SHOW THE RECORD: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993† by Sarah Schulman. (Picador, 752 pp., $22.) Based on 17 years of interviews with nearly 200 members of the influential direct action group working to end AIDS, Schulman’s book “isn’t meant to commemorate history but to loot,” wrote former Times critic Parul Sehgal. “This is not a reverent, definitive history. This is a tactician’s bible.”
HELL OF A BOOK† by Jason Mott. (Dutton, 336 pp., $17.) Mott’s fourth novel alternates between a black author on a book tour of the United States, a young black boy living in the rural South, and a figure known as The Kid, until their perspectives merge in unexpected ways. It was awarded the National Book Award 2021 and has been called a “highly original, inspired work that breaks new ground”.
OBJECTS OF DESIRE: Stories† by Clare Sestanovich. (Vintage, 224 pp., $16.) This “clever and accomplished” debut collection, as our reviewer, Kirstin Valdez Quade, noted, focuses on women with muted desires, distanced from their own stories as they navigate the uncertainty of early adulthood. “Sestanovich’s prose is balanced and restrained, sensorially accurate.”
THE FUGITIVITIES† by Jesse McCarthy. (Melville, 288pp., $17.99.) A young black American man, raised in France and working at a public high school in Brooklyn, finds his place in the world when a chance encounter with an old friend from college inspires him to uproot his life and move to Brazil. Our reviewer, Caleb Azumah Nelson, called this novel “virtuoso”, with prose that is “deft like a pianist at full speed.”
ETHEL ROSENBERG: An American Tragedy† by Anne Sebba. (St. Martin’s Griffin, 336 pp., $18.99.) Sebba’s account is the first biography in 30 years to focus individually on Ethel Rosenberg, who was famously executed along with her husband Julius for treason and atomic espionage in June 1953. Our reviewer, Joseph Dorman, called it a plea to free Rosenberg from “the standard political figure she inevitably became.”
HOLA PAPI! How to get to a Walmart parking lot and other life lessons† by Johannes Paul Brammer. (Simon & Schuster, 224 pp., $17.99.) Brammer’s debut is a memoir in 12 essays, each framed as an advice column answering a question about race, gay life, childhood trauma and more. Our reviewer, Matt Wille, called it a “masterclass of tone and tenderness.”