It’s summer so maybe you need some books to read. Indie presses are the bestest.
Extinction by Ashley Dawson from OR Books. This is a devastating little big book about, a sustained attack on “capitalism’s global attack on the commons, the great trove of air, water, plants, and creatures that has been regarded traditionally as the inheritance of humanity as a whole.” We won’t be able to shop our way out of the apocalypse. (I wrote about it in more depth here).
American Candide by Mahendra Singh from Rosarium. I reviewed American Candide earlier this year on Biblioklept, writing:
Singh’s update-reboot-translation of Candide fittingly answers Voltaire’s pessimistic prescience with not just bitter affirmations of contemporary predation and evil, but also with an eye toward entertainment—to the affirmations of laughter.
Quiet Creature on the Corner is a nightmarish, abject, kinetic, surreal, picaresque read, a mysterious prose-poem that resists allegorical interpretation. I read it and then I read it again. It’s a puzzle. I enjoyed it tremendously.
Vertigo by Joanna Walsh from Dorothy. The stories here hum and hang together, evoking consciousness—consciousness’s anxieties, desires, its imaginative consolations. Vertigo is simultaneously disorienting and familiar, often quite funny, and sometimes a bit sad.
Postal Child by Joey Truman from Whisk(e)y Tit. Not a “bit sad” but “sad sad.” Abject and cruel and terrifying. But also…funny? Maybe?
Crossing the Sea with Syrians on the Exodus to Europe by Wolfgang Bauer with photographs by Stanislav Krupar; (English translation by Sarah Prybus). From And Other Stories. Brutal and moving reportage.
Syrian Notebooks: Inside the Homs Uprising by Jonathan Littell (English translation by Charlotte Mandell). From Verso. Three weeks reporting from hell—terse, precise, and raw. Littell functions as eyes and ears and a body, a concrete sensing thing, an immediate thing, a thing that doesn’t try to synthesize or process or otherwise mediate what is happening to him.