In every era the attempt must be made to wrest the tradition away from a conformism that threatens to overwhelm it.
Tales from the Bayou City by Tracy Daugherty
With heart and humor, Tales from the Bayou City chronicles 15 years in the life of Houston, Texas, as the city negotiates volatile changes in economic health, race relations, immigration laws, and neighborhood viability. George Palmer, a freelance folklorist, and a keen traveler of Houston’s broken byways, gathers stories few ever hear among backstreets few choose to wander. He shoulders the burdens borne by “Mama Houston’s” children and struggles to redefine “family” in a culture determined, it seems, to tear communities apart.
The Sitter by Angela O’Keeffe
Forthcoming in 2024
Winner of the Joan C. Bell Prize
The Sitter is the story of Hortense, wife of the Painter Paul Cezanne, and Georgia, a writer who, at 16, was forced to give up her child for adoption. Although Hortense and Georgia are born more than a century apart, they exist, together, in a hotel in Paris at the beginning of the pandemic. Georgia is anxious to catch a flight home to Sydney before the Australian border closes. Hortense is the subject of a novel that Georgia has been writing. But when the two witness a terrible accident from the window of the hotel, Georgia abandons the novel about Hortense and begins to write about the forced adoption in her own past, and Hortense becomes a nightly reader of this new story. There are clues in this story, clues that Hortense becomes increasingly aware of as she reads, and when Georgia’s life becomes in danger, Hortense knows what action she must take.
Wall by Jen Craig
A woman returns to Australia to clear out her father’s house, with an eye to transforming the contents into an art installation in the tradition of the revered Chinese artist Song Dong. What she hasn’t reckoned with is the tangle of jealousies, resentments, and familial complications that she had thought, in leaving the country, she had put behind her—a tangle that ensnares her before she arrives.
Dalkey Days by Steven Moore
Literary critic Steven Moore was an editor at Dalkey Archive Press during its early years (1988-1996) when it grew from a one-man operation to one of the most respected small presses in America. In part 1 of this brief memoir, he recounts how he joined the press, what he accomplished there, and why he left. This is followed by an annotated list of all the books Moore acquired, enlivened by behind-the-scene anecdotes, and concludes with short essays on certain particular authors. Dalkey Days is profusely illustrated with book covers, author photos, and rare Dalkey memorabilia.
American Stutter: 2019–2021 by Steve Erickson
As Jonathan Lethem put it, Steve Erickson’s journal of the last 15 months of the Trump presidency “sears the page.” Erickson, one of our finest novelists, has long been in an astute political observer, and American Stutter, part political declaration, part humorous account of more personal matters, offers a particularly moving reminder of the democratic ideals that we are currently struggling to preserve. Written with wit, eloquence, and a controlled fury as events unfold, Erickson has left us with an essential record of our recent history, a book to be read with our collective breath held.
The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas by Rick Harsch
Two young men are caught in the crosshairs of shady government operations, mafias, and billionaires. A multi-generational family drama unfolds into an observation of violence in American History: from the Oregon Trail, to the nuclear age, the Vietnam War, and a post-9/11 world.
A World with No Shore by Hélène Gaudy
A mystery has hung in the air for 33 years: the disappearance in July 1897 of Salomon August Andrée, Knut Frænkel, and Nils Strindberg as they tried to reach the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. Among the remains, some rolls of negatives are found and one hundred images are retrieved. Based on these lunar-like black-and-white photographs and the expedition logbooks, Hélène Gaudy retraces and reimagines this great adventure that was blown off course.
Doom Town by Gabriel Blackwell
A professor of Linguistics in a Gulf Coast college town causes an accident that destroys his marriage and sends him into a breakdown, in which he perceives that the world is falling apart with him. Even his language becomes fractured, in a parallel to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel.
See What I See by Greg Gerke
What does it mean today to experience a work of art? Where can we turn in search of the genuine, the sincere, the truly accomplished? And even if we were to find them, would we know how to acknowledge their value? The essays in See What I See are the fruits of a lifetime spent grappling with these questions. By turns lyrical and arch, they seek answers in the artistic achievements of the great masters—from Gaddis and Gass to Kubrick and Rohmer—as well as in less likely places.
Hang Him When He Is Not There by Nicholas John Turner
New Year’s Eve, 1989. At a residential care home in suburban Australia, fireworks explode in the distance while an elderly man dies in troubling circumstances. Decades later, a proof-reader, disfigured by a childhood accident, prepares to meet a celebrated and reclusive novelist. Between these two figures a subtle and intricate web is woven, implicating the members of a mystical cult, the victim of a beheading, an impostor artist, and the enigmatic presence known only as Agent Vell.
Panthers and the Museum of Fire by Jen Craig
A woman starts out from a quiet corner of Glebe in Sydney, Australia toward the bustle of Broadway and Surry Hills, carrying with her the manuscript of a child friend who has recently died. Her thoughts surge between past and present as she strives to understand the effect her friend’s manuscript, Panthers and the Museum of Fire, has had on her. Not only does the manuscript remind her of what she might prefer to forget—youthful ambitions, an abandoned friendship, entanglements with religion and anorexia—it also ignites in her a creative impulse.
Alexander Theroux: A Fan’s Notes by Steven Moore
This is the first book-length study of Alexander Theroux’s complete body of work—novels, fables and short stories, nonfiction books, poetry, literary journalism—concluding with a chapter on his contentious relationship with his best-selling brother Paul Theroux. Critic Steven Moore, who has known Theroux for nearly 40 years and helped with the publication of some of his books, illuminates Theroux’s work in a scholarly yet accessible style.
My Back Pages by Steven Moore
Before he embarked on his massive history of the novel, Steven Moore was best known as a tireless promoter of innovative fiction, mostly by way of hundreds of book reviews published from the late 1970s onward. Virtually all have been gathered for this collection, which offers a panoramic view of modern fiction, ranging from well-known authors like Barth and Pynchon to lesser-known but deserving ones, many published by small presses. Moore also reviews dozens of critical studies of this fiction, and takes some side trips into rock music and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Novel Explosives by Jim Gauer
Set against the backdrop of the Juárez drug wars, Novel Explosives is a groundbreaking work, a literary masterpiece that reads like a thriller, propelled by its narrative ingenuity, outlandish erudition, fiendish humor, and a maximalist, syncopated, jacked-up prose style—a joyride of a novel with one small catch: the deeper into the book you go, the more dangerous it gets.