User menu

Shopping cart

0 Items $0.00

Penguin

Brown Album Essays on Exile and Identity by Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour is a novelist but believes she is better known as an essayist. Specifically, as an Iranian American essayist. One who now is debuting her first published essay collection on being Iranian American. And these are powerful essays on the subjects of, as the title says, exile and identity, along with culture and politics, of being American, and being Iranian, and being American Iranian. But even more, these essays—independently written though they were—create a writer’s memoir, of becoming an artist and finding one’s voice, of becoming a New Yorker, and of being a human who is a person of color in our modern-day world. Pick up this book to read Khakpour’s insight into being an immigrant, being Iranian, and Iranian American culture, to be sure. But also pick it up for the voice and artistic story of the brilliant and powerful woman behind this book.

Staff Pick Badge
Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525564713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 19th, 2020

The End of October by Lawrence Wright

Wright cowrote a 1998 movie about extremists attacking New York City. With his new novel about a viral pandemic, you might think he’s prophetic. But the real trick is that he writes about what’s most likely to actually happen, researches how it might play out, then writes a book. I’m afraid he isn’t a master of character in fiction, but he does have a heroic scientist trying to save the world and a president who is going to let it go down the drain. That’s pretty realistic. And I still think we should airdrop this to every home in Santa Cruz County.

Staff Pick Badge
The End of October: A novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525658658
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - April 28th, 2020

Seven Years of Darkness by You-Jeong Jeong

The revenge narrative has gotten a bold new update with You-Jeong Jeong’s Seven Years of Darkness. This is a book driven by atmospheric setting and character development, and these features certainly deliver. The characters are endearingly flawed, and you feel for them as they attempt to right the wrongs that they have committed, and in some cases, inherited. As a reader, I was especially intrigued by Sowon, the son of a convicted mass murderer who grapples with the disparity between the loving memories he has of his father and the reality of his father’s crimes. The uncompromising yet sympathetic depiction of the characters’ moral ambiguities makes this book a one-of-a-kind read.

Staff Pick Badge
Seven Years of Darkness: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143134244
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 2nd, 2020

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis

Make no mistake: Carolina de Robertis has written an epic to stand in the annals of the Western canon. Set in Uruguay, with five protagonists. Women protagonists. Queer women protagonists. Building love, family, and future amidst a violent dictatorship and cultural oppression that would deny them themselves. This novel sings through decades and heartbreak to be vibrantly, fiercely alive and free, as the stories of these five cantoras unfold with vivid, sometimes aching, truth of nation and humanity. 

Staff Pick Badge
Cantoras Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525563433
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2020

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

Megha Majumdar has written an astounding debut novel, and my favorite book of the year thus far. Following a terrorist attack in modern-day India, A Burning explores three very different lives. It lays bare the consequences and complexities of class, gender, politics, religion, and race—the social constructs that both empower and imprison the book’s richly drawn characters. It is propulsive, it is important, it is beautifully rendered. A Burning is exactly the book it needs to be, even as it lifts you, even as it breaks your heart. I am filled to the brim with all of it.

Staff Pick Badge
A Burning: A novel Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525658696
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - June 2nd, 2020

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half is the multigenerational story of a Black family spanning from the Civil Rights Era to the end of the twentieth century, centering itself around Stella and Desiree, twin sisters who are separated when one of them leaves to live a life passing as White. What follows is an exploration of family and identity, the complexity of race constructs and their very real effects, what is lost, what can be found. Bennett offers no clear answers, only much to think about, and deliciously so, as you race through to discover how these crucial life choices will affect each character, all of whom you have come to understand and care for immensely.

Staff Pick Badge
The Vanishing Half: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525536291
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - June 2nd, 2020

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

What if Jesus of Nazareth had a wife? In best-selling author (The Secret Life of Bees) Sue Monk Kidd’s new novel, she imagines just that. With painstaking detail about the historical time, Kidd introduces us to Ana, a young woman born with a gift for words who lives in a time when silence and obedience defined a woman’s place and belonging. Ana’s finding of her voice is intertwined with Jesus’s pursuit for kindness and humanity. What is imagined here is not a tale of one person saving another, but an unfolding love story in which mirroring and respect lead to both risk and reward. Kidd’s ability to hold reverence while infusing new life and perspective to a story that is so known is extraordinary. I cannot explain the beauty and depth of this book, its language, its heart, its anger, its grief, and ultimately its triumph; this is one novel you don’t want to miss.

Staff Pick Badge
The Book of Longings: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525429760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - April 21st, 2020

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe

The Knockout Queen wrapped its fist around my heart and then squeezed. I mean this literally—the sensation was physical. Rufi Thorpe writes with breathtaking grace and creates a slow build that explodes: the loveability, failings, and deficiencies of everyone, the drift and splintering that time deals to even our closest relationships. The Knockout Queen also has pockets of profundity, both in the adolescent narrator’s wise, shattering musings, and in the grim realities this story contains. Thorpe’s skill makes the experience a pleasure: the effortless dialogue, the wry and funny scenes, and the complex, unforgettable characters that are so human (though it may hurt to admit that humanness can contain a person like the Knockout Queen’s father Ray, who is cut from the same cloth as con man-in-chief Donald Trump, utterly self-serving, with a casual brutality that is beyond redemption. Thorpe reflects our world back to us. I was completely captivated by The Knockout Queen—rushing to consume it but wanting at the same time to savor the rare experience of a book this close to perfect. I wanted it to last and last.

Staff Pick Badge
The Knockout Queen: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780525656784
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - April 28th, 2020

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Pizza Girl is the metric that every other book released this year will be compared against for me. It’s Juno meets Mulholland Drive. Pizza girl is 18, with a sweet boyfriend who loves her mom; a dead alcoholic dad; and an enigmatic woman who calls on Wednesdays to order a pizza with pickles on it. Who are you when you don’t know what you want out of life? What is motherhood and family? What is desire? The level of attention to detail, the FEELINGS—it’s like the book emerged fully formed for the pit of a pure heart. I can barely contain my love for Pizza Girl.

Staff Pick Badge
Pizza Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780385545723
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - June 9th, 2020

Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little

Staff Pick Badge
Pretty as a Picture: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780670016396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - February 25th, 2020

Marissa Dahl is a film editor, not a detective. In fact, she may be the worst person for the job: too introverted, has seen too many movies, and has too vivid of an imagination... But Marissa might just be the only one to solve a 25-year old cold murder case—and prevent a truly bad narrative from becoming a blockbuster film! Not only is Little amazing at writing a suspenseful, character-driven slow-burn, but she also has a fantastic knowledge of the film industry and a fabulous sense of humor. Moreover, providing an urgent commentary in the #MeToo era, the novel offers an excellent exploration of what it means to be a woman in Hollywood—and in a culture that has more interest in worshiping dead girls than in caring for the living ones. —Ksenia


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Penguin