Paradais, by Fernanda Melchor

Staff Pick

Given the events that unfold over the course of this slim volume, it's an understatement to say that there is trouble in Paradais. Wielding her language sharply, Melchor paints a bleak portrait of inequality: the opulence of those living in Paradais, a luxury housing complex, contrasts sharply with the desolate living situation in Progreso, the narco-controlled village. At the center of the novel are Polo and Franco, two misfit teenagers whose lives are defined by entitlement to what they lack--a point brought home by Melchor's resentful, and even cruel, turns of phrase. By the end, when desperation, dissatisfaction, and youthful recklessness clash violently in a macabre final act, the reader is left to contend with the detritus of unfulfilled desires and lives torn farther apart.  

Paradais Cover Image
By Fernanda Melchor, Sophie Hughes (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780811231329
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Directions - May 10th, 2022

Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World, by Sasha Fletcher

Staff Pick

In Fletcher's Brooklyn, the world is hurtling toward its imminent doom—or has it always been? The end times seem to go on forever here, where daily life is underscored by constant foreboding. Yet despite the madness, humanity carries on as usual. Certainly that's true of the protagonists: Sam and Eleanor are a perfectly normal couple whose love feels like a beacon of light amid the chaos, and their audacious hope and joy--both vulnerable and radical--collides brilliantly with the absurdity and tragedy Fletcher evokes. This is an exquisite and big-hearted debut, showcasing a rising talent's acute sensitivity to the many possibilities of life in the near future.

 

 

Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781612199474
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Melville House - February 15th, 2022

Real Life, by Brandon Taylor

Staff Pick

Taylor’s debut novel is a rich and intimate portrait of the life of a Black gay grad student on the fringes of predominantly white normative academia. Unfolding over a single weekend , it follows Wallace as he  endures the aftershocks of painful memories from his growing up as well as the abrasions that come with being an outsider. Taylor is a master at conveying his character's acute discomfort, and what initially seems a typical campus novel soon becomes a stirring meditation on  race, sexuality, grief, trauma, and how these affect one’s personhood. In prose as accomplished as his psychological insight, Taylor delivers a difficult and beautiful work that avoids tidy resolutions and demonstrates the ways pain helps make life real.

 


 

Real Life: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525538899
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - February 16th, 2021

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