Shelf Awareness for Monday, May 7, 2018


Candlewick Press: Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party (Judy Moody #14) by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Carolrhoda Books: I, Claudia by Mary McCoy

Binc Foundation: Carla Gray Scholarship for Emerging Bookstore Activists

Candlewick Press: The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Wednesday Books: Sadie by Courtney Summers

News

Junot Díaz Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Verbal Abuse

Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz is the latest author--following most notably Sherman Alexie--to be accused sexual misconduct. Díaz is also accused of verbal abuse.

The charges became public on Friday at the Sydney Writers Festival in Australia, during a q&a period following a panel that included Díaz. Zinzi Clemmons, author of What We Lose and also a guest of the festival, questioned Díaz about his behavior when she was a graduate student at Columbia, saying he had cornered and forcibly kissed her after she had invited him to speak at a workshop at the school. Following the panel, Clemmons tweeted about the incident, saying that she is "far from the only one he's done this 2."

Quickly several others proved her last point. Author Carmen Maria Machado tweeted that Díaz had been enraged by her questioning of one of his character's "unhealthy, pathological relationship with women" and tried to humiliate her in front of others. Author Monica Byrne tweeted that he shouted "rape" in her face at a dinner "after knowing me for maybe ten minutes."

Many people criticized Díaz, too, for an essay he published last month in the New Yorker titled "The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma," in which he revealed that he had been raped as a child, which led to mental health problems and infidelity. Some saw this as a kind of preemptive move to blunt the revelations that are now circulating.

Díaz withdrew from the rest of his scheduled appearances at the festival as well as from an appearance at the Wheeler Center in Melbourne scheduled for today, Books and Publishing reported.

Díaz's literary agent, Nicole Aragi, gave a statement on Díaz's behalf to the New York Times: "I take responsibility for my past. That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath. This conversation is important and must continue. I am listening to and learning from women's stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries."

The Sydney Writers Festival issued a statement confirming Díaz's withdrawal from the festival, adding, "In his recent New Yorker essay, Mr. Díaz wrote, 'Eventually the past finds you.' As for so many in positions of power, the moment to reckon with the consequences of past behavior has arrived."

The festival also said that it is "a platform for the sharing of powerful stories: urgent, necessary and sometimes difficult. Such conversations have never been more timely. We remain committed to ensuring they occur in a supportive and safe environment for authors and audiences alike."

Díaz won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008 for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and in March published his first children's book, Islandborn. He is also the recipient of a $100,000 MacArthur "genius" grant.


Head of Zeus: Ghost Virus by Graham Masterton


Petition to 'Save America's Oldest Bookstore' Garners 18K Signatures

More than 18,000 people have signed an online petition that seeks to stop Moravian College's plan, announced last week, to have Barnes & Noble College take over operations at the Moravian Book Shop, Bethlehem, Pa. Founded in 1745, it's the country's oldest bookstore.

The Moravian Church Northern Province recently transferred ownership of the store to Moravian College, which plans to close its campus store, run by B&N College, and make Moravian Book Shop its campus store. When the announcement was made, there was no word about the future of the bookstore employees, and Michael Corr, a spokesman for the college, said that the book section of the shop will look essentially the same, though "you'll probably see more Moravian [College] gear and more Moravian textbooks for sale."

Started by bookstore supervisor Leo Atkinson, the petition says in part, "The Moravian Book Shop has anchored Bethlehem's historic downtown for generations and has built itself into the premier location for books, gifts and Christmas decorations in downtown Bethlehem. Despite what some people have said in the news, after a few up and down years, the Moravian Book Shop is in a good position in terms of its core business.

"In the last year we have streamlined our operations and modernized the store's back-end systems. We had almost $2 million in sales last year and we are on pace for an even better 2018. In fact, any financial difficulty stems from the Moravian Church's Provincial Elders' Conference (PEC) and the Moravian Book Shop's Board of Directors decision, over the protest of lower management and employees, to take out bad loans to open a location in Allentown in 2015. The Allentown store lost money for two years and when it closed last year the bad loans became due. Despite the Bethlehem location's strengthening position we were not able to absorb the entire cost of the bad loans and so the PEC decided to negotiate in secret to sell the store."

The petition argues that with the change "the mission of the Moravian Book Shop will be lost forever" and that the current bookstore management should be given "a chance to show what we are capable of. I ask you to please tell the college that local small businesses are important for the health of our historic downtown and the entire city."

The petition also says that bookstore employees are being let go and that they can apply for positions at B&N College and Sodexo, a food service company.


Mira Books: Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard


Estep and Spring Voted onto ABA Board

Two booksellers have been elected to the board of the American Booksellers Association for the first time: Kelly Estep of Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, Ky., and Angela Maria Spring of Duende District Bookstore, Washington, D.C. Both will serve for three-year terms, Bookselling This Week wrote.

In addition, Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., has been elected to a second three-year term, and Bradley Graham, Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., was elected to serve the unexpired term of Robert Sindelar, Third Place Books, Seattle, Wash., who became ABA president last year. (Graham had been appointed to fill that vacancy.) He will be eligible for a full three-year term next year.

Jonathon Welch, Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, N.Y., and Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex., are leaving the board after completing their second three-year terms.

The changes will all be effective at the ABA's annual meeting, which will be held at BookExpo on Thursday, May 31.


Hanover Square Press: Guess Who by Chris McGeorge


Center for Fiction's New Brooklyn Home Opening in 2019

The Center for Fiction's new Brooklyn home will open in January 2019. The New York Times reported that when construction is complete on its 17,500-square-foot downtown space, the three-story facility at 15 Lafayette Avenue will include a bookstore, a cafe, a library, classrooms and a 160-seat auditorium.

"Brooklyn is home to so many wonderful writers and devoted readers and we are very much looking forward to serving them and all New Yorkers in this beautiful new building," said Noreen Tomassi, executive director of the center, which is currently located in Midtown Manhattan.

The Center for Fiction, which was once known as the Mercantile Library and describes itself as "the only organization in the U.S. solely devoted to the creation and enjoyment of the art of fiction," will jointly own the new building along with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the real estate development company BCD, each of which will build its own separate space there, the Times wrote. Julie Nelson at BKSK Architects has designed the interior.


Columbia Global Reports: The Nationalist Revival: Trade, Immigration, and the Revolt Against Globalization by John B. Judis


Obituary Note: Joan Chase

Author Joan Chase, "whose first book was published when she was 46 and attracted awards and accolades," died April 17, the New York Times reported. She was 81. Chase's debut novel, During the Reign of the Queen of Persia (1983), "inspired a chorus of positive reviews, earned a spot on the New York Times Book Review's list of the top books of the year and won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award."

Writing in the NYTBR, Margaret Atwood described the novel as "a Norman Rockwell painting gone bad, the underside of the idyllic hometown, main-street, down-on-the-farm dream of Middle America," as well as "an important debut by a fine new writer." Chase's second novel, The Evening Wolves (1989), also centered on a family.

"Whether these novels held the seed of autobiography is hard to say, because Ms. Chase shunned the spotlight, avoiding interviews," the Times wrote. "The lack of a biographical filter, however, may make reading her work a purer experience," as Amy Weldon had suggested in The Millions in 2014, when During the Reign of the Queen of Persia was reissued by New York Review Books.

Chase also wrote a collection of short stories, Bonneville Blue (1991).


Disney-Hyperion: Love Like Sky by Leslie C. Youngblood


Notes

Image of the Day: Derby Day

North Carolina author Kristy Woodson Harvey wrapped up her five-week book tour for The Secret to Southern Charm (Gallery) with an appearance at a Derby Day party at Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, N.C. Harvey (r.) and bookseller Jamie Hope Anderson, owner of Downtown Books in Manteo and buyer for Duck's Cottage in Duck, N.C., quickly found their race favorite: Noble Indy (unfortunately, their horse didn't place).


Personnel Changes at Morrow; Holt

Erin Reback has joined William Morrow as a senior publicity manager. She formerly worked at Simon & Schuster.

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Catryn Silbersack has been promoted to publicity coordinator in the adult trade division publicity department at Henry Holt.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Lidia Matticchio Bastianich on Fresh Air

Today:
Morning Joe: Michael McFaul, author of From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 9780544716247). He will also appear on Rachel Maddow.

Fresh Air: Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, author of My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food (Knopf, $28.95, 9781524731618).

NPR's the Takeaway: Jimmy Carter, author of Faith: A Journey for All (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781501184413).

Daily Show: Ronan Farrow, author of War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence (Norton, $27.95, 9780393652109).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Jonah Goldberg, author of Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy (Crown Forum, $28, 9781101904930).

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America: Mayim Bialik, author of Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant (Philomel, $18.99, 9780525515975).

Also on GMA: Rashad Jennings, author of The IF in Life: How to Get Off Life's Sidelines and Become Your Best Self (Zondervan, $18.99, 9780310765967).

Morning Joe: Seth Hettena, author of Trump/Russia: A Definitive History (Melville House, $27.99, 9781612197395). He will also appear on Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.

CBS This Morning: Gayle King, author of Note to Self: Inspiring Words From Inspiring People (Simon & Schuster, $20, 9781982102081). She will also appear on Ellen.

Daily Show: Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels (Random House, $30, 9780399589812).

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Mark and Jay Duplass, authors of Like Brothers (Ballantine, $28, 9781101967713).



Books & Authors

Awards: Firecracker; Australian Book Industry; Branford Boase

The finalists in five categories for the Firecracker Awards, sponsored by the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses and honoring "the best of independently and self-published literature," can be seen here. The awards ceremony takes place Thursday, June 7, in New York City.

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Australian Book Industry Award winners include:

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow and its author, Jessica Townsend, won three awards: Book of the Year, Book of the Year for Younger Readers and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year.

Other winners:

Biography Book of the Year: Working Class Man by Jimmy Barnes
General Fiction Book of the Year: The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham
Literary Fiction Book of the Year: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
General Nonfiction Book of the Year: The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein

Audiobook of the Year: The 91-Storey Treehouse, written and illustrated by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, narrated by Stig Weymss

Lloyd O'Neil Award for Outstanding Service to the Australian Book Industry: Suzy Wilson, owner of Riverbend Books and founder of the Indigenous Literary Foundation

The Pixie O'Harris Award for Outstanding Commitment to Children's Literature: Jane Covernton, former owner and publisher of Working Title Press

Independent Retailer of the Year: Readings
National Retailer of the Year: Dymocks
Small Publisher of the Year: Thames & Hudson
Rising Star of the Year: Shalini Kunahlan (Text Publishing)
Publisher of the Year: HarperCollins

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A shortlist has been released for the 2018 Branford Boase Award, which "celebrates the most promising book for seven-year-olds and upwards written by a first-time novelist and also highlights the importance of the editor in the development of new authors." The winning writer, who will be announced July 4 in London, is awarded £1,000 (about $1,355). Both author and editor receive a hand-crafted silver-inlaid box. This year's shortlisted titles are:

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe, edited by Fiona Kennedy
The Starman and Me by Sharon Cohen, edited by Sarah Lambert
Fish Boy by Chloe Daykin, edited by Leah Thaxton
Knighthood for Beginners by Elys Dolan, edited by Clare Whitston and Elv Moody
Kick by Mitch Johnson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker
Potter's Boy by Tony Mitton, edited by Anthony Hinton
The City of Secret Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein, edited by Gill Evans


Book Review

Review: There There

There There by Tommy Orange (Knopf, $25.95 hardcover, 304p., 9780525520375, June 5, 2018)

In Tommy Orange's brilliant debut novel, There There, 12 people, primarily urban Cheyenne, move toward convergence to attend a big powwow in Oakland--most eagerly, some warily. "We made powwows because we needed a place to be together. We all came... for different reasons. The messy, dangling strands of our lives got pulled into a braid... layered in prayer and hand woven regalia, beaded and sewn together, feathered, braided, blessed and cursed." But the epigraph from Bertolt Brecht hints at something shadowy: "In the dark times/ Will there be singing?/ Yes, there will also be singing/ About the dark times."

Buzzfeed called the prologue an urban Native manifesto, an encapsulation of Native history from America's initial colonization. "Getting us to cities was supposed to be the final, necessary step in our assimilation, absorption, erasure, completion of a five hundred year old genocidal campaign. But the city made us new, and we made it ours.... We found each other."

Tony Loneman begins the interwoven stories. He has fetal alcohol syndrome, which he calls the Drome. His eyes droop, his mouth hangs open. But he's tall, he's strong, he makes "looking like a monster" work for him. Dene Oxendene is recording urban Native stories--"the individual people... are not pathetic or weak or in need of pity, and there is real passion there, and rage."

Edwin Black is biracial. He made it through grad school, writing his thesis on the influence of blood quantum policies on modern Native identity and literature written by mixed-blood Native authors. "All without knowing my tribe. Always defending myself. Like I'm not Native enough.... I don't know how to be."

Opal Violet Victoria Bear Shield goes to the powwow to watch her young nephew, Orvil, who has learned to dance watching YouTube videos. The first time he had seen a Native dancer, "he knew. He was a part of something. Something you could dance to." Opal's sister, Jacquie Red Feather, a substance abuse counselor, is also on her way to the powwow, 10 days sober.

Thomas Frank is a drummer. He carries a chip on his shoulder so heavy it makes him lean. "A concrete chip, a slab really, heavy on one side, the half-side, the side not white.... You're from a people who took and took and took and took. And from a people taken."

There There is a fierce story of despair, addiction, recovery and hope, with moments of sweetness and humor. Orange asks what it means to be Indian, Native, biracial--how is identity parsed? In the Gertrude Stein sense, "there is no there there" connotes the absence of homeland. For Orange's people, Oakland is a new "there." His title is also a promise of comfort, but one that proves elusive.

Tommy Orange has written a bold, passionate book that stabs you in the heart. --Marilyn Dahl

Shelf Talker: There There, a powerful novel about urban Native Americans, is underlain with a drumbeat of sadness and conflict, but threaded with hope.


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