LitBridge New October Book Releases

New Fiction Book Releases

Kind One


Author: Laird Hunt   Publication Date: September 25, 2012

As a teenage girl, Ginny marries Linus Lancaster, her mother’s second cousin, and moves to his Kentucky pig farm “ninety miles from nowhere.” In the shadows of the lush Kentucky landscape, Ginny discovers the empty promises of Linus’ “paradise”—a place where the charms of her husband fall away to reveal a troubled man and cruel slave owner. Ginny befriends the young slaves Cleome and Zinnia who work at the farm—until Linus’ attentions turn to them, and she finds herself torn between her husband and only companions. The events that follow Linus’ death change all three women for life. Haunting, chilling, and suspenseful, Kind One is a powerful tale of redemption and human endurance in antebellum America.

Picture of Laird HuntCalled “one of the most talented young writers on the American scene today” by Paul Auster, Laird Hunt is the author of four other genre-bending novels: The Impossibly, The Exquisite, Indiana, Indiana and Ray of the Star. His books have been released or are scheduled to be released in France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Japan, and The Impossibly is available as an audio book through Iambik Audio. His fiction, reviews, translations and interviews have appeared in Bomb, Bookforum, The Believer, Plougshares, McSweeney’s, Brick and Zoum, Zoum, as well as in several recent anthologies including Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth, about which the Village Voice says “Laird Hunt’s ‘Kissability,’ in its distillation of inchoate teenage longing, is . . . as lovely a passage as anything in pop music.”

Born in Singapore and educated at Indiana University and The Sorbonne in Paris, Hunt has also lived in Tokyo, London, The Hague, New York City, and on an Indiana farm. A former press officer at the United Nations and current faculty member at the University of Denver, where he edits The Denver Quarterly, he currently lives with his family in Boulder.

Links to Other Publications:
The Exquisite
The Impossibly
Indiana, Indiana
Ray of the Star

Fra Keeler

Author: Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi    Publication Date: October 9, 2012

A man purchases a house, the house of Fra Keeler, moves in, and begins investigating the circumstances of the latter’s death. Yet the investigation quickly turns inward, and the reality it seeks to unravel seems only to grow more strange, as the narrator pursues not leads but lines of thought, most often to hideous conclusions.

“A surrealist triumph. This short but substantial novel both celebrates the process of thinking and offers cautions about the perils of our inner monologues. A rare gem of a book that begs to be read again.” —Publishers Weekly

“Obsessive/delightful, Fra Keeler subtly elaborates on life’s details, its ordinary lunacies. Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi’s observations are droll and often hilarious. Her novel’s incidents pile up and on, tilting and shifting under the weight of language’s bizarre disturbances. Fra Keeler is wonderfully imaginative, the work of a terrific young writer.” Lynne Tillman
“Obsessive. Surreal. Darkly comic. Chilling.” Robert Coover

Picture of AZAREEN VAN DER VLIET OLOOMIAZAREEN VAN DER VLIET OLOOMI is an Iranian-American writer of fiction and non-fiction. She holds an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. She is a recent recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Catalonia and has been a writer in residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts. She currently lives in the Midwest and is an Assistant Professor of Fiction in the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame.

Links to Contact the Author:
New Nonfiction Book Releases

It’s Not About Religion

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Author: Gregory Harms    Publication Date: July 20, 2012

When the Middle East is covered on the news or depicted in film, what is shown is a region defined almost exclusively by violence, chaos, and extremism, and a common question often arises in response: Does religion have anything to do with it? In this concise book, Gregory Harms examines a range of topics in an effort to answer the question. As the book’s title indicates, the region’s woes and instability are in fact not caused by biblical or Islamic factors. Harms reveals a list of entirely secular factors and realities as he examines how and why Americans view the Arab Middle East the way they do; the history of European and U.S. involvement in the region; the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism; and how academics and the mass media tend to discuss the region and its inhabitants. In roughly one hundred pages, the reader is shown a constellation of history and culture that will hopefully help move the conversation of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in a more grounded and precise direction.

Picture of Gregory HarmsGregory Harms is an independent scholar specializing in US foreign policy and the Middle East. He lectures and publishes articles on CounterPunchTruthout, and Mondoweiss. Harms has traveled throughout Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and has been interviewed on BBC Radio and NPR. His first book, The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction, 3rd ed. (Pluto Press, 2012), was selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2007). Harms’s second book, Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East: US Foreign Policy, Israel, and World History (Pluto Press, 2010) was described by author and former New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer as “Sharp, persuasive, and based on a clear reading of history.”

Links to Other Publications:

The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction, Third Edition

Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East: US Foreign Policy, Israel and World History

Looking for Esperanza:

The Story of a Mother, a Child Lost, and Why They Matter to Us

Author: Adriana Páramo     Publication Date: September 26, 2012

Award-winning book exploring the hidden, hazardous world of undocumented women toiling in Florida invites serious policy  discussions about immigration and social justice issues

Author and anthropologist Adriana Páramo has written an award-winning book  chronicling the plight of undocumented women living in Florida who have risked everything in the hopes of creating a better life for those they love.

Páramo, a cultural anthropologist born in Colombia, embarked on a journey to track  down a Mexican woman named Esperanza after reading about her in a Florida newspaper. Esperanza, Páramo learned, had crossed the border to the United States on foot with her four children in a desperate attempt to create a better life. When her young daughter died of dehydration halfway through their desert journey, Esperanza, whose name means “hope,” strapped the body of her child to her own and continued on.

Picture of Adriana PáramoAdriana Páramo was born and raised in Colombia and has studied, lived, taught, and worked in Alaska and Kuwait. Her diverse experiences as a petroleum engineer turned cultural anthropologist and teacher of humanities and anthropology as well as her advocacy work for immigrant women’s rights have inspired her nonfiction writing. In addition to Looking for Esperanza, she is the author of My Mother’s Funeral and the unpublished manuscript Desert Butterflies and the co-producer of LOL, Life Out Loud, the only reading series in Tampa Bay exclusively dedicated to nonfiction. Her nonfiction work has been published in CONSEQUENCE Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, So to Speak Journal, The Los Angeles Review, Fourteen Hills, Carolina Quarterly Review, Magnolia Journal, 580 Split, Phati’tude Literary Magazine, South Loop Review, New Plains Review, Compass Rose, and Concho River Review.

Links to Contact the Author:

New Poetry Book Releases

Pepper Girl

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Author:  Jonterri Gadson    Publication Date: September 21, 2012

The poems in Jonterri Gadson’s PEPPER GIRL certainly live up to their title—spicy, provocative, pungent. These capacious and generous poems hold bodies full of candid desire and blood—the blood of passion, family, and violence. Gadson’s lines brim with spunk and grit, humor and heartbreak.  Her imagination is acrobatic in dazzle and prayerful in its grace. – Denise Duhamel
 Picture of Jonterri GadsonJonterri Gadson is Debra’s daughter. A Cave Canem fellow, she is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia’s Creative Writing MFA program and the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. Her poetry has appeared in The Rumpus, Tidal Basin Review, Muzzle, and other journals. She recently served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, before being selected as the Herbert W. Martin Post-Graduate Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Dayton. She now lives and writes in Ohio with the Boy Wonder.
Link to a review of the book:

Dear, Companion

Author: A.E. Watkins     Publication Date: August 1, 2012

 John Keats was of the belief that a “life of any worth is a continual allegory.” A.E. Watkins’ debut collection takes on the notion with a lovely seriousness. The brilliance in these poems isn’t simply in their lyric surety-a music so unfailing it turns image melodious-but in using lyric for a purpose often neglected in contemporary poetry. The poems here become a space in which the grain of the personal is held within the furrow of the allegorical, and over the course of a year, we witness the speaker’s identity suffer into symbolic sympathy. That sympathy is erotic and agricultural-that ancient twining-and allows Watkins to invoke the world of Orpheus and Eurydice into his own, all while showing his readers, as a poet must learn to do, the reciprocal consequences of having one’s own life called back into the forgotten one. Well, the forgotten world save only for poems such as these, which refuse to accept the post-modern condition as a separation from our allegorical one. These are poems of wonder and nostalgia, and a reminder that such conditions are not easy, but are instead evidence of the very wound that “wondered this world green.” –Dan Beachy-Quick 

Herein, a poetry that takes its time, forgoing pyrotechnics for a low, slow burn. Other elemental activity’s here as well-the wind flogging the prairie; the mind dirtying itself; a glass of water having its way with a stick. Dear, Companion is a definitive bewilderment, a bountiful catalog of thought and observation and loss. Read it and reap. –Graham Foust

Picture of A.E. WatkinsA.E. Watkins is the author of _Dear, Companion_, which was released by Dream Horse Press as runner-up for the 2011 American Poetry Journal Book Prize; it was also a 2011 New Issues Poetry Prize finalist. Individual poems from this collection can be found in Barrow Street, Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, Handsome, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. A.E. is a graduate of the Saint Mary’s College MFA program and is a doctoral candidate in Purdue University’s Literary Studies program.
Links to Personal Mentions:

Notes from the Journey Westward (White Pine Press Poetry Prize)

Author: Joe Wilkins    Publication Date: October 9, 2012

Notes from the Journey Westward  interrogates the idea of America—especially our westering, both historical and contemporary, our rough, rocky journeys through the wind-blown interiors of the continent—and of our own hearts. Here, blind grandmothers take us by the hand, lost fathers hide in every prairie shadow, and old devils hunch and watch from craggy peaks. We are orphans in this country, all of us, and so must reckon with our very foundations, with the myths and stories that make and remake us as people and as a nation. Wilkins’ Notes from the Journey Westward  is a book you won’t soon forget.
Picture of Joe Wilkins Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry (Counterpoint 2012), and two collections of poems, the forthcoming Notes from the Journey Westward, winner of the 17th Annual White Pine Press Poetry Prize, and Killing the Murnion Dogs (Black Lawrence Press 2011), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and the High Plains Book Award. His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Ecotone, the Sun, Orion, and Slate, among other magazines and literary journals. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter in north Iowa, where he teaches writing at Waldorf College.
Links to Other Publications:

The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up on The Big Dry
Killing the Murnion Dogs