The texts in this list are curated through my personal interest and recommendations from publishing companies, authors, and publicists. Please contact me with upcoming releases. Understand that I will only include two texts per publishing company. Amazon and Bookshop are affiliated links and qualifying sales help to sustain Entropy. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The End of Something by Kate Greenstreet
176 pages – Ahsahta Press
“In curating cartography together with lyric, poly-vocality with loneliness, and even the unspeakable with common speech, poet and artist Kate Greenstreet has created a surprising hybrid with The End of Something. The intimacy in Greenstreet’s partial narratives and slow admissions contrasts with much of what we consume as Americans, which is fleeting and feigns being “factual.” The lines “He wasn’t born blind. / He had witnessed / an accident. // They were boys, / they were vulnerable. / That didn’t make them good,” are as haunting as they are haunted by the reader’s conjecture. The omissions of this poem are neither withholding nor do they offer pieces of a solvable puzzle; this text instead reaches for the multitudes within its signs, loads them with context, and then lets the reader democratically construct an experience and emotional response. The last of Greenstreet’s four-book series questioning how an artist can show “the inner life,” The End of Something asserts a conclusion without actually pulling its doors completely shut. As Rick Meier said of Greenstreet’s previous book, Young Tambling, “This book doesn’t want you to understand it so much as to begin talking back to it”—something that might well be seen as the larger purpose of all Greenstreet’s work.” -from the Ahsahta Press website
Alice James Books
pray me stay eager by Ellen Doré Watson
100 pages – Alice James Books
“Ellen Doré Watson gives us the gift of a healthy dose of life in pray me stay eager, a book that lifts language up and invites it to its own self-investigation. . . This is a taut and wise collection, bustling with inventiveness and celebration of wonder. The craft is impeccable, the inner vision revelatory, and the humor affirming, the kind of courage we so need.” —Afaa Michael Weaver
Black Sun Lit
SITU by Steven Seidenberg
215 pages – Small Press Distribution
“Behold: a body, mind, and voice situated in place, in time and space—moving, moved, and immovable. Steven Seidenberg’s SITU is a hesitant unfolding of demise, a text occupying the interstices between diegesis, philosophy, and poetry. The narrative’s tension finds form in an indeterminate subject’s relationship with a bench: an anguished site of rest and motion. Proving and parodying an epistemology of volition, the unstable narrator imbues their wildly despairing circumlocutions with great poetic urgency. This “thinking thinking” moves in and out of the thinking body it observes, displaying a devastating portrait of the paradoxes at the basis of all willful or inadvertent representation. SITU is a dramatic intensification of Seidenberg’s career-long blurring of fiction, poetry, and philosophy—an accomplishment recalling the literary contributions of Blanchot, Bernhard, and pre-impasse Beckett.” -from the Black Sun Lit website
Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University
We Remain Traditional by Sylvia Chan (Entropy’s nonfiction editor)
98 pages – University Press of Colorado
“Marked by vulnerability and intimacy, Chan interrogates a young woman’s childhood sexual abuse. In the vein of Stacy Doris and Paul Celan, Chan asks, because she is a child of violent tradition, what is her visceral grief? This is a speaker who aspires to create universal experiences for her listeners, to transform jazz into narrative. This is a wild, beautiful, and ambitious first book: Chan refuses to apologize for the terror in her conviction and compassion. To choose a man who is behind her sexual, psychological, and political exploitation is to forgive his narcissism, aggression, and addiction. To love, simply, is to live unafraid of pushing boundaries and being happy.” – from the University of Colorado Press website
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
160 pages – IndieBound
“Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father—an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist—who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame. Mailhot ‘trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept.’ Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, re-establishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.” -from the Counterpoint Press website
Thirty-Seven by Peter Stenson
288 pages – Dzanc Books
“The Survivors, their members known only by the order in which they joined, live alone in a rural Colorado mansion. They believe that sickness bears honesty. And that honesty bears change. Fueled by the ritualized Cytoxan treatments that leave them on the verge of death, they instigate the Day of Gifts, a day that spells shocking violence and the group’s demise.
Enter Mason Hues, formerly known as Thirty-Seven, the group’s final member and the only one both alive and free. Eighteen years old and living in a spartan apartment after his release from a year of intensive mental health counseling, he takes a job at a thrift shop and expects to while away his days as quietly and unobtrusively as possible.
But when his enigmatic boss Talley learns his secret, she comes to believe that there is still hope in the Survivor philosophy. She pushes Mason to start the group over again—this time with himself as One.
Part Fight Club, part The Girls, and entirely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, Peter Stenson’s Thirty-Seven is an audacious and austere novel that explores our need to belong. Our need to be loved. Our need to believe in something greater than ourselves, and our ultimate capacity for self-delusion.” -from the Dzanc Books website
“I WILL NOT KICK MY FRIENDS by Kathleen Winter is one of the winners of the 17th Annual Elixir Press Poetry Awards. Contest judge, Jane Satterfield, had this to say about I WILL NOT KICK MY FRIENDS: “Sparkling, satirical, and highly referential, Winter’s poems offer deep rewards. They consistently resist scholarly insularity, and the overall effect is a refreshingly choral, intoxicating verse.” Bob Hicok said this: “Kathleen Winter is unusually attuned to the intersection of the imagined and the common place. She weaves her loves — personal, artistic, intellectual — into her daily life, making this a book of passionate intimacies. Kathleen’s attitude — her appetite — is made clear by her vision of Eve in the poem, ‘Noir’ — ‘He offered me the apple — / what could I do?’ This is a wonderful book.” – from Elixir Press’ website
La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono
120 pages – Feminist Press
“The first novel by an Equatorial Guinean woman to be translated into English, La Bastarda is the story of the orphaned teen Okomo, who lives under the watchful eye of her grandmother and dreams of finding her father. Forbidden from seeking him out, she enlists the help of other village outcasts: her gay uncle and a gang of “mysterious” girls reveling in their so-called indecency. Drawn into their illicit trysts, Okomo finds herself falling in love with their leader and rebelling against the rigid norms of Fang culture.” –from the Feminist Press website
Though I Get Home by YZ Chin
220 page by Feminist Press
“In these stories, characters navigate fate via deft sleights of hand: a grandfather gambles on the monsoon rains, a consort finds herself a new assignment, and a religious man struggles to keep his demons at bay. Central to the book is Isabella Sin, a small-town girl—and frustrated writer—transformed into a prisoner of conscience in Malaysia’s most notorious detention camp. YZ Chin is the winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, an initiative begun by the Feminist Press and TAYO Literary Magazine to lift up women writers of color. Called “complex and intimate” by prize judge Ana Castillo, this debut examines the tension between individual motivation and globalizing circumstance.” -from the Feminist Press website
Harvard Square Edition
TITLE 13: A Novel by Michael A. Ferro
276 pages – Harvard Square Edition
“A timely investigation into the heart of a despotic government, TITLE 13 is a darkly comic cautionary tale of mental illness and unconventional love. The novel deftly blends satirical comedy aimed at the hot-button issues of modern society with the gut-wrenching reality of an intensely personal descent into addiction.
Young Heald Brown might be responsible for the loss of highly classified TITLE 13 government documents—and may have hopelessly lost himself as well. Since leaving his home in Detroit for Chicago during the recession, Heald teeters anxiously between despondency and bombastic sarcasm, striving to understand a country gone mad while clinging to his quixotic roots.
Trying to deny the frightening course of his alcoholism, Heald struggles with his mounting paranoia, and his relationships with concerned family and his dying grandmother while juggling a budding office romance at the US government’s Chicago Regional Census Center.
Attempting to combat the devastating effects of his addiction, Heald’s reality digresses into farcical absurdity, fevered isolation, and arcane psychological revelation, hilarious though redoubtable in nature. Meanwhile the TITLE 13 secrets remain at large, haunting each character and tangling the interwoven threads of Heald’s life, as the real question looms: Is it the TITLE 13 information that Heald has lost, or his sanity?” -from the Harvard Square Edition website
California Calling: A Self-Interrogation by Natalie Singer
291 pages –IndieBound
“California Calling is a lyrical self-interrogation of obsession, emigration, and identity. Natalie Singer’s story opens in a courtroom on a witness stand, where she’s forced to testify in a family breakup that changes the course of her life. At sixteen Natalie emigrates from Montreal and the secrets it holds to the golden promise of the California Bay Area, just as her Jewish ancestors fled Russia and went west for a new life. Through uneasy rituals of high school pep rallies and college sex in boats and the backs of pickups, to a summer tracing a serial killer through the heart of Gold Country, to an eventual journalism career in San Francisco and the deserts of Palm Springs, Natalie aches to forge an American identity. At once an intimately unflinching memoir and a probing examination of the family and cultural myths that shape us, California Calling calls upon history, reportage, witness interrogation tactics, music and pop culture, and the iconography of the West to explore whether we can cure loneliness through landscape. Ultimately, California Calling is a search for a state of belonging.” -from the Hawthorne Books website
The Endless Summer by Madame Nielsen (Trans. by Gaye Kynoch)
103 pages – Open Letter
“A passionate love story about a Danish woman and a much younger Portuguese artist, The Endless Summer confronts ideas of time, sexuality, and tragedy in a style reminiscent of both Proust and Lars Von Trier. Emotional and visceral, the novel drifts through time and space, relating the lives, loves, and dissolutions of everyone who surrounds this unexpected couple, including the woman’s former husband who holds the family at gunpoint, her daughter and her lovers, who include a boy who finds himself and his true sexual identity in America, and the young boy who “is perhaps a girl, but does not yet know it,” who narrates it all. Propelled by a captivating story, the real charm of the novel resides in its impeccable style and atmosphere, which gathers a sense of longing, a slight nostalgia for times that ache with possibility, while knowing that even the endless summer doesn’t last forever.” -from the Open Letter website
Wayne State University Press
Meet Behind Mars by Renee Simms
144 pages – Wayne State University Press
“‘I feel like I can’t tell one story about a giant mustard penis because it’s not about a mustard penis only, but about all of these incidents together, in context, and through time.’ So begins the title story in Renee Simms’s debut short story collection, Meet Behind Mars—a revealing look at how geography, memory, ancestry, and desire influence our personal relationships. In many of her stories, Simms exposes her own interest in issues concerning time and space. For example, in “Rebel Airplanes,” an L.A. engineer works by day on city sewers and by night on R-C planes that she yearns to launch into the cosmos. The character-driven stories in Meet Behind Mars offer beautiful insight into the emotional lives of caretakers, auto workers, dancers, and pawn shop employees. In “High Country,” a frustrated would-be novelist considers ditching her family in the middle of the desert. In “Dive,” an adoptee returns to her adoptive home, still haunted by histories she does not know. Simms writes from the voice of women and girls who struggle under structural oppression and draws from the storytelling tradition best represented by writers like Edward P. Jones, whose characters have experiences that are specific to black Americans living in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. One instance of this is in “The Art of Heroine Worship,” in which black families integrate into a white suburb of Detroit in the 1970s. The stories in this collection span forty years and two continents and range in structure from epistolary to traditionally structured realism, with touches of absurdity, humor, and magic. Meet Behind Mars will appeal to readers interested in contemporary literary fiction.” – from the Wayne State University Press website
Like a Champion by Vincent Chu
236 pages – Amazon
“LIKE A CHAMPION is a collection of eighteen stories that shine a light on people who are far from champions. Funny and heartbreaking like the best shorts of Sherman Alexie, bizarre and familiar, LIKE A CHAMPION tells the stories of men and women, underdogs and long shots, trying to triumph as their notions of love, acceptance, and success unexpectedly change.” –from the 7.13 website
Mr. Neutron by Joe Ponepinto
300 pages – Amazon
“Set in a small, fictional American city, MR. NEUTRON is a genre-bending satire about a dimwitted giant that runs for mayor while a hapless political operative races to solve the mystery behind the giant’s origin. The whimsy and inventiveness of this novel will appeal to fans of Douglas Adams, Jonas Jonasson, and Fredrik Backman.” – from the 7.13 Books website