TIMOTHY McSWEENEY’S MIDYEAR BREATHER BUNDLE
Included here are five books for the price of four, celebrating one of our most exciting years of publishing yet and possibly the longest half year in human history. From a deluxe full-color art book and epic migration novel, to a mind and genre-bending trans memoir and two slim, powerful, and distinct meditations on race, the books here have something for absolutely everyone.
In such an unique, difficult, nonstop history-making year, we want to make sure these books and authors all get the attention they deserve, and that these books find their way to the readers who would love them most. We could all use a break after making it this far, so take a moment and catch up with some of our favorite work we’ve ever published.
An expansive examination of what makes us up, Heaven wonders what role our childhood plays in who we are. Can we escape the discussion of causality? Is the story of our body just ours? With extraordinary emotional force, Whitney sways between theory and memory in order to explore these brazen questions and write this unforgettable book.
“An incisive, nuanced inquiry into gender and body.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Melodic and engagingly written, Heaven will enrapture anyone who loves reading for beauty and intellectual challenge at once.”
“Witnessing is sacred work too. Seeing ourselves as whole and healthy is an act of pure rebellion in a world so titillated by our constant subjugation,” reflects viral curator Natasha Marin, on Black Imagination. This dynamic collection of Black voices works like an incantation of origin, healing, and imagination. Born from a series of conceptual art exhibitions, the perspectives gathered here are no where near monochromatic. “Craving nuance over stereotype, we sought out black children, black youth, LGBTQ+ black folks, unsheltered black folks, incarcerated black folks, neurodivergent black folks, as well as differently-abled black folks.” Each insists on their own variance and challenges every reader to witness for themselves that Black Lives (and Imaginations) Matter.
“Black Imagination reads like a survival guide with a sense of humor as deep as its sense of history, a literary oasis for black people fed up with the white gaze.”
“Black Imagination is somehow as innovatively utopic as it is sincerely soulful. I’ve never felt the physical feeling of pages melting in my hands or chapters folding themselves into squadrons of black airplanes flying to freedom because I’ve never experienced an art object like Black Imagination. It is exquisite art in action.”
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy
Unnecessarily Beautiful Spaces for Young Minds on Fire
Every kid in the world needs a safe, welcoming, and even weird place to write. That’s the theory behind 826 Valencia, a writing and tutoring center started in 2002. That center, with a pirate-themed storefront, inspired similar centers around the world, from New York to Melbourne.
Across 280 pages and hundreds of beautiful full-color photos, this lavish, oversized book takes you behind the scenes of how these centers started, in the hopes of inspiring more communities, schools, and libraries around the world to build their own centers for young writers. Unnecessarily Beautiful Spaces for Young Minds on Fire is a joyous and wildly creative book, filled with stunning photos of the world’s most welcoming and wild spaces for young minds.
In his debut essay collection, award-winning poet Jaswinder Bolina meditates on “how race,” as he puts it, “becomes metaphysical”: the cumulative toll of the microaggressions and macro-pressures lurking in the academic market, on the literary circuit, in the dating pool, and on the sidewalks of any given U.S. city. Training a keenly thoughtful lens on questions that are never fully abstract―about immigration and assimilation and class, about the political utility of art, about what it means to belong to a language and a nation that brand you as other―Of Color is a bold, expansive, and finally optimistic diagnosis of present-day America.
“Eminently readable… entrusts us with an honest conversation that we all should be having with each other.”
“Jaswinder Bolina’s insightful, raw and honest collection of brilliant essays illuminate the joys and pains of being a specific person Of Color and through his unique lens we also come to understand the universal ongoing story of America.”
—Wajahat Ali, author of The Domestic Crusaders and contributor to CNN and the New York Times
The Fire in His Wake
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.
“There is not a page of “The Fire in His Wake” that is not skillfully written and compelling… an utterly successful first novel, one that sports a flair for harrowing adventure matched with a complex political conscience… it is not too early to say Mr. Wolff’s novel will be one of the best debuts of the year.”
—The East Hampton Star
“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
*Please note black Imagination will ship separately, immediately upon arrival of its August reprint*