Our Projects

The Blood of Emmett Till

The Blood of Emmett Till

Emmett Till

Written by: Timothy B. Tyson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 31st, 2017)

In 2014, protesters ringed the White House, chanting, “How many black kids will you kill? Michael Brown, Emmett Till!” Why did demonstrators invoke the name of a black boy murdered six decades before?

In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional.

The national coalition organized to protest the Till lynching became the foundation of the modern civil rights movement. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, the Emmett Till generation, forever marked by the vicious killing of a boy their own age, launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle into a mass movement. “I can hear the blood of Emmett Till as it calls from the ground,” shouted a black preacher in Albany, Georgia.

But what actually happened to Emmett Till—not the icon of injustice but the flesh-and-blood boy? Part detective story, part political history, Timothy Tyson’s The Blood of Emmett Till draws on a wealth of new evidence, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant, the white woman in whose name Till was killed. Tyson’s gripping narrative upends what we thought we knew about the most notorious racial crime in American history.

March 1, 2017 Read More
Weather, Weather

Weather, Weather

Weather Weather

Written by: Maira Kalman & Daniel Handler

Publisher: MoMa (December 13th, 2016)

Can a photograph capture the sensation of a warm spring breeze or the smell of freshly fallen snow? Weather, Weather, the third volume in a series of creative collaborations between renowned artist and bestselling author Maira Kalman, New York Times bestselling author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, is an evocative exploration of the physical environments captured in photographs from around the world. From the rainy streets of Paris to a sun-dappled pool in Beverly Hills, from steamy summer sidewalks in Brooklyn to snow-covered fields in Japan, the photographs depict much more than what first meets the eye. Featuring vibrant new paintings by Kalman inspired by these photographs and poetic prose by Handler that bring the images to life, Weather, Weather is a tender reflection on the passing of seasons, perspective, and memory.

December 13, 2016 Read More
The Nemirovsky Question

The Nemirovsky Question

Nemirovsky Question

Written by: Susan Rubin Suleiman

Publisher: Yale University Press (November 22nd, 2016)

Irène Némirovsky succeeded in creating a brilliant career as a novelist in the 1930s, only to have her life cut short: a “foreign Jew” in France, she was deported in 1942 and died in Auschwitz. But her two young daughters survived, and as adults they brought their mother back to life. In 2004, Suite française, Némirovsky’s posthumous novel, became an international best seller; some critics, however, condemned her as a “self-hating Jew” whose earlier works were rife with anti-Semitic stereotypes. Informed by personal interviews with Némirovsky’s descendants and others, as well as by extensive archival research, this wide-ranging intellectual biography situates Némirovsky in the literary and political climate of interwar France and recounts, for the first time, the postwar lives of her daughters. Némirovsky’s Jewish works, Suleiman argues, should be read as explorations of the conflicted identities that shaped the lives of secular Jews in twentieth-century Europe and beyond.

 

November 22, 2016 Read More
Knives & Ink

Knives & Ink

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Written by: Isaac Fitzgerald & Wendy MacNaughton

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (October 18, 2016)

Chefs take their tattoos almost as seriously as their knives. From gritty grill cooks in backwoods diners to the executive chefs at the world’s most popular restaurants, it’s hard to find a cook who doesn’t sport some ink. Knives & Ink features the tattoos of more than sixty-five chefs from all walks of life and every kind of kitchen, including 2014 James Beard Award-winner Jamie Bissonnette, Alaska-fishing-boat cook Mandy Lamb, Toro Bravo’s John Gorham, and many more. Each tattoo has a rich, personal story behind it: Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food remembers his mother with fiery angel wings on his forearms, and Dominique Crenn of Michelin two-starred Atelier Crenn bears ink that reminds her to do “anything in life that you put your heart into.” Like the dishes these chefs have crafted over the years, these tattoos are beautiful works of art. Knives & Ink delves into the wide and wonderful world of chef tattoos and shares their fascinating backstories, along with personal recipes from many of the chefs.

October 18, 2016 Read More
Upstream

Upstream

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Written by: Mary Oliver

Publisher: Penguin Press (October 11, 2016)

The New York Times bestselling collection of essays from beloved poet, Mary Oliver.

“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.”

So begins Upstream, a collection of essays in which revered poet Mary Oliver reflects on her willingness, as a young child and as an adult, to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of both the natural world and the world of literature. Emphasizing the significance of her childhood “friend” Walt Whitman, through whose work she first understood that a poem is a temple, “a place to enter, and in which to feel,” and who encouraged her to vanish into the world of her writing, Oliver meditates on the forces that allowed her to create a life for herself out of work and love. As she writes, “I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.”

Upstream follows Oliver as she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, her boundless curiosity for the flora and fauna that surround her, and the responsibility she has inherited from Shelley, Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe, and Frost, the great thinkers and writers of the past, to live thoughtfully, intelligently, and to observe with passion. Throughout this collection, Oliver positions not just herself upstream but us as well as she encourages us all to keep moving, to lose ourselves in the awe of the unknown, and to give power and time to the creative and whimsical urges that live within us.

October 11, 2016 Read More
Every Man a Menace

Every Man a Menace

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Written by: Patrick Hoffman

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (October 4, 2016)

Patrick Hoffman burst onto the crime fiction scene with The White Van, a bank heist thriller set in the back streets of San Francisco and a finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. Now he returns with his second novel, Every Man a Menace, the inside story of a ruthless ecstasy-smuggling ring.

San Francisco is about to receive the biggest delivery of MDMA to hit the West Coast in years. Raymond Gaspar, just out of prison, is sent to the city to check in on the increasingly erratic dealer expected to take care of distribution. In Miami, the man responsible for getting the drugs across the Pacific has just met the girl of his dreams—a woman who can’t seem to keep her story straight. And thousands of miles away in Bangkok, someone farther up the supply chain is about to make a phone call that will put all their lives at risk. Stretching from the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia to the Golden Gate of San Francisco, Every Man a Menace offers an unflinching account of the making, moving, and selling of the drug known as Molly—pure happiness sold by the brick, brought to market by bloodshed and betrayal.

October 4, 2016 Read More
Rad Women Worldwide

Rad Women Worldwide

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Written by: Kate Schatz

Illustrated by: Miriam Klein Stahl

Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 27, 2016)

From the authors of the New York Times bestselling book Rad American Women A-Z, comes a bold new collection of 40 biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world.

Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. From 430 BCE to 2016, spanning 31 countries around the world, the book features an array of diverse figures, including Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica). This progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women’s history and belongs on the shelf of every school, library, and home.

Together, these stories show the immense range of what women have done and can do. May we all have the courage to be rad!

September 27, 2016 Read More
George Washington: Poems

George Washington: Poems

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Written by: Adam Fitzgerald

Publisher: Liveright (September 27, 2016)

A groundbreaking collection from one of our most acclaimed young poets about personal loss and consumer anxiety in the American suburbs.

In the wake of the critical success of The Late Parade (“poetry as lush as any of Keats’s odes,” New York Times Book Review), Adam Fitzgerald’s George Washington follows in the documentary poetics tradition of William Carlos Williams’s In the American Grain and Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson. These frenetic poems channel the proper names and product placement in the suburban New Jersey memescape of the 1990s. Fitzgerald’s catalogs―a world of video games and love songs, entertainment franchises and widespread anomie―seek out the proxies by which millions now live their most intimate experiences, examining everything from sexuality and faith to the spectacles of shopping and mass shootings. The poet’s memory may prove as fungible as the once-ubiquitous VHS cassette, but these queer poems form a hypertext archive of life as it’s packaged and purveyed. Fitzgerald’s “primal vision” (Harold Bloom), so wildly alive in The Late Parade, metamorphoses into an exhilarating exploration of Americana’s dark origins.

September 27, 2016 Read More
The Cigar Factory: A Novel of Charleston

The Cigar Factory: A Novel of Charleston

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Written by: Michele Moore

Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (September 1, 2016)

“The sun leaned for down bringing shade to the waterfront,” begins Michele Moore’s entrancing debut novel, harkening back to an era when the legendary fishermen of Charleston’s Mosquito Fleet rowed miles offshore for their daily catch. With evocative dialect and remarkable prose, The Cigar Factory tells the story of two entwined families, both devout Catholics―the white McGonegals and the African American Ravenels―in the storied port city of Charleston, South Carolina, during the World Wars. Moore’s novel follows the parallel lives of family matriarchs working on segregated floors of the massive Charleston cigar factory, where white and black workers remain divided and misinformed about the duties and treatment received by each other.

Cassie McGonegal and herniece Brigid work upstairs in the factory rolling cigars by hand. Meliah Amey Ravenel works in the basement, where she stems the tobacco. While both white and black workers suffer in the harsh working conditions of the factory and both endure the sexual harassment of the foremen, segregation keeps them from recognizing their common plight until the Tobacco Workers Strike of 1945. Through the experience of a brutal picket line, the two women come to realize how much they stand to gain by joining forces, creating a powerful moment in labor history that gives rise to the Civil Rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.”

Moore’s extensive historical research included interviews with her own family members who worked at the cigar factory, adding a layer of nuance and authenticity to her empowering story of families and friendships forged through struggle, loss, and redemption. The Cigar Factory includes a foreword by New York Times best-selling author and Story River Books editor at large Pat Conroy.

September 1, 2016 Read More
Ooko

Ooko

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Written & Illustrated by: Esmé Shapiro

Publisher: Tundra Books (July 5, 2016)

Ooko has everything a fox could want: a stick, a leaf and a rock. Well, almost everything . . . Ooko wants someone to play with too! The foxes in town always seem to be playing with their two-legged friends, the Debbies. Maybe if he tries to look like the other foxes, one of the Debbies will play with him too. But when Ooko finally finds his very own Debbie, things don’t turn out quite as he had expected!

A quirky, funny, charmingly illustrated story about finding friendship and being true to yourself.

 

July 5, 2016 Read More