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NEW REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS!!

 

SPD is proud to celebrate recent titles that have drawn critical praise & attention! We've gathered some of our favorite recent review highlights and will compile that buzz for you here regularly.  
Publishers & authors: if you've got a new review you'd like considered for our highlights, please send it to publicity@spdbooks.org!

NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified) Aby Kaupang and Matthew Cooperman
(Futurepoem Books, 2018)
By Aby Kaupang and Matthew Cooperman

from LA Review of Books | October 11, 2019
Deed by Justin Wymer (Elixir Press)
(Elixir Press, 2019)
By Justin Wymer

from The Adroit Journal | October 8, 2019

(Cardboard House Press, 2019)
By Jorge Eduardo Eielson, tr. David Shook


(The Bitter Oleander Press, 2019)

Motion Studies
(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019)
By Jena Osman

from Jacket2 | October 1, 2019
"Against the tidy 'physical script of the modular mind,' Osman offers us the challenging complexity of Motion Studies: mixing forms, ranging freely across time and place, even leavening her more frightening insights with a subtle humor. It is a powerful reminder that literature, too, offers us a way of 'reading the heart', but unlike the sphygmograph or the most advanced of our advertising agencies’ algorithms, it presents its findings modestly and for our own benefit." -Philip Clark


The Hanky of Pippin's Daughter
(Dorothy, a publishing project, 2019)
By Rosemarie Waldrop

from The New Yorker | September 30, 2019
"A novel of desire and scandal and the interplay of personal and political circumstance, The Hanky of Pippin’s Daughter is also about the problem of narration, the gaps in knowledge that a smooth story conceals, the oversimplifications involved in tidy, geometrical plots." -Ben Lerner


Blackfishing the IUD
(Wolfman Books, 2019)
By Caren Beilin

excerpt in FENCE | September 25, 2019
"I was, with RA, entering such a Satanic order according to this doctor—“God forbid RA”—and I felt, rapidly, against him. I saw him one more time and then stopped going in the middle of the testing. There was one more conclusive test. I wouldn’t see him again. I wouldn’t get that test. I wouldn’t let him be the one to tell me that I was a witch. - Caren Beilin


Honestly
(Book*hug, 2018)
By Steven Zultanski

from Jacket2 | September 24, 2019
"The voice here can be described as unprepossessing. The tone of these stories — are they stories? — is quiet, unassuming, consistently conversational: I thought I’d just share this with you, it seems to be saying. The narrator is a friend, someone you have coffee with. But before you can finish telling him about that stultifying meeting you had to sit through this morning, he tells you a story that shuts you up for hours, for the rest of the day, for the rest of the week." -Michael Gottleib


Dunce
(Wave Books, 2019)
By Mary Ruefle

from The New York Times Book Review | September 18, 2019
"In Dunce, her latest poetry collection, Ruefle confronts the extraordinary yet banal fact that all of us die. How do we reconcile the boringness of death-in-general with the shock of our own, specific death?"-Elisa Gabbert

from Hyperallergic | September 7, 2019
"In her poetry, the ordinary becomes unsettling and magnetic...Ruefle makes unexpected connections and associations that might initially strike the reader as outrageous, but come to possess a certain stubborn, opaque logic ('Words have no thoughts/just as you have no/lice.'). She will then effortlessly pivot in another direction, which is one of the deep joys of reading Ruefle’s poems. You never know what she is going to do next. And yet, when she does it, it is bound to hold your attention." -John Yau


Grief Sequence
(Wave, 2019)
By Prageeta Sharma

from The New York Times Book Review | September 17, 2019
"[Sharma] acknowledges that her husband would have rejected some of her elegiac tendencies: 'you won’t let me do any wayward effusive gestures that describe how you are mythic.' In this way, the collection is as much about writing about grief as it is about the speaker’s particular grief. How does a poet memorialize her beloved without erasing his complexity?" -Emilia Phillips


Scorpionic Sun
(Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2019)
By Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, tr. Conor Bracken

excerpt in BOMB | September 17, 2019
"Land and state were separate, riven in two by colonialism and imperialism; one was to be recovered, the other removed whenever it impinged on the first. This is what his work strives to do: cut back the necrotic layers of inaccurate language that state and stereotype had heaped on the land. And he used French—the colonizer’s idiom—as razor, crowbar, turpentine, and bomb." -Conor Bracken


The Skinned Bird
(Kernpunkt Press, 2019)
By Chelsea Biondolillo

from Buzzfeed | September 10, 2019
"Biondolillo’s compelling experimental memoir takes some big risks, both in emotional openness and in structure...the result is a gorgeous book about trauma and its aftermath." -Wendy J. Fox


No Good Very Bad Asian
(C&R Press, 2019)
By Leland Cheuk

from Buzzfeed | September 10, 2019
"A first-person ride through Lee’s ups and downs...Cheuk balances a tenderness toward his character with biting comic turns as the novel confronts ideas about familial obligation."-Wendy J. Fox


The Thirteenth Month
(Black Lawrence Press, 2019)
By Colin Hamilton

from Buzzfeed | September 10, 2019
"Fans of Bruno Schulz and Jorge Luis Borges will like this contemplative novel about a narrator whose mother has dementia." - Wendy J. Fox


Me & Other Writing
(Dorothy, a publishing project, 2019)
By Marguerite Duras

excerpt in The New Yorker | September 9, 2019
"My stomach had fallen back heavily on itself, a worn cloth, a rag, a shroud, a slab, a door, this void of a stomach. It had carried this child though, and it was in the viscous and velvety heat of its flesh that this marine fruit had grown." -Marguerite Duras


God Was Right
(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018)
By Diana Hamilton

from Entropy | September 9, 2019
 "[Hamilton] sustains the outlook, as she writes, 'that writing is inextricably tied to subjectivity, and to the body.' The most activating portions of the text are often those that seem to focus on these ideas most explicitly." - Diana Arterian


Obtuse Diary
(Entre Rios, 2018)
by Amelia Rosselli, tr. Deborah Woodard, Roberta Antognini, & Dario De Pasquale

from Hyperallergic | September 7, 2019
"A curious collection of three “unintentionally united” texts written between 1954 and 1968 and presented in both English and their original Italian by Entre Rios Books. The ideas of experimentation and reproduction are central...and are what makes this collection beautiful." -Tomm McCarthy


Preserving Fire: Selected Prose
(Wave Books, 2018)
By Philip Lamantia, ed. Garrett Caples

from Arteidolia | September, 2019
"In 2001 Caples conducted what probably was Lamantia’s last interview [which] serves as Lamantia’s self-summary and apologia...The interview turned into an occasion for Lamantia to explain his relationship to the two, seemingly antithetical, systems of meaning that served as the attracting poles of his poetry and his life—Surrealism, historically militantly anti-clerical and seeking liberation in dreams and desire, and Roman Catholicism, finding transcendence in divine ekstasis—and the way he conceived of their coexistence." -Daniel Barbiero
 
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