Free, by Lea Ypi

Staff Pick

Lea Ypi is your perfect guide to '90s Albania. She brings to her memoir both current knowledge of political theory and incredible memories of her own family past. Ypi's writing is lively and often funny, her descriptions of childhood experiences and observations of family members and conversations are incredibly vivid and astute, and this book is one of the best remembrances I've come upon of that uncertain and chaotic era.

Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History By Lea Ypi Cover Image
By Lea Ypi
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393867732
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 18th, 2022

In the Eye of the Wild, by Nastassja Martin

Staff Pick

In August 2015, Martin suffered an almost fatal run-in with a bear while doing anthropological field work in the Kamchatka mountains, then underwent nearly as brutal an assault during reconstructive surgery in Russian, then French, hospitals—"stripped, strapped down” and stuffed with nutrients via a tube—her “jaw the scene of a Franco-Russian medical cold war.” But the suffering at the hands of surgeons is responsible only for part of her acute alienation. Recognizing her “profound mismatch with society,” she just wants to return to the bear’s territory, and the narrative takes off when she’s smuggled back into Siberia in the back of a car. This leads to similarly riveting moments as she faces down headwinds in -50-degree temperatures, drinks blood tea from freshly slaughtered reindeer, and recalls epiphanic moments from her life “under the volcano with the Evens of Icha”—the most transformative being the one that made her a medka: half human, half bear. As meditative as it is visceral, this is an unforgettable story eloquently, and often magically, told.

In the Eye of the Wild By Nastassja Martin, Sophie R. Lewis (Translated by) Cover Image
By Nastassja Martin, Sophie R. Lewis (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781681375854
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York Review Books - November 16th, 2021

Generations, by Lucille Clifton

Staff Pick

The prose of great poets resonates from a special, liminal place all its own, and Clifton’s lyrical memoir—first published in 1976 and reissued with an appreciation by former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith—sings with not just her own voice, but those of her family members as channeled through her “great storyteller” father. Richly cadenced with the rhythms of ordinary speech, these moving stories—punctuated by excerpts from Whitman—profile the generations descended from Mammy Ca’line—abducted from Africa, trafficked to the U.S., and forced to walk North from New Orleans to Virginia at “eight years old”; through her daughter, Lucille Sale, “the first Black woman legally hanged in the state of Virginia”; and on to Clifton’s father, Sam, that “rock” of a man who could barely write but was “an avid reader” and instilled in his daughter the pride of Dahomey women.

 

 

Generations: A Memoir By Lucille Clifton, Tracy K. Smith (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Lucille Clifton, Tracy K. Smith (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781681375878
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: NYRB Classics - November 16th, 2021

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