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The Golden State
A Novel
Lydia Kiesling
The gorgeous becomes mundane, the mundane becomes gorgeous. Like trying to run in a dream only your feet won't move, and it’s coming closer, it’s coming closer... - Recommended by Vanessa
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Goodbye, Vitamin
A Novel
Rachel Khong
Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice. (Recommended by Vanessa)
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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
Essays
Alexander Chee's essays have a dark radiance to them, and are among the best examples of sensuality as a mode of intelligence I’ve found. Highly recommended. —Recommended by Vanessa
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Black Swans
Stories
Eve Babitz
"He was not remote, elevated, or windy enough for me; by God, I liked my men humiliating or at least impossible to get to..." Eve Babitz is full of such delights. Come for the gossip, stay for the sentences. —Recommended by Vanessa & Cassie
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The Vanishing Princess
Stories
Jenny Diski
Strange, sneaky, sexy, smart. Snap it up. —Recommended by Vanessa
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Mrs. Caliban
Rachel Ingalls
Who doesn't secretly want a frog monster boyfriend? —Recommended by Cassie & Vanessa
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Her Body and Other Parties
Stories
Carmen Maria Machado
Every story in Carmen Maria Machado's "Her Body and Other Parties" unfolds with the creepy languor of a Kubrick film. Machado seduces you with devilishly great prose only to deliver the coup de grace of terror like a stiletto to the throat. —Recommended by Vanessa & Paul
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I Am The Brother of XX
Stories
Fleur Jaeggy
Prose so sharp it slices molecules; observe the intricate geometry inside.—Recommended by Cassie, Ivy & Vanessa
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Too Much and Not the Mood
Essays
Durga Chew-Bose
A debut collection of essays that feels at once like a long cool drink and a finely calibrated prism. Chew-Bose is one to keep an eye on.—Recommended by Vanessa
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Brightfellow
A Novel
A humid, shining, feverish gem. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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Love Me Back
A Novel
Merritt Tierce
This novel is not perfect, but it is one of the few contemporary works of fiction that have lodged in my brain and poked at my softer parts once finished. It's cold, bitter work to get through this, but Tierce is a writer I'll be watching. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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The Trouble with Being Born
E. M. Cioran
Crotchety old man snarks about the pointlessness of life. Wonderful. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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The Leopard
A Novel
Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Starts off like a pleasurable, tipsy picnic in the hot sun; like so many picnics, the mood sours into gorgeous despair. A novel to savor with wine in hand. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books