Forthcoming books

Book for August 12, 2020
Group 2
Disappearing Earth
Book for August 19, 2020
Group 4
Citizen: An American Lyric
Citizen: An American Lyric is a 2014 book-length poem by American poet Claudia Rankine. Citizen stretches the conventions of traditional lyric poetry by interweaving several forms of text and media into a collective portrait of racial relations in the United States. The book ranked as a New York Times Bestseller in 2015 and won several awards, including the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, and the 2015 Forward Prize for Poetry Best Collection. In her critique of racism and visibility, Rankine details the quotidian microaggressions African-Americans face, discusses controversial incidents such as backlashes against tennis player Serena Williams, and inquires about the ramifications of the shootings of Trayvon Martin and James Craig Anderson. She interperses her writing with images of various paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other digital media to "render visible the black experience". The book received enthusiastic reviews. Dan Chiasson, in the New Yorker, wrote that "[Citizen] is an especially vital book for this moment in time. ...The realization at the end of this book sits heavily upon the heart: 'This is how you are a citizen,' Rankine writes. 'Come on. Let it go. Move on.' As Rankine's brilliant, disabusing work, always aware of its ironies, reminds us, 'moving on' is not synonymous with 'leaving behind.' In the Washington Post, Michael Lindgren wrote, "Part protest lyric, part art book, Citizen is a dazzling expression of the painful double consciousness of black life in America".The book was ranked the greatest literary work of the 2010s by Literary Hub contributors.
Claudia Rankine
Claudia Rankine (born 1963) is a poet, essayist, playwright, and editor of several anthologies. She is the author of five volumes of poetry, two plays, and various essays. Rankine was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and educated at Williams College and Columbia University. Her work has appeared in many journals, including Harper's, GRANTA, The Kenyon Review, and the Lana Turner Journal. She co-edits (with Lisa Sewell) the anthology series American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language.
Book for September 2, 2020
Group 3
Midnight's Children

was first published in 1981.

The novel is an allegory for events in India both before and, primarily, after the independence and partition of India. The protagonist and narrator of the story is Saleem Sinai, born at the exact moment when India became an independent country, at midnight, 15 August 1947. He is gifted with telepathic powers, as well as an enormous and constantly dripping nose with an extremely sensitive sense of smell.

Midnight's Children is considered an example of postcolonial, postmodern, and magical realist literature. It was awarded the 1981 Booker Prize. The novel was adapted into the 2012 movie Midnight's Children, directed by Deepa Mehta.

Salman Rushdie
Sir Ahmad Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay (then British) India into a Muslim family of Kashmiri descent. His father adopted the name Rushdie in honour of Averroes. His first career was as a copywriter for an advertising agency. His second novel, Midnight's Children won the 1981 Booker Prize. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses was the center of a major controversy provoking protests from Muslims in several countries. Death threats were made against him, including a fatwā calling for his assassination. Since 2000, Rushdie has lived in the United States where he has worked for Emory University.
Book for September 9, 2020
Group 2
A Stranger City
Book for September 11, 2020
Group 1
A Manual for Cleaning Women
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians.
Book for September 16, 2020
Group 4
Heart Berries
Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father—an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist—who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame. Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.
Terese Marie Mailhot
Terese Marie Mailhot (born 15 June 1983) is a First Nation Canadian writer, journalist, memoirist, and teacher. Mailhot grew up in Seabird Island, British Columbia, on the Seabird Island First Nation reservation. Her mother, Wahzinak, was a healer, social worker, poet, and radical activist, and her father, Ken Mailhot, was an artist. Mailhot's background is Nlaka'pamux, part of the indigenous First Nations people of the Interior Salish language group in southern British Columbia. Her maternal grandmother, who she was close to, was raised in the brutal Canadian Indian residential school system. Mailhot got her GED and attended community college. Mailhot graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from New Mexico State University. In 2016, Mailhot received an MFA in fiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Mailhot was a columnist at Indian Country Today[10] and was Saturday Editor at The Rumpus. She taught English and composition at Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In 2017, Mailhot became a post-doctoral fellow at the English Department at Purdue University, where she works with the Native American Educational and Cultural Center. Roxane Gay is a colleague there. Mailhot is also a professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts. In 2018, Mailhot released her debut book, Heart Berries: A Memoir. Heart Berries deals with sexual abuse, trauma, violence, substance abuse, going hungry, being poor, and neglect. Mailhot has said she sees her journey as being one that reflects intergenerational trauma and genocide. She uses the term "Indian sick" to describe the idea of cleansing the heart and mind in a spiritual process, which is how her community often processes these experiences. The title Heart Berries comes from a story about the healer O’dimin, the Heart Berry Boy, that an Ojibwe friend who is a language teacher told her. The book received overwhelmingly positive reviews in both popular and specialist sources. In March 2018, actress Emma Watson chose Mailhot's book as one of the monthly selections for her book club on Goodreads. Heart Berries is a New York Times bestseller. Mailhot began writing her memoir while she was institutionalized in a mental institution. Mailhot had committed herself after having a mental breakdown related to dealing with childhood sexual abuse by her father. The book consists of many essays that Mailhot wrote during her MFA program. Some of the book is written from Mailhot to her partner, Casey Gray, using an epistolary approach to reflecting on memories of the past.
Book for October 7, 2020
Group 3

was first published in Portuguese in 1995.

Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The novel follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters who are among the first to be stricken and centers on "the doctor's wife," her husband, several of his patients, and assorted others, who are thrown together by chance. After lengthy and traumatic quarantine in an asylum, the group bands together in a family-like unit to survive by their wits and by the unexplained good fortune that the doctor’s wife has escaped the blindness. The sudden onset and unexplained origin and nature of the blindness cause widespread panic, and the social order rapidly unravels as the government attempts to contain the apparent contagion and keep order via increasingly repressive and inept measures.

Jose Saramago
José de Sousa Saramago is a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with among others Freitas-Magalhaes. He currently lives on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain.