In This Issue
 


We at the First Editions Club are very excited to bring you There There by Tommy Orange, a fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking debut novel. This is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen, and it introduces a brilliant new author at the start of a major career.

There There is a relentlessly paced multi-generational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.

It tells the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss.

Here is a voice we have never heard - a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with stunning urgency and force. Tommy Orange writes of the plight of the urban Native American, the Native American in the city, in a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide.  Orange is is writing in an entirely new tradition. He is telling the story of the Urban Native American -- the plight of the Native American in the city. And the city proves just as powerfully transformative in Orange's fiction as the land has in novels we've traditionally seen from Native American authors.

An unforgettable debut, destined to become required reading in schools and universities across the country.





If you have any question s, please feel free to call us at 413.534.7307 or email at
odysseyfirsts@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Happy reading,

Mark 
________________ 
Mark Brumberg 
Fiction Buyer and First Editions Club Director,  Odyssey Bookshop  
    
 
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There There 
by Tommy Orange


There There drops on us like a thunderclap; the big, booming, explosive sound of 21st century literature finally announcing itself. Essential. 
--Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings



Orange's visceral first novel, set in past and present-day Oakland, weaves more than ten plot lines involving the lives of Native Americans. All intersect in a crescendo of violence at the Oakland Powwow. Tony Loneman starts off the narrative with an honest discussion of his fetal alcohol syndrome, which he calls "the Drome." He also features in the conclusion piloting a drone. Video artist Dene Oxendene records stories while Orvil Red Feather is a dancer. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield and her sister Jacquie Red Feather are most central to the novel. Jacquie and Opal were part of the historic occupation of Alcatraz--where Jacquie became pregnant--eventually giving up her daughter for a blind adoption. A chronicle of domestic violence, alcoholism, addiction, and pain, the book reveals the perseverance and spirit of the characters; from Jacquie as a substance abuse counselor ten days sober to the plight of Blue, the daughter she gave up, escaping from an abusive relationship.  Echoes of Piri Thomas's Down These Mean Streets meets the unflinching candor of Sherman Alexie's oeuvre; highly recommended  --Library Journal 


Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.




($25.95, signed) 
 
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Fiction Special Offers
Calypso
by David Sedaris 

If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny--it's a book that can make you laugh 'til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris's powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris's darkest and warmest book yet--and it just might be his very best.


Sedaris collects 21 essays largely about family bonds and getting older in this hilarious yet tender volume. Facing middle age, the author purchased a beach house, which he named Sea Section, in his childhood state of North Carolina. The beach abode serves not only its intended purpose as a perfect location for family gatherings, but also ends up being a venue for arguments, jokes, and encountering local wildlife (in particular, a snapping turtle to whom Sedaris joked he'd feed a benign fatty tumor Sedaris had formed). Sedaris's mother died of cancer in 1991 at the age of 62, but his conservative, 92-year-old father (with whom he has a difficult relationship), three sisters (a fourth committed suicide), and younger brother are frequent visitors and fodder for Sedaris's perceptive and imaginative sense of humor; no subject seems too sacred for his wit, including his sister's suicide ("I've always liked to think that before killing myself I'd take the time to really mess with people") and the physical attractiveness of Jesus. He also riffs on topics ranging from the inane conversations people have at shops, airports, and hotels ("You're a long way from home, aren't you?" one bellman comments) to the nasty expletives drivers scream from cars. Throughout, he reveals a deep loyalty to family, with loving reminiscences of his mother, a palpable wish to be closer to his father, and a nostalgic devotion to his siblings and their shared memories. The author's fans and newcomers alike will be richly rewarded by this sidesplitting collection. -- Publishers Weekly 



David Sedaris is the author of the books  Theft by Finding, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Holidays on Ice, Naked, and 
Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to  The New Yorker  and BBC Radio 4. He lives in England.
 

($28.00, signed at Odyssey event, limited quantity onlyclick here to order) 
 
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Clock Dance
by Anne Tyler

A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn't sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she's never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory-surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places. A bewitching novel of hope, self-discovery, and second chances, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.


After a lightweight foray into rewriting Shakespeare (Vinegar Girl, 2016), Tyler returns to her tried-and-true theme of family life's emotionally charged complexities.Eleven-year-old Willa Drake doesn't really understand the fraught interchanges between her volatile mother and maddeningly mild-mannered father that roil the novel's opening chapter, set in Pennsylvania in 1967. But as the action leapfrogs to 1977 and she impulsively decides to marry college boyfriend Derek after he stands up to her mother on their first meeting, we see that, in a world of self-dramatizers and placaters, Willa has unconsciously decided to be a placater... Tyler's characteristic warmth and affection for her characters are engaging as ever. . . [They are] all vibrantly portrayed with her usual low-key gusto and bracingly dark humor . . . Power dynamics are never simple in Tyler's portraits of marriage.  -- Kirkus Reviews

From her mother's early-on disappearance to widowhood at a young age, Willa Drake has known tragedy; now she just wants to become a grandmother. But when her son's ex-girlfriend is shot, Willa rushes cross-country to tend to her and her nine-year-old daughter. There she learns how a community can bond as closely as family, how solace can be found in small, unexpected places, and how rebirth can come from pain -- Library Journal 

Anne Tyler  is the author of more than twenty novels. Her eleventh novel,  Breathing Lessons , was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.   Tyler's  A Spool of Blue Thread ,  was a  New York Times  best seller and a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland .

($26.95, tipped in, limited quantity only, click here to order)

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Southernmost 
by Silas House 

In this stunning novel about judgment, courage, heartbreak, and change, author Silas House wrestles with the limits of belief and the infinite ways to love. 

In the aftermath of a flood that washes away much of a small Tennessee town, evangelical preacher Asher Sharp offers shelter to two gay men. In doing so, he starts to see his life anew-and risks losing everything: his wife, locked into her religious prejudices; his congregation, which shuns Asher after he delivers a passionate sermon in defense of tolerance; and his young son, Justin, caught in the middle of what turns into a bitter custody battle.With no way out but ahead, Asher takes Justin and flees to Key West, where he hopes to find his brother, Luke, whom he'd turned against years ago after Luke came out. And it is there, at the southernmost point of the country, that Asher and Justin discover a new way of thinking about the world, and a new way of understanding love. Southernmost is a tender and affecting book, a meditation on love and its consequences.

A journey of self-discovery, Southernmost dives into the familiar, troubled waters of toxic religion and masculinity to rescue a story of love between men-fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers. House deftly shows there's no place insulated from a necessary confrontation with the past. Plumbing the depths of love and judgment, this novel is surprising in the places it'll take you. It's an unflinching yet generous portrait of rural America that's honest, refreshing, and complex."
--Foreword Reviews, starred review

"A novel for our time, a courageous and necessary book." --Jennifer Haigh, author of Heat and Light

Southernmost engages my most deeply hidden fears and hopes. Silas House has all the gifts of a passionate storyteller, and to this book he adds the heartfelt convictions of a man willing to voice what we so seldom see in print-the ways in which with all good intentions we can mess up and go wrong, and only later try to sort out how we can win our own redemption. I love this book, and for it, I love Silas House."   --Dorothy Allison, author of  Bastard Out of Carolina


Silas House  is the author of five novels, including the New York Times bestseller  A Parchment of Leaves. He is a frequent contributor to the  New York Times and a former commentator for NPR's  All Things Considered. House is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and is the winner of the E. B. White Award, the Nautilus Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Hobson Medal for Literature, and other honors.

($26.95, tipped in, limited quantity only, click here to order)   
 
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The Word is Murder 
by Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz, The New York Times bestselling author of Magpie  Murders and Moriarty brilliantly reinvents the classic crime novel once again with this clever and inventive mystery starring a fictional version of the author himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes, investigating a case involving buried secrets, murder, and a trail of bloody clues.

A woman crosses a London street.   It is just after 11am on a bright spring morning, and she is going into a funeral parlor to plan her own service.
Six hours later the woman is dead, strangled with a crimson curtain cord in her own home.    Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric man as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. And Hawthorne has a partner, the celebrated novelist Anthony Horowitz, curious about the case and looking for new material.  As brusque, impatient, and annoying as Hawthorne can be, Horowitz-a seasoned hand when it comes to crime stories-suspects the detective may be on to something, and is irresistibly drawn into the mystery. But as the case unfolds, Horowitz realizes he's at the center of a story he can't control . . . and that his brilliant partner may be hiding dark and mysterious secrets of his own.  

A masterful and tricky mystery which plays games at many levels, The Word Is Murder is  Horowitz at his very best.

Actually, the word is not murder, it's ingenious....a masterful meta-mystery." -- Booklist (starred review)

The beguiling whodunit plot is dispatched with characteristic elan as Horowitz blurs the line between fact and fiction. --  Financial Times

Anthony Horowitz is one of the United Kingdom's most prolific and successful writers. He may have committed more (fictional) murders than any other living author. His novels include  Magpie Murders, Trigger Mortis, Moriarty, The House of Silk, and the bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults. As a screenwriter he created the television series  Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning  Foyle's War, which were both featured on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery!. His other television work includes  Agatha Christie's Poirot and the widely acclaimed miniseries  Collision and Injustice, and the BBC series  New Blood. He regularly contributes to a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, and, in 2014, was awarded an OBE for services to literature. He lives in London.  


($27.99, tipped in, limited quantity only, click here to order)   
 
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