There’s a lot that goes on in the world, especially between people, that no one really sees. So what better way to get at it than to tell a story from the viewpoint of a blind man? But Touch and Go, Thad Nodine’s debut novel, is a road trip story—a genre that usually relies upon the telling visual details that serve as mile markers for each pilgrim’s progress. Instead, Nodine’s narrator hears the footsteps, smells the perfume, touches the outlines, and feels his way across the country with his makeshift family. Nodine also turns the traditional American road trip around, starting west and heading east, perhaps suggesting our destiny is not so manifest. Also worth noting: All three adults on the trip are recovering addicts; there’s a handmade wooden coffin strapped atop their station wagon; and the group hits Biloxi, Mississippi, around the same time Hurricane Katrina does. Publisher’s Weekly said it’s "one of the year’s finest fiction debuts," and novelist Jonathan Franzen calls the novel "a strong debut—a high-velocity vision quest that keeps surprising and surprising."
This book sheds new light on the well-documented life of writer Willa Cather and on the less-documented lives of her friends, the painters Earl and Achsah Brewster, an expatriate couple whose other friends included D.H. Lawrence, the Nehru family, and Gandhi. Leaning on a trove of letters between Cather and the Brewsters and on two memoirs—one written by Achsah and the other by the Brewsters’ daughter—the book offers insight into their four-decade friendship, plus interesting details about the quirky, well-traveled couple.
The brainy hipster journal The Believer says Josh MacPhee is one of the few male writers published by The Feminist Press. No wonder. The posters MacPhee commissioned and collected over a dozen years from 80 artists tell the stories of those who fought oppression throughout history, including some who died trying. While the poster form helps bring history alive, the posters also remind us that despite 450 years of effort (the first poster celebrates the 16th-century land rights movement called the Diggers), some of the same struggles remain.
This book of poems, all about music, places music’s impact along a spectrum that runs from somewhat above the head to somewhere a bit south of the heart, finding the transcendent and the sensual in everything from Bach to the Blues. The book, like Goldensohn’s The Marrano (National Poetry Foundation, 1988), features the monotypes of Douglas Kinsey ’57.
Gómez-Malet, a flute professor at the Conservatory of Zaragoza, Spain, translated this highly-praised flute performance primer written by Michel Debost, emeritus professor of flute at Oberlin. Gómez-Malet was an artist diploma student of Debost, who assisted Gómez-Malet in this translation from both the French and English versions, making this the most complete version.