Staff Pick

In this riotous and impassioned satirical novel, Beatty takes aim at nearly all the sacred cows present in American culture to expose the racist id of America’s national psyche. The book’s unnamed African-American protagonist resides in Dickens, a fictional Los Angeles neighborhood that has recently been erased off the city’s maps and road signs, probably because as a poor, gang-ridden, exclusively minority enclave, even seeing the name Dickens might disabuse one of the notion that America is a post-racial, egalitarian society. Our narrator was reared by a radical sociologist father who parents according to the dictates of “liberation psychology”. As an adult he works as an artisanal watermelon and marijuana farmer, but when his father is murdered by the police, he becomes a modern-day school segregationist and slaveholder. What’s so tenacious and brilliant about this book is how it refuses to let the reader forget the she lives in a white supremacist “democracy” where racism colors so many aspects of our quotidian existence.

The Sellout: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374260507
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 3rd, 2015

The Sellout: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250083258
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - March 1st, 2016

Staff Pick

Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel Behold the Dreamers is quintessential African immigrant literature because of its main concern: leaving and finding home. Imbolo Mbue, a Cameroonian immigrant, beautifully captures the unbridled optimism, uncertainty and challenges that comes with creating a new life in a new land. The novel’s central characters, the Jongas, are Cameroonian immigrants during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Juxtaposing them with the wealthy Edwards family they work for, the novel succeeds in a clear depiction of two different families experiencing two different types of economic realities. The novel reaches far and wide when painting this picture, and demonstrates the obvious and not-so-obvious panic from different rungs of the social ladder. Behold the Dreamers hits the mark in raising an important question: can America deliver on its promise for those who dare to dream?

Behold the Dreamers: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812998481
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - August 23rd, 2016

Behold the Dreamers: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525509714
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 26th, 2017

Staff Pick

The protagonist of this autobiographical novel is a young woman who graduates from college in the Midwest and moves to New York City, where she soon finds work in one of the city’s most renowned restaurants. Working there with a motley crew of artists, actors and restaurant industry veterans, she learns hard lessons about adulthood amid the bright lights and expensive plates of the city’s fine dining scene. Danler’s experience working in the industry (she got her start at Danny Meyer’s renowned Union Square Café) is evident as she writes beautifully about the tastes of all manner of food and spirits, and accurately depicts the cutthroat managerial practices of the restaurant industry, and how the camaraderie between waiters and other staff enables them to endure the many stresses of their jobs. The protagonist’s torrid affair with an older bartender undergirds the book’s dramatic arc, and while this element of the narrative makes it a great plane or beach read, there are also profound meditations here on how the hard lessons of early adulthood teach us resilience in the end.

Sweetbitter: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101875940
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf - May 24th, 2016

Sweetbitter (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101911860
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - April 4th, 2017

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