WTAW Press 2019 Titles
WTAW Press released two great titles in 2019, Chimerica, the debut novel from Anita Fellicelli, and Like Water and Other Stories, the English-language debut of Olga Zilberbourg, Both titles are available as ebooks, here.
In Chimerica, by Anita Felicelli, down-on-her-luck Tamil American trial lawyer Maya Ramesh fights to save a painted lemur come to life, and becomes a champion for them both. In magic realist tradition, the novel unearths the inherent absurdities that drive systems of culture, power, and law. From the publisher: “Fans of Marquez, Kelly Link, and Helen Oyeyemi will find CHIMERICA a spirited investigation of the ways in which art is codified and commodified. Traveling from Oakland, California, to a Malagasy rainforest, CHIMERICA is a contemporary, philosophical novel about art, originality, and American culture.”
Anita Felicelli is the author of the story collection Love Songs for a Lost Continent (Stillhouse Press), which won the 2016 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Her fiction has appeared in The Normal School, Joyland, The Rumpus, and her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, SF Chronicle, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Electric Literature.
Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude) calls Chimerica “a coolly surrealist legal thriller—in turns sly, absurd, emotionally vivid, and satirically incisive—that shifts the reader into a world just adjacent to our own.”
Maya Ramesh is a protagonist who despite her accomplishments often feels the outsider, and this brings a richness of character and emotional dimension to the portrayal. Of the novel, the author writes, “what does it mean to be a fighter. . .fighting not only a visible adversary in the courtroom, but also shadowboxing with the invisible adversaries of. . . implicit bias?” Chimerica is a novel that shows us both the startlingly magical and the starkly real.
With settings that range from the Cuban Missile Crisis and Soviet-era Perestroika to present-day San Francisco, Like Water and Other Stories, the first English-language collection from Leningrad-born Olga Zilberbourg, looks at family and childrearing in ways that are both unsettling and tender, and in characters who grapple with complicated legacies—of state, parentage, displacement, and identity. The fifty-two stories, some as brief as a single line, make up a unique portrayal of motherhood, immigration and adaptation, an investigation of how motherhood reshapes the sense of self—and in ways that are often bewildering—against an uncharted landscape of American culture.
The collection has earned high praise from Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Tsar of Love and Techno), who says, “Like Water is a book of succinct abundance, dazzling in its particulars, expansive in its scope. . . She writes of Russia and America, parenthood and aging, history and identity. Throughout, she peels back the timelessness from the old verities and offers them newly made, freshly observed, gathered in this collection of wonders.”
In “Dandelion,” a writer, Oz, wins a prize for a story, and an agent inquires if she has a novel in need of representation:
“Oz had no novel, but she did have a nineteen-month-old. ‘He’s very much like a novel,’ she told the agent. ‘Can I ship him to you? People are telling me, since he can walk, that he’s no longer a baby. Soon he’ll be ready for publication.’”
Olga Ziberbourg is the author of three Russian-language collections of stories, the latest of which was published in Moscow in 2016. Her English-language fiction has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Narrative Magazine, World Literature Today, Confrontation, Feminist Studies, Tin House’s The Open Bar, Epiphany, Santa Monica Review, and other print and online publications. Her criticism has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Common, and Electric Literature. Born in Leningrad, USSR, she came of age during her country’s disintegration, and became one of the first in a wave of post-Soviet youth to study abroad and in the United States.
About WTAW Press
Founded in 2015, WTAW Press is a 501(c)(3) non-profit independent publisher that supports the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature through publishing books and other programs. Learn more here.
Lauren Alwan’s fiction and essays have appeared in The Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, Nimrod International, and other publications. Read her column at Catapult, “Invisible History,” a chronicle of family stories of heritage and belonging and the complexities of her bicultural experience. More at www.laurenalwan.com