Elissa Washuta is one of the smartest writers out there, period. Her words and writings have a haunting quality, which is appropriate for this incredible essay collection on spells, heartbreak, trauma, and transformation. Her book is the kind that actively resists categorization as it explores colonization in the Northwest, Fleetwood Mac, PTSD, Twin Peaks: The Return, and becoming a witch. I think this is an amazing book - although, as the book itself asks, how do you know? All I can say is I don't think I've read anything else like it.
Alexandra Diaz's brilliant book is an incredible story about resilience and finding a chosen family. It takes us deep into a youth immigrant detention center and explores themes of poverty, violence, and family separation, which are unfortunately still relevant. But the book never loses sight of Santiago's character, as he struggles to accept himself and his own worth. This book is a harrowing one but definitely worth reading.
This is one of those short novels that are completely charming (and then ultimately devastating). It brilliantly shows the dark era of Pinochet in Chile through a father and daughter who sell hardware supplies throughout the country, and how the daughter uses the hardware catalog to make sense of everything going on around her. In such a small space, Maria Jose Ferrada fills her book with memorable characters and legends that will stay with you after you are done. You can probably read this book in two hours or so, but I encourage you to savor it.
Is Leonora Carrington my favorite writer? I think so! This reissue of her novel shows her brilliant sense of humor, the surrealist way she views the world, as well as a strong sense of justice - that everything could be a different way. I don't want to give too much away about this book, only that it begins with the 92 year old narrator receiving a gift of a hearing trumpet "encrusted with silver and mother o'pearl motives and grandly curved like a buffalo's horn." The rest I would love for you to discover for yourself.