GRAYWOLF PRESS 2018 SNEAK PEEK

As 2017 draws to a close, Graywolf Press is excited to share this early look at the books coming your way in 2018. You can also find more information in our Winter 2018 and Spring 2018 catalogs. 

 

 

POETRY


 

The year starts with the paperback publication of CinderSusan Stewart’s collection of new and selected poetry. From brief songs to longer meditative sequences, Stewart evokes the innocence of childhood, the endangered mysteries of the natural world, and deeply felt perceptions, both acute and shared. This singular collection captures the unfolding development of one of the most ingenious and moving lyrical writers in contemporary poetry.—January

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Sleigh's brilliant new collection of poetry, House of Fact, House of Ruin, ranges across disparate landscapes of contemporary experience, touching on everything from war and climate change to selfhood and self-estrangement. These poems urge us toward a different realm, where we might achieve the freedom of spirit to step outside our own circumstances, however imperfectly, and look at ourselves as other, as unfamiliar, as strange.—February

 

 

 

 

 

 

Registers of Illuminated Villages is Tarfia Faizullah’s highly anticipated second poetry collection, following her award-winning debut, Seam. Faizullah’s new work extends and transforms her powerful accounts of violence, war, and loss into poems of many forms and voices—elegies, outcries, self-portraits, and larger-scale confrontations with discrimination, family, and memory. Faizullah is an essential new poet, whose work only grows more urgent, beautiful, and—even in its unsparing brutality—full of love.—March

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any discussion of Graywolf in 2018 must include Wade in the Water, the new collection from Poet Laureate of the United States, Tracy K. Smith. This potent and luminous work explores relationships between the past and present, and the known and unknown, boldly tying America's current moment to our nation's fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting.—April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year’s winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets is Jenny Xie. Her debut collection, Eye Level, is animated by a restless inner questioning, and meditates on the forces that moor the self and set it in motion. These poems take us far and near, to Phnom Penh, Corfu, Hanoi, New York, and elsewhere, as we travel closer and closer to the acutely felt solitude that centers this searching, moving collection.—April

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diane Seuss’s new collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, takes its title from a Rembrandt painting. With invention and irreverence, these poems escape gilded frames and overturn traditional representations of gender, class, and luxury, inviting in the alienated, the washed-up, the ugly, and the freakish. This extraordinary gallery of lives in shards shows us that “our memories are local, acute, and unrelenting.”—May

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Hoagland's poems in Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God turn his clear-eyed vision toward the hidden spaces—and spaciousness—in the human predicament. Over six collections, he’s interrogated human nature and contemporary culture with an intimate and wild urgency, located somewhere between outrage, stand-up comedy, and grief. With this latest collection his work has gotten even bigger, more tender, and more encompassing, drifting toward greater depths of open emotion.—June

 

 

 

 

 

 

In New Poets of Native Nations, editor Heid E. Erdrich gathers poets of diverse ages, styles, languages, and tribal affiliations to present the extraordinary range and power of new Native poets. Included are twenty-one poets whose first books were published after the year 2000. These are poems of great breadth—long narratives, political outcries, experimental works, and traditional lyrics—an essential anthology of some of the best poets writing now.—July

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Ford’s fourth collection, If You Have to Go, implores its audience—the divine and the human—for attention, for revelation, and, perhaps above all, for companionship. Beginning in the cramped space of selfhood, these poems edge toward the clarity of “what I can know and admit to knowing.” In song and in silence, Ford’s most luminous and moving collection inhabits the rooms of anguish and redemption with scouring exactness.—Aug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Barnett’s tragicomic Human Hours shuttles between a Whitmanian embrace of others and a kind of rapacious solitude. Watching a son become a young man, a father become a restless beloved shell, and a country betray its democratic ideals, the speakers in these poems try to make sense of such departures. Across the leaps and swerves of this collection, these poems pulse with the absurd, with humor that accompanies the precariousness of the human condition.—September

 

 

Jeffrey Yang has fashioned a fascinating, multifaceted work in Hey, Marfa—a lyrical, anthropological investigation into history, culture, and extremity of place. Situated in the outreaches of southwest Texas, the town of Marfa has long been an oasis for artists, immigrants looking for work. Paintings and drawings of Marfa’s landscapes and substations by artist Rackstraw Downes intertwine Yang’s desert diary, scaled to music that aspires to emit particles of light.—October

 
 

Half-Hazard is a book of close calls, would-be tragedies, and luck—as Kristen Tracy writes in the title poem, “Dangers here. Perils there. It’ll go how it goes.” The collection follows her wide curiosity, from growing up in a small Mormon farming community to her exodus out into the forbidden world. Full of wrong turns, false loves, quashed beliefs, and a menagerie of animals, Half-Hazard introduces a vibrant new voice in American poetry, one of resilience, faith, and joy.—November

 

NONFICTION

 

Maud Casey’s The Art of Mystery is the fourteenth volume in the much-loved Art of series, in which she explores the work of Shirley Jackson, J.M. Coetzee, and many others. Casey reaches beyond the usual tool kit of fictional elements to ask the question: Where does mystery reside in a work of fiction? Encompassing spirit photography, contradictory characters, and the radical nature of empathy, The Art of Mystery is a must for anyone interested in how fiction works.—January

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alongside Tom Sleigh’s new poetry collection, we will also publish The Land Between Two Rivers, his first work of nonfiction in over a decade. Tracking his travels throughout Africa, the Middle East, and beyond, these essays focus on three central questions: “What did I see? How could I write about it? Why did I write about it?” Sleigh’s essays are at once harrowing, humorous, and hopeful, addressing the urgency of our global refugee crisis and our capacity as artists and citizens to confront it.—February

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deborah Baker’s The Last Englishmen is a panoramic story about the end of an empire and the stirring of a new world order. While their younger brothers—W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender—achieved literary fame, John Auden and Michael Spender vied to be included on an expedition that would deliver Everest’s summit to an Englishman, a quest that had become a metaphor for Britain’s struggle to maintain power over India. When both men fell in love with the same woman, her response would determine where each man’s wartime loyalties would lie. The cast of this exhilarating drama includes Indian and English writers and artists, explorers and Communist spies, Die Hards and Indian nationalists, political rogues and police informers.—August

 

 

 

 

 

 

New in paperback, Bunk, by award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young,  traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon—beginning with the legacy of P. T. Barnum’s “humbug” and culminating with the currency of Donald J. Trump’s “fake news.” Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, with race being the most insidious American hoax of all.—September

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Notes from No Man’s Land established Eula Biss as one of the most distinctive and inventive essayists of our time. Teaching in a Harlem school on 9/11, reporting from an African American newspaper in San Diego, and watching the aftermath of hurricane Katrina from a college town in Iowa, Biss reveals our country’s participation in preserving white privilege. This tenth anniversary reissue includes a new afterword by the author.—November

 

“The staggering thing about a life’s work is it takes a lifetime to complete,” Craig Morgan Teicher writes in We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress. Teicher traces the poetic development in the works of Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery, Louise Glück, and francine j. harris, among others, to illuminate the paths they forged. These luminous essays are indispensable for readers curious about the artistic life and for writers wondering how they might offer us that rare, glittering thing—lasting work.—November

 

FICTION

 

Some Hell is Patrick Nathan’s wrenching and layered debut novel that follows a gay teen’s coming of age in the aftermath of his father’s suicide. Colin and his mother undertake a long journey toward recovery, aided and complicated in surprising ways by the strange writing Colin’s father kept in a series of notebooks locked in his study. Some Hell is a moving demonstration of how unspeakable tragedy shapes a life, and how imagination saves us from ourselves.—February

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomb Song, the incandescent English-language debut of Julián Herbert, inhabits the fertile ground between fiction, memoir, and essay. Sitting at his dying mother's side in a hospital in Northern Mexico, the narrator is immersed in memories of his youth, much of it spent with his mother, who worked as a prostitute. This clear-eyed assessment of this complex legacy becomes a moving deathbed elegy, as well as a kaleidoscopic, tender, and often darkly funny exploration of sex, love, and death.—March

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Frode Tiller’s Encircling 2: Origins is the second book of The Encircling Trilogy, and it further pieces together the fractured identity of David, the absent central figure who has lost his memory. With a carefully scored polyphony of voices and an unwavering attention to domestic life, Tiller shows how deeply identity is influenced by our friendships through this innovative, starkly honest portrayal of one man’s life.—March

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Waiting for Tomorrow, Natacha Appanah follows up on the success of her debut novel, The Last Brother, with an elegant and distilled meditation on family bonds and the artistic impulse. After settling down in rural France, Adam and Anita set aside their creative passions in favor of their day jobs, and the monotony of daily life begins to erode their marriage. When an undocumented Mauritian immigrant named Adéle begins caring for their daughter, everything changes, and Waiting for Tomorrow is the devastating and beautiful rendering of this dramatic transformation.—April

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamel Brinkley’s debut, A Lucky Man, announces the arrival of a significant new voice in fiction. In these stories, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members, and confront mistakes made in the past. A Lucky Man reflects the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class—where luck may be the greatest fiction of all.—May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, Sonja is over forty now, and the Swedish crime novels she translates are losing their fascination. She sees a masseuse, tries to reconnect with her sister, and is finally learning to drive. But under the overbearing gaze of her driving instructor, Sonja is unable to shift gears for herself. Dorthe Nors brings her distinctive blend of style, humor, and insight to a poignant journey of one woman in search of herself when there’s no one to ask for directions.—June

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Nevada Days, a writer-in-residence at Reno’s Center for Basque Studies named Bernardo Atxaga finds that the routines of everyday life are the only way to resolve the deep wounds of history and relationships. Trapped in the alien, windswept desert of Nevada, Atxaga weaves together past and present to see the West from a clear-eyed, if also ominous and unsettling, vantage.—July

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel. After leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare. At every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until she is ultimately driven to a breaking point. Dangarembga’s tense and psychologically charged novel reveals just how toxic the combination of colonialism and capitalism can be.—August

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. In the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between African American settlers and indigenous tribes as a new nation forms around them. This vibrant story of the African diaspora illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States.—September

 

Lars Petter Sveen’s Children of God recounts the lives of people on the margins of the New Testament: Roman soldiers, prostitutes, lepers, and thieves. With language free of judgment or moralizing, Sveen covers familiar ground in unusual ways. Sveen’s stories are striking, dark, and buoyant, thanks to Guy Puzey’s supple and fleet-footed translation. This deeply original and moving book brings to light stories that reflect our own time, from a setting everyone knows.—October

 

In a craggy, unwelcoming world, the central character of Alyson Hagy’s Scribe uses her powerful letter-writing skills to eke out a living on scarce resources, when an unusual request from a man with hidden motivations unleashes the ghosts of her troubled past. Drawing on traditional folk tales and the history and culture of Appalachia, Scribe is a swiftly plotted novel that touches on the pressing issues of our time—migration, pandemic disease, and the rise of authoritarianism.—October