Staff Pick

As a young poet translating work into Spanish, Carolyn Forché couldn’t always understand the conditions from which the Salvadoran poems she translated arose. That changed when human rights activist Leonel Gómez Vides “removed the blindfold, and ordered me to open my eyes.” He took her to hospitals lacking rudimentary supplies and dropped her off in remote mountain villages, where she slept on pallets in the huts of the campesinos, and washed with local women at a spigot of icy water. It was a world where Bible study was enough to get you killed, where villages were decimated, and their inhabitants brutalized in unthinkable ways. This searing and unforgettable memoir, What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Press, $28), whose title comes from Forché’s frequently anthologized poem “The Colonel,” recounts her experiences as a poet and human rights activist, through the publication of her collection The Country Between Us and the assassination of Archbishop Monseñor Óscar Romero.

What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525560371
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - March 19th, 2019

Staff Pick

Albert Woodfox was held in solitary confi nement for more than 40 years, reportedly longer than any prisoner in our nation’s history. His wise, insightful memoir, Solitary (Grove, $26)—a finalist for the National Book Award—begins with his growing up poor in the Deep South, turning to petty crime to survive, and landing in jail, uneducated, while still in his teens. During a brief escape, he is introduced to the Black Panther Party before being caught and sent to one of Louisiana’s most notorious prisons, Angola. Soon he is framed for the murder of a white prison guard and confi ned to a 6-by-9 foot cell 23 hours a day. His friendship with two fellow Panthers —they become the Angola Three—sustains him through years of physical and emotional torture and legal chicanery. Determined to maintain his dignity, self-respect, and sanity, he transforms his tiny cell into a makeshift meditation room, gym, debate hall, and classroom where he educates himself through works of literature, philosophy, history, and law. Woodfox, finally released in 2016, is a gleaming example of resilience, spirit, and grace. And his story is a vivid chronicle of why our criminal justice system desperately needs fixing.

Solitary: A Biography (National Book Award Finalist; Pulitzer Prize Finalist) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802129086
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 5th, 2019

Staff Pick

From the first pages of this memoir, you will be hooked. The author is fourteen years old when her mother wakes her in the middle of the night to confide that her husband’s best friend has kissed her. So begins many secrets shared between mother and daughter. As the author gets older, she continues to be her mother’s confidante while hiding the truth from her beloved stepfather, family and friends. This is the kind of book that you will want to talk about with everybody because it is so full of explosive true-life incidents.

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781328519030
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 15th, 2019

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