One of Vulture's "25 of the Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017" One of Nylon's "50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017" An entirely original portrait of a young writer shutting out the din in order to find her own voice On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer’s Diary with the words “too much and not the mood.” She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the “cramming in and the cutting out” to please other readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying. The character of that sentiment, the attitude of it, inspired Durga Chew-Bose to write and collect her own work. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture. Inspired by Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, Lydia Davis’s short prose, and Vivian Gornick’s exploration of interior life, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression. Too Much and Not the Mood is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today.
On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer's Diary with the words "too much and not the mood." She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the "cramming in and the cutting out" to please other readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying. The character of that sentiment, the attitude of it, inspired Durga Chew-Bose to write and collect her own work. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture. Inspired by Maggie Nelson's Bluets, Lydia Davis's short prose, and Vivian Gornick's exploration of interior life, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression. Too Much and Not the Mood is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today.
From one of Canada’s most distinctive and intelligent emerging voices, a heartfelt collection of essays in Durga Chew-Bose’s captivating and truly inimitable style. In Too Much and Not the Mood, Durga Chew-Bose flings us headlong into her most intimate philosophical, and occasionally brooding, thoughts. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture. Reflective and highly astute, Chew-Bose invites readers to join in her search for a clearer understanding of who we are and the world we live in. This is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a young first-generation writer today, shutting out the din in order to find her own voice. Exhibiting the confidence of Lena Dunham, the honesty of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and the extraordinary vision of Zadie Smith, Too Much and Not the Mood is a stunning debut from an author who is sure to become one of this generation’s most esteemed voices.
Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color . . . A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue. With Bluets, Maggie Nelson has entered the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists. Maggie Nelson is the author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction, including Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa Press, 2007). She lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.
A new collection of stories by one of America’s most beloved and admired short-story writers, her first in fifteen years, since Birds of America (“Fluid, cracked, mordant, colloquial . . . Will stand by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability.” —The New York Times Book Review, cover). These eight masterly stories reveal Lorrie Moore at her most mature and in a perfect configuration of craft, mind, and bewitched spirit, as she explores the passage of time and summons up its inevitable sorrows and hilarious pitfalls to reveal her own exquisite, singular wisdom. In “Debarking,” a newly divorced man tries to keep his wits about him as the United States prepares to invade Iraq, and against this ominous moment, we see—in all its irresistible wit and darkness—the perils of divorce and what can follow in its wake . . . In “Foes,” a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest themselves at a fund-raising dinner in Georgetown . . . In “The Juniper Tree,” a teacher visited by the ghost of her recently deceased friend is forced to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a kind of nightmare reunion . . . And in “Wings,” we watch the inevitable unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians, neither of whom held fast to their dreams nor struck out along other paths, as Moore deftly depicts the intricacies of dead-ends-ville and the workings of regret . . . Here are people beset, burdened, buoyed; protected by raising teenage children; dating after divorce; facing the serious illness of a longtime friend; setting forth on a romantic assignation abroad, having it interrupted mid-trip, and coming to understand the larger ramifications and the impossibility of the connection . . . stories that show people coping with large dislocation in their lives, with risking a new path to answer the desire to be in relation—to someone . . . Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives in a heartrending mash-up of the tragic and the laugh-out-loud—the hallmark of life in Lorrie-Moore-land. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
They're among us, but they are not like us. They manipulate, lie, cheat, and steal. They are irresistibly charming and accomplished, appearing to live in a radiance beyond what we are capable of. But narcissists are empty. No one knows exactly what everyone else is full of--some kind of a soul, or personhood--but whatever it is, experts agree that narcissists do not have it. So goes the popular understanding of narcissism, or NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). And it's more prevalent than ever, according to recent articles in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Time. In bestsellers like The Narcissism Epidemic, Narcissists Exposed, and The Narcissist Next Door, pop psychologists have armed the normal with tools to identify and combat the vampiric influence of this rising population, while on websites like narcissismsurvivor.com, thousands of people congregate to swap horror stories about relationships with "narcs." In The Selfishness of Others, the essayist Kristin Dombek provides a clear-sighted account of how a rare clinical diagnosis became a fluid cultural phenomenon, a repository for our deepest fears about love, friendship, and family. She cuts through hysteria in search of the razor-thin line between pathology and common selfishness, writing with robust skepticism toward the prophets of NPD and genuine empathy for those who see themselves as its victims. And finally, she shares her own story in a candid effort to find a path away from the cycle of fear and blame and toward a more forgiving and rewarding life.
In essays on matters literary, social, cultural, and personal, Mary Gaitskill explores date rape and political adultery, the transcendentalism of the Talking Heads, the melancholy of Björk, and the playfulness of artist Laurel Nakadate. She celebrates the clownish grandiosity and the poetry of Norman Mailer’s long career and maps the sociosexual cataclysm embodied by porn star Linda Lovelace. Witty, wide-ranging, tender, and beautiful, Somebody with a Little Hammer displays the same heat-seeking, revelatory understanding for which Gaitskill’s writing has always been known.
A brilliant and exhilarating sequence of aphorisms from one of our greatest essayists There will come a time when people decide you’ve had enough of your grief, and they’ll try to take it away from you. Bad art is from no one to no one. Am I happy? Damned if I know, but give me a few minutes and I’ll tell you whether you are. Thank heaven I don’t have my friends’ problems. But sometimes I notice an expression on one of their faces that I recognize as secret gratitude. I read sad stories to inoculate myself against grief. I watch action movies to identify with the quick-witted heroes. Both the same fantasy: I’ll escape the worst of it. —from 300 Arguments A “Proustian minimalist on the order of Lydia Davis” (Kirkus Reviews), Sarah Manguso is one of the finest literary artists at work today. To read her work is to witness acrobatic acts of compression in the service of extraordinary psychological and spiritual insight. 300 Arguments, a foray into the frontier of contemporary nonfiction writing, is at first glance a group of unrelated aphorisms. But, as in the work of David Markson, the pieces reveal themselves as a masterful arrangement that steadily gathers power. Manguso’s arguments about desire, ambition, relationships, and failure are pithy, unsentimental, and defiant, and they add up to an unexpected and renegade wisdom literature.
Jessica Friedmann navigates her recovery from postpartum depression in a wide-ranging collection of personal essays Things That Helped is a memoir in essays, detailing the Australian writer Jessica Friedmann’s recovery from postpartum depression. In each essay she focuses on a separate totemic object—from pho to red lips to the trans musician Anohni—to tell a story that is both deeply personal and culturally resonant. Drawing on critical theory, popular culture, and her own experience, Friedmann’s wide-ranging essays touch on class, race, gender, and sexuality, as well as motherhood, creativity, and mental illness. Occasionally confrontational, but always powerfully moving and beautifully observed, Things That Helped charts her return into the world: a slow and complex process of reassembling what depression fractured, and sometimes broke.
Author: Cheston Knapp
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2018-02-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
"Daring and wise, hilarious and tender, Cheston Knapp's exhilarating collection of seven linked essays, Up Up, Down Down, tackles Big Questions through unlikely avenues. In his dexterous hands, an examination of a local professional wrestling promotion becomes a meditation on pain and his relationship with his father. A profile of UFO enthusiasts ends up probing his history in the church and, more broadly, the nature and limits of faith itself. Attending an adult skateboarding camp launches him into a virtuosic analysis of nostalgia. And the shocking murder of a neighbor blooms into an interrogation of our culture's prevailing ideas about community and the way we tell the stories of our lives. Even more remarkable, perhaps, is the way he manages to find humanity in a dank basement full of frat boys. Taken together, the essays in Up Up, Down Down amount to a chronicle of Knapp's coming-of-age, a young man's journey into adulthood, late-onset as it might appear. He presents us with formative experiences from his childhood to his marriage that echo throughout the collection, and ultimately he tilts at what may be the Biggest Q of them all: What are the hazards of becoming who you are?"--Jacket flap.
A Chicago Tribune Exciting Book for 2017 • A Buzzfeed Most Exciting Book for 2017 • A The Millions Great 2017 Preview Pick• A Huffington Post 2017 Preview Pick • A PW Spring 2017 Top 10 Pick in Essays & Literary Criticism “Brave, keenly observational, and humanitarian…. Gerard’s collection leaves an indelible impression.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review “These large-hearted, meticulous essays offer an uncanny x-ray of our national psyche... showing us both the grand beauty of our American dreams and the heartbreaking devastation they wreak.” — Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You Sarah Gerard follows her breakout novel, Binary Star, with the dynamic essay collection Sunshine State, which explores Florida as a microcosm of the most pressing economic and environmental perils haunting our society. In the collection’s title essay, Gerard volunteers at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a world renowned bird refuge. There she meets its founder, who once modeled with a pelican on his arm for a Dewar’s Scotch campaign but has since declined into a pit of fraud and madness. He becomes our embezzling protagonist whose tales about the birds he “rescues” never quite add up. Gerard’s personal stories are no less eerie or poignant: An essay that begins as a look at Gerard’s first relationship becomes a heart-wrenching exploration of acquaintance rape and consent. An account of intimate female friendship pivots midway through, morphing into a meditation on jealousy and class. With the personal insight of The Empathy Exams, the societal exposal of Nickel and Dimed, and the stylistic innovation and intensity of her own break-out debut novel Binary Star, Sarah Gerard’s Sunshine State uses the intimately personal to unearth the deep reservoirs of humanity buried in the corners of our world often hardest to face.
A DEBUT COLLECTION OF FIERCE, FUNNY ESSAYS ABOUT GROWING UP THE DAUGHTER OF INDIAN IMMIGRANTS IN WESTERN CULTURE, ADDRESSING SEXISM, STEREOTYPES, AND THE UNIVERSAL MISERIES OF LIFE In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi Koul deploys her razor-sharp humor to share all the fears, outrages, and mortifying moments of her life. She learned from an early age what made her miserable, and for Scaachi anything can be cause for despair. Whether it’s a shopping trip gone awry; enduring awkward conversations with her bikini waxer; overcoming her fear of flying while vacationing halfway around the world; dealing with Internet trolls, or navigating the fears and anxieties of her parents. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of color: where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision, or outright scorn; where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, leaving little room for a woman not solely focused on marriage and children to have a career (and a life) for herself. With a sharp eye and biting wit, incomparable rising star and cultural observer Scaachi Koul offers a hilarious, scathing, and honest look at modern life.
"Daum is her generation's Joan Didion." —Nylon Nearly fifteen years after her debut collection, My Misspent Youth, captured the ambitions and anxieties of a generation, Meghan Daum returns to the personal essay with The Unspeakable, a masterful collection of ten new works. Her old encounters with overdrawn bank accounts and oversized ambitions in the big city have given way to a new set of challenges. The first essay, "Matricide," opens without flinching: People who weren't there like to say that my mother died at home surrounded by loving family. This is technically true, though it was just my brother and me and he was looking at Facebook and I was reading a profile of Hillary Clinton in the December 2009 issue of Vogue. Elsewhere, she carefully weighs the decision to have children—"I simply felt no calling to be a parent. As a role, as my role, it felt inauthentic and inorganic"—and finds a more fulfilling path as a court-appointed advocate for foster children. In other essays, she skewers the marriage-industrial complex and recounts a harrowing near-death experience following a sudden illness. Throughout, Daum pushes back against the false sentimentality and shrink-wrapped platitudes that surround so much of contemporary American experience and considers the unspeakable thoughts many of us harbor—that we might not love our parents enough, that "life's pleasures" sometimes feel more like chores, that life's ultimate lesson may be that we often learn nothing. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the New Age search for the "Best Possible Experience," champions the merits of cream-of mushroom-soup casserole, and gleefully recounts a quintessential "only-in-L.A." story of playing charades at a famous person's home. Combining the piercing insight of Joan Didion with humor reminiscent of Nora Ephron's, Daum dissects our culture's most dangerous illusions, blind spots, and sentimentalities while retaining her own joy and compassion. Through it all, she dramatizes the search for an authentic self in a world where achieving an identity is never simple and never complete.
From Internet sensation Anna Akana comes a candid and poignant collection of essays about love, loss, and chasing adulthood. In 2007, Anna Akana lost her teen sister, Kristina, to suicide. In the months that followed, she realized that the one thing helping her process her grief and begin to heal was comedy. So she began making YouTube videos as a form of creative expression and as a way to connect with others. Ten years later, Anna has more than a million subscribers who watch her smart, honest vlogs on her YouTube channel. Her most popular videos, including "How to Put On Your Face" and "Why Girls Should Ask Guys Out," are comical and provocative, but they all share a deeper message: Your worth is determined by you and you alone. You must learn to love yourself. In So Much I Want to Tell You, Anna opens up about her own struggles with poor self-esteem and reveals both the highs and lows of coming-of-age. She offers fresh, funny, hard-won advice for young women on everything from self-care to money to sex, and she is refreshingly straightforward about the realities of dating, female friendship, and the hustle required to make your dreams come true. This is Anna's story, but, as she says, it belongs just as much to Kristina and to every other girl who must learn that growing up can be hard to do. Witty and real, Anna breaks things down in a way only a big sister can. Advance praise for So Much I Want to Tell You "This book is filled with the kind of honesty, vulnerability, and determination that makes Anna such a captivating person. One warning: You'll want to hug her a lot while reading this."--Natalie Tran, actress and comedian "As a woman working in entertainment, Anna Akana is accustomed to feeling vulnerable. Which means that she's used to being brave. This book is a tribute to the duality of bravery and fear as told through Anna's experiences to date."--Hannah Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded "Frank advice on how to live a productive, happy life . . . written in tribute to a 'fearless, talented, and bold' sister."--Kirkus Reviews