Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the September/October 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 Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart and Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry by the late Adrienne Rich.

“Barry Cohen, a man with 2.4 billion dollars of assets under management, staggered into the Port Authority Bus Terminal.” Lake Success (Random House, September 2018) by Gary Shteyngart. Fifth book, fourth novel. Agent: Denise Shannon. Editor: Susan Kamil. Publicist: Barbara Fillon. 

“It started with two births / as quiet as pinpricks // two translucent ripples / in the Colorado river // or two white breezes / kicking up clay” Perennial (Coffee House Press, August 2018) by Kelly Forsythe. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Lizzie Davis. Publicist: Mandy Medley. 

“One of the folktale archetypes, according to the Aarne–Thompson classification of these stories, tells of how ‘a mysterious or threatening helper is defeated when the hero or heroine discovers his name.’” Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays) (Haymarket Books, September 2018) by Rebecca Solnit. Twentieth book, sixth essay collection. Agent: None. Editor: Caroline Luft. Publicist: Jim Plank.

“What was she doing in Havana?” The Third Hotel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2018) by Laura van den Berg. Fourth book, second novel. Agent: Katherine Fausset. Editor: Emily Bell. Publicist: Chloe Texier-Rose.

“If anything distinguishes my generation of American writers, it’s that everyone in my generation became a writer, simply through the act of going online.” Attention: Dispatches From a Land of Distraction (Random House, August 2018) by Joshua Cohen. Eighth book, first essay collection. Agent: Edward Orloff. Editor: Sam Nicholson. Publicist: Isabella Biedenharn.

“I have begun, one month since, to actually believe / only George Zimmerman screamed behind that 911 call.” Anagnorisis (TriQuarterly Books, September 2018) by Kyle Dargan. Fifth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Parneshia Jones. Publicist: JD Wilson.

“The coffin had no body in it.” Ohio (Simon & Schuster, August 2018) by Stephen Markley. Third book, first novel. Agent: Susan Golomb. Editor: Cary Goldstein. Publicist: Sarah Reidy.

“Way back—oh, not all that long ago, actually, just a couple of years, but back before I’d gotten a glimpse of the gears and levers and pulleys that dredge the future up from the earth’s core to its surface—I was going to a lot of parties.” Your Duck Is My Duck (Ecco, September 2018) by Deborah Eisenberg. Seventh book, story collection. Agent: Lynn Nesbit. Editor: Daniel Halpern. Publicist: Martin Wilson. 

“Praise be to beef liver stew, to gravy biscuits / and home-baked bread, to women / in workpants and suspenders who worked like dogs / in the packing shed, up to elbows / in rose clippings.” Isako Isako (Alice James Books, September 2018) by Mia Ayumi Malhotra. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Carey Salerno. Publicist: Alyson Sinclair. 

“The last time I saw him, Carlos Carballo was climbing with difficulty into a police van, his hands cuffed behind has back and his head hunched down between his shoulders, while a news ticker running along the bottom of the screen reported the reason for his arrest: the attempted theft of the serge suit of an assassinated politician.” The Shape of the Ruins (Riverhead Books, September 2018) by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean. Tenth book, seventh novel. Agent: María Lynch. Editor: Laura Perciasepe. Publicists: Jynne Dilling Martin and Glory Anne Plata.

Enchantée, says the key in my hand.” Human Hours (Graywolf Press, September 2018) by Catherine Barnett. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jeff Shotts. Publicist: Caroline Nitz.  

“Ibsen’s When We Dead Awaken is a play about the use that the male artist and thinker—in the process of creating culture as we know it—has made of women, in his life and in his work; and about a woman’s slow struggling awakening to the use to which her life has been put.” Essential Essays: Culture, Politics, and the Art of Poetry (Norton, August 2018) by the late Adrienne Rich. Thirty-third book, eighth essay collection. Agent: Ellen Geiger. Editor: Jill Bialosky. Publicist: Rachel Salzman. 

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