Literary Mission Creek 2019

Check out works by the many writers coming to town for this year's Mission Creek Festival, April 2-7, 2019.

How to love a Jamaican : stories

Alexia Arthurs

FICTION Arthurs Alexia

Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life. In "Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands," an NYU student befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In "Mash Up Love," a twin's chance sighting of his estranged brother--the prodigal son of the family--stirs up unresolved feelings of resentment. In "Bad Behavior," a couple leave their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica, hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In "Mermaid River," a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother in New York after eight years apart. In "The Ghost of Jia Yi," a recently murdered student haunts a despairing Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in "Shirley from a Small Place," a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother's big new house in Jamaica, which still holds the power to restore something vital.

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

The comedown : a novel

Rebekah Frumkin

FICTION Frumkin Rebekah

A dazzling epic that follows two very different families in Cleveland across generations, beginning with their patriarchs. Scrappy, street smart drug dealer Reggie Marshall has never liked the simpering addict Leland Bloom-Mittwoch, which doesn't stop Leland from looking up to Reggie with puppy-esque devotion. But when a drug deal goes dramatically, tragically wrong and a suitcase (which may or may not contain a quarter of a million dollars) disappears, the two men and their families become hopelessly entangled.

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

The boatbuilder

Daniel Gumbiner

FICTION Gumbiner Daniel

At 28 years old, Eli "Berg" Koenigsberg has never encountered a challenge he couldn't push through, until a head injury leaves him with lingering headaches and a weakness for opiates. Berg moves to a remote Northern California town, seeking space and time to recover, but soon finds himself breaking into homes in search of pills. Addled by addiction and chronic pain, Berg meets Alejandro, a reclusive, master boatbuilder, and begins to see a path forward. Alejandro offers Berg honest labor, but more than this, he offers him a new approach to his suffering, a template for survival amid intense pain. Nurtured by his friendship with Alejandro and aided, too, by the comradeship of many in Talinas, Berg begins to return to himself. Written in gleaming prose, this is a story about resilience, community, and what it takes to win back your soul.

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

Instead of dying : poems

Lauren Haldeman

811.6 /Haldeman

"Invoking spiders and senators, physicists and aliens, Lauren Haldeman's second book, Instead of Dying, decodes the world of death with a powerful mix of humor, epiphany, and agonizing grief. In the spirit of Calvino's Invisible Cities, these poems compulsively imagine alternate realities for a lost sibling ("Instead of dying, they inject you with sunlight & you live" or "Instead of dying, you join a dog-sledding team in Quebec"), relentlessly recording the unlived possibilities that blossom from the purgative magical thinking of mourning. Whether she is channeling Google Maps Street View to visit a scene of murder ("Because / a picture of this place is / also a picture of you"), or investigating the origins of consciousness ("Yes, alien / life-forms exist / they are your thoughts"), Haldeman wrenches verse into new sublime forms, attempting to both translate the human experience as well as encrypt it, inviting readers into realms where we hover, plunge, rise again, and ascend"--Provided by publisher.

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

Night moves

Jessica Hopper

BIOGRAPHY Hopper, Jessica

"Written in taut, mesmerizing, often hilarious scenes, Night Moves captures the fierce friendships and small moments that form us all. Drawing on her personal journals from the aughts, Jessica Hopper chronicles her time as a DJ, living in decrepit punk houses, biking to bad loft parties with her friends, exploring Chicago deep into the night. And, along the way, she creates a homage to vibrant corners of the city that have been muted by sleek development. A book birthed in the amber glow of Chicago streetlamps, Night Moves is about a transformative moment of cultural history - and how a raw, rebellious writer found her voice"--Good Reads.com.

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Mission Creek 2019; author of "The first collection of criticism by a living female rock critic"
- Stacey

The incendiaries

R. O. Kwon

FICTION Kwon R. O.

A young Korean-American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea and then disappears, leading a fellow student into an obsessive search for her.

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

Sugar run : a novel

Mesha Maren

FICTION Maren Mesha

"Jodi McCarty is seventeen when she's sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. She's released eighteen years later and finds herself reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian mountains, she heads south in search of someone she left behind, as a way of finally making amends. There, she will meet and fall in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother living in a motel room with her children. Together they head toward what they hope will be a new home and fresh start--but what do you do with a town and a family that refuses to change?"--

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

Wild milk

Sabrina Orah Mark

FICTION Mark Sabrina

"Fiction. Jewish Studies. Women's Studies. WILD MILK is like Borscht Belt meets Leonora Carrington; it's like Donald Barthelme meets Pony Head; it's like the Brothers Grimm meet Beckett in his swim trunks at the beach. In other words, this remarkable collection of stories is unlike anything you've read"--Provided by publisher.

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

Brown : poems

Kevin Young

811.54 /Young

Divided into "Home Recordings" and "Field Recordings," Brown speaks to the way personal experience is shaped by culture, while culture is forever affected by the personal, recalling a black, Kansas boyhood to comment on our times. From "History"--A song of Kansas high-school fixture Mr. W., who gave his students "the Sixties / minus Malcolm X, or Watts, / barely a march on Washington"--to "Money Road," a sobering pilgrimage to the site of Emmett Till's lynching, the poems engage place and the past and their intertwined power. These twenty-eight taut poems and poetic sequences, including an oratorio based on Mississippi "barkeep, activist, waiter" Booker Wright that was performed at Carnegie Hall and the vibrant sonnet cycle "De La Soul Is Dead," about the days when hip-hop was growing up ("we were black then, not yet / African American"), remind us that blackness and brownness tell an ongoing story. A testament to Young's own--and our collective--experience, Brown offers beautiful, sustained harmonies from a poet whose wisdom deepens with time"--

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

Long players : a love story in eighteen songs

Peter Coviello

781.66092 /Coviello

A passionate, heartfelt story about the many ways we fall in love: with books, bands and records, friends and lovers, and the families we make. Have you ever fallen in love--exalting, wracking, hilarious love--with a song? Long Players is a book about that everyday kind of besottedness--and, also, about those other, more entangling sorts of love that songs can propel us into. We follow Peter Coviello through his happy marriage, his blindsiding divorce, and his fumbling post marital forays into sex and romance. Above all we travel with him as he calibrates, mix by mix and song by song, his place in the lives of two little girls, his suddenly ex-stepdaughters. In his grief, he considers what keeps us alive (sex, talk, dancing) and the limitless grace of pop songs.

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Mission Creek 2019
- Stacey

Well-read black girl : finding our stories, discovering ourselves : an anthology

810.9896 /Well

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? In this collection of essays, black women writers shine a light on how important it is that we all-- regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability-- have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature. Whether it's learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. -- adapted from publisher info

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MIssion Creek 2019
- Stacey