. Yet no one knows the true story; their confessions have never been found… until now. Reeling from heartbreak, a scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript—a gender-defying exposé of Jack and Bess’s adventures. Is Confessions of the Fox an authentic autobiography or a hoax? Dr. Voth obsessively annotates the manuscript, desperate to find the answer. As he is drawn deeper into Jack and Bess’s tale of underworld resistance and gender transformation, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined—and only a miracle will save them all.
Brood by Kimiko Hahn (Sarabande Books, July 3, 2018)
In Brood, Kimiko Hahn trains her eye on the commonplace—clothespins, bees, papaya, perfume, poached eggs, a sponge, fire, sand dollars—and reveals their very essence in concise evocative language. Underlying these little gems is a sense of loss, a mother’s death or a longing for childhood. “Brood” connotes the bundling of family or beasts, but also dark thinking, and both are at play here where the less said, the better.
Idiophone by Amy Fusselman (Coffee House Press, July 3, 2018)
Leaping from ballet to quilt-making, from the The Nutcracker to an Annie-B Parson interview, Idiophone is a strikingly original meditation on risk-taking and provocation in art and an unabashedly honest, funny, and intimate consideration of art-making in the context of motherhood, and motherhood in the context of addiction. Amy Fusselman’s compact, beautifully digressive essay feels both surprising and effortless, fueled by broad-ranging curiosity, and, fundamentally, joy. A Rumpus Book Club upcoming selection!
Suicide Club: A Novel about Living by Rachel Heng (Henry Holt and Co., July 10, 2018)
Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever―if she does everything right. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die. But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead choose to live and die on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.
The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark (Metropolitan Books, July 10, 2018)
In the first full account of this American tragedy, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision making. Places like Flint are set up to fail―and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences can be fatal.
Love War Stories by Ivelisse Rodriguez (The Feminist Press at CUNY, July 10, 2018)
Puerto Rican girls are brought up to want one thing: true love. Yet they are raised by women whose lives are marked by broken promises, grief, and betrayal. While some believe that they’ll be the ones to finally make it work, others swear not to repeat cycles of violence. This collection documents how these “love wars” break out across generations as individuals find themselves caught in the crosshairs of romance, expectations, and community.
Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk by John Lingan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, July 17, 2018)
Winchester, Virginia is an emblematic American town. When John Lingan first traveled there, it was to seek out Jim McCoy: local honky-tonk owner and the DJ who first gave airtime to a brassy-voiced singer known as Patsy Cline, setting her on a course for fame that outlasted her tragically short life. What Lingan found was a town in the midst of an identity crisis. As the US economy and American culture have transformed in recent decades, the ground under centuries-old social codes has shifted, throwing old folkways into chaos. Homeplace teases apart the tangle of class, race, and family origin that still defines the town, and illuminates questions that now dominate our national conversation about how we move into the future without pretending our past doesn’t exist, and about what we salvage and what we leave behind.
I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé by Michael Arceneaux (Atria/37 INK, July 24, 2018)
With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite.
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon (Riverhead Books, July 31, 2018)
A powerful, darkly glittering novel about violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young Korean American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea. The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most. Get ready for a special Rumpus Letter in the Mail and signed book giveaway from R.O. Kwon in July!
The Marvellous Equations of the Dread: A Novel in Bass Riddum by Marcia Douglas (New Directions, July 31, 2018)
“Is me―Bob. Bob Marley.” Reincarnated as homeless Fall-down man, Bob Marley sleeps in a clock tower built on the site of a lynching in Half Way Tree, Kingston. The ghosts of Marcus Garvey and King Edward VII are there, too, drinking whiskey and playing solitaire. No one sees that Fall-down is Bob Marley, no one but his long-ago love, the deaf woman, Leenah, and, in the way of this otherworldly book, when Bob steps into the street each day, five years have passed. Jah ways are mysterious ways, from Kingston’s ghettoes to London, from Haile Selaisse’s Ethiopian palace and back to Jamaica, Marcia Douglas’s mythical reworking of three hundred years of violence is a ticket to the deep world of Rasta history.
If You Have to Go by Katie Ford (Graywolf Press, August 7, 2018)
The poems in Katie Ford’s fourth collection implore their audience―the divine and the human―for attention, for revelation, and, perhaps above all, for companionship. The extraordinary sequence at the heart of this book taps into the radical power of the sonnet form, bending it into a kind of metaphysical and psychological outcry. Beginning in the cramped space of selfhood―in the bedroom, cluttered with doubts, and in the throes of marital loss―these poems edge toward the clarity of “what I can know and admit to knowing.” In song and in silence, Ford inhabits the rooms of anguish and redemption with scouring exactness. This is poetry that “can break open, // it can break your life, it will break you // until you remain.” A Rumpus Poetry Book Club upcoming selection!
Certain American States by Catherine Lacey (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 7, 2018)
Catherine Lacey brings her narrative mastery to her first collection of short stories. She gives life to a group of subtly complex, instantly memorable characters whose searches for love, struggles with grief, and tentative journeys into the minutiae of the human condition are simultaneously gripping and devastating. Lacey’s characters are continually coming to terms with their place in the world, and how to adapt to that place, before change inevitably returns. These are stories of breakups, abandonment, and strained family ties; dead brothers and distant surrogate fathers; loneliness, happenstance, starting over, and learning to let go.
This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Graywolf Press, August 7, 2018) BC
In This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival. As a last resort, Tambudzai takes an ecotourism job that forces her to return to her parents’ impoverished homestead. It is this homecoming, in Dangarembga’s tense and psychologically charged novel, that culminates in an act of betrayal, revealing just how toxic the combination of colonialism and capitalism can be. A Rumpus Book Club upcoming selection!
The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 7, 2018)
Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. He’s wearing a white linen suit she’s never seen before, and he’s supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way.
If They Come for Us by Fatima Asghar (PenguinRandomHouse, August 7, 2018)
Orphaned as a child, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. These poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while also exploring the many facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people’s histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging.
If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
An emotionally riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love—the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they’re forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that still haunts us today. Richly told and deeply moving, If You Leave Me is a stunning portrait of war and refugee life, a passionate and timeless romance, and a heartrending exploration of one woman’s longing for autonomy in a rapidly changing world.
A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua (Ballantine Books, August 14, 2018)
A River of Stars is an entertaining, wildly unpredictable adventure, told with empathy and wit. It’s a vivid examination of home and belonging, and a moving portrayal of a woman determined to build her own future.
Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man by Thomas Page McBee (Scribner, August 14, 2018)
In this groundbreaking new book, McBee, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence. Through his experience boxing McBee examines the weight of male violence, the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes, and the limitations of conventional masculinity. A wide-ranging exploration of gender in our society, Amateur is ultimately a story of hope, as McBee traces a new way forward, a new kind of masculinity, inside the ring and outside of it. (Want to read McBee right now? Start with his Rumpus column, Self-Made Man.)
Note from the Fog: Stories by Ben Marcus (Knopf, August 21, 2018)
In the bizarre but instantly recognizable universe of Ben Marcus’s fiction, characters encounter both surreal new illnesses and equally surreal new cures. Marcus writes beautifully, hilariously, and obsessively, about sex and death, lust and shame, the indignities of the body, and the full parade of human folly.
Everyday People: The Color of Life edited by Jennifer Baker (Atria Books, August 28, 2018)
This gorgeously wrought anthology represents a wide range of styles, themes, and perspectives on a variety of topics. The carefully selected stories depict moments that linger—moments of doubt, crossroads to be chosen, relationships, epiphanies, moments of loss and moments of discovery. Contributors include Mia Alvar, Carleigh Baker, Nana Brew-Hammond, Glendaliz Camacho, Alexander Chee, Mitchell S. Jackson, Yiyun Li, Allison Mills, Courttia Newland, Dennis Norris II, Jason Reynolds, Nelly Rosario, Hasanthika Sirisena, and Brandon Taylor. Stay tuned for an exclusive excerpt in July!
Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez (Haymarket Books, September 4, 2018)
In this stunning debut, José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in. A Rumpus Poetry Book Club upcoming selection!
Human Hours by Catherine Barnett (Graywolf Press, September 4, 2018)
Catherine Barnett’s tragicomic third collection, Human Hours, shuttles between a Whitmanian embrace of others and a kind of rapacious solitude. Barnett speaks from the middle of hope and confusion, carrying philosophy into the everyday. What are we to do with the endangered human hours that remain to us? Across the leaps and swerves of this collection, the fevered mind tries to slow―or at least measure―time with quiet bravura. Human Hours pulses with the absurd, with humor that accompanies the precariousness of the human condition.
The Final Voicemails by Max Ritvo, edited by Louise Glück (Milkweed Editions, September 11, 2018)
From Max Ritvo―selected and edited by Louise Glück―comes a final collection of poems fully inscribed with the daring of his acrobatic mind and the force of his unrelenting spirit. Diagnosed with terminal cancer at sixteen, Ritvo spent the next decade of his life writing with frenetic energy, culminating in the publication of Four Reincarnations. As with his debut, The Final Voicemails brushes up against the pain, fear, and isolation that accompany a long illness, but with all the creative force of an artist in full command of his craft and the teeming affection of a human utterly in love with the world.
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (Ecco, September 11, 2018)
Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet, very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner. Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner’s full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records, and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita.
She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore (Graywolf Press, September 11, 2018)
Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.
Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly (Atria Books, September 11, 2018)
We are so often told to resist our rage or punished for justifiably expressing it, yet how many remarkable achievements in this world would never have gotten off the ground without the kernel of anger that fueled them? Rage Becomes Her makes the case that anger is not what gets in our way, it is our way, sparking a new understanding of one of our core emotions that will give women a liberating sense of why their anger matters and connect them to an entire universe of women no longer interested in making nice at all costs.
Anagnorisis by Kyle Dargan (Northwestern University Press, September 15, 2018)
Dargan is both enthralled and provoked, having witnessed—on a digital loop running in the background of Barack Obama’s unlikely presidency—the rampant state-sanctioned murder of fellow black Americans. He is pushed toward the same recognition articulated by James Baldwin decades earlier: that a black American may never be considered an equal in citizenship or humanity. This recognition—the moment at which a tragic hero realizes the true nature of his own character, condition, or relationship with an antagonistic entity—is what Aristotle called anagnorisis. At a time when US politics are heavily invested in the purported vulnerability of working-class and rural white Americans, these poems allow readers to examine themselves and America through the eyes of those who have been burned for centuries. A Rumpus Poetry Book Club upcoming selection!
Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart by Kimberly Lojewski (Burrow Press, September 18, 2018)
In this wildly imaginative debut collection, whimsical fairy tales of princesses and farm girls turn dark, and dark tales of mistreated sideshow freaks turn whimsical. An itinerant marionette falls prey to a lusty mesmerist. An alcoholic camp counselor is haunted by her dead best friend. A juvenile delinquent languishes in a boot camp run by authoritarian grandmas. Be they human monsters or reluctant moth-girls, the outcasts that populate these eleven compelling stories all long for escape, community, acceptance, and self-discovery. A Rumpus Book Club upcoming selection!
So Far So Good by Ursula K. Le Guin (Copper Canyon Press, September 18, 2018)
Legendary author Ursula K. Le Guin was lauded by millions for her groundbreaking science fiction novels, but she began as a poet, and wrote across genres for her entire career. In this clarifying and sublime collection―completed shortly before her death in 2018―Le Guin is unflinching in the face of mortality, and full of wonder for the mysteries beyond. Redolent of the lush natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, with rich sounds playfully echoing myth and nursery rhyme, Le Guin bookends a long, daring, and prolific career.
Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown and Company, September 25, 2018)
In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung (Catapult, October 2, 2018)
What does it mean to lose your roots―within your culture, within your family―and what happens when you find them? With the same warmth, candor, and startling insight that has made her a beloved voice, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets―vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong. A Rumpus Book Club upcoming selection!
The Witch Elm by Tana French (Viking, October 9, 2018)
Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life—he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden, and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.
Puro Amor (Quarternote Chapbook Series) by Sandra Cisneros (Sarabande Books, October 9, 2018)
Sandra Cisneros has a fondness for animals and this little gem of a story makes that abundantly clear. “La casa azul,” the cobalt blue residence of Mister and Missus Rivera, overflows with hairless dogs, monkeys, a fawn, a Guacamaya macaw, tarantulas, an iguana, and rescues that resemble “ancient Olmec pottery.” Missus loves the rescues most “because their eyes were filled with grief.” She takes lavish care of her husband, too, a famous artist, though her neighbors insist he has eyes for other women. This beautiful chapbook is bilingual and contains several illustrations drawn by Cisneros.
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon (Scribner, October 16, 2018)
A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.
Trinity by Louisa Hall (Ecco, October 16, 2018)
J. Robert Oppenheimer was a brilliant scientist, a champion of liberal causes, and a complex and often contradictory character. Through narratives that cross time and space, a set of characters bears witness to the life of Oppenheimer. As these men and women fall into the orbit of a brilliant but mercurial mind at work, all consider his complicated legacy while also uncovering deep and often unsettling truths about their own lives. Blending science with literature and fiction with biography, Trinity asks searing questions about what it means to truly know someone, and about the secrets we keep from the world and from ourselves.
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Mariner Books, October 23, 2018)
From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world.
Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism by Timothy Denevi (PublicAffairs, October 30, 2018)
Tim Denevi recounts the moment when Hunter S. Thompson found his calling. As the Kennedy assassination and the turmoil of the 60s paved the way for Richard Nixon, Thompson greeted him with two very powerful emotions: fear and loathing. In his fevered effort to take down what he saw as a rising dictator, Thompson made a kind of Faustian bargain, taking the drugs he needed to meet newspaper deadlines and pushing himself beyond his natural limits. For ten years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history. Denevi’s biography reclaims Hunter Thompson for the enigmatic true believer he was: not a punchline or a cartoon character, but a fierce, colorful opponent of fascism in a country that suddenly seemed all too willing to accept it.
Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 6, 2018)
Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy both intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and voice to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future. A Rumpus Poetry Book Club upcoming selection!
Those Who Knew by Idra Novey (Viking, November 6, 2018)
On an unnamed island country ten years after the collapse of a US-supported regime, Lena suspects the powerful senator she was involved with back in her student activist days is taking advantage of a young woman who’s been introducing him at rallies. When the young woman ends up dead, Lena revisits her own fraught history with the senator and the violent incident that ended their relationship. What follows is a riveting exploration of the cost of staying silent and the mixed rewards of speaking up in a profoundly divided country. A Rumpus Book Club upcoming selection!
The Feral Detective by Jonathan Letham (Ecco, November 6, 2018)
Phoebe Siegler first meets Charles Heist in a shabby trailer on the eastern edge of Los Angeles. She’s looking for her friend’s missing daughter, Arabella, and hires Heist to help. A laconic loner who keeps his pet opossum in a desk drawer, Heist intrigues the sarcastic and garrulous Phoebe. Reluctantly, he agrees to help. The unlikely pair navigate the enclaves of desert-dwelling vagabonds and find that Arabella is in serious trouble—caught in the middle of a violent standoff that only Heist, mysteriously, can end. Phoebe’s trip to the desert was always going to be strange, but it was never supposed to be dangerous…
The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash (Ecco, December 4, 2018)
It’s the fall of 1979 in New York City when twenty-three-year-old Anton Winter, back from the Peace Corps and on the mend from a nasty bout of malaria, returns to his childhood home in the Dakota. Anton’s father, the famous late-night host Buddy Winter, is there to greet him, himself recovering from a breakdown. Before long, Anton is swept up in an effort to reignite Buddy’s stalled career—but the more Anton finds himself enmeshed in his father’s professional and spiritual reinvention, the more he questions his own path, and fissures in the Winter family begin to threaten their close bond. By turns hilarious and poignant, The Dakota Winters is a family saga, a page-turning social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large. A Rumpus Book Club upcoming selection!