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Stacks - Volume 1

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JULY 2020StacksA Virtual BrowsingMagazineFICTION EDITION

Dear Friends,


Welcome to Stacks, our very own Virtual Browsing Magazine. We're going to make pretty regular use of this to app to showcase some of the books we're especially excited about. We hope you like it and that it's helpful to you. 


It emerges from our frustration at all the great stuff we're stacking on our tables and facing out in our sections that, circumstances being what they are, aren't being seen like they used to be. I told you we were going to keep tinkering with ways for you to engage our space and our inventory, and this is one facet. 


Enjoy! 


Brad






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StacksJULY 2020Use the arrows on either side of the page to flip through the magazine.The book covers are clickable, and will take you to the book on our website: ebbooksellers.comFeel free to download and share the magazine!For over twenty-seven years, this space of ours has been a vital part of the literary and cultural fabric of the East Bay.This place that we call home, it’s always changing. Industries rise and fall. People come and go. And the ground itself moves under our feet. This bowling alley turned bookstore, has been a community sounding board about these changes. A safe place in their midst. A discovery zone in their wake. In short, one of the best damn neighborhood bookstores you’re likely to find. Are we proud of this fact? You bet. But it’s not and has never been about us.Who are we? We’re glad you asked.We are East Bay Booksellers, and we are yourneighborhood bookstore.About Us••2

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3NEW FICTIONAntkind (Random House)By Charlie KaufmanWhen B. Rosenberger Rosenberg, neurotic and underappreciated film critic, stumbles upon a hitherto unseen film made by an enigmatic outsider, he knows that it is his mission to show it to the rest of humanity. The only problem: the film is destroyed, leaving him the sole witness to its inadvertently ephemeral genius.All that’s left of this work of art is a single frame from which B. must somehow attempt to recall the film that just might be the last great hope of civilization. Thus begins a mind-boggling journey through the hilarious nightmarescape of a psyche as lushly Kafkaesque as it is atrophied by the relentless spew of Twitter. Breasts and Eggs (Europa Editions)By Mieko KawakamiBreasts and Eggs paints a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan and recounts the intimate journeys of three women as they confront oppressive mores and their own uncertainties on the road to finding peace and futures they can truly call their own.Kawakami's first novella My Ego, My Teeth, and the World, published in Japan in 2007, was awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging Writers. The following year, she published Breasts and Eggs as a short novella, and won praise from Yoko Ogawa and Haruki Murakami. This newly expanded edition, already hailed as a "feminist masterwork" (Entertainment Weekly), is her first novel to be published in English.A Burning and Eggs (Knopf)By Megha MajumdarFor readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri, an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise--to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies--and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning has the force of an epic while being so masterfully compressed it can be read in a single sitting. Majumdar writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes that read here as the components of a thriller: class, fate, corruption, justice, and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism. An extraordinary debut.Death In Her Hands (Penguin Press)By Ottessa MoshfeghFrom one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds an ominous note on a walk in the woods.A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Once again, we are in the hands of a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, and the stakes have never been higher.

(Knopf)

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4The Fallen (Graywolf Press)By Carlos Manuel ÁlvarezA powerful, unsettling portrait of family life in Cuba, Carlos Manuel Álvarez’s first novel is a masterful portrayal of a society in free fall.In meticulously charting the disintegration of a single family, The Fallen offers a poignant reflection on contemporary Cuba and the clash of the ardent idealism of the old guard with the jaded pragmatism of the young. This is a startling and incisive debut by a new voice in Latin American literature.Fractures (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)By Andrés NeumanCritically acclaimed, prize-winning author Andrés Neuman’s Fracture is an ambitious literary novel set against Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident in a cross-cultural story about how every society remembers and forgets its catastrophes.With unwavering empathy and bittersweet humor. and facing some of the most urgent environmental concerns of our time, Andrés Neuman’s Fracture is a powerful novel about the resilience of humankind, and the beauty that can emerge from broken things.If I Had Your Face (Ballantine Books)By Frances ChaA riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania.If I Had Your Face tell a gripping tale at once unfamiliar and unmistakably universal, in which their tentative friendships may turn out to be the thing that ultimately saves them.Luminous Republic (Mariner Books)By Andrés BarbaA new novel from a Spanish literary star about the arrival of feral children to a tropical city in Argentina, and the quest to stop them from pulling the place into chaos.Narrated by the social worker who led the hunt, A Luminous Republicis a suspenseful, anguished fable that “could be read as Lord of the Flies seen from the other side, but that would rob Barba of the profound originality of his world” (Juan Gabriel Vásquez).Natural History (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)By Carlos FonsecaA dazzling, kaleidoscopic epic of art, politics, and hidden realities.Natural History is the portrait of a world trapped between faith and irony, between tragedy and farce. A defiantly contemporary and impressively ambitious novel in the tradition of Italo Calvino and Ricardo Piglia, it confirms Carlos Fonseca as one of the most daring writers of his generation.The Mountains Sing (Algonquin Books)By Nguyễn Phan Quế MaiWith the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoingand the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam WarThe Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan QuếMai’s first novel in English.

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5The Color of Air (HarperVia)By Gail TsukiyamaFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai's Garden comes a gorgeous and evocative historical novel about a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hawai’i's sugar plantations.Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco, California, to a Chinese mother from Hong Kong and a Japanese father from Hawaii. She attended San Francisco State University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Arts Degree in English.Heaven and Earth (Pamela Dorman Books)By Paolo GiordanoA powerful, epic novel of four friends as they grapple with desire, youth, death, and faith in a sweeping story by the international bestselling author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers.Heaven and Earth is Paolo Giordano at his best: an author capable of unveiling the depths of the human soul, who has now given us the old-fashioned pleasure of a big, sprawling novel in which to lose ourselves.That We May Live (Two Lines Press)By C.J. Evans & Sarah Coolidge (Editors)In this first book in the brand-new Calico Series, our friends at Two Lines Press bring you work by some of today's most exciting writers from China and Hong Kong, including Dorothy Tse (tr. Natascha Bruce), Zhu Hui (tr. Michael Day), and Enoch Tam (tr. Jeremy Tiang). Lightly touching on issues of urbanization, sexuality, and propaganda, the collection builds a world both utterly disorienting and disturbing familiar, prompting the question: Where does reality end and absurdity begin in a world pushed to its very limits?The Only Good Indians (Gallery / Saga Press)By Stephen Graham JonesA tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature.Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.Pew (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)By Catherine LaceyPew is a foreboding, provocative, and amorphous fable about the world today: its contradictions, its flimsy morality, and the limits of judging others based on their appearance. With precision and restraint, one of our most beloved and boundary-pushing writers holds up a mirror to her characters’ true selves, revealing something about forgiveness, perception, and the faulty tools society uses to categorize human complexity.Mexican Gothic (Del Rey)By Silvia Moreno-GarciaAn isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar).Gothic horror has a a new hero …. and a new classic

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6Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (Liveright)By Joaquim Maria Machado de AssisMachado de Assis’s classic novel, the precursor of Latin American fiction, is finally rendered as a stunningly relevant work for twenty-first-century readers.At once a work of uproarious mockery and great sympathy, this is Machado de Assis at his most pathbreaking: an incisive observer of the human condition, and a founding father of modernist fiction.True Love (Harper)By Sarah GerardOne of today’s most provocative literary writers—the author of the critically-acclaimed Sunshine State and the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award finalist Binary Star—captures the confused state of modern romance and the egos that inflate it in a dark comedy about a woman's search for acceptance, identity, and financial security in the rise of TrumpThe Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana(World Editions)By Maryse CondéIn The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana, Maryse Condé, winner of the 2018 Alternative Nobel prize in literature, touches upon major contemporary issues such as racism, terrorism, political corruption, economic inequality, globalization, and migration. With her most modern novel to date, this master storyteller offers an impressive picture of a colorful yet turbulent 21st century.Cockfight (Feminist Press )By María Fernanda AmpueroIn lucid and compelling prose, Mar a Fernanda Ampuero sheds light on the hidden aspects of home: the grotesque realities of family, coming of age, religion, and class struggle. A family's maids witness a horrible cycle of abuse, a girl is auctioned off by a gang of criminals, and two sisters find themselves at the mercy of their spiteful brother. With violence masquerading as love, characters spend their lives trapped reenacting their past traumas.Heralding a brutal and singular new voice, Cockfight explores the power of the home to both create and destroy those within it.Hurricane Season (New Directions)By Fernanda MelchorThe English-language debut of one of the most thrilling and accomplished young Mexican writersThe Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse—by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals—propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering on new details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.Grove (Transit Books)By Esther KinskyAn unnamed narrator, recently bereaved, travels to a small village southeast of Rome. It is winter, and from her temporary residence on a hill between village and cemetery, she embarks on walks and outings, exploring the banal and the sublime with equal dedication and intensity. Seeing, describing, naming the world around her is her way of redefining her place within it.

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7Real Life (Riverhead)By Brandon TaylorA novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice.Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds, and at what cost.Impostures (New York University Press)By Al-ḤarīrīImpostures follows the roguish Abū Zayd al-Sarūjī in his adventures around the medieval Middle East--we encounter him impersonating a preacher, pretending to be blind, and lying to a judge. In every escapade he shows himself to be a brilliant and persuasive wordsmith, composing poetry, palindromes, and riddles on the spot. Award-winning translator Michael Cooperson transforms Arabic wordplay into English wordplay of his own, using fifty different registers of English, from the distinctive literary styles of authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Mark Twain, and Virginia Woolf, to global varieties of English including Cockney rhyming slang, Nigerian English, and Singaporean English.The Vanishing Half (Riverhead)By Brit BennettFrom The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing.Strange Hotel (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)By Eimar McBrideA nameless woman enters a hotel room. She’s been here once before. In the years since, the room hasn’t changed, but she has. Forever caught between check-in and check-out, she will go on to occupy other hotel rooms. From Avignon to Oslo, Auckland to Austin, each is as anonymous as the last but bound by rules of her choosing. There, amid the detritus of her travels, the matchbooks, cigarettes, keys and room-service wine, she negotiates with her memories, with the men she sometimes meets, with the clichés invented to aggravate middle-aged women, with those she has lost or left behind--and with what it might mean to return home.Drifts (Riverhead)By Kate ZambrenoHaunting and compulsively readable, Drifts is an intimate portrait of reading, writing, and creative obsession. At work on a novel that is overdue, spending long days walking neighborhood streets with her restless terrier, corresponding ardently with fellow writers, the narrator grows obsessed with the challenge of writing the present tense, of capturing time itself. Little Eyes (Riverhead)By Samanta SchweblinThe characters in Samanta Schweblin's new novel, Little Eyes, reveal the beauty of connection between far-flung souls--but yet they also expose the ugly side of our increasingly linked world. Trusting strangers can lead to unexpected love, playful encounters, and marvelous adventure, but what happens when it can also pave the way for unimaginable terror? This is a story that is already happening; it's familiar and unsettling because it's our present and we're living it, we just don't know it yet. In this prophecy of a story, Schweblin creates a dark and complex world that's somehow so sensible, so recognizable, that once it's entered, no one can ever leave.

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8Four By Four (Open Letter)By Sara MesaSet entirely at Wybrany College--a school where the wealthy keep their kids safe from the chaos erupting in the cities--Four by Four is a novel of insinuation and gossip, in which the truth about Wybrany's "program" is always palpable, but never explicit. The mysteries populating the novel open with the disappearance of one of the "special," scholarship students. As the first part unfolds, it becomes clear that all is not well in Wybrany, and that something more sordid lurks beneath the surface.The Bitch (World Editions)By Pilar QuintanaColombia's Pacific coast, where everyday life entails warding off the brutal forces of nature. In this constant struggle, nothing is taken for granted. Damaris lives with her fisherman husband in a shack on a bluff overlooking the sea. Childless and at that age "when women dry up," as her uncle puts it, she is eager to adopt an orphaned puppy. But this act may bring more than just affection into her home. The Bitch is written in a prose as terse as the villagers, with storms―both meteorological and emotional―lurking around each corner. Beauty and dread live side by side in this poignant exploration of the many meanings of motherhood and love.Cars On Fire (Open Letter)By Mónica Ramón RíosWith incredible formal range, from the linear to the more free-wheeling, the real to the fantastical to the dystopic, Rios offers striking, jarring glimpses into life as a woman and an immigrant. Set in New York City, New Jersey, and Chile's La Zona Central, the stories in Cars on Fire offer powerful remembrances to those lost to violence, and ultimately make the case for the power of art, love, and feminine desire to subvert the oppressive forces--xenophobia, neoliberalism, social hierarchies within the academic world--that shape life in Chile and the United States.The City We Became (Orbit)By N. K. JemisinThree-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.Adelaide says: “Jemisin is arguably the greatest living fantasy author and everything she writes is as deep as the ocean. This book is fantastic.”Art Young’s Inferno (Fantagraphics)By Art YoungThe preeminent American political cartoonist's classic reinterpretation of Dante's Inferno as a satirical indictment of capitalism — as it has never been seen before.Capitalist oligarchs and their minions have been condemned to Hell, but they lead a hostile takeover, throw out Satan, and privatize the Inferno. Operated by a corporate monopoly who maximizes profits and misery, Hell has become the perfect capitalist paradise. Grabeland (Nightboat Books)By EteamGrabeland takes place in a country that no longer exists, in a culture rooted in soil and projections. Like a travelogue, the story tours the inner exiles of its characters as they test the limitations of their actual existence. Brad says: “This novel has no business being as readable, funny, and interesting as it is. It defies you to fully understand what’s happening, but also to put down.”

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9NEW IN PAPERBACKWomen Talking (Bloomsbury)By Miriam ToewsOne evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.All Fires the Fire (New Directions)By Julio CortázarA traffic jam outside Paris lasts for weeks. Che Guevara and Fidel Castro meet on a mountaintop during the Cuban Revolution. A flight attendant becomes obsessed with a small Greek island, resulting in a surreal encounter with death. In All Fires the Fire, Julio Cortázar(author of Hopscotch and the short story “Blow-Up” ) creates his own mindscapes beyond space and time, where lives intersect for brief moments and situations break and refract. All Fires the Fire contains some of Julio Cortázar’s most beloved storiesThe Nickel Boys (Anchor Books)By Colson WhiteheadIn this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.Exhalation (Vintage Books)By Ted ChiangNine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. Two being published for the very first time. All from the mind of the incomparable Ted Chiang.Tackling some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine, these stories will change the way you think, feel, and see the world. They are Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic—revelatory.Of Cats and Elfins (Handheld Classics)By Sylvia Townsend WarnerThe twenty-three stories in Of Cats and Elfins encompass scholarship (Warner’s ground-breaking 1927 essay ‘The Kingdoms of Elfin’, on modern Elfinology), black humor, the Gothic, and the bizarrely anthropomorphic cats of The Cat’s Cradle Book, which reflect Warner’s preoccupation with the dark forces at large in Europe in the 1940s.Night Boat To Tangier (Anchor Books)By Kevin BarryRendered with the dark humor and the hardboiled Hibernian lyricism that have made Kevin Barry one of the most striking and admired fiction writers at work today, Night Boat to Tangier is a superbly melancholic melody of a novel, full of beautiful phrases and terrible men.

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10FUTURE RELEASES (PREORDER TODAY!)The Lying Life of Adults (Europa Editions)By Elena Ferrante (Sept. 1)Named one of 2016's most influential people by Time and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world's most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.Brad says: “Less epic in its scope than her masterpiece, but laser-focused in its intensity. I couldn’t stop reading it.”The Death of Vivek Oji (Riverhead Books)By Alwaele Emezi (Aug. 4)One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. One of the most anticipated novels of the year by one of Nigeria's brightest literary stars. A wrought, beautiful story of a family coming to terms with a child they neither really know nor understand. Inventory of Losses (New Directions)By Judith Schalansky (Aug. 25)Each disparate object described in this book—a Caspar David Friedrich painting, a species of tiger, a villa in Rome, a Greek love poem, an island in the Pacific—shares a common fate: it no longer exists, except as the dead end of a paper trail. Recalling the works of W. G. Sebald, Bruce Chatwin, or Rebecca Solnit, An Inventory of Losses is a beautiful evocation of twelve specific treasures that have been lost to the world forever, and, taken as a whole, opens mesmerizing new vistas of how we can think about extinction and loss.Brad says: “This book scratches nearly every itch I have as a reader. One of my favorites of the year.”Luster (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)By Raven Leilani (Aug. 4)Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani’s Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life—her hunger, her anger—in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.

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11A Girl Is a Body of Water (Tin House)By Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Sept. 1)International-award-winning author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s novel is a sweeping and powerful portrait of a young girl and her family: who they are, what history has taken from them, and—most importantly—how they find their way back to each other.Makumbi’s unforgettable novel is a sweeping testament to the true and lasting connections between history, tradition, family, friends, and the promise of a different future.Exposition (Dorothy Project)By Nathalie Léger (Sept. 15)Exposition is the first in a triptych of books by the award-winning writer and archivist Nathalie Léger that includes Suite for Barbara Loden and The White Dress. In each, Léger sets the story of a female artist against the background of her own life and research--an archivist's journey into the self, into the lives that history hides from us. Here, her subject is the Countess of Castiglione (1837-1899), who at the dawn of photography dedicated herself to becoming the most photographed woman in the world, modeling for hundreds of photos, including "Scherzo di Follia," among the most famous in history. Set long before our own "selfie" age, The White Dress (Dorothy Project)By Nathalie Léger (Sept. 15)In the third part of her triptych Léger grapples with the tragic 2008 death of Italian performance artist Pippa Bacca, who was raped and murdered while hiking from Italy to the Middle East in a wedding dress to promote world peace. A harrowing meditation on the risks women encounter in life and in art, The White Dress also brings to a haunting conclusion her personal interrogation--sustained across all three books--of her relationship with her mother and the desire for justice in our lives., Moss (Bellevue Literary Press)By Klaus Modick (Aug. 25)An aging botanist withdraws to the seclusion of his family's vacation home in the German countryside. In his final days, he realizes that his life's work of scientific classification has led him astray from the hidden secrets of the natural world. As his body slows and his mind expands, he recalls his family's escape from budding fascism in Germany, his father's need to prune and control, and his tender moments with first loves. But as his disintegration into moss begins, his fascination with botany culminates in a profound understanding of life's meaning and his own mortality.The Lost Writings (New Directions)By Franz Kafka (Oct. 6)A windfall for every reader: a trove of marvelous impossible-to-find Kafka stories in a masterful new translation by Michael HofmannSelected by the preeminent Kafka biographer and scholar Reiner Stach and newly translated by the peerless Michael Hofmann, the seventy-four pieces gathered here have been lost to sight for decades and two of them have never been translated into English before. Some stories are several pages long; some run about a page; a handful are only a few lines long: all are marvels. Even the most fragmentary texts are revelations. Transcendent Kingdom (Knopf)By Yaa Gyasi (Sept. 1)Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief--a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi's phenomenal debut.