Matthew Salesses is fiction editor and a columnist for the Good Men Project. He has written four books, and placed stories in scores of publications including Glimmer Train, Witness, Pleiades, American Short Fiction, and The Literary Review. His nonfiction has appeared in the Good Men Project, The Rumpus, and KoreAm among others, and he is the recipient of many literary awards. His latest book, I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, releases later this month from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
Here are the books that are keeping me company now:
The Lost City of Z, by David Grann
In 1925, British explorer Percy Fawcett entered the Amazon jungle never to return. His quest for Z chronicled by Grann interweaves spellbinding stories of the deadly jungle, as Grann unravels “the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.”
Divisadero, by Michael Ondaatje
From the titular San Francisco street to the raucous backrooms of Nevada’s casinos and eventually to the landscape of southern France, Divisadero is a series of narratives that move back and forth through time and place, with each of the characters trying to find some foothold in a present shadowed by the past.
The Alligators of Abraham, by Robert Kloss
Robert Kloss’s The Alligators of Abraham is described as “a fever dream built from the fly strewn corpses of armies, the megalomania of generals, the madness of widows, the fires of mourning, the fury of the poor, the indifference of the wealthy, and the ravenous hissing of those alligators who have ever plagued the shores of our national nightmares.”
The Latest Winter, by Maggie Nelson
“These poems manage to say everything about everything—each determining day, each shifting sense of inexhaustible person. Back of it all is an extraordinary ear for the way words find place, make a passage from here to there, blessedly keep on talking”—Robert Creely.
Dictee, by Therese Hak Kyung Cha
Cha deploys a variety of texts, documents, images, and forms of address and inquiry to explore issues of dislocation and the fragmentation of memory. The result is a work of power, complexity, and enduring beauty.
The Language of Blood, by Jane Jeong Trenka
Trenka recounts a childhood of insecurity, a battle with a stalker that escalates to a plot for her murder, and an extraordinary trip to Seoul to meet her birth mother and siblings. Lost between two cultures for the majority of her life, it is in Korea that she begins to understand her past and the power of the unspoken language of blood.
And three books that are not yet published but that I am excited for:
Find Me, by Laura van den Berg (FSG)
Southern Cross the Dog, by Bill Cheng (Amistad)
and The Suicide of Claire Bishop, by Carmiel Banasky
What publications are you anxiously anticipating?