Staff Pick

Writing from the Utah desert, Meloy broached subjects as diverse as elections, the dietary habits of snakes, lawn maintenance, the effect of Mozart on sheep, and lost city slickers as terrified of the wild as she would be if “lost at night in Brooklyn.”  She presents every subject with both a wry wit and an uncommon common sense, crafting pieces that make you laugh, think, and feel in equal measure.  It’s impossible not to be charmed by her description of the cricket in a closet singing nightly “love songs” to her husband’s boots or to regret the romanticism that makes visitors miss the best of Montana’s complicated, feral beauty. And her report that “the nightly news dumps an avalanche of misery and terror into my living room but says nothing about how I am to endure it,” is as true today as it was in 1996. But unlike the news, Meloy does tell us how to endure: recognize that “relation to the land is the core of home,” be attentive to “the contours that make the place somewhere, not just anywhere,” and “don’t carry a map to the mall, carry a bird book.”

Seasons: Desert Sketches Cover Image
By Ellen Meloy, Annie Proulx (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781948814010
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Torrey House Press - April 16th, 2019

Staff Pick

As passionate as it is brainy, Hustvedt’s multi-layered novel brilliantly captures the heady experience of a young, ambitious, artist-to-be moving from the Midwest to New York City: here is the grungy apartment—with more books than furniture—the strange neighbor, the intellectual/artsy friends met at John Ashbery readings and Paul de Man lectures. Told through a combination of the journals SH kept in 1978-79—the year she gave herself to “find the hero” and write her first novel before grad school—chapters from that never-completed mystery, and commentary by the older SH in 2017 as she excavates forgotten parts of her past, the book is also a magnificent construction of stories within stories, unique and surprising characters, and a meditation on memory and imagination: “can the past serve as a hiding place from the present?....Tell me where memory ends and invention begins?” Interwoven through all this is a powerful feminist coming-of-age story, as SH experiences a harrowing #MeToo incident and—with the help of a coven of witches and the example of Elsa Hildegard Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874-1927)—learns the true power of her anger.

Memories of the Future Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982102838
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 19th, 2019

Staff Pick

A poet, Purpura argues in these brief, charged essays that it matters what we call things—ants are “whom—not which, not things,” and as such shouldn’t be treated like things. But many things also deserve better: Purpura, a connoisseur of the singular, resists the single-use consumer culture that discards so much that’s still useful. We’re able to waste so much because we’re taught to “not mind”—we don’t see what we’re missing, and often can’t name it, either. Showing us the ants’ complex cities, the eagle that turns a symbol back into a bird, the timing that makes snowshoe rabbits white, the human-like eyelashes of cow #419, Purpura takes us to the “spots no words touched, where language unhinged.” Prose in appearance only, her accounts of intimating, then seeing, a moose; following the decomposition of a bird into a “house framed out, barrel staves, then…the keel of a skiff”; and of being overwhelmed by a crepe myrtle in full, stunning bloom, not only “make something of the moment,” as she continually urges, but make “each moment of seeing be again its own shining grunt of creation,” in which we are “found and rearranged.” These essays will do that to you.

All the Fierce Tethers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781946448309
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Sarabande Books - April 9th, 2019