Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the March/April 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 Casting Deep Shade by C. D. Wright and The White Card: A Play by Claudia Rankine.

“It is near the end now.” What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance (Penguin Press, March 2019) by Carolyn Forché. Fifth book, first memoir. Agent: Bill Clegg. Editor: Christopher Richards. Publicist: Sarah Hutson.

“Two hours before he died, Abdel Latif al-Salim looked his son Bolbol straight in the eye with as much of his remaining strength as he could muster to extract a solemn vow and repeated his request to be buried in the cemetery of Anabiya.” Death Is Hard Work (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 2019) by Khaled Khalifa, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price. Fifth book, novel. Agent: Yasmina Jraissati. Editor: Jeremy Davies. Publicist: Brian Gittis.

“Harriet Lee’s gingerbread is not comfort food.” Gingerbread (Riverhead Books, March 2019) by Helen Oyeyemi. Seventh book, sixth novel. Agent: Jin Auh. Editor: Sarah McGrath. Publicist: Glory Anne Plata.

“The sounds of a tennis match.” The White Card: A Play (Graywolf Press, March 2019) by Claudia Rankine. Sixth book, first play. Agent: Frances Coady. Editor: Jeff Shotts. Publicist: Caroline Nitz.

“A man is following me on US-93 in Idaho, his red truck a fire-cracker in my rearview mirror.” I Am a Stranger Here Myself (University of New Mexico Press, March 2019) by Debra Gwartney. Second book, memoir. Agent: Gail Hochman. Editor: Elise M. McHugh. Publicist: Adelia Humme.

“In San Salvador, / Tonal (my marido) works / night shift knitting clothing for export.” When I Walk Through That Door, I Am: An Immigrant Mother’s Quest for Freedom (Beacon Press, February 2019) by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Twenty-third book, seventeenth poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Helene Atwan. Publicist: Michelle Betters. 

“The boy wore a black parka, a matching ski cap, blue jeans, and sneakers; he appeared to be five years old; and he was weeping.” The Volunteer (Penguin Press, March 2019) by Salvatore Scibona. Second book, novel. Agent: Bill Clegg. Editor: William Heyward. Publicist: Liz Calamari.

“To love one another with quantum certainty is to volumize the stars.” Mitochondrial Night (Coffee House Press, March 2019) by Ed Bok Lee. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Erika Stevens. Publicist: Mandy Medley. 

“It happened quickly.” Willa & Hesper (Grand Central Publishing, February 2019) by Amy Feltman. First book, novel. Agent: Stephanie Delman. Editor: Maddie Caldwell. Publicist: Jordan Rubinstein. 

“Poses no significant litter problem.” Casting Deep Shade (Copper Canyon Press, February 2019) by C. D. Wright. Fifteenth book, fourteenth poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Michael Wiegers. Publicist: Laura Buccieri. 

“Years ago I left the wide, flat fields of rural Minnesota for the island of Manhattan to find the hero of my first novel.” Memories of the Future (Simon & Schuster, March 2019) by Siri Hustvedt. Sixteenth book, seventh novel. Agent: Amanda Urban. Editor: Cary Goldstein. Publicist: Amanda Lang.

“It began one day at the shore.” Be With Me Always (University of Nebraska Press, March 2019) by Randon Billings Noble. First book, essay collection. Agent: None. Editor: Alicia Christensen. Publicist: Anna Weir.