Hut's Place
 Weekly Words about New Books in
Independent Bookstores

December 9, 2018

A Literary Gift - Prestigious Prize Winner Now Available in Paperback
Milkman by Anna Burns. This year's Man Booker Prize winner has just arrived in paperback and should be front and center at most independent bookstores. The
story takes place in Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s, where an unnamed narrator finds herself stalked and targeted by a high-ranking dissident known as Milkman. Kirkus Reviews, one of several publications giving the book a starred review, described Burns' work as a "blistering feminist perspective on a community at war."   
In awarding the Booker Prize, the chair of the judging committee, author and philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, offered this tribute: "The language of Anna Burns' Milkman is simply marvellous; beginning with the distinctive and consistently realised voice of the funny, resilient, astute, plain-spoken, first-person protagonist. From the opening page her words pull us into the daily violence of her world - threats of murder, people killed by state hit squads - while responding to the everyday realities of her life as a young woman, negotiating a way between the demands of family, friends and lovers in an unsettled time. The novel delineates brilliantly the power of gossip and social pressure in a tight-knit community, and shows how both rumour and political loyalties can be put in the service of a relentless campaign of individual sexual harassment."
Impressive Debut From  Up-and-Coming Writer  
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. This unique coming-of-age novel centers on a young Nigerian woman as she struggles to reconcile the proliferation of multiple selves within her  and is closely based on Emezi's own dealings with identity and mental health. The book has drawn the attention and praise of many independent booksellers and is on the short list of this year's The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, whose winner will be announced this Tuesday. The author is an Igbo and Tamil writer and artist born and raised in Nigeria and now based in liminal spaces (I had to google that).
Freshwater is also part of the Winter 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List, which includes this review from Elisa Thomas of Cellar Door Books in Riverside, CA: "As soon as I started this book, I wanted to tell anyone who would listen about it. The story begins with birth -- the birth of a Nigerian girl, but also the birth of the children of Gods within her. Told through the perspective of Ada's other selves, Freshwater takes readers on the journey of her life. This is the story of someone born fractured, with 'one foot on the other side.' An incredible, unique, and completely enthralling read. I feel as though no description will truly do this book justice."   

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Hi, I'm Hut Landon, and I work as a bookseller in an independent bookstore in BerkeIey, California.

My goal with this newsletter is to keep readers up to date about new books hitting the shelves, share what indie booksellers are recommending in their stores, and pass on occasional news about the book world.

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