Recent titles of interest:
MARSHLANDS, by André Gide. Translated by Damion Searls. (NYRB Classics, paper, $14.95.) This witty metafiction, first published in 1895 and freshly translated by Searls, mocks literary airs: Its hero claims to be writing a novel (called “Marshlands”) but spends all day regaling acquaintances instead.
EVERY BODY: An Honest and Open Look at Sex From Every Angle, by Julia Rothman and Shaina Feinberg. (Voracious, $28.) Rothman, an illustrator, and Feinberg, a film director, have compiled a thorough and impressively frank picture of human sexuality through interviews, essays and anonymous stories.
THE SYSTEM, by Ryan Gattis. (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28.) A drug dealer in South Central Los Angeles is murdered, and an eyewitness pins the crime on two gang members — one guilty and one innocent. Gattis’s gritty crime novel feels true to life as it follows their case through the justice system.
MAHAGONY, by Édouard Glissant. Translated by Betsy Wing. (University of Nebraska, paper, $19.95.) A centuries-old tree in Martinique witnesses generations of resistance, striving and social collapse in this novel by the island’s foremost postcolonial writer, who died in 2011.
PICKARD COUNTY ATLAS, by Chris Harding Thornton. (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) A rural noir set in 1970s Nebraska, following six days in the lives of a sheriff’s deputy and the family of a boy whose murder remains unsolved.
What we’re reading:
I thought I regretted not going to art school until a friend introduced me to Walter Scott’s “Wendy” comic book series. It might’ve been a rude awakening for me had the books not been so charmingly sardonic and fun; the third in the series, WENDY, MASTER OF ART, was released in June. Scott draws “Wendy” in black and white, in a style that comes off amateur or rushed, but if the rendering is rough around the edges, the effect is only that it leaves more room for his satire to shine. “Wendy” skewers art school and young adulthood alike via the lens of the titular protagonist — in “Master of Art,” we find Wendy at a club in Berlin, her face resembling Edvard Munch’s most famous creation, musing “I’M SO HIGH.” Moments later, she’s chatting up an uninterested, drug-sniffing naked couple, and a few panels after that she’s en route to her M.F.A. program in Hell, Ontario, locking big, blank eyes with a cow through the window of a taxi.
—Kasia Pilat, social media editor, Cooking
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