- Midwest Connection: Calvin Hennick grew up in Iowa and Once More to the Rodeo makes stops across the Midwest on this father and son road trip.
- Shelf-talker: A memoir about fatherhood, family, and what it means to be a man in America.
Five years into fatherhood, Calvin Hennick is plagued by self-doubt and full of questions. As a white man, what can he possibly teach his biracial son about how to live as a black man in America? And what does it even mean to be a man today?
In this unforgettable debut memoir, Calvin takes his young son on the road, traveling from Boston across the country to his hometown in Iowa, seeking answers. He holds a mirror up to both himself and modern America, in an urgent and timely story that all parents, and indeed all Americans, need to read.
Parents, books clubs, readers who enjoy travel memoirs, family stories, humorous books, and books with diverse characters.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Son of a Gun by Justin St. Germain
Someone Could Get Hurt by Drew Magary
Calvin Hennick is a writer based in Boston. His prize-winning work has appeared in The Boston Globe and over fifty publications. Once More to the Rodeo is the winner of the Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award.
“In this powerful memoir, Calvin Hennick -- a white father trying to prepare his tenderhearted brown son for an often-hostile world -- attempts to come to terms with the scars left by his own painful family history. Once More to the Rodeo is a hilarious and deeply moving journey, simultaneously optimistic yet also clear-eyed about the difficulties of fatherhood and race.”
-- Celeste Ng, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere
“A tender and engrossing travelogue that fully embodies “what it means to be a man and a father.”
-- Kirkus Reviews - Starred Review
“Raw, wry, and perceptive, Hennick’s memoir overflows with anxious love.”
Calvin Hennick is enthusiastic to connect with stores to help get Once More to the Rodeo in front of readers including interviews for store newsletters, connecting with local newspapers, talking to store-based book clubs. Stores can contact Calvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Midwest Connection: Kiley Reid earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was awarded the Truman Capote Fellowship and taught undergraduate creative writing workshops with a focus on race and class. She lived in Iowa up until recently.
- Shelf-talker: Most anticipated book of 2020.
A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
Readers of literary fiction, women's fiction. For readers of Tayari Jones, Curtis Sittenfeld, Brit Bennett, Emma Straub, Celeste Ng, Meg Wolitzer, and Zadie Smith
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Kiley Reid earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was awarded the Truman Capote Fellowship and taught undergraduate creative writing workshops with a focus on race and class. Her short stories have been featured in Ploughshares, December, New South, and Lumina. Reid lives in Philadelphia.
"With a story that bounces between the three viewpoints, Kiley Reid’s debut novel features a wonderfully engaging and wiser-than-she-thinks-she-is heroine and is alternatingly inspired, infuriating, hilarious, and thought-provoking, touching on race, class, gender, friendship, dating, and motherhood, and filled with a whole mess of bad advice from everyone concerned. Lots of bad advice!"
-- Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
"Empathetic and observant as the best domestic fiction, but plotted and paced like a binge-worthy TV show, Such a Fun Age is a smart, cool, and snappy debut. The characters are rounded and believable, the action is full of humor and anxiety in equal measure, and the plot delivers surprises time and again - I love this book so much!"
-- Annie Metcalf, Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
“An exquisitely choreographed train wreck of class, race, and the hair’s breadth generational gap between millennials and slightly-older-millennials. Woe to they who doesn’t make space for Such a Fun Age at the top of their TBR pile…”
-- Charlotte Colaluca, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI
"Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age is a strong contender for the title “Great Millenial Novel.” One night, under mysterious circumstances, Emira is called to take the child she babysits to the grocery store. At 11 pm. In her club outfit. At the store, Emira is detained by a rent-a-cop who questions why a black woman is with a white child at that hour. The fallout from this confrontation (caught on camera, of course), plus the fraught relationship between Emira and her employers, makes for a social comedy with sharp meditations on race, privilege, and the failings of even the most well-intentioned white people."
-- Danny Caine, The Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS
"Such a Fun Age is a book you pick up and don't put down until it ends. Complex characters, racial divides, and socio-economic tensions combine to create what is sure to be one of the most talked about novels of 2020. Kiley Reid may be a debut novelist, but this work is on par with the heavy hitters of literary fiction. This is outstanding reading and an absolute gold mine for book club discussions."
-- Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN
"This is a book I will be thinking about and discussing long after finishing reading it!"
-- Trista Wilson, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS
- Midwest Connection: Chris McCormick is a graduate of the University of Michigan MFA program and now lives and teaches in Minnesota.
- Shelf-talker: “The Gimmicks is a gorgeous epic that astounds with its scope and beauty. With empathy and humor, McCormick unravels the ties between brotherhood and betrayal, love and abandonment, and the fictions we create to live with the pain of the past. This novel will blow you away.”—Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers
Set in the waning years of the Cold War, a stunning debut novel about a trio of young Armenians that moves from the Soviet Union, across Europe, to Southern California, and at its center, one of the most tragic cataclysms in twentieth-century history—the Armenian Genocide—whose traumatic reverberations will have unexpected consequences on all three lives.
Literary fiction readers. Fans of Michael Chabon and Marlon James.
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
Chris McCormick is the author of a collection of stories, Desert Boys, winner of the 2017 Stonewall Book Award. Born in 1987 and raised on the California side of the Mojave Desert, he is a graduate of the University of Michigan MFA program and now lives and teaches in Minnesota.
To inquire about an event with Chris McCormick for The Gimmicks, contact Tracy Locke at Tracy.Locke@harpercollins.com.
“I borrow from the book’s cover and concur that the novel is, ... with unique humor and startling beauty, illuminates the impact of history and injustice on ordinary people. I would never have thought a story as found in this book could do what it does for the ”Arminian Genocide”, but it does. At first you think you are in for a novel about the crazy world of professional wrestling in Russia to California, but no this book is so much more.”
-- Larry Yoder, The Bookies, Denver, CO
“Chris McCormick’s The Gimmicks, is a history lesson, a testament to brotherhood, an inquiry into radicalized minds and culture, a tracking of the Armenian diaspora, a love story, and a drive-by past the world of professional wrestling. McCormick takes a triad of people; Ruben, a young intellect radically fixated on the Armenian genocide, Avo, Ruben’s brother and complement/foil, and Mina, a talented backgammon player and Ruben’s rival. How many different configurations can three people take on in each others’ lives? McCormick lovingly, skillfully, shows us; tracking them from Armenia to Europe to America, while they all grapple with the permanence of their actions on themselves and each other. McCormick is dizzyingly smart too, exploring concepts of love and devotion through the language of violence and wrestling that you will feel, viscerally. Messy and exquisite, The Gimmicks is a force.”
-- Charlotte Bruell, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
“This novel pulled me in so wholeheartedly. The Gimmicks is a weaving: of history, of Armenian and American cultures, of perspectives, of messy, imperfect characters whom I grew to love. The impact of the past plays largely into the lives of these characters, the ways in which history is carried in their memories and colors their choices. Told in alternating perspectives, this novel is also very much about the imprints that characters leave on each other, a deeply meaningful exploration of the ways in which the lives of human beings are intertwined. With beautiful writing and engaging storytelling, The Gimmicks is not to be missed.”
-- Kelsey O’Rourke, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
- Midwest Connection: Sean is a resident of Des Moines, IA.
- Shelf-talker: “Like Snowpiercer's train, a George Saunders amusement park, or the fractured cityscape from a Donald Barthelme story, The Heap is a sardonic monument to our decadent culture…” — Chandler Klang Smith, author of The Sky Is Yours
Blending the piercing humor of Alexandra Kleeman and the jagged satire of Black Mirror, an audacious, eerily prescient debut novel that chronicles the rise and fall of a massive high-rise housing complex, and the lives it affected before - and after - its demise.
Readers of literary satire and absurdist fiction, fans of Black Mirror.
Sean Adams is a graduate of Bennington College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His fiction has appeared in Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Normal School, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Arkansas International, and elsewhere. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Emma, and their various pets.
To inquire about an event with Sean Adams for The Heap, contact Gena Lanzi at email@example.com.
“Los Verticales was more than a tower, it was a huge monument to a self-sustaining society; a form of Utopia. Like all Utopias, it collapsed, quite literally, killing everyone. Well, almost everyone. Bernard starts transmitting over the radio station that he worked for and the whole world starts listening and calling in. His brother, Oliver, has joined the dig to attempt to unearth him. Oliver phones into Bernard's studio every night, which has been a ratings boost for the station. When the head of marketing attempts to recruit Oliver to sprinkle in some product placement while in conversation with Bernard, Oliver gets a bit indignant. From there the story starts to gather momentum into crazy coincidences and some amazing characters. This is the first book in 2020 to read, you won't be able to put it down."
-- Jason Kennedy, Boswell Books, Milwaukee, WI
"The Heap is the story of Orville Anders and his search for his brother, Bernard, who is the sole survivor of a the collapse of a massive Babel-esque structure. Orville, and others like him, labor endlessly in the Heap, trying to shift all the detritus of the collapsed skyscraper, hoping to find . . . something? Orville, and others like him, would say that they hope to find Orville's brother (who, somehow, is still transmitting via a local radio tower). Others would say their efforts are merely an attempt to find meaning for their lives. Survivors of the collapse have their own story to tell--a story about a society that became wrapped up in its own internalized struggles. Regardless, Sean Adams delivers a quirky speculative novel that is equal parts J. G. Ballard and Matt Ruff, with a dusty layer of Kafka and Orwell mixed in. Recommended."
-- Mark Teppo, A Good Book, Sumner, Washington