Don't Call Us Dead
Poems by Danez Smith
September 5, 2017
Award-winning, Minneapolis-based poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power.
“I want this to be one of the books that continues to break down all kinds of barriers regarding poetry. I absolutely believe this is one of the most important books I've ever had the chance to sell.” — Hans Weyandt, Milkweed Books, Minneapolis, MN
“Danez Smith is a keen observer of the human condition and their words express, with urgency, the need to understand one another. I loved this collection, and I'm so glad that this born-and-bred St. Paul poet is getting the recognition their talents so richly deserve.” — Matt Kelliher, SubText Books, St. Paul, MN
“Don't Call Us Dead is an act of redemption; a singular voice ‘in search of a new God.’ Each poem extends a hand, goes out of its way to make clear that black people are more than their pain. With terror and humor, healing and blood, Danez Smith has written a first book of prayers for their people, our country and this moment.” — Colin McDonald, Seminary Co-op, Chicago, IL
"Danez Smith's is a voice we need . . . . This is a mighty work and a tremendous offering." — Pulitzer Prize winning author of LIFE ON MARS, Tracy K. Smith
"Alongside these deeply personal political poems are love poems, a crown of sonnets, and all sorts of extended meditations on his central themes of race, sexuality, and violence. This will be one of the year's essential books." — Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR
“In Don’t Call Us Dead [Smith] demands we stand only in the truth of our own fear and build a love that’s so redemptive and real. If you have ever lost faith, if you want to believe in life, then you must read this book—it will humble and uplift you, leave you understanding that in the face of it all, there is only awe.” — Chris Abani
Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality—the dangers experienced in skin, body, and blood—and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “Some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, “some of us all at once.” Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing collection, one that confronts America, where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.
Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Smith has received fellowships from the National Foundation for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and lives in Minneapolis.
To invite the author to your store, contact Casey O'Neil at Oneil@graywolfpress.org
Quiet Until the Thaw
A Novel by Alexandra Fuller
Penguin Press/Penguin Random House
June 27, 2017
From the bestselling memoirist Alexandra Fuller comes a debut novel set in the Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota.
“Alexandra Fuller has always been a brave writer. We count on her bare-boned, carefully-crafted truths laced with wit and wisdom. But in her debut novel, Fuller calls upon her imagination to explore what binds us together rather than what pulls us apart. Quiet Until the Thaw is a literary risk and a revelation.” — Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Hour of Land
“Fuller’s keen sense of engagement with a land ‘to which you now don’t belong,’ and her place as an outsider, make her a sympathetic storyteller. Her prose shimmers and vibrates with life in this excellent novel.” — Publishers Weekly
“A lyrical tale of life on the Rez…A tender, wry homage to Native American wisdom and lore.” — Kirkus Reviews
Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation, South Dakota. Two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, though bound by blood and by land, find themselves at odds as they grapple with the implications of their shared heritage. When escalating anger towards the injustices, historical and current, inflicted upon the Lakota people by the federal government leads to tribal divisions and infighting, the cousins go in separate directions: Rick chooses the path of peace; You Choose, violence.
Years pass, and as You Choose serves time in prison, Rick finds himself raising twin baby boys, orphaned at birth, in his meadow. As the twins mature from infants to young men, Rick immerses the boys within their ancestry, telling wonderful and terrible tales of how the whole world came to be, and affirming their place in the universe as the result of all who have come before and will come behind. But when You Choose returns to the reservation after three decades behind bars, his anger manifests, forever disrupting the lives of Rick and the boys.
A complex tale that spans generations and geography, Quiet Until the Thaw conjures with the implications of an oppressed history, how we are bound not just to immediate family but to all who have come before and will come after us, and, most of all, to the notion that everything was always, and is always, connected. As Fuller writes, “The belief that we can be done with our past is a myth. The past is nudging at us constantly.”
Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her midtwenties. In 1994, she moved to Wyoming.
a novel by Deborah Kennedy
July 11, 2017
Iowa MFA graduate Deborah Kennedy tells the story of a five-year-old girl who goes missing in a small town, a place where everyone knows something different about her disappearance and about each other, in a debut that brings to mind Everything I Never Told You.
A beautiful, raw and hopeful portrait of a town and its people searching for atonement amid the bitterness of loss. A hauntingly dark and powerful debut. PS: the last chapter was beautiful, I read it twice. — Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor MI)
“Kennedy's vision is as clear as her embrace is wide. With Tornado Weather, she has given us a novel that startles and surprises from the first page to the last, turning our heads again and again. Yet the thunderclaps the book produces are not those of a thriller, despite the missing child at its center, but of how many human beings it seems to know, and how variously it inhabits them. In the abundance with which it is populated, and the diversity with which it is colored, it offers something considerably more than the fragments of a few stray characters. It offers the mosaic of an entire community.” — Kevin Brockmeier, bestselling author of The Brief History of the Dead
Five-year-old Daisy Gonzalez’s father is always waiting for her at the bus stop. But today, he isn’t. As the bus driver, Fikus, lowers her wheelchair to the ground and looks around, chaos erupts behind him as one child has an accident and the rest begin to scream. When Daisy says her house is right down the road, she’ll be fine, and begins to wheel herself away, Fikus lets her go. And that's the last time she is seen.
Nearly everyone in town suspects or knows something different about what happened, if they could only put the pieces together. They also know a lot about each other. The immigrants who work in the dairy farm know their employers’ secrets. The manager of the Laundromat knows who laid a curse on the town and why. A soldier daydreaming of his hometown can see it more clearly than the people still there. And the police officer doesn't realize how much he knows. They are all connected, in ways small and profound, open and secret.
By turns unsettling, dark, and wry, the powerful voices bring the town’s rich fabric to life. Tornado Weather is an affecting portrait of a complex and flawed cast of characters striving to find some measure of fulfillment in their lives. Though the characters’ triumphs are often modest, the hope for redemption is real--and Kennedy brilliantly shows that there is nothing average about an average life.
Deborah Kennedy is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salon, Sou'wester, Third Coast Magazine, and The North American Review. Kennedy has worked as both a reporter and editor, and also holds a master's in Fiction Writing and English Literature from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Tornado Weather is her debut.
To invite this author to your store, contact Marlena Bittner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Kind of Wanting
a novel by Gina Frangello
August 8, 2017
Set in Chicago and written by a Chicagoland author, EVERY KIND OF WANTING was a finalist for the 2016 Chicago Review of Books Award.
"Urgent and Stirring" — Laila Lalami, Pulitzer Prize Finalist for THE MOOR'S ACCOUNT
"It's the balance between interior and exterior, tidiness and chaos, that makes Every Kind of Wanting so winsome. The reader sees the imperfections of these collective lives like a great tableau, as rich and human as a hand-hewn tapestry." — Shelf Awareness
"Frangello...is a sculptor who has carved out the truest and most intimate parts of a human life. The root of the novel is about lives being upended." — Chicago Review of Books, 2016 Chicago Review of Books Award Finalist for Fiction; 10 Best Books to Read This September
“Desire is at the heart of Frangello's work, and whether we can survive it is central to this raw, wonderful, and unmistakably contemporary novel. This is the future that our conservative forebears were scared of, in all its messy, hopeful glory. ” — J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchen of the Great Midwest
Every Kind of Wanting explores the complex intersection of three unique families and their bustling efforts to have a "Community Baby." Miguel could not be more different from his partner Chad, a happy-go-lucky real estate mogul from Chicago's wealthy North Shore. When Chad's sister, Gretchen offers the couple an egg, their search for a surrogate leads them to Miguel's old friend Emily, happily married to an eccentric Irish playwright, Nick, with whom she is raising two boys. Into this web falls Miguel's sister Lina, a former addict and stripper, who begins a passionate affair with Nick while deciphering the mysteries of her past.
But every action these couples make has unforeseen consequences. As Lina faces her long-hidden demons, and the fragile friendships between Miguel and Chad and Nick and Emily begin to fray as the baby's birth draws near, a shocking turn of events—and the secret Lina's been hiding—threaten to break them apart forever.
By turns funny, dark and sexy, Every Kind of Wanting strips bare the layers of the American family today. Tackling issues such as assimilation, the legacy of secrets, the morality of desire, and ultimately who "owns" love, the characters—across all ethnicities, nationalities, and sexualities—are blisteringly alive.
Gina Frangello is the author of the Target Emerging Authors selection A Life in Men, which was a book club selection for NYLON magazine, The Rumpus, and The Nervous Breakdown. She is also the author of two other books of fiction: Slut Lullabies, a Foreword Magazine Best Book of the Year finalist, and My Sister's Continent. She is the founder of Other Voices Books, has served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, the fiction editor for The Nervous Breakdown, Executive Editor for Other Voices magazine, and the faculty editor for TriQuarterly Online. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in Ploughshares, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, Fence, FiveChapters, Prairie Schooner, the Chicago Reader, and many others.
To invite the author to your store, contact Gina Frangello's agent, Jean V Naggar at email@example.com