Reading Frenzy ~ An Independent Press Emporium
A selection of hand-picked gems from our downtown Portland store. Minimum order of $8.
(21-24 of 24 items)
Knockout is the unified collection of stories that create flawless portraits of deeply flawed figures on the edge of the American Dream. A recovering drug addict gets tricked into stealing a tiger. A man buys a used sex chair from his neighbor. A woman suffering from agoraphobia raises her son completely indoors. An alcoholic runs a bed and breakfast with the son from his deceased wife’s first marriage. These people will admit that their chances have passed them by. These people know they were born on the wrong side of the tracks, and their dreams will remain unreachable, but that doesn’t stop them from dreaming. Yet readers won’t be fooled by the funny premises —Jodzio steers these stories into deeper places, creating a brilliant examination of those on the fringes of modern life.
Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales of Octavia’s Brood span genres—sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism—but all are united by an attempt to inject a healthy dose of imagination and innovation into our political practice and to try on new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a preface by Sheree Renée Thomas.
Angels with Dirty Faces is no romanticized tale of crime and punishment. The three lives in this creative nonfiction account are united by the presence of actual harm—sometimes horrific violence. Imarisha, dealing with the complexities of her own experience with sexual assault and accountability, brings us behind prison walls to visit her adopted brother Kakamia and his fellow inmate Jimmy “Mac” McElroy, a member of the brutal Irish gang the Westies. Together they explore the questions: People can do unimaginable things to one another—and then what? What do we as a society do? What might redemption look like?
Imarisha doesn’t flinch as she guides us through the difficulties and contradictions, eschewing theory for a much messier reality. The result is a nuanced and deeply personal analysis that connects readers emotionally with the lives of people caught up within, and often destroyed by, our criminal justice system.
In this marvelously funny, unsettling, subtle, and moving collection of stories, the characters exist in the thick of everyday experience absent of epiphanies. The people are caught off-guard or cast adrift by personal impulses even while wide awake to their own imperfections. Each voice will win readers over completely and break hearts with each confused and conflicted decision that is made. Every story is beautifully controlled and provocatively alive to its own truth.
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