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Published: February, 2020
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After years of popular demand from the clamoring masses, we are at last revamping and relaunching our McSweeney’s Book Release Club. Get our next six books sent straight to your mailbox prior to or immediately upon publication. On their own these books can retail for anywhere from $16-$30, so dollar-for-book, the Book Release Club is far and away the best deal we’ve ever put together, and very possibly the best subscription deal out there. With a future full of uncertainty at home and abroad, we’ve got a packed scheduled of exciting new releases planned to make sure that one thing you CAN rely on are amazing new books from McSweeney’s Publishing.

Coming up in 2020 to Book Club subscribers:

The Fire in His Wake

The Fire in His Wake, Spencer Wolff’s exuberant debut novel, tells the story of two men swept up in refugee crises of the twenty-first century: Simon, a young employee at the UNHCR in Morocco, and Arès, a Congolese locksmith left for dead in the wake of ethnic violence.

In search of a better future, Arès embarks on an epic journey across northern Africa with Europe as his goal. He reaches Rabat, Morocco, where he joins a desperate community of exiles fighting for survival in a hostile land. While Arès risks everything to make it to Spain, Simon gradually awakens to a subterranean world of violence that threatens his comfortable expat life and fledgling romance with a Moroccan singer. Part colorful portrait of life in the Maghreb, part astonishing tale of hope and perseverance, The Fire in his Wake carries the reader from the inner sanctums of the UN to the hazardous realities faced by the refugees in the streets and on their risky crossings to Europe.

When a storm gathers at the UNHCR, and the ghosts of the Congo’s violence surface in Rabat, the two men find themselves on a collision course, setting the stage for the novel’s unforgettable and genre-busting ending. Eye-opening, suspenseful, and full of unexpected humor, Wolff brings his personal experiences as an aid worker to this unforgettable story of two remarkable individuals.

“A dazzling first novel about a Congolese refugee… The Fire in His Wake addresses pressing themes of our times—migration, human rights, and the refugee crisis. Splendidly ambitious both in narrative scope and formal innovation….Wolff has managed, with enviable dexterity and sensitivity, to tell the story of an African without reducing his humanity or pretending to comprehend or sublimate his suffering.”
Nyuol Lueth Tong, editor-in-chief of the Bare Life Review, a journal of immigrant and refugee literature

The Fire in His Wake is a work of extraordinary empathetic and imaginative power. With a lot of heart, and in vivid prose, Spencer Wolff has done that brave and difficult—and ever more rare—thing we most need our novelists to do: painstakingly imagine himself into lives and circumstances starkly different than his own. It is an astonishing debut.”
Thomas Chatterton Williams, author of Self-Portrait in Black and White

My Favorite Girlfriend Was a French Bulldog

My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog is a novel told in fifteen stories, linked by the same protagonist, our narrator, who–in her own voice and channeling the voices of others–creates an unsparing, multigenerational portrait of her native Cuba. Though she feels suffocated by the island and decides to leave, hers is not just a political novel–nor just a queer novel, an immigrant novel, a feminist novel–but a deeply existential one, in which mortality, corporeality, bureaucracy, emotional and physical violence, and the American Dream define the long journey of our narrator and her beloved pet dog, who gives the book both its title and its unforgettable ending. In its daring style and structure–both playful and profound, youthful and mature - and its frank discussion of political and sexual identity, My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog marks the emergence of an original and essential new voice.

“This profound and delightful novel-in-stories… is a breathtaking exploration of identity, country, art, and family.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Unique, raw, funny, ruthless prose.”
Cristóbal Pera, Editor, Vintage Español

“Legna Rodríguez Iglesias is the most enchanting Cuban writer alive today and My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog is a wry, brilliant and delightful ride.”
Achy Obejas author of The Tower of Antilles

“In My Favorite Girlfriend Was a Bulldog, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias reminds the reader that revolution lives in the world and in the self. Dog is a droll god in Cuba, one that takes the protagonist on wild adventures in these interconnected stories that slay me with their wry humor and potent storytelling.”
Carmen Gimenez Smith author of Milk and Filth

IMPORTANT LOGISTICAL INFORMATION: All subscriptions placed by July 1st will begin with The Fire in His Wake, followed by My Favorite Girlfriend Was a French Bulldog. All subscriptions to McSweeney’s Book Release Club automatically renew after six books. Before the start of each six-book renewal, and in the case of any future rate changes, we will notify you via email. If you’d like to cancel your subscription at any time prior to its auto-renewal, you can log in to your account and adjust your subscription settings. Or, send an email to with the subject line End BRC Autorenew. Or, call (415) 642-5609. Refunds will be accepted only up until the first issue of your renewal is shipped. Any subscription purchased with the “gift” option marked at checkout will not be enrolled in autorenew.

International shipping costs for a 4-issue subscription (1 year): $50