13 new books we recommend this week
OUT OF THE SUN: On race and storytelling, by Esi Edugyan. (House of Anansi, $ 32.99.) In a thin volume of essays combining memory and social history, the novelist offers “meditations” on a range of black figures from around the world, from Angelo Soliman to Kehinde Wiley, including Marie-Joseph Angélique. “Approaching race and representation, memory and belonging, Edugyan… explores with empathy what it means to be seen, and which remains invisible, in our current culture, aware of identity and obsessed with visibility, which seems limp towards a new aesthetic and political order. of power, ”writes Antwaun Sargent in his review.
TWO-WAY MIRROR: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, by Fiona Sampson. (Norton, $ 27.95.) Sampson, the British poet and biographer, here performs an elegant act of rehabilitation, aimed at restoring some of the luster once associated with Barrett Browning by emphasizing his literary innovations (the novel in verse), his political engagement and his female friendships. “Mainly,” writes John Plotz in his review, “’Two-Way Mirror’ pushes back the neglect, bordering on amnesia, that befell a poet once widely celebrated and still able today to chill readers with it. a sudden plunge of the shared everyday into frightening depths of feeling.
I LOVE YOU BUT I CHOSEN THE DARKNESS, by Claire Vaye Watkins. (River, $ 27.) In this bountiful and combustible novel, a young woman (named Claire Vaye Watkins) flees her husband, baby, and comfortable life in the Midwest to her home state of Nevada, where she proceeds to explore her past. Our reviewer, Cree LeFavour, calls it an “intense, clever and spiky” book, at the same time “angry and alive”, which is distinguished by “frantic pace, frightening honesty and biting humor and self-deprecation.”
HURRICANE LIZARDS AND PLASTIC CALAMAR: The heavy and fascinating biology of climate change, by Thor Hanson. (Basic, $ 28.) Hungry polar bears are an evocative symbol of global warming, but the affable and naturally curious Hanson reveals more subtle and less noticed dramas in how animals adapt to climate change. “In an age when the discourse on climate change focuses primarily on its causes, its effects on weather, and our so far timid efforts to tackle the problem, it’s good to see a book about how animals and the plants react and move in the middle of the flow. “Wrote Jonathan Balcombe in his review. “One of the main lessons here is that our climate emergency affects not only individual species but, inevitably, interspecies relationships.”
RENEWAL: From the crisis to the transformation of our lives, our work and our politics, by Anne-Marie Abattage. (Princeton University, $ 24.95.) Slaughter shares the lessons she has learned from a long career in public life, urging readers to “face both the past and the present with radical, if not brutal honesty.” Our reviewer, Emily Yoffe, takes issue with aspects of the book, but writes that its author is “at her most interesting when she describes being a woman leader.” Slaughter believes that leadership skills are not necessarily intrinsic, but can be learned. In her own life, she describes years of terror of speaking in public and clinging to written remarks. She knew she needed to improve, so she started weaning herself off the page and connecting with her audience. It worked.”