In his first essay collection, novelist Alexander Chee's clear, lyrical prose itself sears as deeply as the content it delivers. Over the course of the book, we encounter Chee as a despondent youth on an exchange program in Mexico on the cusp of grasping the weight of his sexual and racial identities, as an earnest college student studying under literary master Annie Dillard, as an enraged activist working to secure the rights of queer people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and more. Chee, through revealing the sheer range of himself in this collection, reveals to us that the secret of the so-called 'writing life' is, in fact, that of a life fully lived.
Weaving Chinese myth and fable into a literary tapestry containing her own life alongside stories of her family, Kingston delivers a book as controversial as it is mesmerizing. Prepare to be lost and haunted in the dream world conjured by Kingston as she strives to understand how to live as Chinese, American, and woman simultaneously.
Drawing upon his own adolescence in 1930's Harlem, Baldwin leads readers into the life of John, the novel's clever and sensitive main character, on his 14th birthday. Suffocating beneath the reign of a despotic father, the demands of being the eldest, and a church community eager to criticize any wayward member, John dreams of a life lived on terms of his own. Prepare to be swept away by poetic language inspired by Dickens and Baldwin's trademark attentiveness to the human condition.