While everyone is looking back at 2011 (and of course they always pick the wrong books!), I'm looking forward to 2012 with many presses ready to have next year's titles printed. Here are some of the things I'm looking forward to.
Fires of Our Choosing by Eugene Cross (1/2012) - Eugene Cross is hot. I've been Facebook stalking him and following his work. I first encountered his stuff in American Short Fiction, and then he was in Hobart and Narrative. Apparently, he has a short story collection coming out, which should be promising with blurbs from Dan Chaon and Charles Baxter.
Shut Up/Look Pretty by Lauren Becker, Erin Fitzgerald, Kirsty Logan, Michelle Reale, Amber Sparks (2/2012) - I don't know many of the writers in this chapbook collection, but Amber Sparks is worth the price of the book itself. Sparks has been published in PANK (I was in the same issue!), Wigleaf, Smokelong, and whole bunch of other major indie magazines. Her work can be categorized as magical realism that is quirky a la Aimee Bender, but more dream like and playful. Her voice is truly her own. Buy it for the sake of Amber Sparks!
The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice (2/2012) - Anne Rice, fuck duh! It's her return to speculative fiction, after all those Jesus-fail novels. But instead of vampires, we have werewolves! We all knew Anne Rice was a Taylor Lautner fan!
The Reeducation of Cherry Truong by Aimee Phan (3/2012) - I thought Aimee Phan was dead. After her criticially acclaimed We Should Never Meet a collection, which dealt with the lives of those evacuated during the fall of Saigon, no one (or at least myself) never from heard from her again. That was 2005. Her new book deals with the Vietnamese diaspora again, but this time her characters return to their homeland. Despite the weak title (sounds like an Asian version of a Jane Austen remake [this is an untapped market!]), it should surely be worth the wait!
Basement of Wolves by Daniel Allen Cox (4/2012) - D.A.C. NEVER disappoints. His newest will be about dreams, Hollywood, and identity crisis.
The Fifth Lash by Anis Shivani (early 2012) - I never read any fiction from Anis Shivani. After reading his critique of the workshop last year (Against the Workshop), it's interesting to see the critic at work as an artist in his second collection, of which I know very little about, but nevertheless want to read.
This is a Dance Movie! by Tim Jones-Yelvington (maybe 2012, maybe 2013): Tim Jones-Yelvington is like a gay Lydia Davis. But more than that, he is the Lady Gaga (when she was good) of literature. His stories are concise and short, yet his use of language is always surprising. Also, he makes Youtube videos:
Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World by Anne Fausto-Sterling (4/2012) - Fausto-Sterling's Sexing the Body was probably one of the most influential books I read while in college. Building off Focault, she argued that the idea of sex and science are not static, but in fact contingent upon time and place. This volume promises to explore the ideas of sex and gender futhur using biochemistry and neurobiology to examine the ethical and moral side of sex and gender. Its sounds like heavy reading, but Fausto-Sterling writes clearly and with humor.
Two Spirits, One Heart by Marsha Aizumi and Aiden Takeo Aizumi (4/2012) - Marsha Aizumi is an aspiring person. I first met her during a roundtable discussion about AAPI queer youth. I told her I wished more mothers could be like her. A mother of a transgender child (here, her co-author), this book traces their journey from confusion into acceptance. It the first book (that I know of) that explores this issues from the AAPI side. Should be a wonderful read, something along the lines of Hilda Raz and Aaron Raz Link's What Becomes You (another great duet memoir).
128 Beats Per Minute by Thomas Wesley Pentz (4/2012) - Itzzzz Diplo! A pictorial book, it documents his travels and observations and development as a musician. This is why you should pick it up (not sure how many words are in it, though):
A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein (5/2012) - Kate Bornstein is my hero! A gender anarchist, activist, and theorist (and all around inspiring person), her previous books explored gender constructs. In this one, a memoir, she explores coming of age in a Jewish tradition, leaving it for Scientology, then leaving that to become a woman. A must-have in any collection!
Faithest by Chris Stedman (11/2012) - Chris Stedman is a community organizer who is making waves. Mainly, he's an atheist (humanist to be technical) doing interfaith work. His work has been published in the Washington Post and Huffington Post. His debut book is a memoir is subtitled "How One Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious," and explores (most probably) his coming out as queer, as atheist, and as an atheist doing interfaith work. Knowing his work, Stedman weaves a picture in which diversity is celebrated as a strength. What's different about Stedman's book that it's less of an atheist book about how the religious is wrong (Dawkins, for example), and more of a personal memoir, more of a type of vision.
Resilience edited by Eric Nguyen - So I have a book I edited (designed, self-published) coming out. (I'm horrible at self promotion! Bear with me!). Money from it will go to The Make It Safe Project. Buy it through Lulu starting January 24. More info at betterbookproject.blogspot.com.