With seven new and forthcoming titles, summer continues to be a busy publication season for our NER authors.
In his second collection of poetry, Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf Press), Kaveh Akbar “takes its readers on a spiritual journey of disavowal, fiercely attendant to the presence of divinity where artifacts of self and belonging have been shed.” Akbar most recently contributed to NER 42.2 with his poem, “In Praise of the Laughing Worm / The Value of Fear.”
Yoon Choi‘s debut story collection, Skinship (Knopf Publishing Group), is “centered on a constellation of Korean American families” and “suffused with a profound understanding of humanity.” Through her prose, Choi “explores where first and second generations either clash or find common ground, where meaning falls in the cracks between languages, where relationships bend under the weight of tenderness and disappointment, where displacement turns to heartbreak.” Choi served at NER for several years as a staff reader in fiction after her short story, “The Art of Losing,” was published in NER 38.2.
Shara McCallum, author of six books published in the US & UK, released No Ruined Stone (Alice James Books), “a verse sequence rooted in the life of 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns.” NER 41.3 features three poems included in No Ruined Stone: “Story, the First,” “Inheritance,” and “At the Hour of Duppy and Dream Miss Nancy Speaks.” Read our Writer’s Notebook with McCallum where she delves into the process behind creating her latest book of verse.
Prepare Her (Catapult) by Genevieve Plunkett is a haunting debut collection that “tells the stories of young women at the brink of discovering their own power.” Set in the backdrop of rural Vermont, “this book explores the complexities of gender and power imbalances in a way that transforms normal life into something mysterious, uncharted, and sometimes bewildering.” Plunkett’s short stories have appeared in NER 36.3 and 37.4; her O. Henry Award–winning “Something for a Young Woman” was featured in our podcast, episode 6.
A journalist, playwright, and former restaurant critic, Lou Mathews released his latest novel, Shaky Town (Tiger Van Books). In it he weaves together “complicated, conflicted, and disparate characters bound together by place” to create a “timeless novel of working-class Los Angeles.” Mathews’s contributions to NER include his short story “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” in NER 35.2 and “Tutorial” in NER 41.2.
Kirk Wilson, who published fiction in NER 41.3, has just released Songbox (Trio House Press), a collection of poems that won the 2020 Trio Award. Songbox has been praised as “a testament of a mature poet confronting the dissolution of American assumptions, the precarious nature of identity, and the alchemical strangeness of experience.”
Frank Meola‘s debut novel Clay (Green Writers Press) is “a coming of age story that also chronicles a coming to awareness at a time of social, racial, and environmental unease.” Meola’s piece of cultural history, “Emerson Between Faith and Doubt” was published in NER 32.3.
You can shop these titles and more on the New England Review’s Author Books Summer 2021 Bookshop page.