Through a beautiful consideration of human ingenuity, creativeness, and hubris, Frank's collection of poetry interrogates what "life" means in an increasingly automated world. From questions about what it is to create life and what it is about the machinations of humanity that make one truly alive to how, through the act of creation and the desire to bring forth something eternal, humans reach for a spark of the divine, Frank evokes a consistent sense of wonder that is also a lament for the human proclivity to wield destruction.
Darnielle delivers a nuanced look at the true crime genre in his eerie and melancholy Devil House. The novel is bookended by Chandler Gage whose latest project--an unsolved double murder--takes him to a small town in Southern California at the height of the 1980s Satanic Panic. As he investigates questions of agency and ethics, especially regarding the victims in the stories he tries to tell, Gage revisits his past work and examines the larger context of victimization, a process Darnielle powerfully evokes through a fascinating amalgam of gothic horror, true-crime procedural, indictment of gentrification, and much more. The result is a compelling page-turner that reminds readers that there is always more to the story than what meets the eye.
Hart's exquisite debut novel focuses on a young woman’s abject yearning for an older woman. Like a moth drawn to a flame, young and inexperienced Mallory is drawn to this more worldly woman, whose cold and mysterious demeanor only enhances the attraction. In a series of vignettes crafted of sensual and intimate language, Hart brings readers directly into Mallory's pseudo-coming-of-age, showing us her vulnerability and adoration for someone who, even as she grows older, she never quite equals. This is a powerful evocation of desire, loss, and disappointment, a story that is at once about the pitfalls of falling in love with someone out of reach and the heartbreak that is part and parcel of growing up.