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ENTERING HISTORY by Mary Stewart Hammond
In her much-anticipated new collection, Mary Stewart Hammond’s lyrical narratives chronicle a long marriage rich with wit, dark irony, and poignancy, while reaching into personal and political histories that belong to everyone. Of Hammond’s poems, James Merrill says “they brim with what the whole world knows.”
Entering History opens on a middle-aged couple, modern-day travelers in an ancient setting. The collection follows their relationship through time and place, combining the personal and the historical in stories of the family―siblings, a daughter, and the very different marriage of the poet’s parents.
GHOST SONGS by Regina McBride
“Moving back and forth in time, McBride ponders her memories of growing up and floundering into adulthood. Visited by ghosts she tries to deny, she embraces her heritage and travels to Ireland in search of a way to put her father’s spirit to rest. She repeatedly returns to images and memories of her parents—happy, furious, disappointed, and damaged. Clearly, no one came out of that household alive, not really, and this memoir of survival is even more about reinvention than reflecting on the past. Harrowing, sincere, and unforgettable.” -Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)
THE BOY WHO HAD A PEACH TREE GROWING OUT OF HIS HEAH: … AND OTHER NATURAL PHENOMENA (Collected Stories) by Hal Ackerman
From a man in need of a haircut picking up a hitchhiking rabbi whose Romanian village was decimated by the Nazis, to a family of rabbits, to an elderly man who might have gone to school with Lenin, to a hunch bettor at the race track who uses the results as a ouija board to his future, to a man whose wife left him via a text message, to the inner life of a queen bee, this eclectic compilation of stories examines the ties of family that break and bind. They are like sun showers, simultaneously filled with laughter and tears.
“The collection strongly recalls the conflicted, masculine themes and anxieties of John Updike, Saul Bellow, and Phillip Roth, but mostly Updike.”– KIRKUS REVIEW
“When Ackerman is at his best, as in “Roof Garden” or “Leash,” he captures an elusive sensation of loss to marvelous effect. The former story follows a man spending a day with his daughter before he tells her about his decision to leave his wife. It would fit neatly in an Updike Collection” — KIRKUS REVIEW