Luster by Raven Leilani
No one wants what no one wants.
And how do we even know what we want? How do we know we're ready to take it?
Edie is slip up her way through her twenties-sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of wrong sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage-with rules.
As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of modern sexual manners and racial politics weren't hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric's home-though not by Eric. She becomes a faltering ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows.
Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani's Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life-her hunger, her anger-in a tumultuous era. It is also a pursuing, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.
Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey
Natasha Trethewey was born in Mississippi in the 60s to a black mother and a white father. When she was six, Natasha's parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Atlanta. There, her mother met the man who would become her second husband, and Natasha's stepfather. While she was still a child, Natasha decided that she would not tell her mother about what her stepfather did when she was not there: the quiet bullying and control, the games of cat and mouse. Her mother kept her own secrets, secrets that grew harder to hide as Natasha came of age. When Natasha was nineteen and away at college, her stepfather shot her mother dead on the driveway outside their home. With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence, and a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Luminous, urgent, and visceral, it cements Trethewey's position as one of the most important voices in America today.
Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
Franny Stone has always been a pilgrim. By following the ocean’s tides and the birds that soar above, she can forget the losses that have haunted her life. But when the wild she so loves begins to disappear, Franny can no longer wander without a destination. She arrives in remote Greenland with one purpose: to find the world’s last herd of Arctic terns and follow them on their final migration. She convinces Ennis Malone, captain of the Saghani, to take her onboard, winning over his savory, eccentric crew with promises that the birds she is tracking will lead them to fish.
As the Saghani fights its way south, Franny’s new shipmates begin to realize that the beguiling scientist in their midst is not who she seems. Battered by night terrors, accumulating a pile of letters to her husband, and dead set on following the terns at any cost, Franny is full of dark secrets. When the story of her past begins to unspool, Ennis and his crew must ask themselves what Franny is really running toward—and running from.
The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi
A thrilling, wildly inventive nesting doll of a mystery, in which a young editor travels to a remote Mediterranean village in the hopes of convincing a reclusive writer to republish his collection of detective stories, only to realize that there are greater mysteries beyond the pages of books.
There are rules for murder mysteries. There must be a oblation. A suspect. A detective. Grant McAllister, a professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked all the rules out – and wrote seven perfect detective stories to demonstrate. But that was thirty years ago. Now Grant lives in seclusion on a remote Mediterranean island, counting the rest of his days. Until Julia Hart, a sharp, ambitious editor knocks on his door. Julia wishes to republish his book, and...