Category Archives: New Books Network Podcasts

Marshall, Fiona Vigo: The House of Marvelous Books

“To my friends in publishing IT IS SAID that those who go against the way end up being called unlucky. And as luck would have it, I, Mortimer Blakely-Smith, have been charged to tell the tale of our last ill-fated voyage. Now, I have reached the land of detachment, from which there is no return. There remains only this record. A logbook if you like from a sinking ship, though for centuries we never touched shore.”

Summie, Caitlin Hamilton: Geographies of the Heart

“My grandmother wanted me to have the China, which had gone to the oldest grandchild for five generations. She told me over the phone early last May, slipping the news into a discussion about how to clean my moldy shower curtain. She referred to is as my shower curtain because she refused when discussing anything remotely intimate to acknowledge that Al might use the item, too. Thrilled as she was that we were back together, she wasn’t thrilled about the living arrangements.”

Freedman, Ariela LEA

“Lea leaves her house at dawn and the air still feels like winter. It is the time of year when Montreal is entirely unpredictable, frigid one day and sweaty the next. She thinks she sees grey flakes of snow as she wraps her thin coat around herself and hugs her arms to her chest. For weeks she has prayed for good weather. The streets are nearly empty but for a few milk carts, delivery trucks, boys on bicycles throwing newspapers against the closed doors of the sleeping city. Tomorrow, they will own the front page of every one of those papers.”

Daniels, R. Cathey, Live Caught

“A man’s legs appear not three feet from Lenny’s face. Slick, flat fish hang vertically one afte the other against one leg, their green bronze scales painted in downward streaks of blood from mouths gaffed by a rusted stringer. The man’s knees and elbows fold downward and slowly collapse into a skinny squat beside where Lenny is wedged under the dock. The chained fish splat into the mud. Jingle Jingle.
“Son?” Grizzled face.The man reaches toward him, slowly, then snatches his hands away. Claps them three times. Goes still. Lenny realizes the man thinks he’s wide-eyed dead.”

Savedra, Edith Scott, The Lamps of Albarracin

“From childhood I remember our festivals, different yet the same. At sunrise on her longest day, Magda lit wicks and set walnuts in wine. She prayed the Christian beads. Summer brought the sunsets of Ramadan. Bronze lamps lit, Arabi the trader gave charity- coins for the poor, sugar cakes for me. Then came the harvest, sweet with peaches from Calanda. At night in my family’s cabin we sisters kindled lamps and tied citrons and pears to willow boughs. Our Sukkot, his Sugar feast, her Solstice. They come to me as one. When I close my eyes in the depths of memory, I see lamps and their light.”

Schweighardt, Joan – River Aria

“When Tia Adriana’s tearful outbursts first began, JoJo thought it was because she would miss him so much. And surely that was part of it. But the bigger part was that she had lied to him, long ago, when he was a little boy. And as there didn’t seem to be any harm in her deception at the time, as it made JoJo happy in fact to hear her build on it, tia Adriana had done just that. She’d embellished her lie: like clay, she kneaded it and stretched it, working it until it was as high and as stalwart as the tall ships that sometimes still came out of the night to rest in our harbor, until it was as vast and mysterious as the river itself.”

O’Callaghan, Billy – Life Sentences

“I’d been in Barrett’s pub since six, drinking fast and heavy. The few other men at the bar saw enough to keep to themselves, and though I had come straight from the fields, having spent the day since first light cutting grass for silage, and after the second pint had no more money in my pocket, the drink kept coming at me and I kept putting it away. A couple of hours in, I’d yet to feel the effect, and it was because of weariness finally, and maybe also because of a need to be alone, that I gave up my place at the counter and oved instead to the bench seat in shadow at the end of the lounge, with a table for my glass and the wall to support my back.”

Goudarzi, Sara – The Almond in the Apricot

“The basement smells wet. Other than random flashes of light coming through the small window, it’s dark everywhere. I’m squatting on the cold concrete floor under a wooden table, covering my ears with my hands and wondering if our house will still be here tomorrow. Mom and Dad are sitting on chairs a few meters away. They’re quiet. I don’t like sitting on a chair. The table is like another roof. I told my parents it’s like playing house, and they said it was okay. We all do different things when the lights are cut and the air raids begin.”