Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the January/February 2015 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

“Her name was Caitlin, she was eighteen, and her own heart would sometimes wake her—flying away in that dream-race where finish lines grew farther away not nearer, where knees turned to taffy, or feet to stones.” Descent (Algonquin Books, January 2015) by Tim Johnston. Third book, second novel. Agent: Amy Berkower. Editor: Chuck Adams. Publicist: Michael Taeckens.

“That spring he holed up in the Smokies, in a tired resort hotel by the asylum so he could be closer to her.” West of Sunset (Viking, January 2015) by Stewart O’Nan. Eighteenth book, fifteenth novel. Agent: David Gernert. Editor: Paul Slovak. Publicists: Holly Watson and Christopher Smith.

“I was worked like a jackass for the worst part of my childhood, and offered up to climate and predator and vice, and introduced to solitude, and braced against hope, and dangled before the Lord our God, and schooled in the subtle truths and blatant lies of a half life in the American countryside, all because my parents did not trust that I would mature to their specifications in town.” Against the Country (Random House, January 2015) by Ben Metcalf. First book, novel. Agent: Andrew Wylie. Editor: Will Murphy. Publicist: Barbara Fillon.

“We were at the supermarket, shopping for the weekend.” Happy Are the Happy (Other Press, January 2015) by Yasmina Reza, translated from the French by John Cullen. Seventh book, novel. Agent: None. Editor: Judith Gurewich. Publicist: Jessica Greer.

“Notwithstanding the fact that one of them has gnawed a strip of flesh / from the shoulder of the salmon, / relieving it of a little darne, / the fish these six otters would fain / carry over the sandstone limen / and into Cuthbert’s cell, a fish garlanded with bay leaves / and laid out on a linden flitch // like a hauberked warrior laid out on his shield, / may yet be thought of as whole.” One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 2015) by Paul Muldoon. Twelfth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jonathan Galassi. Publicist: Sarah Scire.

“Tenderfoot was a pedicure parlor on Main Street near Channing.” Honeydew (Little, Brown, January 2015) by Edith Pearlman. Fifth book, story collection. Agent: Jill Kneerim. Editor: Ben George. Publicist: Carrie Neill. 

“In the tradition of Islam, the first word that was revealed to Mohammed was Igrá (Read!).” The Deep Zoo (Coffee House Press, January 2015) by Rikki Ducornet. Twenty-seventh book, sixth essay collection. Agent: Elise Capron. Editor: Chris Fischbach. Publicist: Amelia Foster.

“Each spring Alfred A. Knopf, the distinguished publisher of Willa Cather, Albert Camus, Isak Dinesen, André Gide, and Thomas Mann, sent New York scouts to the campus in search of new talent.” Publishing: A Writer’s Memoir (Bloomsbury, January 2015) by Gail Godwin. Twentieth book, first memoir. Agent: Moses Cardona. Editor: Nancy Miller. Publicist: Anthony W. LaSasso.

“The fog was thick when I left my bedsit and ventured out alone into the barren and murky city.” The Seventh Day (Pantheon Books, January 2015) by Yu Hua, translated from the Chinese by Allan H. Barr. Fourteenth book, fifth novel. Agent: None. Editor: LuAnn Walther. Publicist: Michiko Clark.

“Yes, dictionaries opening again / Yes, scorched across her forehead like a stain / Yes, less to say than cognate words contain / Yes, caffeine and butalbital for pain” A Stranger’s Mirror: New and Selected Poems 1994–2013 (Norton, January 2015) by Marilyn Hacker. Sixteenth book, fifteenth poetry collection. Agent: Frances Collin. Editor: Jill Bialosky. Publicist: Alice Rha.

“My boyfriend died when I was twenty-one.” A Bad Character (Knopf, January 2015) by Deepti Kapoor. First book, novel. Agent: David Godwin. Editor: Robin Desser. Publicist: Erica Hinsley.

“To feel a presence, they say, can be like a haunting.” Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, December 2014) by Dawn Lundy Martin. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Stephen Motika. Publicist: Stephen Motika.

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