Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the January/February 2022 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 Mother, Fathers, and Others by Siri Hustvedt and Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang, for a glimpse into the worlds of these new and noteworthy titles.

“Here is the trick: Compartmentalize your life.” All Day Is a Long Time (Harper, January 2022) by David Sanchez. First book, novel. Agent: Dan Kirschen. Editor: Jenny Xu. Publicist: Katherine Beitner. 

“My paternal grandmother was ornery, fat, and formidable.” Mothers, Fathers, and Others (Simon & Schuster, December 2021) by Siri Hustvedt. Eighteenth book, sixth essay collection. Agent: Amanda Urban. Editor: Carina Guiterman. Publicist: Shannon Hennessey. 

“As a race, the human one, we all carry our histories of ancestry within us, and I am curious as to how mine helped determine the person and writer I became.” Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (Grove Press, January 2022) by Bernardine Evaristo. Ninth book, first memoir. Agent: Emma Paterson. Editor: Peter Blackstock. Publicist: John Mark Boling. 

“A crop of deer appears. They kiss / the cheek of my periphery.” Return Flight (Milkweed Editions, January 2022) by Jennifer Huang. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Daniel Slager. Publicist: Claire Laine. 

“Dear Skull // beloved braincase, body’s bleeding heart / helmet law” Arrhythmia (Persea Books, January 2022) by Emily Van Kley. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Gabriel Fried. Publicist: Jonah Fried. 

“The land seems boundless here.” Blue (Amazon Crossing, January 2022) by Emmelie Prophète, translated from the French by Tina Kover. Third of eleven books, first of eight novels. Agent: Marleen Seegers. Editor: Gabriella Page-Fort. Publicist: Beth Parker. 

“The basement smells wet. Other than random flashes of light coming through the small window, it’s dark everywhere.” The Almond in the Apricot (Deep Vellum, February 2022) by Sara Goudarzi. First book, novel. Agent: Lori Galvin. Editor: Will Evans. Publicists: Sarah Russo and Walker Rutter-Bowman. 

“Moments after I was born at the Mount Sinai Medical Center of Greater Miami, my parents were handed a document, which I stumbled upon years later, curled and yellow at the edges, inside of a shoebox in a corner of my closet.” High-Risk Homosexual (Soft Skull Press, January 2022) by Edgar Gomez. First book, memoir. Agent: Danielle Bukowski. Editor: Sarah Lyn Rogers. Publicist: Alisha Gorder. 

“He had come into the habit, before dinner, of taking a walk around the park: ten laps, as slow as he pleased on some evenings, briskly on others, and then back up the stairs of the house and to his room to wash his hands and straighten his tie before descending again to the table.” To Paradise (Doubleday, January 2022) by Hanya Yanagihara. Third book, novel. Agent: Anna Stein. Editor: Bill Thomas. Publicist: Todd Doughty. 

“En las ruinas / de esta ciudad calcinada encontramos tablillas y relieves en piedra caliza,” or, “In the ruins / of this charred city we found tablets and reliefs carved in limestone.” Ima and Coli Are the Tree That Was Never a Seed or, Ima y Coli son el árbol que nunca fue semilla (Akashic Books, December 2021) by Alejandro Pérez-Cortés, translated from the Spanish by Sean Manning. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Johnny Temple. Publicist: Susannah Lawrence. 

“When I think about people, I think about space, how much space a person takes up and how much use that person provides.” Joan Is Okay (Random House, January 2022) by Weike Wang. Second book, novel. Agent: Joy Harris. Editor: Robin Desser. Publicists: Courtney Mocklow and Carrie Neill. 

“The old man in the old house yells, ‘Let there be light,’ / then flicks a switch on the living room wall / to watch the house come to life.” Constellation Route (Alice James Books, January 2022) by Matthew Olzmann. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Carey Salerno. Publicist: Sarah Cassavant. 

Editor’s Note: The print version of this article states that Sara Goudarzi's debut novel will be published in January. Deep Vellum has moved the publication date to February.