Category Archives: Hitting Shelves

HITTING SHELVES: The Book of Formation by Ross Simonini

The Book of Formation by Ross Simonini comes out today! It’s a debut novel, told in a series of eight interviews, centering on a cult-like self-help “movement” in the 1990s and the child who becomes a guinea pig for its radical ideas. You will love this book. We asked the author how he’s celebrating.

I’ll wake up in Manhattan in a highrise. I’ll be in town to give two on-stage interviews, conduct a children’s choir singing a song I wrote about failure, and exhibit a collection of galleys of The Book of Formation, which I have destroyed, mostly by coating with various foods.

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HITTING SHELVES #50: Sip by Brian Allen Carr

Sip by Brian Allen Carr comes out today! It’s a debut novel about a trio of survivors in a post-apocalyptic Texas where “shadow addicts” can get high by drinking their own shadow. We’ve been waiting for Brian Allen Carr to drop a novel for a long time, so we asked him how he’s celebrating the book’s release.

Putting out a book is both a relief and a burden. On the one hand you get to see years of work pay off in some concrete sense, on the other hand you are essentially asking the world of readers, writers, critics, and such to pass judgment on a significant chunk of your life’s efforts. Some people liken it to having a child. That’s horse dookie. It would only be like having a kid if the sole reason to have children was so society could inspect said child in order to determine the worth of its parents. Publishing a book is an excuse for the world to tell you how great or insignificant you are. We’ll see.

In that regard, I’m not sure that the endeavor warrants celebration. Continue reading

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HITTING SHELVES #49: Motherest by Kristen Iskandrian

Motherest by Kristen Iskandrian comes out today! It’s a dark and moving coming-of-age novel in which Agnes, a college student in the 1990s grappling with a broken home and a seriously fucked-up campus life, writes letters to her mother, who has seemingly disappeared. We asked Kristen Iskandrian how she’s celebrating the book’s release.

I’m having a book launch on August 1, the day of publication, which feels like the precisely right exclamation point. My good friends and neighbors Chip Brantley and Elizabeth Hughey own and run an after-school creative writing center called Desert Island Supply Co., which is such a beautiful, unique space—a former apothecary, I think—very close to my house. They kindly offered to host, and I really can’t think of a better place to celebrate, to sort of ceremoniously let go of this thing that has been only mine for so long, and pass it into other people’s hands. I’ll give a reading, possibly answer some questions, sign some books, and then hopefully just hang out with family and friends and anyone else who wants to come say hi. Continue reading

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HITTING SHELVES #47: The Windfall by Diksha Basu

The Windfall by Diksha Basu comes out today! It’s a hilarious and wise debut novel about a family discovering the precariousness of social status and what it means to “make it” in modern India. You’ll love it. We asked the author how she’s celebrating her book’s release.

I have an eight-week old baby and did you know that an adult brain requires five hours of uninterrupted sleep in order to function but newborns need to feed every three hours? Why is evolution failing us? When I found out I was going to have a baby exactly two months before my book hit shelves, my husband and I said we had either timed it all really well or really badly. I’m happy to report it turns out we timed it all pretty well. Having essentially two babies out in the world helps keep all my anxiety in check because I’m always distracted and exhausted.

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HITTING SHELVES #46: Since I Laid My Burden Down by Brontez Purnell

Since I Laid My Burden Down by Brontez Purnell comes out today! It’s a debut novel about how one man’s early sexual and artistic escapades grow into a life, and it’s one of the most unflinching and bone-true things you’ll read all year . We asked the author one question.

Fiction Advocate: Brontez! How are you celebrating the publication of Since I Laid My Burden Down?

Brontez Purnell: Since I Laid My Burden Down is a book about loss, reconciliation, and pondering the question of “Who deserves love?” Continue reading

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HITTING SHELVES #45: The Australian by Emma Smith-Stevens

The Australian by Emma Smith-Stevens comes out today! It’s a hilarious debut novel about a smiling, suntanned, backpack-wearing Australian (you know the type) and his search for meaning. We asked the author one question.

Fiction Advocate: Emma! How are you celebrating the publication of The Australian?

Emma Smith-Stevens: On the publication date of my novel The Australian (today!), I’m doing a reading at Unnamable Books in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn at 7pm. Some really incredible writers—Rachel Khong, Aaron Thier, and Nick Flynn—will be reading as well. It’s open to the public and I invite you, too: the more the merrier! Bring friends! Evil twins! Friends with benefits! Lovers—secret or otherwise! Frienemies! Doppelgängers! Those with whom you have relationships that you would describe as “complicated!” Bring ‘em all! Continue reading

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