Author: Claire Vaye Watkins
"Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. In Los Angeles Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs, Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the forever war turned surfer, squat in a starlet's abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise. The couple's fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins"--
Author: Claire Vaye Watkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books (Hardcover)
"Drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. Most of the Southwest has been evacuated. Luz and Ray are holdouts, squatting in a starlet's abandoned mansion and subsisting on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise, their love somehow blooming in this arid place. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, and the thirst for a better future begins."--
Author: Claire Vaye Watkins
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men's Journal, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPage and Kirkus Reviews The much-anticipated first novel from a Story Prize-winning “5 Under 35” fiction writer. In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins’s story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that harnesses the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future: Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most “Mojavs,” prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs—Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the “forever war” turned surfer—squat in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise. The couple’s fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. They head east, a route strewn with danger: sinkholes and patrolling authorities, bandits and the brutal, omnipresent sun. Ghosting after them are rumors of a visionary dowser—a diviner for water—and his followers, who whispers say have formed a colony at the edge of a mysterious sea of dunes. Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins’s novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Claire Vaye Watkins
A debut collection of ten short works reimagines the mythology of the American West and includes stories of a foreigner's arrival at a prostitution ranch, a hermit's attempt to rescue an abused teen, and a woman's role in a friend's degrading Vegas encounter.
Author: Carolyn See
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Available again in paperback, Golden Days is a major novel from one of the most provocative voices on the American literary scene. Linking the recent past with an imagined future, Carolyn See captures life in Los Angeles in the 70s and 80s. This marvelously imaginative, hilarious, and original work offers fresh insights into the way we were, the way we are, and the way we could end up.
Author: JJ Amaworo Wilson
Publisher: PM Press
Uses magical realism, revolutionary politics, and romantic adventure to bring to life a colorful community of squatters in an imaginary Latin American city Damnificados is loosely based on the real-life occupation of a half-completed skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, the Tower of David. In this fictional version, 600 "damnificados"—vagabonds and misfits—take over an abandoned urban tower and set up a community complete with schools, stores, beauty salons, bakeries, and a rag-tag defensive militia. Their always heroic (and often hilarious) struggle for survival and dignity pits them against corrupt police, the brutal military, and the tyrannical "owners." Taking place in an unnamed country at an unspecified time, the novel has elements of magical realism: avenging wolves, biblical floods, massacres involving multilingual ghosts, arrow showers falling to the tune of Beethoven's Ninth, and a trash truck acting as a Trojan horse.
Author: Ron Currie
"Startlingly talented . . . he survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice all his own." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times Look for Ron Currie's new novel, The One-Eyed Man, coming in March 2017 In this novel rich in character, Junior Thibodeau grows up in rural Maine in a time of Atari, baseball cards, pop Catholicism, and cocaine. He also knows something no one else knows-neither his exalted parents, nor his baseball-savant brother, nor the love of his life (she doesn't believe him anyway): The world will end when he is thirty-six. While Junior searches for meaning in a doomed world, his loved ones tell an all-American family saga of fathers and sons, blinding romance, lost love, and reconciliation-culminating in one final triumph that reconfigures the universe. A tour de force of storytelling, Everything Matters! is a genre-bending potpourri of alternative history, sci-fi, and the great American tale in the tradition of John Irving and Margaret Atwood. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Daniel Riley
Publisher: Little, Brown
A nation on the verge of a new era-and a girl caught between her past and the ever-expanding present. Now a Los Angeles Times Bestseller! The year is 1972, and the beaches of Los Angeles are the center of the world. Dropping into the embers of the drug and surf scene is Suzy Whitman, who has tossed her newly minted Vassar degree aside to follow her older sister into open skies and the borderless adventures of stewardessing for Grand Pacific Airlines. In Sela del Mar, California-a hedonistic beach town in the shadow of LAX-Suzy skateboards, suntans, and flies daily and nightly across the country. Motivated by a temporary escape from her past and a new taste for danger and belonging, Suzy falls into a drug-trafficking scheme that clashes perilously with the skyjacking epidemic of the day. Rendered in the brilliant color of the age and told with spectacular insight and clarity, Fly Me is a story of dark discovery set in the debauchery of 1970s Los Angeles.
Author: Douglas Perry
Publisher: Penguin Books
Documents the true stories of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan, the women whose sensational murder trials inspired the musical "Chicago," and traces the contributions of fledgling reporter Maurine Watkins against a backdrop of Chicago's Jazz Age culture.
Author: Catie Disabato
Publisher: Melville House
Has the world’s hottest pop star been kidnapped, joined a secret sect, or simply gone into hiding? The answer lies in the abandoned subway stations of Chicago . . . One minute insanely famous pop singer Molly Metropolis is on her way to a major performance in Chicago, and the next, she’s gone. A journalist who’s been covering Molly joins the singer's personal assistant in an increasingly desperate search to find her, guided by a journal left behind in her hotel room, and possible clues hidden in her songs—all of which seem to point to an abandoned line in the Chicago subway system. It leads them to a map of half-completed train lines underneath Chicago, which in turn leads them to the secret, subterranean headquarters of an obscure intellectual sect—and the realization that they’ve gone too far to turn back. And if a superstar can disappear without a trace . . . what can happen to these young women? Suspenseful and wildly original, The Ghost Network is a novel about larger-than-life fantasies—of love, sex, pop music, amateur detective work, and personal reinvention. Debut novelist Catie Disabato bursts on the scene with an ingeniously plotted, witty, haunting mystery. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Vanessa Veselka
Publisher: Red Lemonade
In a dystopian America on the verge of war, Della begins making phone calls about false bomb threats in her neighborhood, but realizes too late that she may be part of something bigger when someone starts bombing some of her phony targets.
Author: Samantha Hunt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A New York Times Editors’ Choice * A Paris Review Staff Pick * An Indie Next Pick “Hypnotic and glowing.” — New York Times Book Review “An intriguing mystery with clues, suspense, enigmas galore, and an exhilarating, witty, poignant paean to the unexplainable, the unsolvable, the irreducibly mysterious.” — Boston Globe Ruth and Nat are seventeen. They are orphans. And they may be able to talk to the dead. Enter Mr. Bell, a con man with his own mystical interests. Together they embark on an unexpected journey that connects meteor sites, utopian communities, lost mothers, and a scar that maps its way across Ruth’s face. Decades later and after years of absence, Ruth visits her niece, Cora. But while Ruth used to speak to the dead, she now won’t speak at all. She leads Cora on a mysterious mission that involves crossing the entire state of New York on foot. Where is she taking them? And who—or what—is hidden in the woods at the end of the road? “An escapist adventure, a gothic page-turner that is also so finely crafted that you’ll feel enriched as well as transported for having read it.” — Esquire “An American gothic fever dream.” — Chicago Tribune “Gripping.” — The New Yorker
Author: Marc Reisner
"The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--an Eden that may only be a mirage. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Omar El Akkad
“Powerful . . . As haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy [created] in The Road, and as devastating a look as the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America. . . . Omar El Akkad’s debut novel, American War, is an unlikely mash-up of unsparing war reporting and plot elements familiar to readers of the recent young-adult dystopian series The Hunger Games and Divergent.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself. Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.
Author: Mary Miller
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
“[A] terrific first novel. . . . Why worry about labeling a book this good? Just read it.”—Laurie Muchnick, New York Times Book Review Jess is fifteen years old and waiting for the world to end. Her evangelical father has packed up the family to drive west to California, hoping to save as many souls as possible before the Second Coming. With her long-suffering mother and rebellious (and secretly pregnant) sister, Jess hands out tracts to nonbelievers at every rest stop, Waffle House, and gas station along the way. As Jess’s belief frays, her teenage myopia evolves into awareness about her fracturing family. Selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover pick and an Indie Next pick, Mary Miller’s radiant debut novel reinvigorates the literary road-trip story with wry vulnerability and savage charm.