Staff Pick
The unnamed narrator of Wang’s winning and insightful novel is working on her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, but the chemistry she really needs to learn is the one that makes relationships click. The prodigy daughter of high-achieving Chinese American parents, she’s always strived to meet their demanding expectations. Then, suddenly, she just can’t. Her lab work falters. She’s unable to accept or decline her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. She has a breakdown, loses both academia and love, but realizes how angry she is. Coming to terms with her past becomes her next project. She starts seeing a shrink. She gets a dog and helps care for a friend’s baby—valuable apprentice work in forming ties with others. She’s also trying to figure out her relationship to science, and the book’s brief sections include facts from the three things—“math, physics, and chemistry”—her father said would “make you fearless.” Wang’s protagonist now uses these as a lens on her own emotional state. The many Chinese proverbs she cites serve a similar function, and soon she can see her parents in a new light—and they aren’t the fierce tiger couple they’d always seemed.
Chemistry Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781524731748
Availability: In Stock—Click for Available Locations
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 23rd, 2017

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Staff Pick
We don’t learn until the final pages who is narrating Miller’s beautiful, impassioned novel. But it’s someone who experienced the “autoclaps,” that “collapse of the heart,” that “small apocalypse,” that always impending crisis that looms large in Jamaica’s “old-time stories.”  The voice is straight out of one of these mythic tales and recounts the hardships, frustration, and outrage that go into making them—and the great hope they generate in return. “This isn’t magic realism….this is a story about people as real as you are,” and while the narrative describes the timeless struggle of the downtrodden to gain respect, these characters aren’t symbols, but fully engaging, endearing, and moving individuals—the legendary “flying preacherman” no less than the teenage mother, the strong and wise aunt, and the weak and bullying teacher. Each is at the mercy of the “Babylon system, all them things in this life that put a heavy stone on the heads of people.” And when people do shake off that stone and rise—physically in the case of the preacher, supported by the faith of his flock, or socially, in the case of the smart young woman studying for college—it’s as much a political uprising as it is a spiritual transcendence. If these risings seem to change little in people’s lives, they’re crucial nonetheless, sustaining a belief that change will come with the next autoclaps, and “for people to be people, they had to believe in something.”
Augustown Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781101871614
Availability: In Stock—Click for Available Locations
Published: Pantheon Books - May 23rd, 2017

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Staff Pick

Mary won't admit it, but her life is falling apart. She and her fiancé broke up and her ambivalence about himand about most of her relationshipsmakes it hard to move on. She stops going to her HR job, a sign that her own human resources are just about depleted. Barely aware of how desperate she is, Mary finds help from unexpected quartersa fox. What starts with a sense of awe at being so close to a wild creature deepens to a feeling that the fox has specially chosen her. Mary confides in him, invites him into her house, falls in love with him; soon, she‘s behaving like a fox herself, and feeling she’s at last found a long elusive fulfillment. But when her neighbors hire a "fox fixer" to rid the block of these "pests," Mary has to pick a side. Writing with impeccable lucidity, precision, and insight, Cocozza conveys both Mary’s and the fox’s perspectives, her shimmering language showing us a world immeasurably richer and stranger than usual. By turns poignant, shocking, and ultimately revelatory, this amazing psychological thriller reminds us there's something inside all of uscall it wild or identity or lovethat wants to bethat has to befree.

How to Be Human Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781250129253
Availability: In Stock—Click for Available Locations
Published: Metropolitan Books - May 9th, 2017

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