New Books in May: “Cures for Hunger” and “Vandal Love” by Deni Béchard05/15/2012
Summer is the season for new journeys, from carefree amusement park daytrips to long-haul cross-country drives, expeditions that cast off the familiar molds imposed by families and careers, if only for a day or a week. Deni Béchard, the author of Milkweed Editions’ two newest books, understands the allure of the uncertain path ahead and the alienation that can come when you follow it. Both books—Cures for Hunger, a memoir, and Vandal Love, his debut novel—confront the familial ghosts that haunt the wanderer living life at the whim of the open road. At the onset of summer, you couldn’t ask for two better books.
While we have your attention, don’t forget about our recently published books.
And check out what’s dropping later this summer.
Cures for Hunger by Deni Y. Béchard
Obsessed with uncovering the criminal past his father has kept from him, Deni moves back to British Columbia. There he finds the father figure he did and did not expect: an unpredictable and reckless man who is both lonely and larger-than-life, and whose stories raise more questions than they answer. Huffington Post described the memoir as, “A coming of age story with rare and loving insights into the vulnerable hearts of men and boys—and the women that help shape them.” Read the first chapter of Cures for Hunger, “Daredevils and Invisible Friends,” below, and order the book here.
Vandal Love by Deni Y. Béchard
In assured and mystically powerful prose, Béchard tells a wide-ranging, spellbinding story of a cursed family: a genetic trick resulting from centuries of hardship causes the Hervé children to be born either giants or runts. As fraught and frayed as their lives become, none of the Hervés can abandon their longing for a place where they might find others like themselves. Originally published in Canada in 2006, Vandal Love won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Read the first chapter below, and order the book here.
The Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin
Frigid, lethal, and wildly beautiful, Lake Superior is as alluring as it is dangerous. Featuring three women living on its shores in three different centuries, Danielle Sosin’s debut novel (nominated for a Minnesota Book Award) illuminates the mysterious powers of the greatest of the Great Lakes. $16. Read more here.
A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World by Adam Clay
These distilled, haunting, and subtly complex poems often arrive at that moment when solitude slips into separation, when a person suddenly realizes he can barely see the place he set out from however long ago. $16. Read more here.
Things That Are by Amy Leach
A series of essays that progress from the tiniest Earth dwellers to far-flung celestial bodies—considering everything from the similarity of gods to donkeys, to the connection of exploding stars and exploding sea cucumbers—to rekindle our communion with the wild world. Things That Are will be published July 3. $18. Read an excerpt—an essay called “In Which the River Makes Off with Three Stationary Characters”—and pre-order the book here.
The Alphabet Not Unlike the World by Katrina Vandenberg
With poems named for letters of the Phoenician alphabet, and employing such innovative forms as the ancient ghazal, Vandenberg deciphers the seemingly indecipherable in this emotionally poignant collection. The Alphabet Not Unlike the World will be published July 3. $16. Pre-order it here.