Litstack Recs: Arranged Marriage & This Case Is Gonna Kill Me

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Arranged Marriage: Stories, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Acclaimed poet, novelist, and story writer Chitra Banerjee Divrakaruni’s first book of fiction was published in 1995, and the eleven stories in Arranged Marriage demonstrated her gift for chronicling female cultural dislocation and the compound identities that come with leaving one place—with its engrained customs and beliefs—for another. [….]

Our 2018 Favorite Reads

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From my reading of the past year, some favorites—here a memoir-in-essays and three story collections. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and in the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir, the author dives deep, [….]

Litstack Rec: My Misspent Youth & Santa 17

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My Misspent Youth, essays by Meghan Daum My introduction to Daum and her essays was Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, her account of wanting, finding, losing and finding the ideal home. It’s a memoir of coming into one’s own in regard to matters of money—real estate, mortgages, income and outflow. [….]

LitStack Recs: Author -Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan & The Jesus Cow

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Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan. By Beowulf Sheehan. Foreword by Salman Rushdie. If you need a gift for the book lovers on your list, this is the coffee table book everyone’s talking about—at least those who love books and their writers. Beowulf Sheehan, the literary world’s foremost photographer, has a newly collected volume of [….]

Litstack Rec: Earn It! and Viva Frida

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Earn It! by Cinders McLeod This is the perfect gift for young readers on your list, because it’s never too soon to learn financial literacy. Knowing how money works, and having the skills to make informed decisions about personal money matters, is said to be a concept best started early. The financial wisdom runs that [….]

LitStack Rec: Barbarian Days & Alif the Unseen

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan William Finnegan’s 2016 memoir begins with an epigraph from Edward St. Aubyn’s novel Mother’s Milk: “He had become so caught up in building sentences  that he had almost forgotten  the barbaric days when thinking was like a splash of colour landing on a page.” It’s a fitting [….]

Litstack Rec: Dreams From My Father & Time Salvager

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Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama Stories that center on fathers have a distinct place in the memoir genre. For better or worse, fathers hold a place that intersects with the world and experience in a way far different from that of a mother’s. As in Jung’s archetypes, fathers are symbols of worldliness and [….]

Litstack Recs: The Romanoffs & The Burning Light

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The Romanoffs, by Matthew Weiner The thing I love most about linked story collections is the strategy of slow accrual. We are shown an idea, or character, or setting from different points of view and  varied points in time and space, and as with the novel, the narrative facets develop to a full and satisfying [….]

Litstack Recs: An Unnecessary Woman & Lethal White

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An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine   “I like outsiders,” Aaliya Sohbi tells us, “phantoms wandering the cobwebbed halls of the doomed castle where life must be lived.” The narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, is herself an outsider, a reclusive, seventy-two year old bibliophile who lives alone in the Beirut apartment she’s inhabited [….]

Litstack Recs: Two New Titles from WTAW Press & Us

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Two New Titles from WTAW Press Northern California’s newest independent press has just released its 2018 titles: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, a debut collection by Angela Mitchell, and Hungry Ghost Theater:  A Novel, by Sarah Stone. From the publisher: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, by Angela Mitchell This collection of seven connected stories set [….]