In This Issue

We at the First Editions Club are very excited to bring you She Would Be King by debut novelist Wayetu Moore, who re-imagines the dramatic story of the formation of Liberia through the eyes of three unforgettable characters. 

An accessible, remarkably good first novel that seems, at times, to be a prose poem. She Would Be King will capture you in its fairy tale, yet frighteningly real world, set in Liberia in its formative stage, on a Virginia plantation, and other exotic locales. Wayetu Moore gives us skillfully crafted characters who come to life, some ghostly in nature, that glide through their lives, as if by the winds of the ancients. A mashup of the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, with the precision storytelling capabilities of Jesmyn Ward, and the intense historical narrative of Colson Whitehead. 

Gbessa, exiled on suspicion of being a witch  from the West African village of Lai, is bitten by a viper and left for dead, but miraculously survives.  June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with t he overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon is the child of a white British colonizer and a  Maroon slave from Jamaica, and can fade from sight at will, just as his mother could.  When they  meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the  African American settlers and the indigenous tribes. Their story lines are brilliantly intertwined by  the all-seeing spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. 

A spectacular blend of history and magical realism, She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a rich, unexpected canvas. Moore illuminates with radiant prose the tumultuous roots of a unique African country-one whose history is inextricably bound to the United States.

"Wayétu Moore's project in She Would Be King is no less than the creation of a nation, which is inextricable from the creation of the self. Epic, beautiful, and magical, this astonishing first novel boldly announces the arrival of a remarkable novelist and storyteller."     --Edwidge Danticat

Wayétu Moore is the founder of One Moore Book and is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University and the University of Southern California. She teaches at the City University of New York's John Jay College and lives in Brooklyn. 

She Would Be King

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 413.534.7307 or email at We look forward to hearing from you! 

Happy reading,

Mark Brumberg 
Fiction Buyer and First Editions Club Director, Odyssey Bookshop 
She Would Be King 
by  Wayetu Moore 

Moore's intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in her three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, "who" embodies an ancient wisdom. 

"If she was not a woman," the wind says of Gbessa, "she would be king."  In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. 

She Would Be King 
 is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.

"An ambitious, genre-hopping, continent-spanning novel. .  . Moore is a brisk and skilled storyteller who weaves her protagonists' disparate stories together with aplomb yet is also able to render her sprawling cast of characters in ways that feel psychologically compelling. In addition, the novel's various settings--Virginia, Jamaica, and West Africa--are depicted so lushly that readers will find themselves enchanted."-- Kirkus Reviews 

"Lyrical, gripping, and throbbing with life in every word and sentence, Wayétu Moore conjures a story that reaches across the bounds of nation and culture to show us how deeply interwoven are our tales and our fates. In this luminous debut, you'll find an original new voice, melding the magical and the mythic and forging something urgently of our moment."-- Alexandra Kleeman

"This magical retelling of Liberia's beginning is so original, so bold and poetic, Wayétu Moore is destined for comparisons to Yann Martel, Markus Zusak, and Paulo Coelho. Her unforgettable heroine, Gbessa, leads those who've been stripped of their homes and their language to rise up and defend not only their own futures but the memory of those who would never see freedom."
-- Susan Henderson

"She Would Be King reads like an enchanted, luscious fairy tale. The story is bound up in horrid racism, but it's told as if from heaven, hypnotic in its magic and surrealism. The greatest praise for this master debut may be fast or slow in coming, but that praise is ineluctable, certain. What joy a book is when it's so profoundly good."-- Dagoberto Gilb

Wayétu Moore is the founder of One Moore Book,  a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that encourages reading among children of countries with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures by publishing culturally relevant books that speak to their truths, and by creating bookstores and reading corners that serve their communities.    A
 graduate of Howard University, Columbia University,  and the University of Southern California, she 
is currently a Margaret Mead Fellow at Columbia University Teachers College, where she's researching the impact of culturally relevant curriculum and learning aids in elementary classrooms of underrepresented groups. Moore is an Africana Studies  lecturer at City University of New York's John Jay College and lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

($26.00, signed at a reading by the author at Odyssey Bookshop) 
Signed Fiction and Non Fiction Special Offers
Virgil Wander
by Leif Enger 

The wonderful new novel from Leif Enger, only his third in 17 years. Virgil Wander, owner of a small theater and city clerk, has just narrowly avoided death when his car plunges into the icy Lake Superior, and now must continue living in his small, struggling town as a somewhat changed man. A remarkable, remarkable, novel that taps into the essential goodness of man.
Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is "cruising along at medium altitude" when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals-from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil's oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander  is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a "formidably gifted" (Chicago Tribune ) master storyteller.

"The focus of [Enger's] bright and breathing third novel feels mostly like life itself, in all its smallness and bigness, and what it means to live a good one." -- Booklist (starred review)

Leif Enger   was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel Peace Like a River , which won the Independent Publisher Book Award and was one of the Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome,  was also a national bestseller and a Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award Honor Book for Fiction. He lives in Minnesota.

($27.00, signed on a tipped in page,  limited quantity onlyclick here to order, publication date is

To be shipped
with the October Selection. 
 Bury The Lead 
by Archer Mayor 

The latest mystery featuring Joe Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation's inquiry into a murder and an arson case - both may be related to a potential outbreak of Ebola - but the ties are tenuous, the evidence wobbly, and the motive unclear.

When the dead body of a young woman is found near a trail at one of Vermont's popular ski mountains, the case falls to Joe Gunther and his team at the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI). They quickly have a suspect, who confesses, but the whole squad isn't convinced-the evidence is thin at best. At the same time, a local firm is being targeted with acts of sabotage-a warehouse fire, a vandalized truck, a massive cooling system destroyed-resulting in loss of life. Mick Durocher, the same man who confessed to the murder of the young woman, was briefly an employee at the company being targeted.

These two puzzling cases-possibly connected-are complicated by the sidelining of one of the key members of VBI, Willy Kunkle, who undergoes surgery at a hospital which appears to be having an outbreak of Ebola.

Joe and his team investigate the various cases, pursuing motives that might tie them together, proving that the opposite of trust can be betrayal and that thwarted devotion can lead to murderous loathing. And behind the mayhem, and murder, lies a tragic history that Joe must somehow uncover and resolve before yet another person dies.

"We're talking Shakespearean tragedy here," says teammate Sammie Martens, evaluating Joe Gunther of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation's latest carnival of crime... As so often before, Mayor traverses the Green Mountain State from end to end piling on complications and subplots that fans won't expect to see any more neatly tied together than the collected works of William Shakespeare."  -- Kirkus Reviews

Archer Mayor, In addition to writing the 
New York Times  bestselling Joe Gunther series, is a death investigator for the state medical examiner and has twenty-five years of experience as a firefighter/EMT. He lives near Brattleboro, Vermont.

($27.99,  to be signed at reading at Odyssey Bookshop on October 9th, limited quantity only,   click here 
 to order)

To be shipped with the October Selection.

The Next Person You Will Meet in Heaven 
by Mitch Albom  

In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie's heavenly reunion with Annie -t he little girl he saved on earth - in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect.

Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom's beloved novel,  The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie's journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie's story.

As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo, her childhood love. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey-and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.

Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists,  The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning-we only need to open our eyes to see it.

"As Annie learns her lessons about the meaning and value of both life and death, Albom wraps up this heartfelt fable with a totally unexpected twist ... warn readers to keep their hankies handy."     --Booklist 

Mitch Albom  is a bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright, and nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, which spent four straight years atop the New York Times list, is now the bestselling memoir of all time. Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, and Have a Little Faith have been made into highly acclaimed television movies. Albom has founded nine charities in Detroit, including the first ever 24-hour medical clinic for homeless children in America. He, also operates an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Albom lives in metropolitan Detroit.  

($23.99, signed on a tipped in page, limited quantity only, to be published October 9th, click here 
 to order)

To be shipped with the October Selection. 
Confessions of a Fox  
by Jordy Rosenberg 

A love story set in the eighteenth-century London of notorious thieves and queer subcultures, this genre-bending debut novel tells a profound story of gender, desire, and liberation.

Jack Sheppard and Bess Edgeworth were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of eighteenth-century London. Yet no one knows the true story; their confessions have never been found.

Until now. Reeling from heartbreak, a scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript - a gender-defying exposé of Jack and Bess's adventures. Dated 1724, the book depicts a London underworld where scamps and rogues clash with London's newly established police force, queer subcultures thrive, and ominous threats of the plague abound. Jack-a transgender carpenter's apprentice-has fled his master's house to become a legendary prison break artist, and Bess has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary mastermind.

Is Confessions of the Fox an authentic autobiography, or a hoax? Dr. Voth obsessively annotates the manuscript, desperate to find the answer. As he is drawn deeper into Jack and Bess's tale of underworld resistance and gender transformation, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined-and only a miracle will save them all.

Confessions of the Fox is, at once, a work of speculative historical fiction, a soaring love story, a puzzling mystery, an electrifying tale of adventure and suspense, and an unabashed celebration of sex and sexuality. Writing with the narrative mastery of Sarah Waters and the playful imagination of Nabokov, Jordy Rosenberg is an audacious storyteller of extraordinary talent.

"Confessions of the Fox is bold for all of the reasons you already know... But what I love best about Confessions of the Fox is its mammoth feeling. It takes a big cauldron of hope to make a book like this, and we need cauldrons of hope right now and always." -- Electric Lit 

"A cunning meta-fiction of vulpine versatility ... Confessions is an action-adventure tale with postmodern flourishes; an academic intimate meditation on belonging that doubles as a political proof." -- The New Yorker

"A picaresque adventure through a London rarely seen in literature of the period...And in the novel's final paragraphs, [Rosenberg] offers one of the most trenchant calls for progressive action that I have read in a very long time. The climb may be steep, but the view from the top is grand." 
-- The New York Times Book Review

Jordy Rosenberg   is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he teaches 18th-century Literature and queer/trans theory. He is the author of a scholarly monograph, Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion (Oxford University Press). He lives in New York City and Northampton Massachusetts. 

($27.00, signed at a reading at Odyssey Bookshop, limited quantity only, click here to order)   

To be shipped with the October Selection.
 Every Day is Extra   
by John Kerry  

This is the story of John Kerry's remarkable American life - from son of a diplomat to decorated Vietnam veteran, five-term United States senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, and Secretary of State for four years - a revealing memoir by a witness to some of the most important events of our recent history.

Every Day Is Extra is Kerry's candid personal story. A Yale graduate, Kerry enlisted in the US Navy in 1966, and served in Vietnam. He returned home highly decorated but disillusioned, and testified powerfully before Congress as a young veteran opposed to the war.

Kerry served as a prosecutor in Massachusetts, then as lieutenant governor, and was elected to the Senate in 1984, eventually serving five terms. In 2004 he was the Democratic presidential nominee and came within one state - Ohio - of winning. Kerry returned to the Senate, chaired the important Foreign Relations Committee, and succeeded Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in 2013. In that position he tried to find peace in the Middle East; dealt with the Syrian civil war while combating ISIS; and negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement.

Every Day Is Extra is Kerry's passionate, insightful, sometimes funny, always moving account of his life. Kerry tells wonderful stories about colleagues Ted Kennedy and John McCain, as well as President Obama and other major figures. He writes movingly of recovering his faith while in the Senate, and deplores the hyper-partisanship that has infected Washington.

Few books convey as convincingly as this one the life of public service like that which John Kerry has lived for fifty years.  Every Day Is Extra shows Kerry for the dedicated, witty, and authentic man that he is, and provides forceful testimony for the importance of diplomacy and American leadership to address the increasingly complex challenges of a more globalized world.

"This book reveals a man of quiet, passionate patriotism, immense intelligence, and thoughtfulness."  -- Publishers Weekly 

John Forbes Kerry    is a former Secretary of State and five-term US Senator. Kerry is the author of Every Day Is ExtraA Call to Service: My Vision for a Better AmericaThe New War, and the best-selling This Moment on Earth. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, have two daughters, three sons, and seven grandchildren.

($35.00, signed at a reading at Mount Holyoke College, produced by Odyssey Bookshop, limited quantity only, click here to order)   

To be shipped with the October Selection. 
Enjoying the First Editions Club? Tell your friends!  Each time someone joins the club on your recommendation, you will get 20% off your next purchase as our way of thanking you. 
As always, please contact us with any questions or comments about the club, your membership, or the upcoming books. 
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I am always happy to send along additional books with your monthly selections.