“Don’t miss Hazel Hicks. She may try you, she may frustrate you, she may exasperate you. But you will not forget her.” — Castle Freeman, Jr.
From the publisher: Hazel is a portrait of an ordinary and exceptional person, revealed in a sequence of narratives that present chapters of her life from childhood into her senior years.
David Huddle is the author of more than twenty previous books, including fiction, essays, and poetry. His novel Nothing Can Make Me Do This (Tupelo, 2011) won the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction, and his Black Snake at the Family Reunion won the PEN New England Award for Poetry. He teaches at the Bread Loaf School of English and the Rainier Writing Workshop. A native of Ivanhoe, Virginia, Huddle has lived in Vermont for over four decades, and served as Acting Editor of the New England Review from 1993 to 1995 and as Contributing Editor in 1988. Read his stories “Poison Oak,” published in NER 1.3, and “Scotland,” from NER 13.2.
Hazel can be ordered from the publisher here, or purchased at your local independent book store.
“This collection is magical, hypnotic, brilliant.” — Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Tinkers.
From the publisher: Going where most readers have never been — past the workshop door, behind the curtain to the hidden rehearsal space, and into the back room of a pawn shop or dealer’s office, Gregory Spatz’s new book delves deeply into the world of those who build, play, and sell (or steal) violins. This is a realm of obsession, of high-stakes sales and thefts, and of rapturous but also desperate performance escapades. Dense with detail, and peopled with a fabulously particular (yes, eccentric) ensemble cast, the linked pieces in What Could Be Saved—two of novella length, and two stories—have the intense force and beauty of chamber music.
Gregory Spatz is the author of the novels Inukshuk, Fiddler’s Dream, and No One But Us, and of the story collections Half as Happy and Wonderful Tricks. The recipient of a Michener Fellowship, an Iowa Arts Fellowship, a Washington State Book Award, and an NEA Fellowship in literature, he teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane. Spatz plays the fiddle in the twice Juno-nominated bluegrass band John Reischman and the Jaybirds. His stories have appeared such publications as The New Yorker, Glimmer Train Stories, Shenandoah, Epoch, Kenyon Review and New England Review, where his work has been featured in over seven issues: first in 1992 (NER 14.2), and most recently in 2017 (NER 38.4).
What Could be Saved can be purchased from the publisher here or at your local independent bookstore.
“A lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal… Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” — Ron Charles, The Washington Post
From the publisher: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.
Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. His writings have also been featured in The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Read his poem “To My Father/To My Unborn Son” published in NER 36.1.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous can be purchased from the publisher here or at your local independent bookstore.
“Aronson’s examination of medical culture in stories, of the brutality and tenderness at home and hospital, is a gem. [Her] voice is tender and one from which I hope we’ll hear more histories in the future.” — Washington Independent Review of Books
From the publisher: Elderhood is an essential, empathetic look at a vital but often disparaged stage of life. Reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that’s neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy — a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine, and humanity itself. Elderhood is for anyone who is, in the author’s own words, “an aging, i.e., still-breathing human being.”
Louise Aronson has an MFA in fiction from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers and an MD from Harvard Medical School. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California where she cares for diverse, frail older patients and directs the Pathways to Discovery Program, the Northern California Geriatrics Education Center and UCSF Medical Humanities. She lives in San Francisco. Read her piece “Necessary Violence” published in NER 38.3.
Elderhood can be purchased from the publisher here or at your local independent bookstore.
An extraordinary novel by war correspondent Grossman, completing, with Life and Fate, a two-volume Soviet-era rejoinder to War and Peace… A classic of wartime literature finally available in a comprehensive English translation that will introduce new readers to a remarkable writer.
— Kirkus, starred review
From the publishers: The story told in Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad unfolds across the length and breadth of Russia and Europe, and its characters include mothers and daughters, husbands and brothers, generals, nurses, political activists, steelworkers, and peasants, along with Hitler and other historical figures. In Stalingrad, published here for the first time in English translation, and in its celebrated sequel, Life and Fate, Grossman writes with extraordinary power and deep compassion about the disasters of war and the ruthlessness of totalitarianism, without, however, losing sight of the little things that are the daily currency of human existence or of humanity’s inextinguishable, saving attachment to nature and life.
The Robert and Elizabeth Chandlers’ other translations include Alexander Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter (Vintage Classics, 2012) and works by Vasily Grossman (NYRB Classics). Robert Chandler has edited and served as primary translator for Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida and Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov, and co-edited The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. The Chandlers’ translation of Teffi’s “Lifeless Beast” appeared in NER 34.3-4.
Stalingrad can be purchased from the publisher here or at your local independent bookstore.
“A brilliant, sorrowful, hopeful, hilarious, painfully honest love letter, not just to Stoner but to writing, marriage, teaching, reading, parenting, even death. Which makes this book, like the one it praises, a love letter to life.” — Matthew Zapruder, author of Come On All You Ghosts and Why Poetry
From the publisher: Stoner tells the story of William Stoner. Born into a poor Missouri farming family at the end of the nineteenth century, Stoner is sent to the state university to study agronomy. Instead, he falls in love with literature and becomes a professor. In this achingly beautiful novel, we witness the many disappointments and struggles in Stoner’s life, including his estrangement from his wife and daughter, and the failure of his academic career to prosper, all set against the dramatic changes of the first half of the twentieth century.
Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Against Football and Candyfreak. His short stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, the Best American Mysteries, and the Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. He hosts the New York Times “Dear Sugars” podcast with Cheryl Strayed. His story “The Course of True Love” appeared in NER 38.2 and a new story will be published in 40.2 (summer 2019).
William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life can be purchased from the publisher here or at your local independent bookstore.