Staff Pick
Laird’s riveting third novel starts with the two Donnelly sisters—different in many ways—and unfolds simultaneously in Ulster, Northern Ireland, and New Ulster, an island near Papua New Guinea. At first the twin narratives, like Liz and Alison, seem to have little in common but a name. The Ulster story involves Alison’s new husband, who the day after the wedding is exposed as a mass murderer. He was recruited by the Protestant Ulster Freedom fighters in his late teens—at the height of The Troubles—and gunned down five people in a Derry pub. Cut to New Ulster. Liz, an anthropologist, is working on a BBC program about a religious cult. Or is it a revolutionary movement? The leader could be mad—or just angry. She demands “cargo,” the material goods she knows the West enjoys. She also wants to know why missionaries told her that her tribe’s gods were worthless, yet took the icons and enshrined them in museums. The sins of the colonist fathers are visited on the children of both Northern Ireland and Oceania, and both places seem poised for another round of revenge and violence. What can stop it? Recognizing that history’s vast injustices are both no one’s fault and everyone’s, and that people everywhere are alike, the apparent differences in their ways of life only “tiny variations on a theme of great suffering, great loss.”  This may sound like a simple truth, but when it emerges at the end of this compelling and compassionate novel, it feels hard-won.
Modern Gods Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780670025145
Availability: In Stock—Click for Details
Published: Viking - June 27th, 2017

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Staff Pick
Winton’s fiction has always featured some of the sharpest nature writing around, and in this collection of autobiographical essays, he goes at it full throttle. Proud and humbled to hail  from “the world’s largest island, “ Winton celebrates Australia’s dazzling biodiversity, its often unsettling scale, and shows how these have shaped his life and work. He takes us by car, plane, and on foot through a variety of landscapes—Perth, Cape Range, Waychinicup—and shows us some of the world’s last remaining wild spots. And also, alas, many places ruined by the “colonialist mindset” of economic exploitation, which turned what Europeans perceived as “wastelands” into the real thing. For Winton, an environmental activist as well as a writer, this memoir is also a manifesto and a call to action; he honors the heroic Indigenous people who have never wavered in their dedication to the land’s intrinsic value, and he discusses the long fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef—at one point slated to become a limestone quarry—and hopes the day will come when Australia no longer has the world’s highest rate of mammal extinction.
Island Home: A Landscape Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571311245
Availability: In Stock—Click for Details
Published: Milkweed Editions - May 9th, 2017

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Staff Pick
“How does one deliver an honest eulogy?” Alexie asks. And “how does one commemorate / the ordinary?” The answer is to remember, confess, pray, rant, and ask more questions. Alexie does all these and more in this powerful, poignant memoir of his mother, a woman so complex she’s “an entire tribe of contradictions.” Did she love him? Did he love her? He answers yes, but worries the questions through stories that are by turns angry, funny, and raw, and through a dazzling range of poems that include everything from ballads to rhymed couplets to a tour-de- force sequence of 52 haiku, each as perfect as the squares in the quilts his mother sewed to support the family. While his father steadily drank himself to death, Alexie’s mother was a recovering alcoholic who kept her family alive, if sometimes hungry, in an unfinished HUD house on the Spokane Indian Reservation. She was honored by her tribe for her strength and generosity, yet she was often cruel to her children. With this jarring inconsistency at the heart of his brave, compassionate book, Alexie traces a lineage of violence so powerful it causes victims to become perpetrators.
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316270755
Availability: In Stock—Click for Details
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 13th, 2017

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