Touré is a writer, music journalist, cultural critic, podcaster, and television personality. He has published six books, including I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon and Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness: A Look At What It Means To Be Black Now. He also hosts the Touré Show, a weekly podcast. His broadcast career has spanned major networks and cable outlets, both as a host and contributor, including CNN, MSNBC's The Cycle, Fuse's Hip Hop Shop, BET's Black Carpet, Treasure HD's I’ll Try Anything Once, and MTV's Spoke N Heard.
Khadija Abdalla Bajaber
Khadija Abdalla Bajaber is a Mombasarian writer of Hadrami descent and the inaugural Graywolf Press Africa Prize winner. Her work has appeared in Enkare Review, Lolwe, and Down River Road, among other places. The House of Rust: A Novel (Graywolf Press) is a magical realist coming-of-age tale told through the lens of the Swahili and diasporic Hadrami culture in Mombasa, Kenya. When her fisherman father goes missing, Aisha takes to the sea on a magical boat made of a skeleton to rescue him. She is guided by a talking scholar’s cat – and soon, crows, goats, and other animals all have their say, too. On her journey, Aisha meets terrifying sea monsters, and after surviving a confrontation with Baba wa Papa, the father of all sharks, she rescues her father. Still, rather than life returning to normal, at home, things only grow stranger. Kirkus called it “a novel of tradition, ritual, and mystical adventure. ... [a] tale rife with creatures and immersed in the Hadrami culture of Kenya.”
For the past 10 years, Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson have developed numerous animated campaigns, network TV and web series, and commercial work. They have set up properties at Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, and Nickelodeon and a feature animated film through Paramount Pictures. Abdo and Patterson have developed original content for a wide variety of platforms, including print (Nickelodeon Comics, The New Yorker), theater (Pilobolus), and digital. In their graphic novel, Barb the Last Berzerker (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), Barb is one of the warriors sworn to protect the land of Bailiwick from the scourge of monsters that plagues it. But the evil Witch Head, using power from his magical sword, has tricked the Zerks and took them captive. Only Barb was able to escape – and she took the Shadow Blade with her. Now it’s up to her to free her fellow warriors so they can stop Witch Head from taking over Bailiwick. On the way, she’ll battle vampire goat fiends, snot goblins, and a giant with serious foot odor issues (which he's very sensitive about). Luckily, she’s got her best friend, Porkchop the yeti, to help her. But the power of the Shadow Blade has a mind of its own, and it’s getting harder to keep it under control.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic. His poetry has been published in PEN America, Muzzle, Vinyl, and other journals, and his essays and criticism pieces have been published in The New Yorker, Pitchfork, The New York Times, and Fader. Abdurraqib’s work also includes full-length poetry collections The Crown Ain’t Worth Much and A Fortune for Your Disaster, and The New York Times bestseller Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. Riffing off a few words in a speech made by Josephine Baker at the March on Washington in 1963 (“I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too.”), Abdurraqib examines how Black performance is woven into the fabric of American culture. A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance (Random House), explores the 27 seconds of Merry Clayton wailing “rape, murder” in the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” a schoolyard fistfight, and the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt. Each moment adds layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, American politics, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history. “Social criticism, pop culture, and autobiography come together neatly in these pages,” noted Kirkus, “and every sentence is sharp, provocative, and self-aware.”
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is a writer from South London who has dreamed of writing books about Black kids saving (or destroying) the world all her life. In the young adult thriller Ace of Spades (Feiwel & Friends) – her debut novel – classmates Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo have just been selected to be part of their elite private academy’s senior class prefects. It’s great news for their plans for the future, but soon after the announcement someone calling themself “Aces” begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about Devon and Chiamaka that turn their lives upside down – and threatens all their aspirations. Both students are at different stages of their queer identity. Devon, a musician, can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Chiamaka, a rich, popular girl, isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid to get it. Aces shows no sign of stopping, and what seemed like a sick prank at first quickly turns into a dangerous game. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop what’s happening before things become incredibly deadly? Publishers Weekly noted that “Àbíké-Íyímídé excels in portraying the conflict of characters who exist in two worlds ... Devon and Chiamaka are dynamic and multifaceted, deeply human in the face of Aces’ treatment.”
Dr. Keshia Abraham
Dr. Keshia Abraham, founder and president of The Abraham Consulting Agency, is an African diaspora scholar and J.E.D.I (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) educator committed to facilitating personal and organizational development through intercultural growth. She is a bridge-builder who believes in the transformative power of international education and the long-term impact it has, hence her unwavering commitment to global learning, especially at HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities).
Chantel Acevedo is the author of Love and Ghost Letters: A Novel, A Falling Star: A Novel, The Distant Marvels: A Novel, and The Living Infinite: A Novel, hailed by Booklist as a “vivid and enthralling tale of love and redemption.” Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse was her debut middle-grade novel; Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth (Balzer + Bray) is its sequel and the finale of the duology. Here we find that Callie Martinez-Silva, the young Cuban American girl who discovered she’s one of the nine muses of Greek mythology, is finally getting the hang of this whole “goddess within” thing. Six months have passed, and she and the other junior muses are ready for new adventures. But first, Callie must go to New York City for the summer to visit her dad, stepmom, and new baby brother. Then the muses get startling news: An unprecedented tenth muse has woken up somewhere in Queens! Now Callie and her friends have to choose: Follow orders and find the tenth muse or trust that sometimes fate has other plans? School Library Journal found that “this riveting, suspenseful book presents a unique blend of Greek mythology and Cuban culture. ... Perfect for readers of mythology-based adventures, fantasy fans, and anyone who enjoys a suspenseful action book.”
Elliot Ackerman’s books include Dark at the Crossing: A Novel and the memoir Places and Names: On War, Revolution and Returning. A former White House Fellow and Marine, he served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. In 2034: A Novel of the Next World War (Penguin Press), co-written with Retired Admiral Jim Stavridis, U.S. Navy Commodore Sarah Hunt is on the bridge of the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones, conducting a routine patrol in the South China Sea. On the same day, U.S. Marine aviator Major Chris “Wedge” Mitchell is testing new stealth technology as he flirts with Iranian airspace. By nightfall, he will be a prisoner, Hunt’s ship will lie at the bottom of the sea, and the coordinated cyber weaponry of Iran and China will have rendered U.S. ships and planes defenseless. In the end, both China and the U.S. will pay a staggering cost, one that forever alters the global balance of power. The Washington Post said this “crisply written and well-paced book reads like an all-caps warning for a world shackled to the machines we carry in our pockets and place on our laps, while only vaguely understanding how the information stored in and shared by those devices can be exploited …”
Veronica Agarwal is a cartoonist and illustrator. Just Roll With It is her debut graphic novel, with writer Lee Durfey-Lavoie. The book follows Maggie, who’s desperately hoping to get through her first year of middle school with a minimum of stress. But between finding the best after-school clubs, trying to make friends, and avoiding the rumored monster on school grounds, she’s having a tough time. So she turns for help from her 20-sided dice. But what happens if Maggie rolls the wrong number? A touching middle-grade tale, Just Roll With It explores the complexity of anxiety, OCD, and learning to trust yourself and the world around you. Gale Galligan, adaptor and illustrator of the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel series, praised it as a “charming, compassionate story that’s sure to resonate with anyone who’s ever stayed up worrying.”
Meenakshi Ahamed is an Indian-born journalist. She has worked at World Bank and the Ashoka Society, and is a foreign correspondent for NDTV in London. Her op-eds and articles have been published in The Asian Age, Seminar, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. “I thought India was pretty jammed with poor people and cows wandering around the streets, witch doctors and people sitting on hot coals and bathing in the Ganges, but I did not realize that anybody thought it was important,” said President Harry S. Truman to Ambassador Chester Bowles in 1951. India-U.S. relations have come a long way since, but not without their challenges. In A Matter of Trust: India-US Relations from Truman to Trump (HarperCollins) Ahamed reveals the personal prejudices and insecurities of the leaders – and the political imperatives – that so often cast a shadow over their relationship. She draws on a unique trove of presidential papers, newly declassified documents, memoirs, and interviews with officials directly involved in events on both sides to put together an illuminating account of a relationship that has far-reaching implications for the changing global political landscape. Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state and president of the Brookings Institution, considered that in A Matter of Trust, Ahamed “brings to life the leaders in both countries, with their views and prejudices. A masterpiece.”
Iranian-born Kaveh Akbar is the author of two books of poetry, Calling a Wolf a Wolf: Poems and Pilgrim Bell: Poems (Graywolf Press), and the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic. His poems appear in publications such as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, and The Best American Poetry. He is also the editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 100 Poets on the Divine. In Pilgrim Bell, Akbar takes readers on a spiritual journey of self-denial. He offers prayer as an act of devotion to dissonance – the infinite void of a loved one’s absence, the indulgence of austerity, making a life as a Muslim in an Islamophobic nation – teasing the sacred out of silence and stillness. Six poems in this collection are titled “Pilgrim Bell” and each evokes a new mystical experience. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called the collection “rich and moving. … This impressive, thoughtful work shimmers with inventive syntax and spiritual profundity.”
Uwem Akpan’s fiction and autobiographical pieces have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Guardian Nigeria, and O, The Oprah Magazine. His New York Times bestseller Say You’re One of Them won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region), the PEN Open Book Prize, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He is from Ikot Akpan Eda in the Niger Delta in Nigeria. In New York, My Village: A Novel (W.W. Norton & Company), Nigerian editor Ekong Udousoro is in New York City with a chance to learn at the center of the publishing industry. He’s met with kindness, but he also soon witnesses the ruthlessness of the business, a shared hostility toward the “other,” a bedrock of white cultural superiority, and racist assumptions about Africa and its people. Ekong’s life in New York becomes a saga of unanticipated strife. In overcoming misunderstandings with his neighbors, bonding with true allies at work, and advocating for healing back home, he finds that there is still hope in sharing our stories – even as tribalism defines our lives, no matter the size of our village. Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot, praised New York, My Village, saying “[Akpan] has transformed the isolating and exhausting intricacies of war trauma into a compulsively readable novel, at once hilarious, utterly harrowing, profoundly optimistic, and horrifically informative. … I adored this book.”
Faisal Al-Juburi leads the philanthropy team at the migrant justice not-for-profit RAICES and has served the sector for more than 15 years. Standing at the intersection of art and administration, his credits include negotiating the merger of the intercultural relations not-for-profit Bridges of Understanding into Soliya, a pioneer in virtual exchange; heading the environmental initiative MillionTreesNYC; serving as a corporate relations specialist at the Kennedy Center; and working in the executive office at Ford’s Theatre.
Rabih Alameddine is the author of The Angel of History; An Unnecessary Woman: A Novel; The Hakawati: A Story; I, the Divine: A Novel in First Chapters; Koolaids; and the story collection The Perv. Mina Simpson, the narrator of The Wrong End of the Telescope: A Novel (Grove Press), is a transgender Lebanese doctor dealing with the plight of refugees in the Moria camp on Lesbos, Greece. Alienated from her family except for her beloved brother, Mina has avoided being so close to her homeland for decades. But with a week off work and apart from her wife of 30 years, Mina hopes to accomplish something meaningful among the Western volunteers who pose for selfies with beached dinghies and the camp’s children. Soon, a boat crosses bringing Sumaiya, a fiercely resolute Syrian matriarch with terminal liver cancer. Determined to protect her children and husband at all costs, she refuses to alert her family to her diagnosis. A deep connection grows of their shared secrets, and as Mina prepares a course of treatment with the limited resources on hand, she confronts the circumstances of the migrants’ displacement, as well as her own constraints in helping them. Publishers Weekly called it a “triumph. … Profound and wonderful … A wise, deeply moving story that can still locate humor in the pit of hell.”
Melissa Albert is the author of the Hazel Wood series and a former bookseller and young adult lit blogger. The series follows 17-year-old Alice Proserpine as she journeys into the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales. Deliciously dark and mesmerizing, the Hazel Wood is just the beginning of the worlds beyond. Its fourth installment, Tales from the Hinterland (The Hazel Wood) (Flatiron Books), recounts 12 sinister fairy tales from a brutal and beautiful world, including stories of a young woman who spends a night with Death, brides wed to a mysterious house in the trees, and a twice-killed enchantress who still lives. This mashup of fantasy and mystery features full-page illustrations by Jim Tierney, foil stamping, two-color interior printing, and printed endpapers.
Mitch Albom is a bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright, and nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of five consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lessons, the bestselling memoir of all time. In The Stranger in the Lifeboat: A Novel (Harper), Albom asks what would happen if we called on God for help and God actually appeared? It’s a question that must be contemplated by a group of shipwrecked passengers, adrift in a raft after a ship explosion and struggling to survive. Three days in, they’re short on water, food, and hope when they spot a man floating in the waves. They pull him in. “Thank the Lord we found you,” a passenger says. “I am the Lord,” the man whispers. And he says he can only save them if they all believe in him. Who is this man? What actually caused the explosion? Are the survivors already in heaven, or in hell? The answers may be found in the notebook of one the passengers, the book’s narrator, found inside the empty life raft a year later when it washes ashore on the island of Montserrat. It falls to the island’s chief inspector, Jarty LeFleur, a man battling his own demons, to solve the mystery of what really happened.
Meagan Albright is a youth services librarian III at the Nova Southeastern University Alvin Sherman Library and has more than 20 years of experience in libraries and bookstores. She has served on local and national committees championing youth literacy, including the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) Batchelder Award Selection Committee, Notable Children’s Books Committee, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Selection Committee, and Intellectual Freedom Committee, among others. Albright has written for the ALSC blog and been published in peer-reviewed journals including Children & Libraries and Public Libraries, where her article on library service to the LGBTQ community received a Public Libraries Feature Article Award.
Jerad W. Alexander
Jerad W. Alexander has written for several publications, including Esquire, Rolling Stone, and The Nation. He holds an MFA in literary reportage from the New York University Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism. From 1998 to 2006, he served as a U.S. Marine, deploying to the Mediterranean, East Africa, and Iraq. To many outsiders, joining the military can be a path out of a hard life, and an opportunity to acquire vocational training, a college scholarship, or perhaps a patriotic career. For Alexander, raised on war and masculine fantasies of American heroism and patriotism, enlisting was a way of life. As soon as he was able, he joined the Marines. After all, his parents, stepfather, and grandparents served, and he grew up on American military bases around the world. In his debut work Volunteers: Growing Up in the Forever War (Algonquin Books), Alexander writes of his experience in Iraq, fighting in the same war his parents had fought before him, a war in which our country is still embroiled today. As he takes another look at what he’d always accepted on faith, some questions come in to focus: Is America, in fact, exceptional? Are the “bad guys” easy to identify? And, most importantly, are our causes always just?
Jayne Allen is the pen name of Jaunique Sealey, a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School. Drawing from her experiences as an attorney and entrepreneur, she writes stories that touch upon contemporary women’s issues such as workplace and career dynamics, race, fertility, modern relationships, and mental health awareness. She calls her first novel, Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel (Harper Perennial) “the epitaph of my 30s.” The protagonist, Tabitha Walker, is a Black woman with a plan to “have it all.” At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams – education, career, a good relationship - is well underway. But an unexpected diagnosis puts in doubt something she took for granted: having children. Suddenly, the fight to save the future she dreamed of becomes all-consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. Her grandmother’s adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted. Kirkus praised Allen’s writing as “a sharp, lively voice that is full of warmth and humor. ... Tabitha and her friends are well-drawn, and it is the dynamic between the protagonist and the women in her life that propels the story. … a novel that is both timely and enjoyable.”
Anelys Alvarez is assistant curator and collection manager for the Jorge M. Pérez Collection and The Related Group. An expert in international contemporary art and art history, Alvarez collaborates closely with Chairman/CEO Jorge M. Pérez and the firm’s art director on all cultural matters, ranging from curating project-specific collections for its esteemed public art program to acquisitions for the corporate art collection.
Carlos Manuel Álvarez
Carlos Manuel Álvarez (Matanzas, Cuba, 1989) – Narrador, periodista y editor. Estudió periodismo en la Universidad de La Habana. Fundó la revista cubana independiente El Estornudo y sus textos y columnas de opinión han sido publicados en algunos de los medios más importantes del mundo como The New York Times, BBC World, Al Jazeera o Internazionale. Sus crónicas han aparecido en revistas como Gatopardo y El Malpensante. En 2013 obtuvo el Premio Calendario en Cuba por su libro de relatos La tarde de los sucesos definitivos. En 2017 fue seleccionado para la lista de Bogotá 39 de los treinta y nueve mejores escritores latinoamericanos menores de cuarenta años. Ha publicado las novelas Los caídos (2018) y Falsa guerra (2021). Participa en la feria en la mesa sobre la última edición de Granta.
Hala Alyan is the author of Salt Houses: A Novel, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award, and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize. She is also the author of four award-winning collections of poetry, most recently The Twenty-Ninth Year: Poems, and her work has been published by The New Yorker, the Academy of American Poets, LitHub.com, The New York Times Book Review, and Guernica. The Arsonists’ City (Mariner Books) follows the Nasr family – Syrian mother, Lebanese father, and three American children – scattered across the globe in Beirut; Brooklyn, New York; Austin, Texas; and the California desert. All have lived a life of migration; their complicated, messy family love binds them to each other and to their ancestral home in Beirut, a constant touchstone. But following his father’s recent death, new patriarch Idris has decided to sell. That decision brings the family to Beirut, where everyone unites against him in a fight to save the house. All have secrets that distance has helped smother: lost loves, bitter jealousies, abandoned passions, deep-set shame. And in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, a constant flow of refugees, religious tensions, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold the family together.
Donald Antrim is the author of Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World: A Novel, The Verificationist: A Novel, and The Afterlife: A Memoir, and has received awards from the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In One Friday in April: A Story of Suicide and Survival (W. W. Norton & Company), he recounts the day in 2006 when found himself on the roof of his Brooklyn apartment building, afraid for his life, candidly sharing what led him there and what happened when he came back down: two hospitalizations, weeks of fruitless clinical trials, the terror of submitting to ECT – and the saving call from David Foster Wallace that convinced him to try it – as well as years of fitful recovery and setback. Here, Antrim reframes suicide, whether in thought or action, as an illness in its own right and a unique consequence of trauma and personal isolation, rather than the choice of a depressed person. Kirkus praised it as “unflinchingly honest … the narrative is defiantly nonlinear ... unlike a flat line, Antrim’s talent for storytelling is more similar to Russian nesting dolls: moments within moments that build upon each other as recollections and revelations.”
Raymond Antrobus was born in London to an English mother and Jamaican father. The speaker in his debut collection of poems, The Perseverance (Tin House Books), travels to Barcelona in the wake of his father’s death, where – in Gaudi’s famed Família basilica, he meditates on the idea of silence and sound, wondering whether acoustics really can bring us closer to God. This is a collection of poems examining a d/Deaf experience alongside meditations on loss, grief, education, and language, both spoken and signed. BuzzFeed noted its relaying of “experiences of being biracial and d/Deaf in sharp and beautiful poems.” All The Names Given: Poems (Tin House Books) is Antrobus’ second full-length collection of poetry. In it, he continues his investigation into language, miscommunication, place, and memory. It opens with poems about his surname – one that shouldn’t have survived into modernity – and examines the rich and fraught history carried within it. He reckons with his ancestry and bears witness to the violent legacy wrought by colonialism. The book is punctuated with [Caption Poems] partially inspired by Deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim. The art of writing captions attempts to fill in the silences and transitions between the poems. Poet Camonghne Felix called the collection “a brave, tender and generous piece of music, where family is a cord forever troubled by the process of being named.”
Social worker and suicide prevention counselor Lauren Anzaldo will join a discussion of A Punkhouse in the Deep South: The Oral History of 309 (University Press of Florida). Co-authored by Scott Satterwhite – Anzaldo’s partner – and Aaron Cometbus, the book tells the improbable story of the house at 309 6th Avenue that became a crossroads for punk rock, activism, veganism, and queer culture in Pensacola, a Gulf Coast city at the border of Florida and Alabama. In the book, residents of 309 narrate the colorful and often comical details of communal life in the crowded and dilapidated house over its 30-year existence. The stories include playing in bands, operating local businesses such as the café, forming feminist support groups, and creating zines and art. Together, these participants, and their memories, show that punk is more than a musical genre or an emblem of teenage rebellion.
Zaina Arafat is an LGBTQ Palestinian American writer. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications including Granta, The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica, and The Atlantic. You Exist Too Much (Catapult) is her debut novel. On a hot day in Bethlehem, a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity yell at a 12-year-old Palestinian American girl. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgment will echo through her adolescence. When she finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much,” she says. Told in vignettes that flash between New York, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, the book traces its protagonist’s evolution from teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, soon after moving in with her first serious girlfriend, her longings explode into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. At an unconventional treatment center she approaches looking for a remedy, her affliction is identified as “love addiction.” While at the center she starts to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her. Good Morning America said: “This story about love, identity, gender, and family is brilliantly written and questions the effects of maternal love.”
Marie Arana is a Peruvian American author of nonfiction and fiction, senior advisor to the U.S. Librarian of Congress, director of the National Book Festival, the John W. Kluge Center’s Chair of the Cultures of the Countries of the South, and a writer at large for The Washington Post. Her memoir, American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is also the author of Cellophane: A Novel and Lima Nights: A Novel. For many years, Arana was editor-in-chief of The Washington Post’s literary section, Book World. She has also written for The New York Times, National Geographic, The International Herald Tribune, Spain’s El País, and Peru’s El Comercio, among many other publications.
Karla Arenas Valenti
Born and raised in Mexico City and with ancestry spanning back to Ireland, Spain, and the Indigenous people of Mexico, Karla Arenas Valenti writes stories for and about kids, taking readers on journeys steeped in magical realism and philosophical questions. She is the creator of the My Super Science Heroes series and the picture book Maria Mariposa. Lotería (Knopf Books for Young Readers) is her debut middle-grade novel. During the hottest hour of the hottest day of the year, a fateful wind blows into Oaxaca City, whistling down cobbled streets and rustling the jacaranda trees before slipping into 11-year-old Clara’s window. Clara doesn’t know it, but she’s been marked for la Lotería. Life and Death deal the Lotería cards once a year. If Life wins, Clara will live to old age. If Death prevails, she’ll flicker out like a candle. But Clara knows none of this. What she does know is that her young cousin, Esteban, has vanished, and she’ll do whatever it takes to save him. And though it seems her grim fate is sealed, Clara may have what it takes to shatter the game and choose a new path. Said Kirkus, “Life and Death’s annual game leaves a girl’s life in the balance as magical realism meets other-world fantasy in this novel set in Oaxaca … Exquisite illustrations greatly enhance the text.”
Kristen Arnett is the author of The New York Times bestseller Mostly Dead Things: A Novel and Felt in the Jaw: Stories. A queer writer based in Florida, she has written for The New York Times, Guernica, BuzzFeed, McSweeney’s, The Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere. In With Teeth (Riverhead Books), Arnett offers a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love. If she’s honest, protagonist Sammie Lucas is scared of her son. Samson is a sullen, unknowable boy who resists her every attempt to bond with him. She tries her domestic best – driving, cleaning, cooking, prodding him to finish projects for school – while growing increasingly resentful of Monika, her confident but absent wife. Now Sammie’s life begins to deteriorate into a mess of unruly behavior, and her struggle to create a picture-perfect queer family unravels. The New York Times found With Teeth “sublimely weird, fluently paced, brazenly funny and gayer still, and it richly deserves to find readers.”