- Writers Retreat
- Writers in School
- OUR SUPPORTERS
New Month! New books!
This August, FSG Originals is publishing a new essay collection by writer and poet Wayne Koestenbaum. My 1980s and Other Essays is a series of vivid cultural snapshots and a humorous detailed autobiographical portrait.
From the publisher:
My 1980s and Other Essays opens with a series of manifestos—or, perhaps more appropriately, a series of impassioned disclosures, intellectual and personal. It then proceeds to wrestle with a series of major cultural figures, the author’s own lodestars and lodestones: literary (John Ashbery, Roberto Bolaño, James Schuyler), artistic (Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol), and simply iconic (Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Lana Turner). And then there is the personal—the voice, the style, the flair—that is unquestionably Koestenbaum. It amounts to a kind of intellectual autobiography that culminates in a string of passionate calls to creativity; arguments in favor of detail and nuance, and attention; a defense of pleasure, hunger, and desire in culture and experience.
If just one apocalypse doesn’t fit your fancy why not try a hundred? Writer and esteemed John Guare Fellow Lucy Corin’s debut collection, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (McSweeny’s), uses the dual themes of uncanny conflicts and warped prophetic revelations as springboards to explore the human condition.
Lucy Corin’s dazzling new collection is powered by one hundred apocalypses: a series of short stories, many only a few lines, that illuminate moments of vexation and crisis, revelations and revolutions. An apocalypse might come in the form of the end of a relationship or the end of the world, but what it exposes is the tricky landscape of our longing for a clean slate.
Three longer stories are equally visionary: in “Eyes of Dogs,” a soldier returns from war and encounters a witch who may in fact be his mother; “Madmen” describes an America where children who reach adolescence choose the madman who will accompany them into adulthood; in “Godzilla versus the Smog Monster,” a teenager is flustered by his older, wilder neighbor while California burns on the other side of the continent.
This month also sees the release of Mark Morrisroe: Mark Dirt (Paper Chase Press), a survey-cum-chapbook of the iconic underground artist’s work:
The photographs of Mark Morrisroe (1959–1989) are steeped in fragility, both as material objects scored and pockmarked by the vicissitudes of time, and as forlorn commemorations of brief moments in all too brief lives. In this sense, the photographs are also objects of ephemera, of a piece with Morrisroe’s equally fragile magazines, collages and drawings, which this volume compiles for the first time. Containing much previously unpublished work, Mark Dirt includes spreads from Morrisroe’s punk zine Dirt (“he sort of invented the Boston punk scene,” Jack Pierson later recalled of his former lover), as well as correspondence and notes by the artist, sketches and even his last will and testament. All of these documents have been assembled by Morrisroe’s longtime partner Ramsey McPhillips, and represent the most complete survey of the artist’s non-photographic works.
Young love is almost never easy. Sara Farizan’s new young adult novel book If You Could Be Mine (Algonquin Young Readers) examines the troubled strains of adolescent same-sex love and transsexual culture in contemporary Iran:
[…] a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.
So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.
This August, sex education gets a comic book makeover by editors Saiya Miller and Liza Bley. Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book is a playful, forward thinking, and informative guide to the ins and outs of human sexuality:
As teenagers today navigate increasingly fluid identities and choices, there is a demand for an accessible, interactive tool to help share knowledge about sex and sexual health; one that demystifies the facts and speaks frankly about experiences whose lessons often fall into the grey areas.
Since 2008, Miller and Bley have held an open call for young people to create comics that address a variety of topics involved with sex education. We have since produced several issues of a sex-ed comic called Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf. The work is chosen from a vastly varied group of submissions and attempts to challenge hetero and gender normative practices in sex education. The comics address topics like body image, safer sex, consent, and relationships, from positions that have historically been left out of sex education.
These graphically illustrated personal narratives address different themes, such as “Firsts,” “Bodies,” “Health,” “Age,” and “Endings.” The book will bring together the best of the material from the Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf comics, along with new graphic stories and writing by the editors providing personal and sociological background.
Also this month, expect new books from Joanna Hoffman, Susana Pena, and Diana Simmonds.
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.