Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the March/April 2018 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 Feel Free by Zadie Smith and I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death by Maggie O’Farrell. 

“The universe heaves with laughter, and I’m all about my lopsided, self-defining tale.” Men and Apparitions (Soft Skull Press, March 2018) by Lynne Tillman. Fifteenth book, sixth novel. Agent: Joy Harris. Editor: Yuka Igarashi. Publicist: Megan Fishmann.

“I was having dinner with old friends in Rome when one of them turned to me and said: ‘But of course your writing so far has been a fifteen-year psychodrama.’” Feel Free (Penguin Press, February 2018) by Zadie Smith. Eighth book, second essay collection. Agent: Georgia Garrett. Editor: Ann Godoff. Publicist: Juliana Kiyan.

“You remind me of the Underground Railroad.” Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, March 2018) by Aaron Coleman. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Martha Rhodes. Publicist: Clarissa Long.

“Seated in a copper bathtub, Bear Bavinsky dunks his head under steaming water and shakes out his beard, flinging droplets across the art studio.” The Italian Teacher (Viking, March 2018) by Tom Rachman. Fourth book, third novel. Agent: Elyse Cheney. Editor: Andrea Schulz. Publicist: Olivia Taussig.

“At the Möbius Strip Club of Grief, come on in, the ladies are XXX!” The Möbius Strip Club of Grief (Tin House Books, February 2018) by Bianca Stone. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Tony Perez. Publicist: Sabrina Wise.

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of all this sitting by herself with nothing to do: every so often she tried again to read the book in her lap, but it was made up almost exclusively of long paragraphs, and no quotation marks whatsoever, and what is the point of a book, thought Alice, that does not have any quotation marks?” Asymmetry (Simon & Schuster, February 2018) by Lisa Halliday. First book, novel. Agent: Chris Parris-Lamb. Editor: Ira Silverberg. Publicist: Anne Tate Pearce.

“My mother and I drove east across the flatlands, along the vast floor of an ancient sea.” The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border (Riverhead Books, February 2018) by Francisco Cantú. First book, memoir. Agent: Rebecca Gradinger. Editor: Becky Saletan. Publicists: Jynne Dilling Martin and Glory Anne Plata.

“On the path ahead, stepping out from behind a boulder, a man appears.” I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death (Knopf, February 2018) by Maggie O’Farrell. Eighth book, first memoir. Agent: Christy Fletcher. Editor: Jordan Pavlin. Publicist: Josefine Kals.

“I knew I had gotten older / when I noticed women no longer / wore bras, which // didn’t happen until my eyes / began slowly lightening with wrinkles, / though not in my eyes // was I old, / nor could I see myself as 40 / and still in college.” Post Traumatic Hood Disorder (Sarabande Books, March 2018) by David Tomas Martinez. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Sarah Gorham. Publicist: Joanna Englert.

“In a week the inquiry into the collapse of the Baliverna begins.” Catastrophe (Ecco, March 2018) by the late Dino Buzzati, translated from the Italian by Judith Landry. Seventh story collection of more than twenty books. Agent: Maria Vittoria Albertini. Editor: Gabriella Doob. Publicist: James Faccinto.

“If I concentrate, I can see where the river should be.” Let’s No One Get Hurt (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, March 2018) by Jon Pineda. Sixth book, second novel. Agent: None. Editor: Emily Bell. Publicist: Steven Pfau.

“Somewhere in this insomniac night / my life is beginning / without me.” Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf Press, March 2018) by Tarfia Faizullah. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jeff Shotts. Publicist: Caroline Nitz.