BookList: The "Hey, Kids, Get Off My Lawn!" Edition

Article by staff

Photo by: 
Ryan McGuire

Hey, you! Feeling cranky? Yeah, we’ve all heard the old litany—that there are no new stories. And what’s with all these fresh-faced youngsters publishing books these days? Do we really need all of them? Why can’t they just go get real jobs? Well, here’s the reason: because every day, books by young writers come out that reveal our contemporary society in new ways, that push the boundaries of form, that speak in genuine ways to the timeless emotional dilemmas we all face.

So, here are some kids you DEFINITELY want on your lawn. Or, er, wait…does that sound creepy? Anyway, these books are terrific!

The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse (Pushkin Collection) Cover Image
By Ivan Repila, Sophie Hughes (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781782271017
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Pushkin Collection - November 24th, 2015

What happens when two boys fall down a well in the middle of nowhere? Take a second to imagine it. Okay, so whatever you just pictured doesn’t even come close to the harrowing experiences found in this slim novel, Repilla’s second. Yes, there’s maggots for dinner, weight loss, gradual insanity—but this book, somehow, isn’t a downer, for Repilla packs it with allegorical heft and haunting, lyrical prose. Our January pick for #BrazosBest deserves another look—and all of us on staff are eagerly awaiting Repilla’s next book.

Surveys (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781584351788
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Semiotext(e) - February 12th, 2016

Check out the description on the back of this debut novel—or, more specifically, the description of the main character, Colleen: “a twenty-three-year-old woman with almost not attachments or aspirations for her life.” Added to this, Stagg’s biography—she’s an editor in, yup, Brooklyn. So sure, this book is loaded with hip, millennial angst, but unlike much likeminded fiction, there’s nothing empty here. Stagg is a soulful, elegant writer, and her story is, ultimately, heartfelt, an exploration of young adult longing—that sense of loading your life with sex, drugs, and fame, but only getting farther away from who you really are.

Year of the Goose Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939419514
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Unnamed Press - December 22nd, 2015

Snack food companies? Fat camps? Modern-day China? Hallman’s debut novel is full of bold notions, but there’s nothing gimmicky here; while the author is eager to entertain with her whimsical, inventive prose, she isn’t desperate to please (though she does), and this book turns a tough eye to the problems affecting one of the United States’ most fraught diplomatic relationships. That cover—bright red, something you can’t ignore when you spot it on the shelf—says it all!

Olympic Butter Gold: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780810132221
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Northwestern University Press - November 30th, 2015

Who says rap can't be poetry? Seriously, though: the best emcees use rhythm, metaphors, syntax, and juxtaposition as much as any poet. No wordsmith illustrates this better than Fresno's own Jonathan Moody. Conjuring 2pac and James Brown, ROOs shoes and Agent Orange, OLYMPIC BUTTER GOLD is poetry for the people! Outcasts and hip-hop fans, take note.

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