Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the September/October 2017 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 Celeste Ng’s new novel Little Fires Everywhere and Frank Bidart’s Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016, for a glimpse into the worlds of these new and noteworthy titles.

“Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.” Little Fires Everywhere (Penguin Press, September 2017) by Celeste Ng. Second book, novel. Agent: Julie Barer. Editor: Virginia Smith Younce. Publicist: Juliana Kiyan.

“What I hope (when I hope) is that we’ll / see each other again,— // … and again reach the VEIN // in which we loved each other...” Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2017) by Frank Bidart. Ninth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jonathan Galassi. Publicist: Steven Pfau.

“Genus Jackson was killed in Cotton County, Georgia, on a summer midnight in 1930, when the newborn twins were fast asleep.” The Twelve-Mile Straight (Ecco, September 2017) by Eleanor Henderson. Second book, novel. Agent: Jim Rutman. Editor: Megan Lynch. Publicist: Sonya Cheuse.

“One day, in 1999, an awkward hand-addressed letter appeared in my hallway.” Afterglow (a dog memoir) (Grove Press, September 2017) by Eileen Myles. Eighteenth book, first memoir. Agent: PJ Mark. Editor: Zachary Pace. Publicists: Deb Seager and John Mark Boling.

“I must leave this city today and come to you.” Stay With Me (Knopf, August 2017) by Ayobami Adebayo. First book, novel. Agent: Kathy Robbins. Editor: Jennifer Jackson. Publicist: Katie Schoder.

“The old house hunkers on its hill, all peeling white paint, bay windows, and spindled wooden railings overgrown with climbing roses and poison oak.” My Absolute Darling (Riverhead Books, August 2017) by Gabriel Tallent. First book, novel. Agent: Joy Harris. Editor: Sarah McGrath. Publicists: Jynne Dilling Martin and Claire McGinnis.

“28 August. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into.” Autumn (Penguin Press, August 2017) by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey. Tenth of thirteen books, ninth novel. Agent: Andrew Wylie. Editor: Ann Godoff. Publicist: Gail Brussel.

“My life seems to be an increasing revelation of the intimate face of universal struggle.” We’re On: A June Jordan Reader (Alice James Books, September 2017), collected poetry and nonfiction by June Jordan. Agent: None. Editors: Christoph Keller and Jan Heller Levi. Publicist: Alyssa Neptune.

“In the early hour.” Early Hour (Copper Canyon Press, August 2017) by Michael McGriff. Fourth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Michael Wiegers. Publicist: Emily Grise.

“A lifetime or two ago, I lived with my friends Heather and Pete on Armitage Avenue, just west of Western.” The Wrong Way to Save Your Life (Harper Perennial, August 2017) by Megan Stielstra. Third book, second essay collection. Agent: Meredith Kaffel Simonoff. Editor: Emily Griffin. Publicist: Amanda Pelletier.

“I am a child sitting in my wooden flip-top desk in my fourth grade classroom listening to Miss Hudson read Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken,’ a poem about two paths and a crossroad.” Poetry Will Save Your Life (Atria Books, August 2017) by Jill Bialosky. Ninth book, second memoir. Agent: Sarah Chalfant. Editor: Peter Borland. Publicist: Lisa Sciambra.

“A tour guide through your robbery / He also is // Cigarette saying, ‘look what I did about your silence.’” Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights Publishers, September 2017) by Tongo Eisen-Martin. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Elaine Katzenberger. Publicist: Chris Carosi.