Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the July/August 2021 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford and The Vault by Andrés Cerpa, for a glimpse into the worlds of these new and noteworthy titles.

“Black boy in the backseat of a cop car / across the street from my daughter’s jr. high, // hands cuffed behind his back: hard to see / him like that.” Worldly Things (Milkweed Editions, June 2021) by Michael Kleber-Diggs. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Daniel Slager. Publicist: Claire Laine. 

“Herein I begin my account, with the help of my neighbor Simon Satler, since I am unable to read or write myself.” Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June 2021) by Rivka Galchen. Fifth book, second novel. Agent: Bill Clegg. Editor: Eric Chinski. Publicists: Brian Gittis and Lottchen Shivers. 

“This is a female text, composed while folding someone else’s clothes.” A Ghost in the Throat (Biblioasis, June 2021) by Doireann Ní Ghríofa. Sixth book, first memoir. Agent: Alba Ziegler-Bailey. Editors: Lisa Coen and Dan Wells. Publicist: Vanessa Stauffer. 

“One way to understand what had happened to her (what she had made happen, what she had insisted upon): it began with the house.” Wayward (Knopf, July 2021) by Dana Spiotta. Fifth book, novel. Agent: Melanie Jackson. Editor: Jordan Pavlin. Publicist: Sarah New. 

“& before I knew it, the violet sky / flagged with the sun’s violent demands: for magnolias in bloom, / natural light, any place magnanimous / without locks or doors.” Somebody Else Sold the World (Penguin Books, July 2021) by Adrian Matejka. Fifth book, poetry collection. Agent: Holly McGhee. Editor: Paul Slovak. Publicist: Kristina Fazzalaro. 

“‘Just remember, you can always come home.’” Somebody’s Daughter (Flatiron Books, June 2021) by Ashley C. Ford. First book, memoir. Agent: Maria Massie. Editor: Bryn Clark. Publicists: Marlena Bittner and Cat Kenney. 

“No one eats icicles anymore // And it’s rare to find people who drink water from a tap.” What Water Knows (TriQuarterly Books, June 2021) by Jacqueline Jones LaMon. Fourth book, third poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Parneshia Jones. Publicist: Olivia Aguilar. 

“In the morning, after his bath, Frank began to cry.” Permeable Boundaries (Fomite Press, June 2021) by MaryEllen Beveridge. Third book, story collection. Agent: None. Editor: Marc Estrin. Publicist: Donna Bister.  

“my proclivity toward ruin has only increased with my distance from it.” The Vault (Alice James Books, June 2021) by Andrés Cerpa. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Carey Salerno. Publicist: Emily Marquis. 

“You told me I talked in my sleep.” The Woman From Uruguay (Bloomsbury, July 2021) by Pedro Mairal, translated from the Spanish by Jennifer Croft. Twelfth book, fourth novel. Agent: Katie Grimm. Editor: Daniel Loedel. Publicist: Emily Fishman. 

“It is a cube, it is red, it is mountainous, / it is a bird of fire, it is the bones of the pelvis, it is a walnut, / it is treasured.” July (Sarabande Books, June 2021) by Kathleen Ossip. Fourth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Sarah Gorham. Publicists: Joanna Englert and Alyson Sinclair. 

“A double rainbow had changed the course of my relationship with the fox.” Fox & I: An Uncommon Friendship (Spiegel & Grau, July 2021) by Catherine Raven. First book, memoir. Agent: None. Editor: Cindy Spiegel. Publicist: Nicole Dewey.