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Part psychedelic road-trip travelogue, part “Overheard in Graceland,” part mystic-religious devotional, CAConrad’s unabated love for the King puts him on a pilgrimage to Memphis; on an Advanced Elvis Course. These bizarre, multifaceted short pieces are an homage bursting with love, oddball white trash, and twisted sincerity.

Using a mélange of breathless energy and flamboyant desire, Conrad ensnares his reader from the first vignette, leaving us no choice but to doggedly follow him around the backwaters of Memphis. Conrad blurs the distinction between real and fictional experience to create a transcendental portrait of the legendary Elvis—the man who changed music and America forever. Through sources as disparate as graffiti, talk-show interviews, phone messages, and poetry, Conrad (whose unfettered energy is about as reality-based as an evening at Graceland) constructs a semimystical collage both celebrating and laughing with the cult of Elvis.

Get ready for a surreal tour of a celebrity-obsessed, picaresque America from one of its most unusual guides. Conrad delights in turning his fantasies into our reality, making this frenetic fictionalized experience “as real as if it were real.”

Product Categories: Art, History, Humor, Literary, Literary Criticism, Music, Popular Culture, and Travel.  Book Author: C A Conrad and CAConrad.

Hotel Theory is two books in one: a meditation on the meaning of hotels, and a dime novel (Hotel Women) featuring Lana Turner and Liberace. Typical of Wayne Koestenbaum’s invigoratingly inventive style, the two books — one fiction, one nonfiction — run concurrently, in twin columns, and the articles “a,” “an,” and “the” never appear. The nonfiction ruminations on hotels are divided into eight dossiers, composed of short takes on the presence of hotels in the author’s dreams as well as in literature, film, and history. Guest stars include everyone from Oscar Wilde to Marilyn Monroe. Hotel Theory gives (divided) voice to an aesthetic of hyperaesthesia, of yearning. It is an oblique manifesto, the place where writing disappears. A new mode of theorizing — in fiction, in fragment, through quotation and palimpsest — arises in this dazzling work.

Product Categories: Fiction, Literary, Literary Criticism, Nonfiction, and Writing.  Book Author: Wayne Koestenbaum.

Book cover for Maggie Nelson Something Bright, Then Holes

Before Maggie Nelson’s name became synonymous with such genre-defying, binary-slaying writing as The Argonauts and The Art of Cruelty, this collection of poetry introduced readers to a singular voice in the making: exhilarating, fiercely vulnerable, intellectually curious, and one of a kind.

These days/the world seems to split up/into those who need to dredge/and those who shrug their shoulders/and say, It’s just something/that happened.

While Maggie Nelson refers here to a polluted urban waterway, the Gowanus Canal, these words could just as easily describe Nelson’s incisive approach to desire, heartbreak, and emotional excavation in Something Bright, Then Holes. Whether writing from the debris-strewn shores of a contaminated canal or from the hospital room of a friend, Nelson charts each emotional landscape she encounters with unparalleled precision and empathy. Since its publication in 2007, the collection has proven itself to be both a record of a singular vision in the making as well as a timeless meditation on love, loss, and―perhaps most frightening of all―freedom.

Product Categories: Collection, Forthcoming, and Poetry.  Book Author: Maggie Nelson.

caca-dolce-catapult

An “enchanting” memoir of an artist in search of herself: “A sure hit for fans of Sara Benincasa’s Agorafabulous! and Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl” (Booklist, starred review).Caca Dolce is the “funny, candid, and bracingly self-aware” story of Chelsea Martin’s coming of age as an artist (The Rumpus). We’re with the author of cult novels Mickey and Even Though I Don’t Miss You as an eleven-year-old atheist, trying to will an alien visitation to her neighborhood; fighting with her stepfather and grappling with a Tourette’s diagnosis as she becomes a teenager; falling under the sway of frenemies and crushes in high school; going into debt to afford what might be a meaningless education at an expensive art college; navigating the messy process of falling in love with a close friend; and struggling for independence from her emotionally manipulative father and from the family and friends in the dead-end California town that has defined her upbringing.

A book about relationships, class, art, sex, money, family, and growing up weird and poor in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Casa Dolce is “a wild ride of a memoir, and a true glimpse into the mind of an artist as she’s figuring out what life is all about” (Kristin Iversen, Nylon).

Product Categories: Collection, Essays, Family & Relationships, Featured, Homepage Featured Title, Humor, Literary, Nonfiction, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Chelsea Martin.

Grainy and stripped down, this gritty novel traces the downbeat progress of a tough, queer girl growing up in working-class Boston by “a cult figure to a generation of post-punk females forming their own literary avant-garde” (The New York Times).

Why can’t I live right now. Because I am not rich, I am not a saint. But I do know this: not all of us were sent here to work.

The first published novel of legendary poet and performer Eileen Myles follows a queer female growing up in working-class Boston, straining against the institutions that hold her: family, Catholic school, jobs at a camp, at a nursing home, at a school for developmentally disabled adult males.

She wants to be an astronaut. Instead, she becomes a poet and journeys through a series of low-end schools, pathetic jobs, and unmade beds. Schooled by mean and memorable Catholic nuns, this tomboy heroine stumbles and dreams her way through the painful corridors of family, early sexual encounters, and an eye-opening series of jobs caring for the sick and insane–the abandoned wards of the state. This is a book hell-bent on telling the truth about poor women, and how they do (and do not) get out of the hands of their families and the state. Without artifice or pseudonym, protagonist Eileen Myles boldly sets down a rich and graphic account of female experience in this world.

Free-ranging and deadpan, tragic and joyful, this is a book about women, gender, class, bodies, escape, and what it means to be “inside.” Never more relevant, and now with an introduction by Chris Kraus.

“Eileen Myles is a genius!”–Dorothy Allison

Product Categories: Fiction, Forthcoming, and Homepage Featured Title.  Book Author: Chris Kraus and Eileen Myles.

An NPR Best Book of the Year, Hollow is the story of a professor whose life is unended after an unspeakable tragedy.

When Oliver Bonds, a revered religious studies professor at the University of Texas, loses his toddler son and undergoes intense legal scrutiny over his involvement, grief engulfs him completely. His life as he knows it is over; Oliver loses his wife, home, and faith. Three years after his son’s death, Oliver lives in a shack without electricity and frequents the soup kitchen where he used to volunteer.

It’s only when befriended by Lyle, a con artist with a passion for theories of Hollow Earth, that Oliver begins to reengage with the world. Oliver too becomes convinced that the inside of the planet might contain a different realm. Desperate to find a place where he can escape his past, Oliver chases after the most unlikely of miracles.

With unforgettable characters, wild imagery, and dark humor, Hollow explores the depths of doubt and hope, stretching past grief and into the space where we truly begin to heal.

“With the kind of grace not usually seen in accessible modern fiction, Egerton also invokes many other things with this central metaphor . . . Ollie’s voice is one of the most believable I’ve encountered this year, sustained by honesty, realism, and compassion. In his exile, Ollie has taken stock. His reckoning with the past creates the story’s exquisite tension and makes the final scene bloom with tenderness . . . The core of Hollow is anything but.” –NPR

Product Categories: Fiction, Homepage Featured Title, and Humor.  Book Author: Owen Egerton.

“Twenty-two often witty, sometimes-disquieting short stories . . . Autobiography and imagination walking hand in hand into the sunset.” —Kirkus Reviews

Through her three story collections and two novels, Elizabeth Crane’s singular literary vision has created worlds of characters standing boldly in the face of their complicated circumstances. And that has never been truer than in her new collection, Turf.

The end of the world as seen through a young couple in Brooklyn, who find a baby in a bucket on their front step; a group of geniuses who meet every Wednesday, able to unlock all the secrets of the universe except for the unknowable mystery of love; a woman and her dog walker whose friendship is uprooted by an incident at the park; these are dark, intriguing vistas explored in Crane’s glowing collection. For as places change, and people come and go, these stories in Turf remind us that it is the unchanging nature of the human heart that connects us all.

“[Crane’s] stories are fun and bizarre and wonderful and so, so sneaky . . . Elizabeth Crane mines the everyday and reveals what we’re missing. It’s unsettling. It’s hilarious. It’s . . . beyond. And you just know she’s having a great time, because suddenly you are, too.” —Lindsay Hunter, Electric Literature

“A daring piece of literature delicately teetering between story and observation . . . Crane demonstrates insight into our deepest fears and desires and what makes people tick.” —Publishers Weekly

Product Categories: Collection, Forthcoming, Homepage Featured Title, Literary, and Short Stories.  Book Author: Elizabeth Crane.

The playground of the rich and the beautiful, downtown New York’s nightlife spectacles and power of self-invention incubated pop icons from Andy Warhol to Lady Gaga. NYU sociologist Victor P. Corona sought a new education, where night classes held in galleries, nightclubs, bars, apartments, stoops, and all-night diners taught him about love, loss, and the living possibilities of identity. Transforming himself from dowdy professor to glitzy clubgoer, Victor immerses himself among downtown’s dazzling tribes of artists and performers hungry for fame.

Night Class: A Downtown Memoir investigates the glamour of New York nightlife. In interviews and outings with clubland revelers and influencers, including Party Monster and convicted killer Michael Alig, Night Class exposes downtown’s perilous trappings of drugs, ambition, and power. From closeted, undocumented Mexican boy to Ivy League graduate to nightlife writer, Corona shares in Night Class the thrill and tragedy of downtown and how dramatically identities can change.

Product Categories: Art, Gender/Sexuality, Homepage Featured Title, Memoir, Nonfiction, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Victor Corona and Victor P. Corona.

An insider’s look at the rough and tumble workers throughout America who are risking their lives–and losing them at an alarmingly high rate–all in the name of connectivity.

What is the price of staying connected, of that phone in your hand or that watch on your wrist?

Recent TV shows would have you believe that the most dangerous job in America is a crab fisherman, or maybe even an ice road trucker. But what U.S. Department of Labor unequivocally recognizes as the most dangerous job in America belongs to the tower dog, the men and women who work on cell towers across the country, building the networks that keep us all connected.

In Tower Dog: Life Inside the Deadliest Job in America, Douglas Scott Delaney, a tower dog for more than fifteen years, draws readers into this dark and high-stakes world that most don’t even know exists, yet rely on every minute of every day. This risk-laden profession has been covered by NBC Dateline, Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, but none of these reports have provided the real, inside story of these men and women who have always lived on the edge of society; a fascinating mix of construction crews and thrill-seekers. Delaney is a brash and illuminating guide, and Tower Dog gives us the real experience of what it’s like for the workers balanced precariously above the clouds.

Product Categories: Current Events, Forthcoming, Homepage Featured Title, Popular Culture, Sport & Recreation, and Technology.  Book Author: Douglas Scott Delaney.

Using as its epigraph and unifying principle Luc Sante’s notion that “Every human being is an archeological site,” Field Recordings from the Inside provides a deep and personal examination at the impact of music on our lives. Bonomo effortlessly moves between the personal and the critical, investigating the ways in which music defines our personalities, tells histories, and offers mysterious, often unbidden access into the human condition. The book explores the vagaries and richness of music and music-making—from rock and roll, punk, and R&B to Frank Sinatra, Nashville country, and Delta blues—as well as the work of a diverse group of artists and figures—Charles Lamb, music writer Lester Bangs, painter and television personality Bob Ross, child country musician Troy Hess, and songwriter Greg Cartwright.

Mining the often complex natures and shapes of the creative process, Field Recordings from the Inside is a singular work that blends music appreciation, criticism, and pop culture from one of the most critically acclaimed music writers of our time.

Product Categories: Art, Crafts & Hobbies, Essays, Forthcoming, Music, Nonfiction, Performing Arts, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Joe Bonomo.

“These stories were my kind of stories–a little weird and magical and bittersweet.” –Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

A middle-aged masochist in love with a comatose man. A gay birthday clown lamenting the loss of his beloved dog. An amateur veterinarian keeping watch over his suicidal daughter. And a bikini model with a barnacle stuck to her butt cheek. These are just a few of the characters who populate the quirky, offbeat world of If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home a world that feels at once alien and strangely familiar.

In these twenty-one brief, funny stories, John Jodzio documents his characters disappointment, frustration, and longing for a home that seems forever out of reach. By turns bleak and hopeful, cruel and tender, this is an exciting literary debut by a writer to watch, a writer with a unique and compelling voice.

“John Jodzio is the best kind of modern fiction writer: a thematic traditionalist who feels totally new.” —Chuck Klosterman, New York Times bestselling author

Product Categories: Fiction and Short Stories.  Book Author: John Jodzio.

From the author of The Dogfighter, hailed by Geoff Dyer as “the most exciting debut…by an American writer since Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides,” comes Journeyman, a tightly wound novel about dwelling, building, belonging, love, and the value of a place to call home. Nolan Jackson is a journeyman carpenter by trade and a wanderer by nature. Set in 2007, while fellow Americans fight in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Nolan builds tract homes across California, travelling between jobs. Following a shocking workplace accident in his temporary home of Las Vegas, he uproots himself from the tentative relationships he has made and heads west towards the ocean.

On his way he passes through his brother’s town where circumstances force him to stay put. Bereft of his trailer and his tools, Nolan turns to the task of building the foundations of a meaningful life. The specter of war and questions of the Western-film notions of masculinity are woven throughout the novel; from the damage to Nolan’s family by the Vietnam War in which his father fought, to the ubiquity and consequence of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to slow unraveling of his brother’s marriage and mental state, to the mysterious series of arsons being set around their small town.

Ultimately, Journeyman is an important, timely novel about men and brothers finding their way in the 21st century West.

Product Categories: Fiction.  Book Author: Marc Bojanowski.

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