An eclectic mix of embodied prose and inventive poetry completes May’s roundup of new books by our contributors. Browse and shop these and other books by NER authors on our Bookshop.org page.
Nicole Cuffy’s gripping debut novel Dances is out now from One World. This work follows a trailblazing Black ballerina who must reconcile the ever-rising stakes of her grueling career with difficult questions of love, loss, and her journey to self-liberation. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called the work “brilliant” and praised Cuffy’s controlled and elegant prose. Cuffy’s short story “A Delivery” was first published in NER 42.3, and was discussed by the author in a “Behind the Byline” interview.
Timothy Donnelly embraces formal constraint in his striking fourth collection, Chariot (Wave Books). Concerning itself with the work of French symbolist Odilon Redon, Jean Cocteau, and other artists and thinkers, Chariot pursues the future while prying into the past, all with Donnelly’s signature wit and variousness. Two of Donnelly’s poems appeared in issue 40.1—“Poem Written with an Arrowhead in My Mouth,” and “All Through the War,” which was selected for Best American Poetry 2020.
Propeller Publishing has just reissued Mary Rechner’s colorful short story collection, Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women. Described as “cockeyed smart, sharply written, and very funny,” by the Kenyon Review, Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women captures the coming of age of women fighting for self-determination and their own wildness. Rechner’s fiction has appeared in multiple issues of NER, most recently issue 36.3.
From poet and MacArthur “Genius” Campbell McGrath comes Fever of Unknown Origin, published at the start of the month by Knopf. Ambitious and profound, this work plumbs decay and beauty across a myriad of physical and intellectual landscapes. Pulitzer Prize winner Vijay Seshadri described the work as “powerful, supple, [and] beautifully meditated . . . one that provokes endless thought and feeling.” McGrath’s poems have appeared in several issues of NER, most recently issue 41.1.
Dear Chrysanthemums, Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s debut novel in stories, is now available, courtesy of Scribner. Composed of four interconnected stories that follow the lives of Chinese women across history, Dear Chrysanthemums stunned Shawna Yang Ryan, author of Green Island, who wrote of the work, “How can a book be simultaneously so beautiful and so heartbreaking?” Sze-Lorrain’s translation of Greta Knutson’s story “The Black Virgin” appeared in NER 40.3, and was discussed by the author in a “Behind the Byline” interview with editor Carolyn Kuebler.
Find more books by NER authors on our Bookshop.org page.