Wednesday, June 7, 2023

"Kill Show"

Coming October 3 from Harper: Kill Show: A True Crime Novel by Daniel Sweren-Becker.

About the book, from the publisher:

When sixteen-year-old Sara Parcell goes missing, it’s an utter tragedy—and an entertaining national obsession—in this thoughtful and addictively readable novel that offers a fresh and provocative take on whodunits and true crime

Sara Parcell disappeared without a trace on a crisp April morning in Frederick, Maryland. Her tragic story was a national obsession and the centerpiece of a controversial television docuseries that followed her disappearance in real time. But is it possible that everyone missed the biggest secret of all?

Ten years after these events, the people who knew Sara best are finally ready to talk. In this genre-bending novel, Daniel Sweren-Becker fashions an oral history around the seemingly familiar crime of a teenage girl gone missing. Yet Kill Show, filled with diabolical twists and provocative social commentary, is no standard mystery. Through “interviews” with family members, neighbors, law enforcement, television executives, and a host of other compelling characters, Sweren-Becker constructs a riveting tale about one family’s tragedy—and Hollywood’s insatiable desire to exploit it.

By revealing the seedy underbelly of the true crime entertainment machine, Kill Show probes literary territory beyond the bounds of the standard whodunit; it’s a thoughtful exploration into America’s obsession with the mysteries, cold cases, and violent tales we turn to for comfort. Groundbreaking, fast-moving, and informed, this is a novel about who’s really responsible for the tragedies we love to consume.
Follow Daniel Sweren-Becker on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Sense of Urgency"

New from the University of Chicago Press: A Sense of Urgency: How the Climate Crisis Is Changing Rhetoric by Debra Hawhee.

About the book, from the publisher:

A study of how the climate crisis is changing human communication from a celebrated rhetorician.

Why is it difficult to talk about climate change? Debra Hawhee argues that contemporary rhetoric relies on classical assumptions about humanity and history that cannot conceive of the present crisis. How do we talk about an unprecedented future or represent planetary interests without privileging our own species? A Sense of Urgency explores four emerging answers, their sheer novelty a record of both the devastation and possible futures of climate change. In developing the arts of magnitude, presence, witness, and feeling, A Sense of Urgency invites us to imagine new ways of thinking with our imperiled planet.
Visit Debra Hawhee's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Lucky Red"

New from The Dial Press: Lucky Red: A Novel by Claudia Cravens.

About the book, from the publisher:

The heart wants what it wants. Saddle up, ride out, and claim it.

It’s the spring of 1877 and sixteen-year-old Bridget is already disillusioned when she arrives penniless in Dodge City with only her wits to keep her alive. Thanks to the allure of her bright red hair and country-girl beauty, she’s recruited to work at the Buffalo Queen, the only brothel in town run by women. Bridget takes to brothel life, appreciating the good food, good pay, and good friendships she forms with her fellow “sporting women.”

But as winter approaches, Bridget learns just how fleeting stability can be. With the arrival of out-of-towners—some ominous and downright menacing, others more alluring but potentially dangerous in their own ways, including a legendary female gunfighter who steals Bridget’s heart—tensions in Dodge City run high. When the Buffalo Queen’s peace and stability are threatened, Bridget must decide what she owes to the people she loves and what it looks like to claim her own destiny.

A thoroughly modern reimagining of the Western genre, Lucky Red is a masterfully crafted, propulsive tale of adventure, loyalty, desire, and love.
Visit Claudia Cravens's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Red Internationalism"

New from Cambridge University Press: Red Internationalism: Anti-Imperialism and Human Rights in the Global Sixties and Seventies by Salar Mohandesi.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Red Internationalism, Salar Mohandesi returns to the Vietnam War to offer a new interpretation of the transnational left's most transformative years. In the 1960s, radicals mobilized ideas from the early twentieth century to reinvent a critique of imperialism that promised not only to end the war but also to overthrow the global system that made such wars possible. Focusing on encounters between French, American, and Vietnamese radicals, Mohandesi explores how their struggles did change the world, but in unexpected ways that allowed human rights to increasingly displace anti-imperialism as the dominant idiom of internationalism. When anti-imperialism collapsed in the 1970s, human rights emerged as a hegemonic alternative channeling anti-imperialism's aspirations while rejecting systemic change. Approaching human rights as neither transhistorical truth nor cynical imperialist ruse but instead as a symptom of anti-imperialism's epochal crisis, Red Internationalism dramatizes a shift that continues to affect prospects for emancipatory political change in the future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

"Hotel Laguna"

New from St. Martin's Press: Hotel Laguna: A Novel by Nicola Harrison.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1942, Hazel Francis left Wichita, Kansas for California, determined to do her part for the war effort. At Douglas Aircraft, she became one of many “Rosie the Riveters,” helping construct bombers for the U. S. military. But now the war is over, men have returned to their factory jobs, and women like Hazel have been dismissed, expected to return home to become wives and mothers.

Unwilling to be forced into a traditional woman’s role in the Midwest, Hazel remains on the west coast, and finds herself in the bohemian town of Laguna Beach. Desperate for work, she accepts a job as an assistant to famous artist Hanson Radcliff. Beloved by the locals for his contributions to the art scene and respected by the critics, Radcliff lives under the shadow of a decades old scandal that haunts him.

Working hard to stay on her cantankerous employer’s good side, Hazel becomes a valued member of the community. She never expected to fall in love with the rhythms of life in Laguna, nor did she expect to find a kindred spirit in Jimmy, the hotel bartender whose friendship promises something more. But Hazel still wants to work with airplanes—maybe even learn to fly one someday. Torn between pursuing her dream and the dream life she has been granted, she is unsure if giving herself over to Laguna is what her heart truly wants.
Visit Nicola Harrison's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Show Girl.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Terrorism Trap"

New from Columbia University Press: The Terrorism Trap: How the War on Terror Escalates Violence in America's Partner States by Harrison Akins.

About the book, from the publisher:

After two decades and trillions of dollars, the United States’ fight against terrorism has achieved mixed results. Despite the vast resources and attention expended since 9/11, terrorism has increased in many societies that have been caught up in the war on terror. Why have U.S. policies been unable to stem the tide of violence?

Harrison Akins reveals how the war on terror has had the unintended consequence of increasing domestic terrorism in U.S. partner states. He examines the results of U.S.-backed counterterrorism operations that targeted al-Qaeda in peripheral regions of partner states, over which their central governments held little control. These operations often provoked a violent backlash from local terrorist groups, leading to a spike in retaliatory attacks against partner states. Senior U.S. officials frequently failed to grasp the implications of the historical conflict between central governments and the targeted peripheries. Instead, they exerted greater pressure on partner states to expand their counterterrorism efforts. This exacerbated the underlying conditions that drove the escalating attacks, trapping these governments in a deadly cycle of tit-for-tat violence with local terrorist groups. This process, Akins demonstrates, accounts for the lion’s share of the al Qaeda network’s global terrorist activity since 2001.

Drawing on extensive primary sources—including newly declassified documents, dozens of in-depth interviews with leading government officials in the United States and abroad, and statistical analysis—The Terrorism Trap is a groundbreaking analysis of why counterterrorism has backfired.
Visit Harrison Akins's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Night Will Find You"

New from Flatiron Books: Night Will Find You: A Novel by Julia Heaberlin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A scientist and reluctant psychic is brought in to find a girl who went missing long ago in the new novel by Julia Heaberlin, the bestselling author of We Are All the Same in the Dark

Vivvy Bouchet, daughter of a known psychic, was ten when she saved a boy’s life by making an impossible prediction. Now she’s an astrophysicist in Texas, devoted to science, but the boy she saved has become a cop who continues to believe she can see things no one else can. When he begs for help on the high-profile cold case of a kidnapped girl, Vivvy steps back into the ocean of voices that once nearly drowned her.

She is forced to team up with detective Jesse Sharp, a skeptic of anything but fact. When Vivvy becomes the target of a conspiracy theorist podcaster, she fights back with both her scientific mind and her inexplicable gifts, hoping to lure a kidnapper, find a child who haunts her, and lay some of her own ghosts to rest.

Sharply relevant, Julia Heaberlin's Night Will Find You explores the mysterious nature of belief—in psychic power, in science, in conspiracies, in a higher power—and the delicate dance between scientific truth and the things we can’t explain.
Visit Julia Heaberlin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Of Light and Struggle"

Coming soon from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Of Light and Struggle: Social Justice, Human Rights, and Accountability in Uruguay by Debbie Sharnak.

About the book, from the publisher:

During the country’s dictatorship from 1973 to 1985, Uruguayans suffered under crushing repression, which included the highest rate of political incarceration in the world. In Of Light and Struggle, Debbie Sharnak explores how activists, transnational social movements, and international policymakers collaborated and clashed in response to this era and during the country’s transition back to democratic rule.

At the heart of the book is an examination of how the language and politics of human rights shifted over time as a result of conflict and convergence between local, national, and global dynamics. Sharnak examines the utility and limits of human rights language used by international NGOs, such as Amnesty International, and foreign governments, such as the Carter administration. She does so by exploring tensions between their responses to the dictatorship’s violations and the grassroots struggle for socioeconomic rights as well as new social movements around issues of race, gender, religion, and sexuality in Uruguay. Sharnak exposes how international activists used human rights language to combat repression in foreign countries, how local politicians, unionists, and students articulated more expansive social justice visions, how the military attempted to coopt human rights language for its own purposes, and how broader debates about human rights transformed the fight over citizenship in renewed democratic societies. By exploring the interplay between debates taking place in activists’ living rooms, presidential administrations, and international halls of power, Sharnak uncovers the messy and contingent process through which human rights became a powerful discourse for social change, and thus contributes to a new method for exploring the history of human rights.

By looking at this pivotal period in international history, Of Light and Struggle suggests that discussions around the small country on the Río de la Plata had global implications for the possibilities and constraints of human rights well beyond Uruguay’s shores.
Visit Debbie Sharnak's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 5, 2023

"The Quiet Tenant"

New from Knopf: The Quiet Tenant: A Novel by Clémence Michallon.

About the book, from the publisher:


Aidan Thomas is a hard-working family man and a somewhat beloved figure in the small upstate town where he lives. He’s the kind of man who always lends a hand and has a good word for everyone. But Aidan has a dark secret he’s been keeping from everyone in town and those closest to him. He’s a kidnapper and serial killer. Aidan has murdered eight women and there’s a ninth he has earmarked for death: Rachel, imprisoned in a backyard shed, fearing for her life.

When Aidan’s wife dies, he and his thirteen-year-old daughter Cecilia are forced to move. Aidan has no choice but to bring Rachel along, introducing her to Cecilia as a “family friend” who needs a place to stay. Aidan is betting on Rachel, after five years of captivity, being too brainwashed and fearful to attempt to escape. But Rachel is a fighter and survivor, and recognizes Cecilia might just be the lifeline she has waited for all these years. As Rachel tests the boundaries of her new living situation, she begins to form a tenuous connection with Cecilia. And when Emily, a local restaurant owner, develops a crush on the handsome widower, she finds herself drawn into Rachel and Cecilia’s orbit, coming dangerously close to discovering Aidan’s secret.

Told through the perspectives of Rachel, Cecilia, and Emily, The Quiet Tenant explores the psychological impact of Aidan’s crimes on the women in his life—and the bonds between those women that give them the strength to fight back. Both a searing thriller and an astute study of trauma, survival, and the dynamics of power, The Quiet Tenant is an electrifying debut by a major talent.
Follow Clémence Michallon on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sounding Latin Music, Hearing the Americas"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Sounding Latin Music, Hearing the Americas by Jairo Moreno.

About the book, from the publisher:

How is Latin American music heard, by whom, and why?

Many in the United States believe Latin American musicians make “Latin music”—which carries with it a whole host of assumptions, definitions, and contradictions. In their own countries, these expatriate musicians might generate immense national pride or trigger suspicions of “national betrayals.” The making, sounding, and hearing of “Latin music” brings into being the complex array of concepts that constitute “Latin Americanism”—its fissures and paradoxes, but also its universal aspirations. Taking as its center musicians from or with declared roots in Latin America, Jairo Moreno presents us with an innovative analysis of how and why music emerges as a necessary but insufficient shorthand for defining and understanding Latin American, Latinx, and American experiences of modernity.

This close look at the growth of music-making by Latin American and Spanish-speaking musicians in the United States at the turn of the twenty-first century reveals diverging understandings of music’s social and political possibilities for participation and belonging. Through the stories of musicians—Rubén Blades, Shakira, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Miguel Zenón—Sounding Latin Music, Hearing the Americas traces how artists use music to produce worlds and senses of the world at the ever-transforming conjunction of Latin America and the United States.
Visit Jairo Moreno's website.

--Marshal Zeringue