New Books Network

Anne Cushman, “The Mama Sutra: A Story of Love, Loss, and the Path of Motherhood” (Shambhala, 2019)
Sutra is the Sanskrit name for a short spiritual teaching, and it comes from the same root as the English word suture, or stitch. This story of motherhood as a path to awakening is, says yoga and meditation teacher Anne Cushman, “an homage to the long threads that run through all human... Read More
Tsering Döndrup, “The Handsome Monk and Other Stories” (Columbia UP, 2019)
A series of stories ranging from two-page narrative excerpts to 90+ page novellas, The Handsome Monk and Other Stories (Columbia University Press, 2019), translated by Columbia PhD student Christopher Peacock, with a contribution from Lauran Hartley, masterfully introduces the work of contemporary Tibetan author Tsering Döndrup. One of the most... Read More
Ana Johns, “The Woman in the White Kimono” (Park Row Books, 2019)
Naoko Nakamura is only seventeen when she falls madly in love with an American navy man. It’s 1957, and the US occupation of Japan has ended just a few years before, leaving bitter memories in the local population. Even though Naoko’s beloved Hajime wants to marry her, her family will... Read More
Audrey Schulman, “Theory of Bastards” (Europa Editions, 2018)
Audrey Schulman’s Theory of Bastards (Europa Editions, 2018) uses a scientist’s relationship with bonobos—and her struggle to keep them alive following a civilization-shattering dust storm—to explore climate change, over-dependence on technology, and the challenge of a body that produces more pain than pleasure. The novel, which won this year’s Philip... Read More
Ariela Freedman, “A Joy to Be Hidden” (Linda Leith Publishing, 2019)
It’s the late 1990’s and Alice Stein is a grad student in New York City. Her father died the previous year, leaving her mother with 8-year-old twins to raise. Alice is in charge of looking in on her dying grandmother, and then is first, after the thieving caregiver, to sort... Read More
Chelsea Biondolillo, “The Skinned Bird” (Kernpunkt Press, 2019)
If you’ve ever flipped a large rock over to see what was underneath and encountered dark sludge, the movement of insects, and the stirring of your own fascination, then you know something about the project that Chelsea Biondolillo undertakes in her debut essay collection, The Skinned Bird (Kernpunkt Press, 2019).... Read More
R. F. Kuang, “The Poppy War” (Harper Voyager, 2019)
Rin, an orphan raised by a family that treats her badly, is no Harry Potter, despite the superficial similarities. No kindly wizards await her; there are no summons from a cute feathered familiar. She studies day and night to be able to attend the military academy at the city of... Read More