Naomi Huffman is a former editor and digital marketing director at FSG, with over a decade of experience editing fiction and nonfiction for both Big Five and independent publishers. She is also a writer and critic, and her essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, and Chicago Tribune.
Her notable nonfiction titles include Meaty by Samantha Irby (a New York Times Bestseller); High School by Tegan and Sara Quin (a New York Times Bestseller); Jessica Hopper’s The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic; Burn the Place by Iliana Regan (finalist for the National Book Award) and Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes by Anne Elizabeth Moore (a Lambda Literary Award finalist).
Her notable fiction titles include Jillian by Halle Butler (National Book Award’s 5 Under 35; Granta’s Best American Novelists 2017); Mickey by Chelsea Martin; Late Stories by Stephen Dixon; and two forthcoming projects by the late novelist Katherine Dunn.
Twenty-four-year-old Megan may have her whole life ahead of her, but it already feels like a dead end, thanks to her dreadful job as a gastroenterologist's receptionist and her heart-clogging resentment of the success and happiness of everyone around her. But no one stokes Megan's bitterness quite like her coworker, Jillian, a grotesquely optimistic, thirty-five-year-old single mother whose chirpy positivity obscures her mounting struggles.
Megan and Jillian's lives become increasingly precarious as their faulty coping mechanisms--denial, self-help books, alcohol, religion, prescription painkillers, obsessive criticism, alienated boyfriends, and, in Jillian's case, the misguided purchase of a dog--send them spiraling toward their downfalls. Wickedly authentic and brutally funny, Jillian is a subversive portrait of two women trapped in cycles of self-delusion and self-destruction, each more like the other than they would care to admit.
"Why isn't Dixon a household name? […] His writing, which is plainspoken and deceptively straightforward, is the sort that sticks with you, because it cuts to the uncertainty of life […] Dixon is a master of the minor moments, the dreams and the disappointments, that transfigure every one of us."
The interlinked tales in this Late Stories detail the excursions of an aging narrator navigating the amorphous landscape of grief in a series of tender and often waggishly elliptical digressions.
Described by Jonathan Lethem as "one of the great secret masters" of contemporary American literature, Stephen Dixon is at the height of his form in these uncanny and virtuoso fictions.
The fifteen stories in After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones explore the horrors and fears of the supernatural and the everyday.
“The reader is brought in close to the emotional turmoil of the story ... the joy that Simon feels when he gets his first voiceover job, and the peace he feels when he realizes that a real voiceover artist is one who creates characters from scripts — who brings humanity into the recording ... [Reidy’s ] focus on character and voice draws readers in, and, in plain language, forces them to confront the communication problems present in their own families.”
Laurie Bird appeared in three films: Two Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter, and Annie Hall. Her fiancé, Art Garfunkel, was away shooting another film, Bad Timing, when she committed suicide at the age of 26. Let Go and Go On and On blurs what little is actually known of her with her roles in these films. Guided by constraints, it is a collage and a loving tribute.
Cyn Vargas's debut explores the whims and follies of the heart. When a mother disappears in Guatemala, her daughter refuses to accept she's gone; a divorced DMV employee falls in love during a driving lesson; a young girl shares a well-kept family secret; a bad haircut is the last straw in a crumbling marriage.
Zero Fade chronicles eight days in the life of inner-city Richmond, Virginia, teen Kevin Phifer as he deals with wack haircuts, bullies, last year's fly gear, his uncle Paul coming out as gay, and being grounded.
Written as letters to his unborn child, Tim Taranto’s Ars Botanica describes the infinite pleasures of falling in love — the small discoveries of each other's otherness, the crush of desire, the frightening closeness — and the terrifying impossibility of losing someone. Through examinations of the ways in which various cultures and religions carry grief, Taranto discovers the emotional instincts that shape his own mourning. He seeks solace in the natural elements of our world, divining meaning from the Iowa fields that stretch around him, the stones he collects, the plants he discovers on walks through the woods. His letters, then, are the honest wanderings of someone earnestly seeking meaning and belonging, ultimately resulting in a field guide for love, grief, and celebrating life.
IPPY, Bronze, Literary Fiction
Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year, Finalist
The Eric Hoffer Award, First Runner-Up in General Fiction
The Montaigne Medal, Finalist
Growing up as the only daughter of a wealthy landowner in Santiago de Cali, Colombia, teenaged Mercedes Martinez knows a world of maids, armed guards, and private drivers. When she falls in love with Manuel, a fiery young activist with a passion for his faith and his country, she begins to understand the suffering of the desplazados who share her land. A startling discovery about her father forces Mercedes to doubt everything she thought she knew about her life, and she and Manuel make plans to run away together. But before they can, tragedy strikes in a single violent night. Mercedes flees Colombia for the United States and a life she never could have imagined. Fifteen years later, she returns to Colombia seeking the truth, but discovers that only more questions await.
In this haunting and hypnotizing novel, a young woman loses everything--half of her body, her fiancé, and possibly her unborn child--to a terrible apartment fire. While recovering from the trauma, she discovers a photo album inhabited by a predatory ghost who promises to make her whole again, all while slowly consuming her from the inside out.
Vile Men is a collection of fourteen short stories that are transgressive in nature, filled with heart and emotion, leaving you sweaty and spent, your heart pounding in your chest. Stolen moments on the subway, fear of intimacy, sexual perversion and dark fears come home to roost all unite in a powerful mixture of literary fiction, contemporary fairy tales, and late night confessions. Shocking and yet touching, unnerving and yet brutally honest, Rebecca Jones-Howe is an emerging author that you'll want to keep an eye on.
Smart, edgy, hilarious, and unabashedly raunchy New York Times bestselling author Samantha Irby explodes onto the printed page in her uproarious first collection of essays.
"Chelsea Martin continues to prove herself the preeminent chronicler of Internet age malaise and I fucking love it. Mickey takes her provocative poetry long form, weaving the tangled tale of a breakup that shouldn't be as confusing as it is. This has replaced Anne of Green Gables as my cozy times reading. Who the fuck knows what that says about me, but it says a LOT about the power of Chelsea's writing."
After breaking up with her boyfriend Mickey, a young woman struggles to situate her life and her art, and reach her estranged mother. Told in a series of vignettes, Mickey is one young woman’s journey to figuring out life (or not) amidst drunken mistakes, reality TV marathons, bathroom sex, and the daydreamed titles of imaginary art installations.
Why did Leonardo Da Vinci leave so many of his major works uncompleted? Why did this resolute pacifist build war machines for the notorious Borgias? Why did he carry the Mona Lisa with him everywhere he went for decades, yet never quite finish it? Why did he write backwards, and was he really at war with Michelangelo? And was he gay?
In a book unlike anything ever written about the Renaissance genius, Mike Lankford explodes every cliché about Da Vinci and then reconstructs him based on a rich trove of available evidence—bringing to life for the modern reader the man who has been studied by scholars for centuries, yet has remained as mysterious as ever.
Heartfelt, earnest, and humorous, the essays in Everything We Don't Know examine the journey of growing up in contemporary America. Aaron Gilbreath contemplates the ocean-bound debris from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, his nostalgia for the demolished buildings of his youth, quitting smoking, the etymology of the word "radical," and more. A deftly-crafted debut from a wise, bold voice.
Every day, heinous acts are perpetrated on women's bodies in this political economy--whether for entertainment, in the guise of medicine, or due to the conditions of labor that propel consumerism. In Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, award-winning journalist and Fulbright scholar Anne Elizabeth Moore explores the global toll of capitalism on women with thorough research and surprising humor.