The Corner That Held Them, by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Staff Pick

Historical fiction gravitates toward the powerful, but real history is different. The Corner That Held Them is an attempt at real historical fiction: a portrait of a nunnery from its construction in the 12th century to the novel's end point in 1382. The story’s enormous cast trundles through their lives in search of meaning, but fate has no answer for them. Some die for no reason, others fail to achieve their ambitions. This book is a bracing and even alienating experience for those accustomed to the comforts of plot and pay-off. But those who persevere will be rewarded by a narrative that makes everything else in its genre feel a little half-hearted.   


The Corner That Held Them Cover Image
By Sylvia Townsend Warner, Claire Harman (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781681373874
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: NYRB Classics - September 10th, 2019

Bibliolepsy, by Gina Apostol

Staff Pick

Bibliolepsy was first published in 1997 and announced the arrival of a powerful new voice in Philippine literature. Finally available to US readers, this multi-layered novel begins as a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Ferdinand Marcos's final years in power before focusing more specifically on a woman's sexual awakening. Yet as Primi, a precocious bibliophile, discovers more about herself and the world around her, the fiction reveals its debt to the erotic films made during the Marcos dictatorship to comment on how a repressed society will always express itself despite stifling mores.

Bibliolepsy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641292511
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Soho Press - January 4th, 2022

I Will Die in a Foreign Land, by Kalani Pickhart

Staff Pick

Pickhart’s kaleidoscopic novel is centered in Ukraine’s 2013-14 unrest but reaches back through the Soviet era and, most important, to the region’s ancient Kobzari: the itinerant bards who sang to the accompaniment of the single-stringed bandura. Though these “powerful, dangerous” musician/storytellers were all but wiped out under Stalin, Pickhart’s passionate writing shows that their spirit remains indomitable—a living presence for her own tensile, lyrical prose and multi-layered plot lines and for the Maidan protestors, four of whom she brings to vivid life. As she follows a young feminist activist, an American doctor of Ukrainian descent, a former miner who lost half his family to the Chernobyl explosion, and the cryptic pianist who plays for the demonstrators, she pays tribute to a strong, proud people who never lose faith in their homeland, however many times “Kyiv has fallen asleep in peace and woken up in war.”

I Will Die in a Foreign Land Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953387080
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Two Dollar Radio - October 19th, 2021