I didn’t do a great job tracking books that arrived at my house this month. About midway through I just got tired of writing them down… so I stopped. Instead of a comprehensive list, I’m going to share some titles that were highlighted on a visit I made to the offices of Graywolf Press in Minneapolis, then highlight just a couple of the other books that I know arrived in my mailbox sometime in March.
Graywolf Press Spring Titles
Graywolf Press is an independent, literary nonprofit publishing company based in Minneapolis. I’ve met members of their publicity staff, Marisa Atkinson and Erin Kottke, at Book Expo America a couple of times, and had a chance to meet Executive Editor Jeff Shotts when he came out to our local college campus for a visit last month. When I e-mailed Jeff to set up a visit while I was in the Twin Cities this month, he was nice enough to oblige me.
The Graywolf Press offices are on the sixth floor of the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, an artist cooperative in a historic part of downtown. It’s a really neat building. While I was there, Jeff and Marketing Assistant Sarah Engelmann shared some of the titles they’re excited for coming up this spring and summer:
- Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso (March 3) — For 25 years, Manguso has kept a diary, recording some 800,000 words about her everyday life. In this book, in far fewer words, she looks at the fears and joys of recording her life in this way.
- All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen (March 24) — Deen was raised in an isolated Hasidic sect in New York City. In the book he writes about the experience of losing his faith and struggling to stay connected with his family.
- The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (May 5) — This might be the book I’m most excited about. It’s a mix of theory and memoir about “desire, identity and the limitations and possibilities of love and language,” centered on Nelson’s relationship with artist Harry Dodge.
- I Refuse by Peter Petterson (April 7) — This is a work of translated fiction, telling the story of two boys, best friends, and an incident that throws their life in different directions.
- Letters to a Future Lover by Ander Monson (February 3) — This book is a collection of pieces inspired by library ephemera, the marginalia and bookmarks and inscriptions found in book. It’s really beautifully put together.
- If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? by Matthea Harvey — Sarah said this is one of her favorite backlist titles, so I’m very curious about it. It’s a book of poetry that mixes in photography and sculpture and other media into the storytelling. I’m excited to jump in when I’m in the mood for something different.
Other Exciting Titles in My Mailbox
There were a lot of great books that came out in March, and I pre-ordered a pretty large number of them. I’m hoping the few I highlight below are titles you haven’t heart of yet:
- Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith (March 31 from Knopf) — This is a first memoir by a poet, a thing that I love since I know the writing will be beautiful. In the book Smith writes about growing up black in America and her mother’s battle with cancer shortly after Smith left for college. I read the first chapter the day it arrived and I’m so excited to pick it back up.
- Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew (April 14 from Little, Brown) — I don’t know much about Kate Mulgrew, other than that she played both Captain Janeway on Star Trek and “Red” on Orange is the New Black, but I’m excited to get to know her better in this memoir.
- Stuffocation by James Wallman — The opening of the book jacket pretty well describes this book: “Stuffocation is a movement manifesto for “experiential” living, a call to arms to stop accumulating stuff and start accumulating experiences, and a road map for a new way forward with the potential to transform our lives.” Yes, I understand the irony in reading about having less while still acquiring books. I get it and I’m ignoring it.
What books made it into your house this month?