Lucky Breaks, by Yevgenia Belorusets

Staff Pick

The Donbas is both a battle ground and a region where ordinary people try to live their lives. Starting with her title—when is something as traumatic as a break “lucky”?-- Belorusets’s powerful collection of photos and brief stories (they range from two sentences to three pages) focuses on such dualities, even as the surrealism of Ukraine splinters into yet more ambiguities, which people try to control through various strategies of magical thinking.  In this “land of residual phenomena,” words provide “form rather than meaning” and nothing is definitive: the situation is neither peace nor war, but “something else.” Exactly what else is conveyed in a series of scenes and, especially, voices. Though many of these scraps are cast as interviews or reference an ”interlocutor,” most become monologues, a move that highlights the difficulty of maintaining connections but also the power of the individual voice and the irrepressible drive to tell one’s story.  Like the women who navigate new dangers each day, we never know where any of these fragments will take us: a tale that starts “once upon a time,” ends in a character with “a needle near her heart.” And when happiness occurs it “falls out of thin air”—much as a bomb might.


Lucky Breaks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811229845
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Directions - March 1st, 2022

Woman, Watching, by Merilyn Simonds

Staff Pick

Louise de Kiriline Lawrence (1894-1992) was born into the Swedish aristocracy, joined the Red Cross in WWI, married a White Russian soldier in 1918, then, a widow, moved to rural Canada in 1927 where she was, first, a nurse (heading the team that cared for the Dionne quintuplets), then a science writer and naturalist. Making it her mission and her passion to “understand…how birds are,” and to present as closely as possible a sense of the world from their point of view rather than that of the human observer, she spent nearly 60 years compiling meticulous, daily reports on the avian life around her woodland Ontario home. These records—detailing appearance, behavior, and each species’ interactions with all facets of their environment—fed a steady stream of journal articles, both scholarly and popular, and award-winning books ranging from illustrated children’s stories to memoir, biography, and groundbreaking studies of individual bird species. Simonds, herself a versatile writer and devoted birder, has adopted her subject’s thorough and enthusiastic approach. Her beautifully written book is steeped in all of Lawrence’s writings—published and unpublished—as well as a deep familiarity with her beloved Loghouse woods.

Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770416598
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: ECW Press - May 24th, 2022

Land of Women, by María Sánchez

Staff Pick

Sánchez is an acclaimed Spanish poet and writer who focuses on rural life. She came to her vocation and her subject by way of her country upbringing, and, following the footsteps of her father and grandfather, is also a trained field veterinarian. But—wait: what about her mother and grandmother? What sort of work did they do? What stories did they tell? Showing they were more than merely “sisters of an only child”—that child being the family’s honored son—Sánchez’s powerful manifesto and example of the excavation of lives and traditions unjustly left to oblivion is written with careful attention to speech rhythms and without romanticizing a difficult existence, indulging in the nostalgia of paternalistic urban centers for small-town life, or “celebrating” strong and capable women for persevering despite deprivations. Her text is a testament both powerful and beautiful to the land and the living creatures—including human culture—it has nurtured and which, if we take the time to understand where our food comes from, will continue to sustain us through many generations to come.

Land of Women Cover Image
By María Sánchez, Curtis Bauer (Translator)
ISBN: 9781595349637
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Trinity University Press - May 10th, 2022