Welcome to the University of Iowa Libraries’ virtual New Book Shelf. Here we will present new titles for you to browse and check out. Titles listed here will be monographs published in the current year. If you see a title you would like to borrow, please click the link below the item and sign in with your Hawk ID and Password to request a loan.
The Rock Eaters: Stories
A story collection, in the vein of Carmen Maria Machado, Kelly Link, and Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, spanning worlds and dimensions, using strange and speculative elements to tackle issues ranging from class differences to immigration to first-generation experiences to xenophobia
What does it mean to be other? What does it mean to love in a world determined to keep us apart?
These questions murmur in the heart of each of Brenda Peynado’s strange and singular stories. Threaded with magic, transcending time and place, these stories explore what it means to cross borders and break down walls, personally and politically. In one story, suburban families perform oblations to cattlelike angels who live on their roofs, believing that their “thoughts and prayers” will protect them from the world’s violence. In another, inhabitants of an unnamed dictatorship slowly lose their own agency as pieces of their bodies go missing and, with them, the essential rights that those appendages serve. “The Great Escape” tells of an old woman who hides away in her apartment, reliving the past among beautiful objects she’s hoarded, refusing all visitors, until she disappears completely. In the title story, children begin to levitate, flying away from their parents and their home country, leading them to eat rocks in order to stay grounded.
With elements of science fiction and fantasy, fabulism and magical realism, Brenda Peynado uses her stories to reflect our flawed world, and the incredible, terrifying, and marvelous nature of humanity.
American Parables (Wisconsin Poetry Series)
Daniel Khalastchi’s third collection provides an uncompromising exploration into the political and societal disturbances facing America today. Electioneering, lack of affordable health care, the increase in mass shootings, and the continued fight for equal rights are juxtaposed against an unlikely sense of hope and optimism. Lurking behind each page is the ever-present issue of immigration, with specific focus on the escape of the author’s father from Iraq and the pressures linked to living as an Arab Jew in the middle of the United States.
Through unnerving gallows humor and radical honesty, these poems redefine the American experience by asking the reader to consider what it means to live in the shadow of a perceived sense of freedom and to have faith when believing feels hopeless. Khalastchi’s perspective as an Iraqi Jewish American brings sharp focus to the holistic uncertainties of religion, politics, assimilation, illness, love, and loss—with absurd, visceral, and wry acclaim.
I type into
the internet your high school
and find rubble. Your daughter
has the flu. We are sick
with disappointment but
everyone is fine.
—Excerpt from “First Generation: Our Escape”
The Three Rimbauds (The French List)
Mingling fact and fiction, The Three Rimbauds imagines how Rimbaud’s life would have unfolded had he not died at the age of thirty-seven.
The myth of Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) focuses on his early years: how the great enfant terrible tore through the nineteenth-century literary scene with reckless abandon, leaving behind him a trail of enemies, the failed marriage of an ex-lover who shot him, and a body of revolutionary poetry that changed French literature forever. He stopped writing poetry at the age of twenty-one when he left Europe to travel the world. He returned only shortly before his death at the age of thirty-seven.
But what if 1891 marked not the year of his death, but the start of a great new beginning: the poet’s secret return to Paris, which launched the mature phase of his literary career? This slim, experimental volume by Dominique Noguez shows that the imaginary “mature” Rimbaud—the one who returned from Harar in 1891, married Paul Claudel’s sister in 1907, converted to Catholicism in 1925, and went on to produce some of the greatest works in twentieth-century French prose—was already present in the almost forgotten works of his childhood, in style and themes alike. Only by reacquainting ourselves with the three Rimbauds—child, young adult, and imaginary older adult—can we truly gauge the range of the complete writer.
Strangers I Know: A Novel
“Durastanti casts the universal drama of the family as the sieve through which the self—woman, artist, daughter—is filtered and known.” —Ocean Vuong
A work of fiction about being a stranger in your own family and life.
Every family has its own mythology, but in this family none of the myths match up. Claudia’s mother says she met her husband when she stopped him from jumping off a bridge. Her father says it happened when he saved her from an attempted robbery. Both parents are deaf but couldn’t be more different; they can’t even agree on how they met, much less who needed saving.
Into this unlikely yet somehow inevitable union, our narrator is born. She comes of age with her brother in this strange, and increasingly estranged, household split between a small village in southern Italy and New York City. Without even sign language in common – their parents have not bothered to teach them – family communications are chaotic and rife with misinterpretations, by turns hilarious and devastating. An outsider in every way, she longs for a freedom she’s not even sure exists. Only books and punk rock—and a tumultuous relationship—begin to show her the way to create her own mythology, to construct her own version of the story of her life.
Kinetic, formally dazzling, and spectacularly original, this book is a funny and profound portrait of an unconventional family that makes us look anew at how language shapes our understanding of ourselves.
Objects of Desire: Stories
“A debut story collection of the rarest kind … you wish that every single entry could be an entire novel.” —Entertainment Weekly
Fresh, intimate stories of women’s lives from an extraordinary new literary voice, laying bare the unexpected beauty and irony in contemporary life
A college freshman, traveling home, strikesup an odd, ephemeral friendship with the couple next to her on the plane. A mother prepares for her son’s wedding, her own life unraveling as his comes together. A long-lost stepbrother’s visit to New York prompts a family’s reckoning with its old taboos. A wife considers the secrets her marriage once contained. An office worker, exhausted by the ambitions of the men around her, emerges into a gridlocked city one afternoon to make a decision.
In these eleven powerful stories, thrilling desire and melancholic yearning animate women’s lives, from the brink of adulthood to the labyrinthine path between twenty and thirty, to middle age, when certain possibilities quietly elapse. Tender, lucid, and piercingly funny, Objects of Desire is a collection pulsing with subtle drama, rich with unforgettable scenes, and alive with moments of recognition each more startling than the last—a spellbinding debut that announces a major talent.
Oh William!: A Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they’ve come from—and what they’ve left behind.
ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Time, Vulture, She Reads
“Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
I would like to say a few things about my first husband, William.
Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are.
So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret—one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout’s “perfect attunement to the human condition.” There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together—even after we’ve grown apart.
At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.”
The Antarctica of Love: A Novel
The international star Sara Stridsberg returns with The Antarctica of Love, an unnamed woman’s tale of her murder, her brief life, and the world that moves on after she left it
They say you die three times. The first time for me was when my heart stopped beating beneath his hands by the lake, and the second was when what was left of me was lowered into the ground in front of Ivan and Raksha at Bromma Church. The third time will be the last time my name is spoken on earth.
She was a neglected child, an unreliable mother, a sex worker, a drug user―and then, like so many, a nameless victim of a violent crime. But first she was a human being, a full, complicated person, and she insists that we know her fully as she tells her story from beyond the grave. We witness her short life, the harrowing murder that ended it, and her grief over the loved ones she has left behind. We see her parents struggle with guilt and loss. We watch her children grow up in adopted families and patch together imperfect lives. We feel her dreams, fears, and passions. And still we will never know her name.
A heartrending novel of life after death, Sara Stridsberg’s The Antarctica of Love is an unflinching testament of a woman on the margins, a tale of family lost and found, a report of a murder in the voice of the victim, and a story that brims with unexpected tenderness and hope.
We Are Not Like Them: A Novel
Named a Most Anticipated Book of Fall by People, Essence, New York Post, PopSugar, New York Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Town & Country, Bustle, Fortune, and Book Riot
Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel about the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.
Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.
But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in freefall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.
Like Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage and Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, We Are Not Like Them explores complex questions of race and how they pervade and shape our most intimate spaces in a deeply divided world. But at its heart, it’s a story of enduring friendship—a love that defies the odds even as it faces its most difficult challenges.
The Prophets: A Novel
A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.
Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.
With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets fearlessly reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.
Radiant Fugitives: A Novel
In the last weeks of her pregnancy, a Muslim Indian lesbian living in San Francisco receives a visit from her estranged mother and sister that surfaces long held secrets and betrayals in this “sweeping family saga . . . with the beautiful specificity of real lives lived, loved, and fought for” (Entertainment Weekly)
Working as a consultant for Kamala Harris’s attorney general campaign in Obama-era San Francisco, Seema has constructed a successful life for herself in the West, despite still struggling with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the Black father of her unborn son, Seema seeks solace in the company of those she once thought lost to her: her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, a doctor living in Texas with her husband and children.
But instead of a joyful reconciliation anticipating the birth of a child, the events of this fateful week unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love—a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself.
Told from the point of view of Seema’s child at the moment of his birth, and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats and verses from the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is a moving tale of a family and a country grappling with acceptance, forgiveness, and enduring love.