Featured Book: Ghost Songs by Regina McBride

imagesAdvance praise for 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)

 

“[A] soul-wrenching memoir. [A] powerful depiction of a teenager understanding the complexity of newfound adult responsibility, poverty, and her parents’ identities, while coming to terms with the trauma of loss and her encounters with the miraculous.”

–Publisher’s Weekly

 

“Harrowing yet beautiful, the book is not only an exploration of the interplay between memory and imagination. It is also an eloquent meditation on the painful burdens of the past that parents bequeath their children. A wrenchingly lyrical memoir of family and tragedy.

-Kirkus

 

“McBride resists a cohesive, comforting narrative, instead relating snippets of memory. She does not speculate expansively on her parents’ inner lives, nor interpret the actions of others. Her remembrances stand alone, giving the book an epistolary quality. As McBride wades through her grief, flashbacks of events and images from her youth must now be viewed through the lens of her parents’ suicides. [A] beautifully rendered work.”

–Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)

 

 

Events

Tuesday, October 11th, 6 pm

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Bookworks

4022 Rio Grande Blvd. NW

Thursday, October 13th, 5:30pm

Santa Fe, New Mexico

op.cit.books

157 Paseo de Peralta

Tuesday, October 18th, 7pm

New York City

Book Culture

536 West 112th Street

(A reading and a conversation with Rita Gabis)

Thursday, October 20th, 7pm

New York City

KGB Bar

85 East 4th Street

The Red Room, via New York Writer’s Workshop

(Reading with Rita Gabis and Susan Daitch)

Friday, October 28th, 7pm

Boston

Brookline Booksmith

279 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

(Reading with Margot Livesey)

Featured Book: TRIPLE SHOT, by Ross Klavan, Tim O’Mara, and Charles Salzberg

triple-shot-ebookflat-take-4TRIPLE SHOTby Ross Klavan, Tim O’Mara, and Charles Salzberg

Payback leads to an unmarked grave in Ross Klavan’s Thump Gun Hitched. A freak accident forces two L.A. cops to play out a deadly obsession that takes them from back alley payoffs to hard time in prison, then deep into the tunnel networks south of the border to a murderous town that’s only rumored to exist. Before the last shot is fired, everything they thought was certain proves to be a shadow and everything they trusted opens into a trap.

Life was so much simpler for Tim O’Mara’s marijuana-selling narrator in Smoked when all he had to worry about was keeping his customers, now ex-wife, and daughter satisfied. When he forges a reluctant alliance with his ex-wife’s new lover, he realizes there’s lots of money to be made from the world’s number one smuggled legal product—cigarettes. Unfortunately, his latest shipment contained some illegal automatic weapons. Now he’s playing with big boys and finds the price of the game way over his head. Murder was never part of his business model.

In Twist of Fate, Charles Salzberg follows Trish Sullivan, an ambitious TV reporter working in a small, upstate New York market. She receives a note from Meg Montgomery, a beautiful young woman convicted of murdering her husband and two children. Montgomery claims she’s innocent and Sullivan, smelling a big story that may garner some national attention, investigates and turns up evidence that the woman has, indeed, been framed. What happens next changes the life of both women in unexpected ways.

Featured Book: The Art of Work by Jen Fitzgerald

artofworkLouis Zukofsky once wrote that poetry’s lower limit was speech and its upper limit was music. Jen Fitzgerald’s The Art of Work recalibrates these limits for a contemporary working class poetry whose lower limit here is the killing floor or the garden-level apartment and whose upper limit might be workers’ comp or, quite simply, a shift coming to an end. The Art of Work turns this “history of necessity” into brilliant, tightly honed verse. It should be read across the classes, across the classrooms, in union halls, at literary festivals, and on the picket lines.

Mark Nowak

Jennifer Fitzgerald’s bolts of poetic power are increasingly lighting up the night. In this collection, Fitzgerald’s poetics sets out to rethread fragmented personal experience, family lore, socio-cultural prohibitions and allowances, in order to bear down on staid notions of labor and the working body. What’s achieved is a historical perspective that has both sweep and depth. What’s implicitly rejected is an all-too- easy thumbs up “like” of struggle. Fitzgerald’s elevated Intercultural Poetic Competence (IPC), borne of a rigorous examination of the political forces most proximate to her social origins, allows her to radically reframe both speculative and applied knowledges of Solidarity, knowledges long overdue for a retrofitting in the 21st century. Thus, it is not a “work of art” that intrigues us here, but rather, The Art of Work.

Rodrigo Toscano

Jen Fitzgerald describes her collection of poems in the Art of Work as being a collaborative labor. How else could it be with her amazing feel for the world of work and the art she finds in it. Her connection is made primarily through those who labor in the processing, retailing, and serving of animal products. Amongst the workers, many members of the United Food and Commercial Workers, there is story telling which brings you into a world which is tumultuous in images and emotions.

The workplace which separates families by long hours, the banality, the seldom appreciated skill, the glimpse of friendship, the ongoing struggle to maintain dignity, the solidarity when it exists presents work life at its toughest. Would that there was more light and message of hope. Perhaps that is the point. The organizing and cries for revolt and emancipation will have to come from our throats.

Dr. Elaine Bernard

Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard University

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