Author Archives: Fiction Advocate

HITTING SHELVES #28: Liar by Rob Roberge

Liar

Liar by Rob Roberge comes out today!

It’s a memoir about mental illness and addiction. Roberge, who is both a writer and a rock musician, won’t be able to remember his past much longer, thanks to frequent concussions and a memory-eroding disease. This book is his attempt to preserve his memory before it’s gone. It’s tough to read about Roberge’s blackouts and relapses, but his vivid life and his meditations on death make Liar an intense account of day-to-day survival.

We asked the author one question.

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HITTING SHELVES #27: The Yid by Paul Goldberg

The Yid

The Yid by Paul Goldberg comes out today!

It’s the rather outrageous story of a Jewish actor in 1953 who gets confronted by Stalin’s goons during a pogrom. He responds by assembling a band of misfit heroes to assassinate their Shakespearean villain of a ruler. This debut novel has been compared to Inglourious Basterds and Seven Samurai, and the movie analogies are apt–you’ve never seen a book like The Yid before.

We asked the author one question.

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What We’re Reading – February 2016

Black Deutschland

Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney: “Jed–young, gay, black, out of rehab and out of prospects in his hometown of Chicago–flees to the city of his fantasies, a museum of modernism and decadence: Berlin. The paradise that tyranny created, the subsidized city isolated behind the Berlin Wall, is where he’s chosen to become the figure that he so admires, the black American expatriate.”

The Heart

The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal: “The Heart takes place over the twenty-four hours surrounding a fatal accident and a resulting heart transplant as life is taken from a young man and given to a woman close to death.”

The Queen of the Night

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: “Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past.”

Also this month: We’ll review new releases Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant-Moore and Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue.

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HITTING SHELVES #26: Soul Serenade by Rashod Ollison

Ollison-SoulSerenade

Soul Serenade by Rashod Ollison comes out today!

It’s a coming-of-age memoir set in Arkansas in the 1980s. When his father returns from the Vietnam War “dead on the inside,” the author, who is beginning to understand his own same-sex attraction, dives deep into the music of Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and other soul luminaries, eventually becoming an award-winning pop music critic. Soul Serenade is about how great music can lift the despair of poverty and violence.

We asked the author one question.

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HITTING SHELVES #25: The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks

The Unfinished World

The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks comes out today!

It’s a debut collection of uncanny stories that begin with lines like “Today is the opening day of werewolf season” and “Lancelot has been summoned out of sleep to find a secret kingdom.” Amber Sparks can do scary, she can do bizarre, she can do delightful–she can do anything. The Unfinished World is a string of jewels.

We asked the author one question.

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What We’re Reading – January 2016

The Portable Veblen

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie: “An exuberant, one-of-a-kind novel about love and family, war and nature, new money and old values by a brilliant New Yorker contributor.”

Shame and Wonder

Shame and Wonder by David Searcy: “The twenty-one essays in David Searcy’s debut collection are captivating, daring—and completely unlike anything else you’ve read before. Forging connections between the sublime and the mundane, this is a work of true grace, wisdom, and joy.”

Mr. Splitfoot

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt: “A contemporary gothic from an author in the company of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender, Mr. Splitfoot tracks two women in two times as they march toward a mysterious reckoning.”

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