Friday, July 10, 2015

New Books

For the remainder of summer (after you finish The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories), a small bucket of new books -- something here for everyone, as they say.  From psychological thriller to slice-of-life; magical realism to horror; even a magazine devoted to Pancho Villa!  Read to succeed.

All That Followed
Gabriel Urza
Henry Holt and Co. - August

[from the publisher]
A psychologically twisting novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town; a dazzling debut in the tradition of Daniel Alarcón and Mohsin Hamid.

It's 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain's northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years have passed since the kidnapping and murder of a young local politician--a family man and father--and the town's rhythms have almost returned to normal. But in the aftermath of the Atocha train bombings in Madrid, an act of terrorism that rocked a nation and a world, the townspeople want a reckoning of Muriga's own troubled past: Everyone knows who pulled the trigger five years ago, but is the young man now behind bars the only one to blame? All That Followed peels away the layers of a crime complicated by history, love, and betrayal. The accounts of three townspeople in particular--the councilman's beautiful young widow, the teenage radical now in jail for the crime, and an aging American teacher hiding a traumatic past of his own--hold the key to what really happened. And for these three, it's finally time to confront what they can find of the truth.

Inspired by a true story, All That Followed is a powerful, multifaceted novel about a nefarious kind of violence that can take hold when we least expect. Urgent, elegant, and gorgeously atmospheric, Urza's debut is a book for the world we live in now, and it marks the arrival of a brilliant new writer to watch.

Gabriel Urza received his MFA from the Ohio State University. His family is from the Basque region of Spain where he lived for several years. He is a grant recipient from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and his short fiction and essays have been published in Riverteeth, Hobart, Erlea, The Kenyon Review, West Branch, Slate and other publications. He also has a degree in law from the University of Notre Dame and has spent several years as a public defender in Reno, Nevada.

Make Your Home Among Strangers
Jennine Capó Crucet

St. Martin's Press - August

[from the publisher]
The arresting debut novel from award-winning writer Jennine Capó Crucet.

When Lizet-the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school-secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy-Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom-without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live.

Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family, especially her mother.

Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it's the new story of what it means to be American today. 

Jennine Capó Crucet  is the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers and a story collection, How to Leave Hialeah, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, John Gardner Book Prize, Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and named a Best Book of the Year by the Miami Herald and the Latinidad List. A PEN/O. Henry Prize winner and Bread Loaf Fellow, she was a Picador Guest Professor at the University of Leipzig, Germany. She was raised in Miami and is currently assistant professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Return to Arroyo Grande
Jesús Salvador Treviño
Arte Público Press - September

[from the publisher]
Odd things continue to happen to the characters that renowned author and filmmaker Jesús Salvador Treviño introduced in his captivating debut, The Fabulous Sinkhole and Other Stories.  Many in these interrelated stories have left their hometown to follow their dreams, but in the raucous title story they all return in a resounding confirmation of the power of community.  Weaving magical realism with issues of loss, memory and identity, Treviño once again confirms his place as a powerful storyteller in Chicano -- and American -- literature.

Jesús Salvador Treviño is an award-winning filmmaker, known for his pioneering documentaries and feature films about the Chicano experience.  He is the author of  The Fabulous Sinkhole and Other Stories (Arte Público Press, 2005) and a critically acclaimed memoir, Eyewitness:  A Filmmaker's Memoir of the Chicano Movement (Arte Público Press, 2001).

The main theme of the July issue of True West magazine is Pancho Villa. Great issue with numerous photos and articles about the bandit hero of the Mexican Revolution (thanks to Mario Acevedo for turning me on to this edition of the magazine.)   Check it out, and go to the mag's website for a slide show of photographs and a taste of some of the articles.

Finally, news about an upcoming horror anthology that features La Bloga's good buddy, Mario Acevedo, as well as several other Colorado writers.  Sorta creepy, sorta kooky, sorta spooky.

Nightmares Unhinged: An Anthology of Dark Tales
Edited by Joshua Viola
Hex Publishers - September

[from the publisher]
Nightmares come in many forms. Some rend the veil of sleep with heart-stopping madness. Others defy sanity to leave a helpless corner of your mind twitching for release. Sometimes, hours after waking, a nightmare drifts across your memory, tainting your day with wisps of discomfort. Nightmares Unhinged reveals horror in all its mutable forms—abject to absurd—through twenty tales of terror.

Contributors include Mario Acevedo, bestselling author of the Felix Gomez vampire series; Nebula Award winner Edward Bryant; New York Times bestseller Keith Ferrell; Jeanne C. Stein, bestselling author of The Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles; Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, Black Quill and Colorado Book Award finalist Stephen Graham Jones; Bram Stoker Award winner Steve Rasnic Tem; Hugo Award winner Jason Heller; Colorado Book Award winner Warren Hammond; Gary Jonas and many others. New York Times bestseller Steve Alten will pen the book's foreword. Nightmares Unhinged is edited by USA Best Book Award winner Joshua Viola and is the first anthology from Hex Publishers.

A portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to Rocky Mountain Cancer Assistance in honor of Melanie Tem.


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