Staff Pick

The arresting title of Elliott’s powerful essay collection is the English rendering of a Mohawk word for depression. Asking, “is there a language of depression” or is depression the “opposite of language,” Elliot draws on her experience as a biracial Haudenosaunee/white woman and the daughter of a mother with bipolar illness to explore the legacy of “centuries of systemic racism” that has marked the lives and the very genes of Indigenous peoples. As she traces the myriad economic, educational, and nutritional deficits that have beset Native Americans—due first to genocidal policies, then to the official and cultural denial of them—Elliott shows that Indigenous trauma can’t be healed by empathy, however well intended. Rather, it requires that people do the work necessary to meet on a ground of true understanding, respect, and love for each other. Elliott accepts this challenge, mediating her anger in order to view her heritage not as “a curse meant to tear me in two; …[but] a call to uphold the different responsibilities that came with each part of me.”

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612198668
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Melville House - August 4th, 2020

Staff Pick

The protagonist of Modick’s quietly stunning novel is a renowned botanist who only in the last nine months of his long life truly understands the lessons of his obsession with moss. Secluded in his childhood home, he prepares for his ultimate field study by recalling key moments of his career and marveling at the habits of myriad varieties of moss—all the while feeling himself grow colder and “softer,” as if turning to moss himself. Nudged by his reflections, as well as by direct communication from the vegetation, the professor rejects the “fixed concepts” of science he’d previously championed as the only path to the truth in favor of a child-like intuition that, flying in the face of objectivity and analysis, allows him to experience--not just study--nature’s great beauty and mystery. Presented as an addendum to the professor’s magnum opus, this diary-like narrative operates with the slow power and lyricism of true discovery.

Moss Cover Image
By Klaus Modick, David Herman (Translator)
ISBN: 9781942658726
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Bellevue Literary Press - August 25th, 2020

Staff Pick

I picked up this book to learn about bees, but before they came up, I was hooked by Jukes herself. Warm, honest, questioning, she’s a thoroughly engaging narrator of both her own life and those of the insects. Living in Oxford and working a job that’s more stressful than satisfying, she keeps thinking about her brief experience helping a beekeeper friend. Though she has no confidence she can do it on her own, she can’t resist trying and soon has a hive in her urban backyard. Worrying constantly about the needs of the bees, she does extensive research on their habits and the history of beekeeping, and her reports—on the differences between workers and drones, the various kinds of hives, the practice of the waggle dance, the intricacies of swarming—are vivid, succinct, and slightly wonder-struck. Jukes is especially interested in the evolution of the relationship between keepers and bees and her attachment to her own colony  gradually deepens to a thing of beauty and resonance; for everything she learns about the bees, they teach her as much about herself.

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A Year of Keeping Bees Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524747862
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Pantheon - May 5th, 2020