2023 is going out with a BANG! If you are looking for a gift for the reader in your life (including yourself!), we have got an amazing list of brand new books, sure to hit for any and all your cravings. An impressive amount of Lammy finalists and winners have some fantastic books coming out this month, including Melissa Scott, Ronica Black, Joseph Hansen, Gerri Hill, Nan Campbell, David Bergman, and Bushra Rehman.
Described as an “incantatory long poem, [that] draws the reader into a dreamworld where the barrier between life and death grows porous, populated by ancestors and spirits,” Dream of Xibalba by Stephanie Adams-Santos is hard to give a synopsis of. The difficulty risked in the book avoids easy summary. A note in the table of contents provides a clue into this difficulty: “[This is a]poem in twelve parts, as in the hours of a clock. The fragments are untitled; the following are first lines.” The word fragment implies an incomplete nature and a lack of resolution. Read More
Justin Torres’ stunningly ambitious sophomore outing Blackouts does the tricky work of functioning as more than a novel. The book is an artifact documenting the life and work of queer activist Jan Gay, whose research from the 1930s became the basis of Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns—though, for reasons revealed as the story progresses, her name never graces the cover, nor is it attached to the finished work at all. We learn her true story through the fictional narrative of Juan Gay, a gay Puerto Rican man who, as he lies dying in a space between life and death called the Palace, shares his story and his connection to Jan with the story’s unnamed narrator, a young queer man of Puerto Rican ancestry who first connected with Juan ten years prior in a mental institution. Read More