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In 2005, after publishing her book The Demons of Eden—where she denounced the very powerful men behind the a Mexican child pornography ring—Lydia Cacho became a target. Exactly eight months after the publication of the book, one morning as she was making her way to work, Lydia was apprehended by the police from the neighboring state of Puebla, and taken into custody during a nightmarish 24 hours during which she was tortured, intimidated and abused.

In this chilling memoir, comparable to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, Lydia tells her story and exposes the horrific ways in which women—and young girls in particular—are abused then disposed of, while an oftentimes corrupt government simply sits and watches.

Product Categories: Biography & Autobiography, Current Events, Human Rights, Memoir, Nonfiction, Social Sciences, and True Crime.  Book Author: Lydia Cacho.

In March 1946, scientists began to track thousands of children born in one cold week. No one imagined that this would become the longest-running study of human development in the world, growing to encompass five generations of children. Today, they are some of the best-studied people on the planet, and the simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die. This is the tale of these studies and the remarkable discoveries that have come from them. Touching people across the globe, they are one of the world’s best-kept secrets.

Product Categories: Current Events, Nonfiction, and Social Sciences.  Book Author: Helen Pearson.

A complex and fiercely contemporary tale of inheritance, enlightenment, life, death, desire and family trees, The Seed Collectors is the most important novel yet from one of the world’s most daring and brilliant writers.

Great Aunt Oleander is dead. To each of her nearest and dearest she has left a seed pod. The seed pods might be deadly, but then again they might also contain the secret of enlightenment. Not that anyone has much time for enlightenment. Fleur, left behind at the crumbling Namaste House, must step into Oleander’s role as guru to lost and lonely celebrities. Bryony wants to lose the weight she put on after her botanist parents disappeared, but can’t stop drinking. And Charlie struggles to make sense of his life after losing the one woman he could truly love.

As Henry James said of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, The Seed Collectors is a “treasurehouse of detail” revealing all that it means to be connected, to be part of a society, to be part of the universe and to be human.

Product Categories: Fiction and Literary.  Book Author: Scarlett Thomas.

Sandeep Sanghavi, the mixed-race son of an Indian businesswoman and a famous American astronomer lives a nomadic albeit mundane life traveling the country with his mother’s hotel consulting firm. His life becomes more interesting when various lost objects suddenly begin to reappear. Then a stranger calls and claims responsibility for the returned objects in exchange for an introduction to Sandeep’s astronomer father, the rebellious and eccentric Van Ray, who has no phone, email or qualms about having abandoned his son twenty years ago.

Van Ray shows up broke with his pregnant ex-wife astronaut in tow, claiming to have discovered a big secret that will change their lives forever; a new discovery guaranteed to change him from “science famous” to “famous famous.”

With his family together for the first time in years, Sandeep must juggle his father’s scientific search, his mother’s failing business and the tension of having family all together for the first time in decades.

Product Categories: Fiction and Literary.  Book Author: Russ Franklin.

Working class nurse. Mother of three. Labor organizer. Margaret Sanger—best known as the pioneer of birth control—was revolutionary in more ways than one. In Sabrina Jones’s graphic novel Our Lady of Birth Control, the author illustrates the incredible life of Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), framing the biography with her personal experiences of coming of age at the height of the sexual revolution.

During her lifetime, Sanger transformed herself from working class nurse to an exuberant free-lover and savvy manipulator of the media, the law, and her wealthy supporters. Through direct action, propaganda, exile, and imprisonment, she ultimately succeeded in bringing legal access to birth control to women of all classes. Sanger’s revolutionary actions established organizations that eventually evolved into Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Jones’s autobiographical sections of Our Lady of Birth Control show her journey into activist art in response to the anti-feminist backlash of the Reagan era. From street theater and protest graphics to alternative comics, her path similarly follows in Margaret’s footsteps, encountering versions of the same adversaries. Her striking imagery evokes the late 20th century, recalling the ashcan artists of The Masses, an acclaimed magazine of Sanger’s formative years.

Powerful, poetic, and extremely personal, this historical graphic novel is an in-depth look at the woman responsible for bringing freedom to the masses.

Product Categories: Current Events, Gender/Sexuality, Graphic Novel, History, and Nonfiction.  Book Author: Sabrina Jones.

“Part manifesto, part how-to-guide . . . required reading for anyone who’s searching for new ways to be fearless.” —Carrie Brownstein

When most Americans hear the words “roller derby” today, they think of the kitschy sport once popular on weekend television during the seventies and eighties. Originally an endurance competition where skaters traveled the equivalent of a trip between Los Angeles and New York, roller derby gradually evolved into a violent contact sport often involving fake fighting, and a kitschy weekend-television staple during the seventies and eighties. But in recent decades it’s come back strong, with more than 17,000 skaters in more than four hundred leagues around the world, and countless die-hard fans. Down and Derby will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the sport. Written by veteran skaters as both a history and a how-to, it’s a brassy celebration of every aspect of the sport, from its origins in the late 1800s, to the rules of a modern bout, to the science of picking an alias, to the many ways you can get involved off skates.

Informative, entertaining, and executed with the same tough, sassy, DIY attitude—leavened with plenty of humor—that the sport is known for, Down and Derby is a great read for both skaters and spectators.

Product Categories: History, Nonfiction, Popular Culture, and Sport & Recreation.  Book Author: Alex Cohen, Alex Cohen and Jennifer Barbee, and Jennifer Barbee.

“Thankfully Williams’s reminiscence does more than delight in the creepy and the ghoulish; it breathes life into the mortuary workers themselves.” — The Brooklyn Rail

Michelle Williams is young and attractive, with close family ties, a busy social life . . . and an unusual occupation. When she impulsively applies to be a mortuary technician and is offered the position, she has no idea that her decision to accept will be one of the most momentous of her life. “What I didn’t realize then, she writes, “was that I was about to start one of the most amazing jobs you can do.” To Williams, life in the mortuary is neither grim nor frightening. She introduces readers to a host of unique characters: pathologists (many eccentric, some utterly crazy), undertakers, and the man from the coroner’s office who sings to her every morning. No two days are alike, and while Williams’s sensitivity to the dead never wavers, her tales from the crypt range from mischievous to downright shocking.

Readers won’t forget the fitness fanatic run over while doing nighttime push-ups on the road, the man so large he had to be carted in via refrigerated truck, or the guide dog who led his owner onto railway tracks—and left him there. The indomitable Williams never bats an eye, even as she is confronted—daily—with situations that would leave the rest of us speechless. “This entertaining memoir chronicles the author’s first year on the job, which sees her learning how to perform a postmortem, determine cause of death, and deal with grieving relatives and shady undertakers (among a lot of other things) . . . Not your run-of-the-mill occupational memoir, but definitely an interesting one.” —Booklist

Product Categories: Biography & Autobiography, Death & Dying, Medical, Memoir, and Nonfiction.  Book Author: Michelle Williams.

Part elegy, part true crime story, this memoir-in-verse from the author of the award-winning The Argonauts expands the notion of how we tell stories and what form those stories take through the story of a murdered woman and the mystery surrounding her last hours.

Jane tells the spectral story of the life and death of Maggie Nelson’s aunt Jane, who was murdered in 1969 while a first-year law student at the University of Michigan. Though officially unsolved, Jane’s murder was apparently the third in a series of seven brutal rape-murders in the area between 1967 and 1969. Nelson was born a few years after Jane’s death, and the narrative is suffused with the long shadow her murder cast over both the family and her psyche.

Exploring the nature of this haunting incident via a collage of poetry, prose, dream-accounts, and documentary sources, including local and national newspapers, related “true crime” books such as The Michigan Murders and Killer Among Us, and fragments from Jane’s own diaries written when she was 13 and 21, its eight sections cover Jane’s childhood and early adulthood, her murder and its investigation, the direct and diffuse effect of her death on Nelson’s girlhood and sisterhood, and a trip to Michigan Nelson took with her mother (Jane’s sister) to retrace the path of Jane’s final hours.

Each piece in Jane has its own form, and the movement from each piece to the next–along with the white space that surrounds each fragment–serve as important fissures, disrupting the tabloid, “page-turner” quality of the story, and eventually returning the reader to deeper questions about girlhood, empathy, identification, and the essentially unknowable aspects of another’s life and death. Equal parts a meditation on violence (serial, sexual violence in particular), and a conversation between the living and the dead, Jane’s powerful and disturbing subject matter, combined with its innovations in genre, shows its readers what poetry is capable of–what kind of stories it can tell, and how it can tell them.

Product Categories: Biography & Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, and True Crime.  Product Tags: Jane: A Murder.  Book Author: Maggie Nelson.

Weakness has always been a concern for William Miller: growing up vegetarian in a family of bodybuilders will do that to a person. But William is further weakened by the death of his mother, the arrival of a new step-mother, and his irrepressible crush on his new step-sister, Lulu. As Lulu faces down her own challenges, William watches his life shift into tumult and despair. Once Lulu departs for college, Will goes into the world to find himself discovering Western philosophy, a cruel dating world, enduring friendship, and, ultimately, his true calling. Emboldened by his turn as a late-night radio personality, Will rescues himself from the self-image of weakness he’d long wished to escape. This debut novel explores the fundamental difference between where we come from and the endless possibilities of where we may go.”

Product Categories: Fiction and Literary.  Book Author: Jonathan Evison.

Rajiv Joseph is one of today’s most acclaimed young playwrights. The winner of numerous awards, including an NEA Award for Best Play and a Whiting Writers Award, he is an artist to watch. This volume gathers together for the first time his three major works to date.

Included herein are his latest play, Gruesome Playground Injuries, which charts the intersection of two lives using scars, wounds, and calamity as the mile markers to explore why people hurt themselves to gain another’s love and the cumulative effect of such damage; Animals Out of Paper, a subtle, elegant, yet bracing examination of the artistic impulse and those in its thrall, which follows a world-famous origamist as she becomes the unwitting mentor to a troubled young prodigy, even as she must deal with her own loss of inspiration; and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a darkly comedic drama that looks on as the lives of two American soldiers, an Iraqi translator, and a tiger intersect on the streets of Baghdad.

Product Categories: Drama, Fiction, and Literary.  Book Author: Rajiv Joseph.

Deep Focus is a series of film books with a fresh approach. Take the smartest, liveliest writers in contemporary letters and let them loose on the most vital and popular corners of cinema history: midnight movies, the New Hollywood of the sixties and seventies, film noir, screwball comedies, international cult classics, and more. Passionate and idiosyncratic, each volume of Deep Focus is long-form criticism that’s relentlessly provocative and entertaining.

Christopher Sorrentino’s examination of Death Wish is the second entry in the series. The fourth collaboration between director Michael Winner and actor Charles Bronson, Death Wish was the apotheosis of a succession of films hitting screens during the seventies—including Bullitt, Dirty Harry, and Walking Tall—that tacked against a prevailing liberal wind in Hollywood cinema. Exploiting audience fears of a bestial “other” infesting American cities, and explicitly linking law and order with a pastoral ideal of the Old West (and exurban subdivisions), its glib endorsement of vigilantism infuriated liberal critics even as it filled theaters with cheering audiences. Sorrentino examines Death Wish in its various contexts—as movie, as provocation, as social commentary, as political tautology, and as depiction of urban life—and considers its lasting influence on cinema.

Product Categories: Drama, Film & Television, Nonfiction, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Chris Sorrentino, Christopher Sorrentino, and Sean Howe.

“One of the cleverest, most accessibly in-depth film books released this year . . . a smart-ass novelist exploring a cheesy-cheeky ‘80s sci-fi flick.”—Hartford Advocate

Deep Focus is a series of film books with a fresh approach. Take the smartest, liveliest writers in contemporary letters and let them loose on the most vital and popular corners of cinema history: midnight movies, the New Hollywood of the sixties and seventies, film noir, screwball comedies, international cult classics, and more . . . Kicking off the series is Jonathan Lethem’s take on They Live, John Carpenter’s 1988 classic amalgam of deliberate B-movie, sci-fi, horror, anti-Yuppie agitprop.

Lethem exfoliates Carpenter’s paranoid satire in a series of penetrating, free-associational forays into the context of a story that peels the human masks off the ghoulish overlords of capitalism. Taking into consideration classic Hollywood cinema and science fiction—as well as popular music and contemporary art and theory—They Live provides a wholly original perspective on Carpenter’s subversive classic.

Product Categories: Film & Television, Nonfiction, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Jonathan Lethem and Sean Howe.

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