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Welcome to the 2015 Politics and Prose Holiday Newsletter. As we have in past years, we’ve tried to select the best—and most beautiful—recent books, fiction and nonfiction, to help you with gift-giving.

It’s also traditional to emphasize how difficult making these choices has been—it’s not just a matter of so many books, but of so many truly wonderful books. This year there’s been an especially impressive outpouring of short fiction and memoirs, but you’ll find bookseller favorites on all subjects here. Enjoy!


Documenting life in crisp, haunting fractions of a second—the longest she can get it to Hold Still (Little, Brown, $32), Sally Mann has photographed everything from birth—a camera attended her second daughter’s delivery—to death, with her unflinching series of decomposing human remains at the University of Tennessee’s “body farm.” In between Mann has been busy with love and family, parenthood’s joys and fears, matters of race, art, horses, and dogs. Her memoir is a rich collage of her own and her family’s photos, news clippings, report cards, suicide and other notes, artifacts that do more than merely illustrate her powerful narratives. Mann is a riveting storyteller with a novelist’s sense of pacing, and the fine artist’s deft handling of image and tone. She has a special affinity for place, especially Southern places, from which she coaxes the rare “moments of visual revelation.” No slouch as a portraitist, Mann lets a terrific empathy shine through both her words and her pictures; driven to find out what makes people who they are, she also reveals herself, and while you’ll find her a restless, inquiring, uncompromising woman, she claims only to be “a regular person doggedly making ordinary art.”

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316247764
Availability: Backordered
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 12th, 2015

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316247757
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Back Bay Books - April 26th, 2016

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