Sunday, April 30, 2023

"The Senator's Wife"

Coming soon from Bantam: The Senator's Wife: A Novel by Liv Constantine.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this town, anyone is replaceable. . . .

After a tragic chain of events led to the deaths of their spouses two years ago, D.C. philanthropist Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery are finally starting to move on. The horrifying ordeal drew them together, and now they’re ready to settle down again—with each other.

As Sloane returns to the world of White House dinners and political small talk, this time with her new husband, she’s also preparing for an upcoming hip replacement—the latest reminder of the lupus she’s managed since her twenties. With their hectic schedules, they decide that hiring a home health aide will give Sloane the support and independence she needs postsurgery. And they find the perfect fit in Athena Karras.

Seemingly a godsend, Athena tends to Sloane and even helps her run her charitable foundation. But Sloane slowly begins to deteriorate—a complication, Athena explains, of Sloane’s lupus. As weeks go by, Sloane becomes sicker, and her uncertainty quickly turns to paranoia as she begins to suspect the worst. Why is Athena asking her so many probing questions about her foundation—as well as about her past? And could Sloane be imagining the sultry looks between Athena and her new husband?

Riveting, fast-paced, and full of unbelievable twists, The Senator’s Wife is a psychological thriller that upends the private lives of those who walk the halls of power. Because when you have it all, you have everything to lose.
Visit Liv Constantine's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Valerie Constantine & Zorba.

Coffee with a Canine: Lynne Constantine & Greyson.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Mrs. Parrish.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Time I Saw You.

My Book, The Movie: The Wife Stalker.

My Book, The Movie: : The Stranger in the Mirror.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Managed Dissent"

New from Cambridge University Press: Managed Dissent: The Law of Public Protest by Timothy Zick.

About the book, from the publisher:

The mass street demonstrations that followed the 2020 police murder of George Floyd were perhaps the largest in American history. These events confirmed that even in a digital era, people rely on public dissent to communicate grievances, change public discourse, and stand in collective solidarity with others. However, the demonstrations also showed that the laws surrounding public protest make public contention more dangerous, more costly, and less effective. Police fired tear gas into peaceful crowds, used physical force against compliant demonstrators, imposed broad curfews, limited the places where protesters could assemble, and abused 'unlawful assembly' and other public disorder laws. These and other pathologies epitomize a system in which public protest is tightly constrained in the name of public order. Managed Dissent argues that in order to preserve the venerable tradition of public protest in the US, we must reform several aspects of the law of public protest.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Murder on Mustang Beach"

New from Berkley: Murder on Mustang Beach by Alicia Bessette.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a killer stirs up trouble in the Outer Banks, amateur sleuth and bookseller Callie Padget is on the case, in a new beachside mystery from author Alicia Bessette.

Cattail Island in the Outer Banks is a popular destination for honeymooners and nature lovers alike. So it is a huge blow when the murder of a newlywed grinds the pre-summer season to a screeching halt. Bookseller Callie Padget launches her own investigation, after mysterious customer Geri-Lynn Humfeld, caretaker of the island’s protected wild horses, brings in an irresistible piece of information.

Determined to restore order and safety to her beloved hometown, Callie searches for answers—even as those answers cast suspicion on her soon-to-be boyfriend, Toby Dodge, whose martial arts studio was the scene of the crime. As she digs deeper, Toby becomes the police’s prime suspect. The truth raises troubling questions and sends her scouring the bookshop’s shelves for guidance.

Meanwhile, a well-loved member of the mustang herd—a pregnant mare whose anticipated foal is a symbol of summery hope for locals and visitors alike—may be facing dire circumstances. With help from Geri-Lynn, Callie unearths startling secrets surrounding not only the compromised mare, but the murdered newlywed, too. And when another body shows up, this time on isolated Mustang Beach, she must race against time to stop a killer from claiming any more innocent lives.
Visit Alicia Bessette's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Virtuous Bankers"

New from Princeton University Press: Virtuous Bankers: A Day in the Life of the Eighteenth-Century Bank of England by Anne Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:

An intimate account of the eighteenth-century Bank of England that shows how a private institution became “a great engine of state”

The eighteenth-century Bank of England was an institution that operated for the benefit of its shareholders—and yet came to be considered, as Adam Smith described it, “a great engine of state.” In Virtuous Bankers, Anne Murphy explores how this private organization became the guardian of the public credit upon which Britain’s economic and geopolitical power was based. Drawing on the voluminous and detailed minute books of a Committee of Inspection that examined the Bank’s workings in 1783–84, Murphy frames her account as “a day in the life” of the Bank of England, looking at a day’s worth of banking activities that ranged from the issuing of bank notes to the management of public funds.

Murphy discusses the bank as a domestic environment, a working environment, and a space to be protected against theft, fire, and revolt. She offers new insights into the skills of the Bank’s clerks and the ways in which their work was organized, and she positions the Bank as part of the physical and cultural landscape of the City: an aggressive property developer, a vulnerable institution seeking to secure its buildings, and an enterprise necessarily accessible to the public. She considers the aesthetics of its headquarters—one of London’s finest buildings—and the messages of creditworthiness embedded in that architecture and in the very visible actions of the Bank’s clerks. Murphy’s uniquely intimate account shows how the eighteenth-century Bank was able to deliver a set of services that were essential to the state and commanded the confidence of the public.
Visit Anne L. Murphy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 29, 2023

"Killing Me"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon.

About the book, from the publisher:

She escaped a serial killer. Then things got weird.

Amber Jamison can’t believe she’s about to become the latest victim of a serial killer. She’s savvy and street smart, so when she gets pushed into, of all things, a white windowless van, she is more angry than afraid. Things get even weirder when she’s miraculously saved by a mysterious woman . . . who promptly disappears. Who was she? And why is she hunting serial killers?

You’d think escaping one psychopath would be enough, but Amber’s problems are just beginning. Her close call has law enforcement circling a past she’s tried to outrun. She’s forced to flee across the country, ending up at a seedy motel in Las Vegas with a noir-obsessed manager and a sex worker as her unlikely companions ... and danger right behind. She’s landed in the cross hairs of the world’s most prolific killer, caught up in a deadly game that’s been going on for years. To survive, she is forced to dust off her old playbook and partner with someone she can’t trust. The odds are against her, but sometimes you just have to roll the dice.
Learn more about the book and author at Michelle Gagnon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Don't Turn Around.

My Book, The Movie: Don't Turn Around.

The Page 69 Test: Don't Let Go.

My Book, The Movie: Don't Let Go.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Merchants of the Right"

New from Princeton University Press: Merchants of the Right: Gun Sellers and the Crisis of American Democracy by Jennifer Carlson.

About the book, from the publisher:

An eye-opening portrait of the gun sellers who navigated the social turmoil leading up to the January 6 Capitol attack

Gun sellers sell more than just guns. They also sell politics. Merchants of the Right sheds light on the unparalleled surge in gun purchasing during one of the most dire moments in American history, revealing how conservative political culture was galvanized amid a once-in-a-century pandemic, racial unrest, and a U.S. presidential election that rocked the foundations of American democracy.

Drawing on a wealth of in-depth interviews with gun sellers across the United States, Jennifer Carlson takes readers to the front lines of the culture war over gun rights. Even though the majority of gun owners are conservative, new gun buyers are more likely to be liberal than existing gun owners. This posed a dilemma to gun sellers in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election: embrace these liberal customers as part of a new, perhaps post-partisan chapter in the American gun saga or double down on gun politics as conservative terrain. Carlson describes how gun sellers mobilized mainstays of modern conservative culture―armed individualism, conspiracism, and partisanship―as they navigated the uncertainty and chaos unfolding around them, asserting gun politics as conservative politics and reworking and even rejecting liberal democracy in the process.

Merchants of the Right offers crucial lessons about the dilemmas confronting us today, arguing that we must reckon with the everyday politics that divide us if we ever hope to restore American democracy to health.
Visit Jennifer Carlson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Rules of Us"

New from Labyrinth Road: The Rules of Us by Jennifer Nissley.

About the book, from the publisher:

Come out. Break up. Stay friends? In this heartwarming queer love story about love of all kinds, exes navigate new crushes, new feelings, and a newly uncertain future after unexpectedly coming out to each other on prom night turns their lives—and their friendship—upside down. Can they figure out how to move on without losing each other?

Jillian and Henry are the kind of couple who do everything together. They take the same classes, have the same hobbies, and applied for the same super-competitive scholarship so they can go to the same dream college. They even come out as gay to each other on the same night, after junior prom, prompting a sudden breakup that threatens their intertwined identities and carefully designed future. Jillian knows the only way to keep everything on track is to approach their breakup with the same precision and planning as their scholarship application. They will still be “Jillian and Henry”—even if they’re broken up.

Except they hadn’t planned on Henry meeting the boy of his dreams or Jillian obsessing over a cool girl at school. Jillian is desperate to hold on to her best friend when so much else is changing. But as she and Henry explore what—and who—they really want, it becomes harder to hold on to the careful definitions she has always lived her life by. Stuck somewhere between who she was with Henry and who she might be on her own, Jillian has to face what she can’t control and let go of the rules holding her back.
Visit Jennifer Nissley's website.

Q&A with Jennifer Nissley.

--Marshal Zeringue

"How Documentaries Went Mainstream"

New from Oxford University Press: How Documentaries Went Mainstream: A History, 1960-2022 by Nora Stone.

About the book, from the publisher:

Since the 1960s, documentary films have moved closer to the mainstream, thanks to the popularity of rockumentaries, association with the independent film movement, support from public and cable television, and the rise of streaming video services. Documentary films have become reliable earners at the U.S. box office and ubiquitous on streaming platforms, while historically they existed on the margins of mainstream media. How do we explain the growing commercialization of documentary films and the conditions that fueled their transformation?

The growing commercialization of documentary film has not gone unnoticed, but it has not been sufficiently explained. Streaming and the growing interest in reality TV are usually offered as initial explanations whenever a documentary enters the cultural conversation or breaks a box-office record, but neither of those causes grapple with the overlapping causal mechanisms that commercialized documentary film. How Documentaries Went Mainstream provides a more comprehensive and meaningful periodization of the commercialization of documentary film. Although the commercial ascension of documentary films might seem meteoric, it is the culmination of decades-long efforts that have developed and fortified the audience for documentary features. Author Nora Stone refines rough explanations of these efforts through a robust synoptic history of the market for documentary films, using knowledge of film economics and the norms of industry discourse to tell a richer story. This periodization will allow scholars to compare the commercialization of documentary film with other genres. Drawing on archival documents, industry trade journals and popular press, and interviews with filmmakers and film distributors, Stone illuminates how documentary features have become more plentiful, popular, and profitable than ever before.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 28, 2023

"Love Buzz"

New from Harper Perennial: Love Buzz: A Novel by Neely Tubati-Alexander.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this spectacularly enjoyable and serendipitous adventure, a chance romantic encounter during a wild night at a Mardi Gras bachelorette party sends strait-laced Serena Khan’s carefully constructed life into chaos.

A wretched maid of honor. A hangover from hell. Raucous Mardi Gras crowds. There isn’t much Serena Khan is enjoying about this four-day New Orleans destination bachelorette party for her semi-estranged cousin, the bride-to-be.

UNTIL sparks fly with a handsome stranger, who—like her—is also from Seattle, at the ladies’ last stop of the evening, a Bourbon Street bar. After their conversation is cut short, Serena is overwhelmed by the desire to find the charming man with the brooding eyebrows, but her list of clues is pretty short:

His name is Julian

He lives on Chamber Hill

He works at a tech company

He loves Lil Wayne and Nirvana

The need to find him is, for Serena, both irresistible and totally irrational. In a few short weeks, her college alumni magazine is featuring her in a “Life at Thirty” feature, cementing her as a success story. She will have officially achieved the safe, stable life her late mother insisted upon. Julian is not part of the plan.

As she combs Seattle for her New Orleans flame, stripping away the perfectly curated life that would have made her mother proud, Serena must decide if the pursuit of real passion is worth it, and fast, before she destroys the life she always thought she wanted.

In a sharply funny, thoughtful, and romantic debut combining the wistfulness of Rebecca Serle with the witty sizzle of Emily Henry, Neely Tubati Alexander prompts us all to ask if the life we’re living is a life worth loving.
Visit Neely Tubati-Alexander's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Cult of Creativity"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Cult of Creativity: A Surprisingly Recent History by Samuel W. Franklin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A history of how, in the mid-twentieth century, we came to believe in the concept of creativity.

Creativity is one of American society’s signature values. Schools claim to foster it, businesses say they thrive on it, and countless cities say it’s what makes them unique. But the idea that there is such a thing as “creativity”—and that it can be cultivated—is surprisingly recent, entering our everyday speech in the 1950s. As Samuel W. Franklin reveals, postwar Americans created creativity, through campaigns to define and harness the power of the individual to meet the demands of American capitalism and life under the Cold War. Creativity was championed by a cluster of professionals—psychologists, engineers, and advertising people—as a cure for the conformity and alienation they feared was stifling American ingenuity. It was touted as a force of individualism and the human spirit, a new middle-class aspiration that suited the needs of corporate America and the spirit of anticommunism.

Amid increasingly rigid systems, creativity took on an air of romance; it was a more democratic quality than genius, but more rarified than mere intelligence. The term eluded clear definition, allowing all sorts of people and institutions to claim it as a solution to their problems, from corporate dullness to urban decline. Today, when creativity is constantly sought after, quantified, and maximized, Franklin’s eye-opening history of the concept helps us to see what it really is, and whom it really serves.
Follow Sam Franklin on Facebook and Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"No One Needs to Know"

New from Bantam: No One Needs to Know: A Novel by Lindsay Cameron.

About the book, from the publisher:

It was all confidential. Right up to the moment when it wasn’t.

UrbanMyth: It was lauded as an alternative to the performative, show-your-best-self platforms—an anonymous discussion board grouped by zip code. The residents of Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side disclosed it all, things they would never share with their friends or their spouses: secret bank accounts, steamy affairs, tidbits of juicy gossip. The same people who, as parents, go to astonishing lengths to ensure that their children gain admission to the most prestigious boarding schools and universities. So when a “hacktivist” group breaks into the forum and exposes the real identity of each poster, the repercussions echo down Park Avenue with a force that none could have anticipated.

And someone ends up dead.

Is the murderer Heather, the outsider who would do anything to get her daughter into the elite’s good graces and into their even better schools? Norah, the high-powered executive failing to balance work with the emotional responsibilities of motherhood? Or Poppy, whose perfect-on-the-outside façade conceals more than her share of secrets?

Each of them has something to hide.

Each of them will do anything to keep secrets hidden.

And each of them just might kill to protect their own.
Visit Lindsay Cameron's website.

The Page 69 Test: Just One Look.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Literature and Justice in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain"

New from Oxford University Press: Literature and Justice in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain: Crimes and War Crimes by Victoria Stewart.

About the book, from the publisher:

Literature and Justice in Mid Twentieth Century Britain: Crime and War Crimes examines how ideas about crime, criminality, and judicial procedure that had developed in a domestic context influenced the representation and understanding of war crimes trials, victims of war crimes, and war criminals in post-Second World War Britain. The representation of Belsen concentration camp and the subsequent British-run trial of its personnel are a particular focal point. Drawing on a range of source material including life-writing, journalism, and detective fiction, as well as criminological and sociological works from this period, this book explains why the fate of the Jews and other victims of the Nazis was sometimes brought starkly into focus and sometimes marginalised in public discourse at this period. What remain are glimpses of the events now called the Holocaust, but glimpses that can be as powerful and as meaningful as more direct or explicit representations.
Follow Victoria Stewart on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 27, 2023

"Worlds Apart"

New from Lake Union: Worlds Apart by Jane Crittenden.

About the book, from the publisher:

An emotional and hopeful debut that asks: Can first love survive 18 years, 11,000 miles and a lifetime of misunderstandings?

Eighteen years ago, teenage Amy fled England, pregnant and heartbroken, to start over in New Zealand with her parents. Now Chris, the love she left behind, has walked into her beloved café by the beach and thrown her life into turmoil.

As far as Amy’s concerned, Chris chose to ignore the child she was carrying when they last met. She brought up their daughter alone and created a happy home for them both on the other side of the world. But with Chris suddenly back in her life, she can no longer ignore the past and begins to wonder what really happened all those years ago.

Old secrets and new revelations cast Amy’s world into doubt. What if this is her last chance at something truly meaningful? Can there really be a happy ending for everyone?
Visit Jane Crittenden's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hitler's Panzer Generals"

New from Cambridge University Press: Hitler's Panzer Generals: Guderian, Hoepner, Reinhardt and Schmidt Unguarded by David Stahel.

About the book, from the publisher:

Germany's success in the Second World War was built upon its tank forces; however, many of its leading generals, with the notable exception of Heinz Guderian, are largely unknown. This biographical study of four German panzer army commanders serving on the Eastern Front is based upon their unpublished wartime letters to their wives. David Stahel offers a complete picture of the men conducting Hitler's war in the East, with an emphasis on the private fears and public pressures they operated under. He also illuminates their response to the criminal dimension of the war as well as their role as leading military commanders conducting large-scale operations. While the focus is on four of Germany's most important panzer generals - Guderian, Hoepner, Reinhardt and Schmidt - the evidence from their private correspondence sheds new light on the broader institutional norms and cultural ethos of the Wehrmacht's Panzertruppe.
The Page 99 Test: Retreat from Moscow.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hurt You"

New from Blackstone: Hurt You by Marie Myung-Ok Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:

With echoes of Marieke Nijkamp and Jason Reynolds, acclaimed author Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s stunning YA homage to Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men tells the tragic story of a Korean American teen who fights to protect herself and her neurodivergent older brother from a hostile community.

Moving beyond the quasi-fraternal bond of the unforgettable George and Lenny from Of Mice and Men, Hurt You explores the actual sibling bond of Georgia and Leonardo da Vinci Daewoo Kim, who has an unnamed neurological disability that resembles autism. The themes of race, disability, and class spin themselves out in a suburban high school where the Kim family has moved in order to access better services for Leonardo.

Suddenly unmoored from the familiar, including the support of her Aunt Clara, Georgia struggles to find her place in an Asian-majority school where whites still dominate culturally, and she finds herself feeling not Korean “enough.” Her one pole star is her commitment to her brother, a loyalty that finds itself at odds with her immigrant parents’ dreams for her, and an ableist, racist society that may bring violence to Leonardo despite her efforts to keep him safe.

Hurt You is a deep exploration of family, society, and the bond between siblings and reflects the reality that people with intellectual disabilities are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, not the perpetrator.
Follow Marie Myung-Ok Lee on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dress Cultures in Zambia"

New from Cambridge University Press: Dress Cultures in Zambia: Interwoven Histories, Global Exchanges, and Everyday Life by Karen Tranberg Hansen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Drawing on half-a-century of research in Zambia and regional scholarship, Karen Tranberg Hansen offers a vibrant history of changing dress practices from the late-colonial period to the present day. Exploring how the dressed body serves as the point of contact between personal, local, and global experiences, she argues that dress is just as central to political power as it is to personal style. Questioning the idea that the West led fashion trends elsewhere, Hansen demonstrates how local dress conventions appropriated western dress influences as Zambian and shows how Zambia contributed to global fashions, such as the colourful Chitenge fabric that spread across colonial trading networks. Brought to life with colour illustrations and personal anecdotes, this book spotlights dress not only as an important medium through which Zambian identities are negotiated, but also as a key reflector and driver of history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

"Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River (A Girl Friday Mystery) by Emily J. Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:

1950, New York. Viviana Valentine–Girl Friday turned partner to New York’s top investigator, Tommy Fortuna–is drawn into a sordid new case when Buster Beacon, a wealthy man of science, beckons them to a party at his mansion north of the city. There, Buster entertains blue-blooded friends as well as investors keen to make a dollar on the many advancements made in his home laboratory, but he’s been hearing strange noises in the night coming from his expansive estate, and he doesn’t know who to trust.

Once Viviana and Tommy arrive, the party is snowed in. And suddenly, there is a dead body and nowhere to hide. Who killed the disguised federal agent in their midst? And how have details from the top-secret lab become public? Once chomping at the bit to be brought into this mysterious life, Viviana wonders if she’s ready for the risks that come with the territory—risks that rise treacherously high as the killer targets the next victim.

Set in the gritty, noir world of 1950 New York City, Emily J. Edwards’s Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River packs all the elements mystery fans love: an irresistibly clever protagonist, a posh cast of heroes and villains, and a murder case that could defy even the most seasoned investigator.
Visit Emily J. Edwards's website.

My Book, The Movie: Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man.

Q&A with Emily J. Edwards.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Draining New Orleans"

New from LSU Press: Draining New Orleans: The 300-Year Quest to Dewater the Crescent City by Richard Campanella.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Draining New Orleans, the first full-length book devoted to “the world’s toughest drainage problem,” renowned geographer Richard Campanella recounts the epic challenges and ingenious efforts to dewater the Crescent City. With forays into geography, public health, engineering, architecture, politics, sociology, race relations, and disaster response, he chronicles the herculean attempts to “reclaim” the city’s swamps and marshes and install subsurface drainage for massive urban expansion.

The study begins with a vivid description of a festive event on Mardi Gras weekend 1915, which attracted an entourage of elite New Orleanians to the edge of Bayou Barataria to witness the christening of giant water pumps. President Woodrow Wilson, connected via phoneline from the White House, planned to activate the station with the push of a button, effectively draining the West Bank of New Orleans. What transpired in the years and decades that followed can only be understood by examining the large swath of history dating back two centuries earlier—to the geological formation and indigenous occupation of this delta—and extending through the colonial, antebellum, postbellum, and Progressive eras to modern times.

The consequences of dewatering New Orleans proved both triumphant and tragic. The city’s engineering prowess transformed it into a world leader in drainage technology, yet the municipality also fell victim to its own success. Rather than a story about mud and machinery, this is a history of people, power, and the making of place. Campanella emphasizes the role of determined and sometimes unsavory individuals who spearheaded projects to separate water from dirt, creating lucrative opportunities in the process not only for the community but also for themselves.
Follow Richard Campanella on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"I'm Not Supposed to Be in the Dark"

New from Henry Holt and Co. (BYR): I'm Not Supposed to Be in the Dark by Riss M. Neilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Deep in Providence comes a paranormal young adult romance that follows a teen convinced that her best friend–turned-enemy is possessed by a ghost, perfect for fans of White Smoke and Twilight.

Seventeen-year-old Aria Cayetano dreams of ghosts. She used to see them too, but thanks to a special tea brewed by her grandfather, Aria’s connection to the spirit world has been severed. Until a decades old rosebush suddenly dies across the street, convincing Aria that something supernatural is happening in her neighborhood.

She aches to investigate it, but the rosebush sits on her ex-best friend Derek Johnson’s front lawn, and she can't question him because he hates her now. Aria doesn't know what drove them apart years ago, but she does know Derek's been acting strange for weeks, sneaking out in the dead of night to who knows where.

Then, days after the rosebush dies, Derek begins speaking to her again. At least Aria thinks it’s him. Until she discovers there’s a ghost inside of Derek that will take his life if it doesn’t find what it’s searching for. As Aria and Derek race to uncover the mystery, another kind of magic takes them by surprise: love. But Aria has to decide how far she’s willing to go to save Derek, especially when helping the ghost means tapping into whatever the tea has buried inside of her.

Bone-chilling and spellbinding, I’m Not Supposed to Be in the Dark is an alluring ghost story that’s about exorcising the past to find a future to believe in.
Visit Riss M. Neilson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Enduring Polygamy"

New from Rutgers University Press: Enduring Polygamy: Plural Marriage and Social Change in an African Metropolis by Bruce Whitehouse.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why hasn’t polygamous marriage died out in African cities, as experts once expected it would? Enduring Polygamy considers this question in one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities: Bamako, the capital of Mali, where one in four wives is in a polygamous marriage. Using polygamy as a lens through which to survey sweeping changes in urban life, it offers ethnographic and demographic insights into the customs, gender norms and hierarchies, kinship structures, and laws affecting marriage, and situates polygamy within structures of inequality that shape marital options, especially for young Malian women. Through an approach of cultural relativism, the book offers an open-minded but unflinching perspective on a contested form of marriage. Without shying away from questions of patriarchy and women’s oppression, it presents polygamy from the everyday vantage points of Bamako residents themselves, allowing readers to make informed judgments about it and to appreciate the full spectrum of human cultural diversity.
Visit Bruce Whitehouse's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

"Playing It Safe"

New from Minotaur Books: Playing It Safe (Electra McDonnell Series, Volume 3) by Ashley Weaver.

About the book, from the publisher:

The third in the Electra McDonnell series from Edgar-nominated author Ashley Weaver, Playing It Safe is a delightful World War II mystery filled with spies, murder, romance, and wit.

As the Blitz continues to ravage London, Ellie McDonnell—formerly a safecracking thief, but currently determined to stay on the straight and narrow to help her country—is approached by British Intelligence officer Major Ramsey with a new assignment. She is to travel under an assumed identity to the port city of Sunderland and there await further instructions. In his usual infuriating way, the Major has left her task as vague and mysterious as possible.

Ellie, ever-ready to aid her country, heads north, her safecracking tools in tow. But before she can rendezvous with the major, she witnesses an unnatural death. A man falls dead in the street in front of her, with a note clutched in his hand. Ellie’s instincts tell her that the man’s death is connected in some way to her mission.

Soon, Ellie and the major are locked in a battle of wits and a race against time with an unknown and deadly adversary, and a case that leads them to a possible Nazi counterfeiting operation. With bombs dropping on the city and a would-be assassin shadowing their every move, it will take all of Ellie’s resourcefulness and Major Ramsey’s fortitude to unmask the spymaster and avert disastrous consequences—for England and for their own lives.
Visit Ashley Weaver's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Most Novel Revenge.

The Page 69 Test: An Act of Villainy.

Writers Read: Ashley Weaver.

The Page 69 Test: A Dangerous Engagement.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Echo and Critique"

New from LSU Press: Echo and Critique: Poetry and the Clichés of Public Speech by Florian Gargaillo.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Echo and Critique, Florian Gargaillo skillfully charts the ways that poets have responded to the clichés of public speech from the start of the Second World War to the present. Beginning around 1939, many public intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic lamented that the political lexicon had become saturated with bureaucratic stock phrases such as “the fight for freedom,” “revenue enhancement,” and “service the target,” designed for the mass media and used to euphemize, obfuscate, and evade.

Instead of ridding their writing of such language, many poets parroted these tropes as a means of exploring the implications of such expressions, weighing their effects, and identifying the realities they distort and suppress. With its attentiveness to linguistic particulars, poetry proved especially well-suited to this innovative mode of close listening and intertextual commentary. At the same time, postwar poets recognized their own susceptibility to dead language, so that co-opting political clichés obliged them to scrutinize their writing and accept the inevitability of cant while simultaneously pushing against it.

This innovative study blends close readings with historical context as it traces the development of echo and critique in the work of seven poets who expertly deployed the method throughout their careers: W. H. Auden, Randall Jarrell, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Robert Lowell, Josephine Miles, and Seamus Heaney. Gargaillo’s analysis reveals that poetry can encourage us to listen diligently and critically to the insincerity ubiquitous in public discourse.
Visit Florian Gargaillo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Something Bad Wrong"

New from Thomas & Mercer: Something Bad Wrong: A Thriller (Jess Keeler Thrillers Book 1) by Eryk Pruitt.

About the book, from the publisher:

To catch the killer who eluded her detective grandfather fifty years ago, a true-crime podcaster must contend with outdated evidence, ulterior motives, and the dark family secrets that got in the way.

True-crime podcaster Jess Keeler has returned to Deeton County, North Carolina, to pick up where her grandfather left off. Sheriff’s Deputy Big Jim Ballard, her grandfather, was a respected detective―until it all came crashing down during a 1972 murder investigation.

For Jim, solving the murders of two teens should have been the highlight of his already storied career. Instead, he battled his own mind, unsure where his hunches ended and the truth began.

Working from her grandfather’s disjointed notes, Jess is sure that she can finally put the cold case―and her family’s shame―to rest. Enlisting the help of disgraced reporter Dan Decker, Jess soon discovers ugly truths about the first investigation, which was shaped by corruption, egos, and a family secret that may be the key to the crime.

Told in a dual timeline that covers both investigations, Something Bad Wrong explores human folly, hubris, and how sometimes, to solve a crime, you have to find out who’s covering it up.
Visit Eryk Pruitt's website.

My Book, The Movie: What We Reckon.

The Page 69 Test: What We Reckon.

Writers Read: Eryk Pruitt (November 2017).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Shadow of the Empress"

New from Stanford University Press: The Shadow of the Empress: Fairy-Tale Opera and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy by Larry Wolff.

About the book, from the publisher:

A beguiling exploration of the last Habsburg monarchs' grip on Europe's historical and cultural imagination.

In 1919 the last Habsburg rulers, Emperor Karl and Empress Zita, left Austria, going into exile. That same year, the fairy-tale opera Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman Without a Shadow), featuring a mythological emperor and empress, premiered at the Vienna Opera. Viennese poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal and German composer Richard Strauss created Die Frau ohne Schatten through the bitter years of World War I, imagining it would triumphantly appear after the victory of the German and Habsburg empires. Instead, the premiere came in the aftermath of catastrophic defeat.

The Shadow of the Empress: Fairy-Tale Opera and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy explores how the changing circumstances of politics and society transformed their opera and its cultural meanings before, during, and after the First World War.

Strauss and Hofmannsthal turned emperors and empresses into fantastic fairy-tale characters; meanwhile, following the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy after the war, their real-life counterparts, removed from political life in Europe, began to be regarded as anachronistic, semi-mythological figures. Reflecting on the seismic cultural shifts that rocked post-imperial Europe, Larry Wolff follows the story of Karl and Zita after the loss of their thrones. Karl died in 1922, but Zita lived through the rise of Nazism, World War II, and the Cold War. By her death in 1989, she had herself become a fairy-tale figure, a totem of imperial nostalgia.

Wolff weaves together the story of the opera's composition and performance; the end of the Habsburg monarchy; and his own family's life in and exile from Central Europe, providing a rich new understanding of Europe's cataclysmic twentieth century, and our contemporary relationship to it.
Visit Larry Wolff's NYU faculty webpage.

The Page 99 Test: The Idea of Galicia.

The Page 99 Test: The Singing Turk.

The Page 99 Test: Woodrow Wilson and the Reimagining of Eastern Europe.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 24, 2023

"Hotel Cuba"

New from Harper Perennial: Hotel Cuba: A Novel by Aaron Hamburger.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the award-winning author of The View from Stalin's Head, a stunning novel about two sheltered Russian Jewish sisters, desperate to get to America to make a new life, who find themselves trapped in the sultry, hedonistic world of 1920s Havana.

Fleeing the chaos of World War I and the terror of the Soviet Revolution, practical, sensible Pearl Kahn and her lovestruck, impulsive younger sibling Frieda sail for America to join their sister in New York. But discriminatory new immigration laws bar their entry, and the young women are turned back at Ellis Island. With few options, Pearl and Frieda head for Havana, Cuba, convinced they will find a way to overcome this setback.

At first, life in big-city Prohibition-era Havana is overwhelming, like nothing Pearl and Frieda have ever experienced—or could have ever imagined in the rural shtetl where they grew up. As the sisters begin to adjust, their plans for going to America together become complicated. Frieda falls for the not-so-dreamy man of her dreams while Pearl’s life opens up unexpectedly, offering her a taste of freedom and heady romance, and an opportunity to build a future on her own terms. Though to do so, she must confront her past and the shame she has long carried.

A heartbreaking, epic family story, Hotel Cuba explores the profound courage of two women displaced from their home who strive to create a new future in an enticing and dangerous world far different from anything they have ever known.
Visit Aaron Hamburger's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Contested World Economy"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Contested World Economy: The Deep and Global Roots of International Political Economy by Eric Helleiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

The rapid growth of the field of international political economy since the 1970s has revived an older tradition of thought from the pre-1945 era. The Contested World Economy provides the first book-length analysis of these deep intellectual roots of the field, revealing how earlier debates about the world economy were more global and wide-ranging than usually recognized. Helleiner shows how pre-1945 pioneers of international political economy included thinkers from all parts of the world rather than just those from Europe and the United States featured in most textbooks. Their discussions also went beyond the much-studied debate between economic liberals, neomercantilists, and Marxists, and addressed wider topics, including many with contemporary relevance, such as environmental degradation, gender inequality, racial discrimination, religious worldviews, civilizational values, national self-sufficiency, and varieties of economic regionalism. This fascinating history of ideas sheds new light on current debates and the need for a global understanding of their antecedents.
Learn more about The Contested World Economy at the Cambridge University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods.

The Page 99 Test: The Neomercantilists.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom"

New from HarperTeen: The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom by Allison L. Bitz.

About the book, from the publisher:

A bright and fun fat-positive YA novel about learning how to express yourself when what has always defined you is no longer an option. Perfect for fans of Julie Murphy and Emma Lord.

Bridget Bloom’s out-of-this-world voice is the perfect fit for center stage. When Bridget’s admitted to Richard James Academy, a college prep boarding school with a prestigious music program—where heartthrob Duke Ericson attends—all her dreams are on track to come true: leave the hometown where she’s never belonged, fall in love, and launch her Broadway career.

But upon arriving at the academy, she learns that due to her low music theory scores, she’s not eligible to perform or earn the sponsorship she needs to afford the tuition. Worst of all, Dean of Students Octavia Lawless, the one person with the power to reverse the decision, challenges her to work on her humility ... by not singing at all.

Without her voice, Bridget will have to get out of her comfort zone and find a new way to shine. Good thing she is unstoppable!

From debut author Allison L. Bitz comes a coming-of-age story of self-discovery, humility, friendship, and love. Includes sheet music for two original songs!
Visit Allison L. Bitz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies"

New from Simon & Schuster: Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies: How Doubting the Bard Became the Biggest Taboo in Literature by Elizabeth Winkler.

About the book, from the publisher:

A thrillingly provocative investigation into the Shakespeare authorship question, exploring how doubting that William Shakespeare wrote his plays became an act of blasphemy...and who the Bard might really be.

The theory that Shakespeare may not have written the works that bear his name is the most horrible, vexed, unspeakable subject in the history of English literature. Scholars admit that the Bard’s biography is a “black hole,” yet to publicly question the identity of the god of English literature is unacceptable, even (some say) “immoral.”

In Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies, journalist and literary critic Elizabeth Winkler sets out to probe the origins of this literary taboo. Whisking readers from London to Stratford-upon-Avon to Washington, DC, she pulls back the curtain to show how the forces of nationalism and empire, religion and mythmaking, gender and class have shaped our admiration for Shakespeare across the centuries. As she considers the writers and thinkers—from Walt Whitman to Sigmund Freud to Supreme Court justices—who have grappled with the riddle of the plays’ origins, she explores who may perhaps have been hiding behind his name. A forgotten woman? A disgraced aristocrat? A government spy? Hovering over the mystery are Shakespeare’s plays themselves, with their love for mistaken identities, disguises, and things never quite being what they seem.

As she interviews scholars and skeptics, Winkler’s interest turns to the larger problem of historical truth—and of how human imperfections (bias, blindness, subjectivity) shape our construction of the past. History is a story, and the story we find may depend on the story we’re looking for.

An irresistible work of literary detection, Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies will forever change how you think of Shakespeare... and of how we as a society decide what’s up for debate and what’s just nonsense, just heresy.
Visit Elizabeth Winkler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 23, 2023


New from Harper Via: Hula: A Novel by Jasmin Iolani Hakes.

About the book, from the publisher

“There’s no running away on an island. Soon enough, you end up where you started.”

Hi'i is proud to be a Naupaka, a family renowned for its contributions to hula and her hometown of Hilo, Hawaii, but there’s a lot she doesn’t understand. She’s never met her legendary grandmother and her mother has never revealed the identity of her father. Worse, unspoken divides within her tight-knit community have started to grow, creating fractures whose origins are somehow entangled with her own family history.

In hula, Hi'i sees a chance to live up to her name and solidify her place within her family legacy. But in order to win the next Miss Aloha Hula competition, she will have to turn her back on everything she had ever been taught, and maybe even lose the very thing she was fighting for.

Told in part in the collective voice of a community fighting for its survival Hula is a spellbinding debut that offers a rare glimpse into a forgotten kingdom that still exists in the heart of its people.
Visit Jasmin Iolani's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Good Governance in Nigeria"

New from Cambridge University Press: Good Governance in Nigeria: Rethinking Accountability and Transparency in the Twenty-First Century by Portia Roelofs.

About the book, from the publisher:

Drawing on original fieldwork in Nigeria, Portia Roelofs argues for an innovative re-conceptualisation of good governance. Contributing to debates around technocracy, populism and the survival of democracy amidst conditions of inequality and mistrust, Roelofs offers a new account of what it means for leaders to be accountable and transparent. Centred on the rise of the 'Lagos Model' in the Yoruba south-west, this book places the voices of roadside traders and small-time market leaders alongside those of local government officials, political godfathers and technocrats. In doing so, it theorises 'socially-embedded' good governance. Roelofs demonstrates the value of fieldwork for political theory and the associated possibilities for decolonising the study of politics. Challenging the long-held assumptions of the World Bank and other international institutions that African political systems are pathologically dysfunctional, Roelofs demonstrates that politics in Nigeria has much to teach us about good governance.
Visit Portia Roelofs's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay by Kelly McWilliams.

About the book, from the publisher:

Harriet Douglass lives with her historian father on an old plantation in Louisiana, which they’ve transformed into one of the South's few enslaved people’s museums. Together, while grieving the recent loss of Harriet’s mother, they run tours that help keep the memory of the past alive.

Harriet's world is turned upside down by the arrival of mother and daughter Claudia and Layla Hartwell—who plan to turn the property next door into a wedding venue, and host the offensively antebellum-themed wedding of two Hollywood stars.

Harriet’s fully prepared to hate Layla Hartwell, but it seems that Layla might not be so bad after all—unlike many people, this California influencer is actually interested in Harriet's point of view. Harriet's sure she can change the hearts of Layla and her mother, but she underestimates the scale of the challenge…and when her school announces that prom will be held on the plantation, Harriet’s just about had it with this whole racist timeline! Overwhelmed by grief and anger, it’s fair to say she snaps.

Can Harriet use the power of social media to cancel the celebrity wedding and the plantation prom? Will she accept that she’s falling in love with her childhood best friend, who’s unexpectedly returned after years away? Can she deal with the frustrating reality that Americans seem to live in two completely different countries? And through it all, can she and Layla build a bridge between them?
Visit Kelly McWilliams's website.

The Page 69 Test: Agnes at the End of the World.

Q&A with Kelly McWilliams.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Closed Book"

New from Princeton University Press: The Closed Book: How the Rabbis Taught the Jews (Not) to Read the Bible by Rebecca Scharbach Wollenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Early Judaism is often described as the religion of the book par excellence—a movement built around the study of the Bible and steeped in a culture of sacred bookishness that evolved from an unrelenting focus on a canonical text. But in The Closed Book, Rebecca Scharbach Wollenberg argues that Jews didn’t truly embrace the biblical text until nearly a thousand years after the Bible was first canonized. She tells the story of the intervening centuries during which even rabbis seldom opened a Bible and many rabbinic authorities remained deeply ambivalent about the biblical text as a source of sacred knowledge.

Wollenberg shows that, in place of the biblical text, early Jewish thinkers embraced a form of biblical revelation that has now largely disappeared from practice. Somewhere between the fixed transcripts of the biblical Written Torah and the fluid traditions of the rabbinic Oral Torah, a third category of revelation was imagined by these rabbinic thinkers. In this “third Torah,” memorized spoken formulas of the biblical tradition came to be envisioned as a distinct version of the biblical revelation. And it was believed that this living tradition of recitation passed down by human mouths, unbound by the limitations of written text, provided a fuller and more authentic witness to the scriptural revelation at Sinai. In this way, early rabbinic authorities were able to leverage the idea of biblical revelation while quarantining the biblical text itself from communal life.

The result is a revealing reinterpretation of “the people of the book” before they became people of the book.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 22, 2023

"To Die Beautiful"

New from Dutton Books: To Die Beautiful: A Novel by Buzzy Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:

How far would you go to protect the people and country you love?

It’s 1940 and Hannie Schaft is a shy nineteen-year-old law student living in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands with ambitious goals for her future. But dreams die in wartime, and Hannie’s closest friends are no longer safe as fascism insidiously rises in her country. Hiding them is not enough. Hannie may be young but she can’t stand aside as the menace of Nazi evil tightens its grip. Driven by love and moral outrage, Hannie soon becomes an armed member of the Dutch Resistance movement.

Hannie discovers her own untapped ferocity—wearing lipstick and heels to lure powerful Nazis close and assassinate them at point-blank range, and bombing munitions factories. As humanity collapses around her, Hannie finds a chosen family of friends within the Resistance and falls in love with a dashing fellow resister at a tremendous cost. Her greatest weapon is her determination to “stay human” (blijf menselijk) ... a promise increasingly difficult to keep.

As Hannie is drawn deeper into a web of plots, disguises and assassinations, whispers spread like wildfire among enemy and friend alike. They all know of her, if not her name: she’s “the Girl with Red Hair.” A match for any Nazi soldier. A true threat. And a target.

To Die Beautiful is a timely look at how fascism flourishes and what good people do to fight back. Based on real events, To Die Beautiful is told with the drama and emotional resonance of meticulously researched history.
Visit Buzzy Jackson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Great American Transit Disaster"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Great American Transit Disaster: A Century of Austerity, Auto-Centric Planning, and White Flight by Nicholas Dagen Bloom.

About the book, from the publisher:

A potent re-examination of America’s history of public disinvestment in mass transit.

Many a scholar and policy analyst has lamented American dependence on cars and the corresponding lack of federal investment in public transportation throughout the latter decades of the twentieth century. But as Nicholas Dagen Bloom shows in The Great American Transit Disaster, our transit networks are so bad for a very simple reason: we wanted it this way.

Focusing on Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, and San Francisco, Bloom provides overwhelming evidence that transit disinvestment was a choice rather than destiny. He pinpoints three major factors that led to the decline of public transit in the United States: municipal austerity policies that denied most transit agencies the funding to sustain high-quality service; the encouragement of auto-centric planning; and white flight from dense city centers to far-flung suburbs. As Bloom makes clear, these local public policy decisions were not the product of a nefarious auto industry or any other grand conspiracy—all were widely supported by voters, who effectively shut out options for transit-friendly futures. With this book, Bloom seeks not only to dispel our accepted transit myths but hopefully to lay new tracks for today’s conversations about public transportation funding.
Visit Nicholas Dagen Bloom's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Salt Grows Heavy"

New from Tor Nightfire: The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw.

About the book, from the publisher:

You may think you know how the fairy tale goes: a mermaid comes to shore and weds the prince. But what the fables forget is that mermaids have teeth. And now, her daughters have devoured the kingdom and burned it to ashes.

On the run, the mermaid is joined by a mysterious plague doctor with a darkness of their own. Deep in the eerie, snow-crusted forest, the pair stumble upon a village of ageless children who thirst for blood, and the three “saints” who control them.

The mermaid and her doctor must embrace the cruelest parts of their true nature if they hope to survive.
Visit Cassandra Khaw's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"His Majesty's Airship"

New from Scribner: His Majesty's Airship: The Life and Tragic Death of the World's Largest Flying Machine by S. C. Gwynne.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Empire of the Summer Moon comes a stunning historical tale of the rise and fall of the world’s largest airship—and the doomed love story between an ambitious British officer and a married Romanian Princess at its heart.

The tragic story of the British airship R101—which went down in a spectacular hydrogen-fueled fireball in 1930, killing more people than died in the Hindenburg disaster seven years later—has been largely forgotten. In His Majesty’s Airship, historian S.C. Gwynne resurrects it in vivid detail, telling the epic story of great ambition gone terribly wrong.

Airships, those airborne leviathans that occupied center stage in the world in the first half of the twentieth century, were a symbol of the future. R101 was not just the largest aircraft ever to have flown and the product of the world’s most advanced engineering—she was also the lynchpin of an imperial British scheme to link by air the far-flung areas of its empire from Australia to India, South Africa, Canada, Egypt, and Singapore. No one had ever conceived of anything like this. R101 captivated the world. There was just one problem: beyond the hype and technological wonders, these big, steel-framed, hydrogen-filled airships were a dangerously bad idea.

Gwynne’s chronicle features a cast of remarkable—and often tragically flawed—characters, including Lord Christopher Thomson, the man who dreamed up the Imperial Airship Scheme and then relentlessly pushed R101 to her destruction; Princess Marthe Bibesco, the celebrated writer and glamorous socialite with whom he had a long affair; and Herbert Scott, a national hero who had made the first double crossing of the Atlantic in any aircraft in 1919—eight years before Lindbergh’s famous flight—but who devolved into drink and ruin. These historical figures—and the ship they built, flew, and crashed—come together in a grand tale that details the rocky road to commercial aviation written by one of the best popular historians writing today.
Visit S.C. Gwynne's website.

Writers Read: S. C. Gwynne (October 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 21, 2023

"The Nigerwife"

New from Atria Books: The Nigerwife: A Novel by Vanessa Walters.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this twisty and electrifying debut novel, a young woman goes missing in Lagos, Nigeria, and her estranged auntie will stop at nothing to find the truth behind her disappearance. Perfect for fans of My Sister, the Serial Killer and The Last Thing He Told Me.

Nicole Oruwari has the perfect life: a hand­some husband; a palatial house in the heart of glittering Lagos, Nigeria; and a glamorous group of friends. She left gloomy London and a troubled family past behind for sunny, moneyed Lagos, becoming part of the Nigerwives—a com­munity of foreign women married to Nigerian men.

But when Nicole disappears without a trace after a boat trip, the cracks in her so-called perfect life start to show. As the investigation turns up nothing but dead ends, her auntie Claudine decides to take matters into her own hands. Armed with only a cell phone and a plane ticket to Nigeria, she digs into her niece’s life and uncovers a hidden side filled with dark secrets, isolation, and even violence. But the more she discovers about Nicole, the more Claudine’s own buried history threatens to come to light.

An inventively told and keenly observant thriller where nothing is as it seems, The Nigerwife offers a razor-sharp look at the bonds of family, the echoing consequences of secrets, and whether we can ever truly outrun our past.
Follow Vanessa Walters on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Unsettling Exiles"

New from Columbia University Press: Unsettling Exiles: Chinese Migrants in Hong Kong and the Southern Periphery During the Cold War by Angelina Chin.

About the book, from the publisher:

The conventional story of Hong Kong celebrates the people who fled the mainland in the wake of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. In this telling, migrants thrived under British colonial rule, transforming Hong Kong into a cosmopolitan city and an industrial and financial hub. Unsettling Exiles recasts identity formation in Hong Kong, demonstrating that the complexities of crossing borders shaped the city’s uneasy place in the Sinophone world.

Angelina Y. Chin foregrounds the experiences of the many people who passed through Hong Kong without settling down or finding a sense of belonging, including refugees, deportees, “undesirable” residents, and members of sea communities. She emphasizes that flows of people did not stop at Hong Kong’s borders but also bled into neighboring territories such as Taiwan and Macau. Chin develops the concept of the “Southern Periphery”―the region along the southern frontier of the PRC, outside its administrative control yet closely tied to its political space. Both the PRC and governments in the Southern Periphery implemented strict migration and deportation policies in pursuit of border control, with profound consequences for people in transit. Chin argues that Hong Kong identity emerged from the collective trauma of exile and dislocation, as well as a sense of being on the margins of both the Communist and Nationalist Chinese regimes during the Cold War. Drawing on wide-ranging research, Unsettling Exiles sheds new light on Hong Kong’s ambivalent relationship to the mainland, its role in the global Cold War, and the origins of today’s political currents.
--Marshal Zeringue