Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the January/February 2019 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 Hark by Sam Lipstye and Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin.

“Perhaps there is one book for every life.” All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf (Crown, January 2019) by Katharine Smyth. First book, memoir. Agent: Anna Stein. Editor: Claire Potter. Publicist: Julia Bradshaw.

“I’ve known Death a long time, but now Death knows me.” The End of Loneliness (Penguin Books, January 2019) by Benedict Wells, translated from the German by Charlotte Collins. Fourth book, novel. Agent: Susanne Bauknecht. Editor: Casey Denis. Publicist: Colleen Boyle.

“The pose is stolen from Monroe, struck / in the sun’s floodlight, eyes lowered, / a long-stemmed plastic rose between her teeth.” Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems (Norton, January 2019) by Dorianne Laux. Sixth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jill Bialosky. Publicist: Sam Mitchell. 

“When I was a girl I would sneak down the hall late at night once my parents were asleep.” Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love (Knopf, January 2019) by Dani Shapiro. Tenth book, fifth memoir. Agent: Julie Barer. Editor: Jordan Pavlin. Publicist: Kathy Zuckerman.

“Our plans: 1. When I’ve finished my education and have the money, we’ll buy a house with lots of rooms and a balcony.” Last Night in Nuuk (Black Cat, January 2019) by Niviaq Korneliussen, translated from the Danish by Anna Halager. First book, novel. Agent: Lene Therkildsen. Editor: Amy Hundley. Publicist: Kait Astrella.

“Listen, before Hark, was it ever harder to be human?” Hark (Simon & Schuster, January 2019) by Sam Lipsyte. Sixth book, fourth novel. Agent: Eric Simonoff. Editor: Ira Silverberg. Publicist: Anne Tate Pearce.

“My name doesn’t matter.” We Cast a Shadow (One World, January 2019) by Maurice Carlos Ruffin. First book, novel. Agent: PJ Mark. Editor: Victory Matsui. Publicist: Gregory Kubie.

“When she reaches the road, Felicity understands her fate.” Mouthful of Birds (Riverhead Books, January 2019) by Samanta Schweblin, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell. Second of five books, second of four story collections. Agent: Gloria Gutiérrez. Editor: Laura Perciasepe. Publicist: Glory Anne Plata. 

“If anything, I’m a petty thief in a world of forgetting, a blade in an elm, / a bottled note in the sea of Victory Boulevard at dusk.” Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy (Alice James Books, January 2019) by Andrés Cerpa. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Carey Salerno. Publicist: Alyson Sinclair.

“The two girls, young women, met for the first time the day they moved in together, first semester of that first year of college, third floor of Banks Hall, a north-facing room that overlooked green lawns and treetops and streams of students coming and going on the walkways below.” The Current (Algonquin Books, January 2019) by Tim Johnston. Fourth book, third novel. Agent: Amy Berkower. Editor: Chuck Adams. Publicist: Michael McKenzie. 

“This book was conceived in a hospital.” Black Is the Body: Stories From My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine (Knopf, January 2019) by Emily Bernard. Second book, first memoir. Agent: Gail Hochman. Editor: Victoria Wilson. Publicist: Jessica Purcell.

“You deserve your beautiful life.” Loves You (Persea Books, January 2019) by Sarah Gambito. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Gabriel Fried. Publicist: Kelly Forsythe.