For foreign rights please contact email@example.com, and in the following territories:
Spain and Latin America
MB Agencia Literaria S.L. firstname.lastname@example.org
+34 93 265 90 64
Elisabeth Ruge Agentur
+49 30 288840600
OTAGO Literary Agency
+39 051 0336342
+48 22 646-58-60
CONTENTS FRONTLIST NONFICTION ........ 4 FORTHCOMING FICTION ........ 9 FORTHCOMING FALL 2023 .... 16 BACKLIST ...................... 18
COMEDY, BICYCLES AND POETRY
CYCLETTES TREE ABRAHAM
Publication date: November 01, 2022
World English (ex. Canada) & Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
bicycle while interning in Ethiopia for a semester. I have this. My travel journal is thin and makes no mention of one photo that I am certain was taken on this ride, timeNovember 11, 2012, at 15:39 of a grandmother holding an a spatula. My landlord had arranged for a local teen with me around Lake Tana and the Blue Nile. I remem trees leading to Emperor Haile Selassie's palace where stopped to inform me that here is where it all began. I had many times, that Ethiopia is the birthplace of humanity and (this is not entirely true, but also not false). But he meant where the Nile began. I had stupidly assumed, like the world north to south, that Lake Tana would have been fed by Nile and not the other way around. It made everything down. No photos could be taken after this realization. inherently skew toward cartographers, what they know of what they deem important. This puny outline of reality is GPS technology, which centers the map on the individual’s destination, eliminating chance wandering, loss of time or this is modern society’s ethos: egocentricity and efficiency from the professional to the metaphysical. I am cultur predisposed to orientate. But I deviate. I prefer medieval mappae their unknown spaces with the wondrous, outlandish, imaginary. I am a pilgrim not yet settled on her sacred place(s).
Some people “live to ride,” while others simply ride to live. In Cyclettes, author and designer Tree Abraham documents a meaningful life discovered and sustained through a two-wheeled lifestyle.
For Abraham, Cyclettes began as a list of every bicycle she has ever known—from her first childhood bike to the second-hand purchases and loaners that have propelled her into adulthood and around the world. The list grew to include other forms of both literal and conceptual cycling, spanning histories and cultures, all encircled by brief memories and observations from an author compelled to move.
Each vignette in this book is a “cyclette”— a circumvoluting entry point to Abraham’s varied illustrations and reflections. From “bicycle brain” to the gyroscopic effect, wild rides in Old Delhi to a tofu farm in Nova Scotia, exhilarating climbs and disappointing descents, Abraham makes connections to our habits and habitats regardless of how often we ride a bike. In the face of economic, environmental, technological, and philosophical shifts, and at a time when the very notion of how to live has come into question, Cyclettes offers another kind of freedom: one that finds stillness in motion.
Praise for Cyclettes
“Cyclettes is a beautifully curated collection of prose and visuals. Abraham finds a way to blend tender childhood nostalgia with insightful, even hard-to-swallow, observations, highlighted against the backdrop of her cycling adventures and trials. Spliced between coming-of-age anecdotes and musings, are bits of educational history around bikes that make this book a truly unique read.”
—Hana Shafi, author of Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty
“I love books like Cyclettes, where text and image—drawings, charts, maps, collages, photographs, and all sorts of other visual artifacts—intermingle equally, each in service of and scaffolding the other. Then add in some great thinking about the bicycle, a technology through which the self is freed or found, and you have in front of you a book that’s going to make you want to make books of your own, and probably also go for a ride, then make more books.”
—Ander Monson, author of Letter to a Future Lover and The Gnome Stories
Tree Abraham is an Ottawa-born, Brooklyn-based writer, art director, and book designer. Her authorship experiments with fragmented essay and mixed media visuals. Cyclettes is her first book.
104 read an essay by Teju Cole writing about André Aciman writing about Claude Monet. fasten myself to this spiral of writers writing about writers by writing about Cole’s writing on Aciman’s writing on Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere Aciman suggests Monet “liked painting this town more than he loved the town itself, because what he loved was more in him than in the town itself, though he needed the town to draw it out of him.” Cole notes that later in Alibis Aciman describes his love of Rome similarly and that this leitmotif of Aciman’s displays “his love of recursion and contradiction, of being ‘elsewhere’ of cultivating shadow-selves and always feeling out of place. And, certainly, memory is nothing if not repetitive.” Scientists refer to our sixth sense being that of proprioception—the body’s awareness of its position and ability to situate itself within an environment. In poet Charles Olson’s poetic essay on the subject, there is the BODY there is PLACE and this third proprioceptive mid-thing, the SOUL that acquires depth physically through “built-in space-time specifics,” and It is my body creating friction and flow with external spaces that forges the self. And each time fling, or am flung, into the foreign, my depurated essence recrystallizes. 95 140 141 Once a season am convinced my inner tubes have a leak. When neurosis strikes, take my bike to whatever shop is nearest. Bike mechanics will patiently detach the rubber wheels and submerge my tubes into bucket of water to demonstrate no air bubbles can escape. Never once has a mechanic tried to swindle me into replacing my tubes. Even with assurances, that feeling never leaves, that feeling that am not at max inflation. Online listicles offer many suggestions for how to upcycle bike inner tubes (one site claims there are one thousand possible reuses): – create protective waterproof cover for chains, ropes, or even bike parts – weave into a doormat or a chair seat – cut into roller stamp, bookmark, headband – make no-slip house socks or gladiator sandals or shoelaces – replace a laptop key – sew into belt, wallet, earrings, pencil case – use as grips on gun handles or juggling sticks –
TWEAKERWORLD JASON YAMAS
Publication date: March 07, 2023
World English Rights (including UK):
Other rights: Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, Inc.
Meet Jason: a college educated documentary film producer, cat parent of two and one of San Francisco’s top drug dealers.
After Jason’s world falls apart in LA, he moves to Berkeley for a fresh start with his kid brother. Just one problem: his long-closeted Adderall addiction has exploded into an out-of-control crystal meth binge. Within weeks, Jason plunges into the sprawling ParTy n’ ’Play (PnP) subculture of the Bay Area’s gay community. It is a wildly decadent scene of drugs, group sex, and criminals, and yet it is also filled with surprising characters, people who are continually subverting Jason’s own presumptions of the stereotypical tweaker.
Soon Jason becomes a dealer on the pretense of researching this tweaker world for a project that will carry him, like a life raft, back to the shores of a normal life. But his friendly entrepreneurial spirit and trusting disposition disarm clients and rival dealers alike. The money begins to roll in as demand increases to frightening levels. Suddenly, Jason is in control of the entire crystal meth market for San Francisco’s gay community, even as he finds himself nodding off behind the wheel of his car or while walking down the sidewalk. As friends and family frantically work to steer him towards recovery, Jason resists, chasing something else: a sleepless nirvana fueled by sex, drugs, and the Tweakerworld.
With painful honesty, Jason Yamas has crafted a landmark narrative that is not just a personal account of addiction, but a portrait of a vulnerable, largely undocumented community of people who, for many reasons, have been marginalized to the point of invisibility.
Praise for Tweakerworld
“Reading Jason Yamas’s memoir of crystal meth addiction—and, yes, of hope, can itself be a redemptive act. But it is also in some odd, even troubling way, a pleasure which one realizes is what it feels like to be addicted.”
Sessums, Bestselling author of Mississippi Sissy and I Left It on the Mountain
“Tweakerworld is a profound examination of our worsening crystal meth crisis, its intersectionality with trauma and gay culture, and how one man fought to define— and love—himself amidst harrowing circumstances. At once heartbreaking and triumphant, Jason Yamas is unflinchingly brave with the lens he points at himself, addiction in its many forms, and the path to healing.”
—Reema Zaman, author of I Am Yours: A Shared Memoir
“There are few people brave enough to tell this story—and it’s one the world needs to hear—so what Jason Yamas has done with Tweakerworld is both groundbreaking and important. He traces the forces that lead a person into the world of PnP, captures the horror that lies in the wait, and the pathway out. This isn’t a story that would only appeal to those within this world, but one full of big themes that many will relate to—and all wrapped in powerful, distinct, first hand experience. Tweakerworld is a revelation.”
—Patrick Strudwick, BuzzFeed UK Journalist & Host of Audible’s Original Ed Buck Podcast
Jason Yamas is a queer writer producer, director, and actor. With the publication of Tweakerworld, he intends to shine a bright light on the worsening epidemic of crystal meth in the LGBTQ+ community. He holds a BFA from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts and is currently working on his first novel.
STORY OF A POEM MATTHEW ZAPRUDER
Publication date: April 04, 2023
World English (ex. UK) Rights:
Other rights: The Clegg Agency
Matthew Zapruder had an idea: to write a poem as slowly and intentionally as possible, to preserve its drafts, and record the painstaking, elusively transcendent stuff of its construction. It would be the capstone to a new collection of poetry, and a means to process modern American life in a time of Covid, mega fires, and sobriety. What Zapruder didn’t anticipate was that this literary project would trigger a deeply personal aspect as well: a way to resolve the unexplored pain and unexpected joys he was confronting in the wake of his son’s diagnosis with autism. The result is a remarkable piece of writing, one that explores not just what it means to be a poet, but also what it means to be alive during the Anthropocene—to be on this planet—during this extraordinary time.
By comparing the writing of a poem with his own tangled evolution as a son, husband, and father, Zapruder unfolds moments of his own life in the reflection of an increasingly uncanny world. With a wide range of reference points—from Celan, Li Bai, and Frank O’Hara to Whitman, Merwin, and Rupi Kaur—we join Zapruder on a poet’s journey that, in some alchemy of literature, becomes a journey of our own. Ultimately, the poet asks us to join with him in the search for a crucial answer. In his words: “What world can we imagine, and then make, where we all can live?”
With Story of a Poem celebrated poet Matthew Zapruder offers a personal, deeply unguarded examination of a poet’s eternal struggle to transform a moment of feeling into verse, as well as a subtle and enthralling roadmap to the practice of poetry and finding its threads in everyday life.
Praise for Matthew Zapruder
“Matthew Zapruder has a razor eye for the remnants and revenants of modern culture.”
The New York Times
“How fortunate, reader, that this book has found you. It found me too, and I spent days captivated by its pages, within which a whole life, and a whole poem, were slowly unfolding before me. Beating on every page is the heart of a father and the heart of a poet. Written with a bright, nimble clarity that lets deep complexities shine, this book is a glimmering candle in darkness.”
—Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Author of A Ghost in the Throat
“Reading ‘Father’s Day’ not only made me feel less alone, it also reminded me how great, in times of confusion, frustration, and shared anxiety, is our human need for tenderness, for forthright yet gentle speech, and for unashamed sweetness.”
Matthew Zapruder is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Father’s Day, from Copper Canyon, as well as Why Poetry, a book of prose. He is editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. From 2016-7 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine. He teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California and served as guest editor for Best American Poetry 2022. He currently lives in Northern California’s Bay Area.
“Anyone who lives on earth must never be considered an outsider anywhere. Anyone who lives in the world belongs to the world.”
STILL LAUGHING : A LIFE IN COMEDY FROM THE CREATOR OF LAUGH-IN GEORGE SCHLATTER
AS TOLD TO JON MACKS FOREWORD BY LILY TOMLIN
AFTERWORD BY GOLDIE HAWN
Publication date: May 09, 2023
World English & Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
Already a well-regarded producer of television specials and variety shows by 1967, George Schlatter pitched to NBC an idea that was a radical departure: a TV comedy special inspired by the hippie counter-culture, one which would take the idea of sit-ins, love-ins, and be-ins, and manifest that politicized, sexualized, consciousness-raising energy into comedic sketches. The special was so successful it became a regular television series. Soon, it was the #1 show on American TV.
Still Laughing features never-before-told backstories from the creation of one of the most beloved shows in television history. It also recounts the coming-of-age of one of television’s great producers, from his early nightclub days in Vegas, rubbing elbows with iconic mob figures like Mickey Cohen and John Stompanato, to his influential friendships with Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, for whom Schlatter was asked to deliver a eulogy at his funeral.
The book is an inside look at the Golden Age of Hollywood in the wake of the cultural upheaval of the Sixties and Seventies. It demonstrates the crucial role a working producer plays in bringing a show to life, and reveals the actual people (Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Milton Berle, Liza Minnelli, among many others) cloistered inside their iconic celebrity. With spit-fire humor and tireless wit, Still Laughing captures this adventurous and CURIOUS time.
Still Laughing includes never before seen photographs of Hollywood’s biggest stars, accompanying untold stories, such as:
● Frank Sinatra’s travel habits a Jack Daniels over ice and a Camel cigarette always in tow
● How Schlatter bought a house for Sammy Davis Jr.
● The time Schlatter sang “Over the Rainbow” to an irate Judy Garland
● Riding a party bus to see Frank Sinatra with Martin Short and Chevy Chase
● How Schlatter produced the first-ever all-Black variety show with Red Foxx and Pearl Bailey
George Schlatter still goes to the office every day. He is the founder of the American Comedy Awards. For his work on television, Schlatter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 7030 Hollywood Blvd.).
FROM HOLLYWOOD TO DUBAI, THROUGH FOREST FIRES TO THE SEA FLOOR...
CITY OF BLOWS TIM BLAKE NELSON
Publication date: February 07, 2023
North America and Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
Tim Blake Nelson’s debut novel is an epic group portrait of four men grappling for control of a script in a radically changing Hollywood, or the City of Blows.
It’s early 2020, and legendary producer Jacob Rosenthal is eager to make his next film, Coal, adapted from the bestselling novel by the celebrated writer Rex Patterson. The project—which takes on the controversial topic of race in America—is Jacob’s envisioned magnum opus, and likely his swan song. He selects David Levit to direct, a major opportunity for the classically trained actor/director whose own films, while garnering critical acclaim, have not resulted in box office success. But the announcement of David’s hiring doesn’t sit well with a producer from his past, Brad Shlansky, who channels the last remaining vestiges of his creativity into a revenge plot that could very well scupper the making of Coal, and ruin the lives of its producer and director in the process.
A sprawling, character-driven depiction of the modern film industry, City of Blows reaches back decades to the formative experiences of each of the novel’s central figures to explore what first motivated them to become involved in the quixotic and often venal world of movie-making. Driven by their diverse backgrounds, each must navigate the same huckstering circus that puts films onto screens. Ultimately, Tim Blake Nelson’s sharp and unsparing voice holds a mirror up to America itself, using Hollywood to investigate the cultural and economic fault lines that have come to dominate and confound us all. You will find yourself unable to turn away from the ruthlessness and despair, the hubris and sheer evil, as City of Blows accelerates to its unimaginable yet inevitable crescendo.
Praise for City of Blows
“A travelogue of purgatory. Brutal, but minutely rendered—a chronicle of small betrayals and vicissitudes in a ruthless world. Losers, hustlers and delusional artists, all trapped in their pretense and hollow lives; making deals with the devil at the crossroads of Tinseltown.”
Guillermo del Toro
“The best, funniest, most incisive depiction of Hollywood’s brute illogic since The Player, and the only one I can think of that so perfectly situates that illogic within the greater American power structures that have deformed us all. Tim Blake Nelson’s City of Blows is phenomenal.”
—Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine
“Tim Blake Nelson’s vivid characterizations in City of Blows so humorously, painfully and accurately depicts the savage world of Hollywood that it is too true to be satire. For a show-biz outsider, this powerful, and exquisitely written novel is a cautionary, existential primer on the ego-driven workings behind an entire mega-business.”
Debbie Liebling, executive producer of PEN15 and South Park
“City of Blows reveals the ‘business of show business’ for what it often truly is: a desperate, bareknuckle fight to assert identity and insist that, as Arthur Miller put it, ‘Attention must be paid’”
“Tim Blake Nelson’s City of Blows is a biting exposé lifting the veil on the less glitzy side of the Hollywood movie-making machine. It’s bitterly funny, cruelly accurate and a compelling read.” John Turturro
Tim Blake Nelson is an actor, filmmaker and playwright with over a hundred screen credits to his name. City of Blows is his first novel.
HOPE YOU ARE SATISFIED TANIA MALIK
Publication date: May 02, 2023
North America & Audio Rights:
Other Rights: Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency
The Sheik is pissed. Along with his wives and children, the Sheik got put on the wrong plane, and ended up waiting hours on a hot desert tarmac for a crew that never came. As usual– it’s Riya’s fault.
Riya works for Discover Arabia, a rinky-dink tour guide company in the far-flung desert outpost of Dubai. It’s 1990, and the city’s iconic skyline, along with its global reputation, remain but a gleam in developers’ eyes. For twenty-five-year-old Riya, Dubai is a desert purgatory that sprawls between her family back home in India, and an as-yet-undefined future ahead of her. If she belongs to anything, it is to the city’s transient underclass of young people from South Asia, Africa, and Europe, who arrive with the ubiquitous goal of earning more than they could at home.
Will a favor from Dubai’s most notorious fixer get Riya back in everyone’s good graces? Or will the impending possibility of an invasion by Saddam Hussein make her problems (along with everyone else’s) a moot point? As war looms, and powerful men grow more desperate, Riya narrows in on a chance to reclaim her agency.
Author Tania Malik presents a lovably sarcastic cast of misfits who will undo the “guest worker” stereotype one tequila shot at a time, while around them, international arms dealers, American soldiers, CIA consultants, corrupt bosses, and wayward vacationers all compete for Discover Arabia’s attention, even as their world teeters on the cusp of an explosive global conflict.
Praise for Hope You Are Satisfied
“Hope You Are Satisfied embodies all the best elements of a literary thriller…Malik brings her cast of characters—a motley crew of international expats toiling away in the tourism industry in Dubai—skillfully to life, then introduces a smart mousetrap of a plot that keeps the pages turning at breakneck pace.”
—Suzanne Rindel, author of The Other Typist
Praise for Three Bargains
“Mesmerizing prose [and] heart-stopping action . . . both honest and astounding.” Publishers Weekly, Starred review
“Touching and deeply researched. . . . An impressive feat of storytelling.”
—Thomas Chatterton Williams, San Francisco Chronicle
“An impressive first novel.” —Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News
“Madan’s is an adventure well worth joining.”
—Anne Morris, Dallas Morning News
“Three Bargains brought back the dimly remembered pleasure of being swept up in the fast, deep waters of a great tale. Richly textured and morally nuanced.”
—Debra Dean, author of The Mirrored World
Tania Malik is the author of the novel Three Bargains that received a Publishers Weekly Starred review and a Booklist Starred review. She was educated in boarding schools in the foothills of the Himalayas and has had a varied career in the travel and non-profit fields. She was raised in India, Africa, and the Middle East and currently lives in San Francisco’s Bay Area.
HOUSE WOMAN ADORAH NWORAH
Publication date: June 06, 2023
North American Rights: Unnamed Press
When Ikemefuna is put on a plane from Lagos, Nigeria to Sugar Land, Texas, she anticipates her newly arranged All-American life: a handsome husband, a beautiful red-brick mansion, pizza parlors, and dance classes.
Desperate to please, she’ll happily cater to her family’s needs. But Ikemefuna soon discovers what it actually means to live with her in-laws. Demands for a grandson grow urgent as her every move comes under scrutiny. As Ikemefuna finds there’s no way out, her new husband grapples with the influence of his parents against his own increasing affection for her.
As family secrets boil to the surface, Ikemefuna must decide how to scrape herself out of an impossibly sticky situation: a marriage succumbing to generational cycles of pain and silence. In the end, she may be carrying the greatest secret of all. An unforgettably delicious thriller, House Woman is about a woman trapped in a dangerous web of conflicting desire, melting in the Texas heat.
Praise for House Woman
“To read House Woman is to encounter characters that are alive in their desires. They want what they want and they want it now. Nworah’s debut is full of twists and sentences that will stun you. A book rich in surprises.”
—Kemi Falodun, writer, journalist and author of Soundbender: The Many Lives of Beautiful Nubia
“An unflinching, unforgettable slow-burn thriller, House Woman reveals searing truths about women’s bodily autonomy and the hidden Gothic horrors of marriage while refusing to provide any simple answers—and the novel is all the more satisfying for it. Adorah Nworah is a stunning literary talent, and her debut will enthrall you, incense you, and haunt you forever.”
—Layne Fargo, author of They Never Learn
“Adorah Nworah has written a deeply immersive and wrenching study of the life of a young woman in an arranged marriage and the thorny paths she must navigate in her quest for freedom. This debut shines with a brilliance that will run through you clean as an arrow. I’ve yet to read a story so gutting, yet tender and thoughtful in its handling of such an important subject.”
—Ukamaka Olisakwe, author of Ogadinma
Adorah Nworah is an Igbo writer from South-East Nigeria. Her stories have been published in AFREADA and adda magazine. Her short stories, The Bride and Broken English, made the shortlist for the 2019 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize and the longlist for the 2018 Short Story Day Africa Prize respectively. She lives in Philadelphia, where she practices real estate finance law and is cat mom to a handsome Napoleon cat.
Publication date: October 3, 2023
North America & Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
Other Rights: Neon Literary
At a meatpacking facility in the Missouri Ozarks, Dee-Dee and her co-workers kill and butcher 40,000 chickens in a single shift. The work is repetitive and brutal, with each stab and cut a punishment to her hands and joints, but Dee-Dee’s more concerned with what is happening inside her body. After a series of devastating miscarriages, Dee-Dee has found herself pregnant, and she is determined to carry this child to term.
Dee-Dee fled the Pentecostal church years ago, but judgment follows her in the form of regular calls from her mother, whose raspy voice urges Dee-Dee to quit living in sin and marry her boyfriend Daddy, an underemployed ex-con with an insect fetish. With a child on the way, at long last Dee-Dee can bask in her mother’s and boyfriend’s newfound parturient attention. She will matter. She will be loved. She will be complete.
When her charismatic friend Sloane reappears after a twenty-year absence, feeding her insecurities and awakening suppressed desires, Dee-Dee fears she will go back to living in the shadows. Neither the ultimate indignity of yet another miscarriage nor Sloane’s own pregnancy deters her: she must prepare for the baby’s arrival.
Praise for Gag Reflex
“Nash’s ability is that she isn’t constrained to a subjective point of view at all, but may perhaps embody the omniscience of a daimon, trapped in a physical form insufficient to its capacities.” Heavy Feather Review
“It’s more relevant than ever…Nash does not shy away from detailing the horrors of an eating disorder, though any such physical descriptions are eclipsed by the sharp articulations of its psychological impacts and the low self-esteem it engenders.”
Praise for Nudes
“Compulsively readable.” “The overall effect of Nash’s mastery of tension and efficiency is stories that compel you to read them, the way you might feel compelled to one more drink after you’ve had a few.” Vagabond City
“Transgressive and immediate: you feel these stories shoot through and wrap around you.” Full Stop Magazine
“Never a dull moment, Nash succeeds in capturing the full attention of her reader with the finesse of the most popular girl in school sharing everyone’s secrets.”
Elle Nash is the author of the novel Animals Eat Each Other (Dzanc Books), which was featured in O Magazine and hailed by Publishers Weekly as a “complex, impressive exploration of obsession and desire.” Upon publication of her novel in the UK, she appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to present the work of under- represented voices with Amnesty International, and to speak about sex, death and feminism in literature. Her work appears in Guernica, Adroit, The Creative Independent, Hazlitt, Literary Hub, Cosmopolitan, New York Tyrant and elsewhere. She is a founding editor of Witch Craft Magazine and a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp
Elle a novel
WEAK IN COMPARISON TO DREAMS
Publication date: August 22, 2023
World & Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
James Elkins’ superbly strange novel is one that challenges readers to wonder through a collision of literature and design, science and art, and psychology and humor what it means for something to be true, and what meaning, ultimately, lies in truth.
Samuel Emmer, who monitors bacteria levels in drinking water for the small city of Guelph, has just been appointed to the city’s Zoo Feasibility Committee. His big assignment: travel to zoos around the world and gather information on “problematic” animals (the more disturbed the better), so the future zoo in Guelph can avoid them.
But Samuel—with an unraveling marriage and an adult daughter who seems to have receded into his past—prefers the company of amoebas to fuzzy animals. Needless to say, he isn’t thrilled about his new job. “I like microscopic animals because no one else does. No one cares if some kind of amoeba goes extinct, or even if they all do. No one even knows if any amoebas have ever become extinct,” he tells his supervisor Catherine. “A little like employees of Water Management,” an unsympathetic Catherine replies.
At a zoo in Tallinn, Estonia, the dreams start for Samuel. He is in a vast, wooded landscape; there is a fire burning in the distance, and it is coming his way. In waking life, Samuel is immersed in the patterns of the obsessive, stereotypical behaviors of the animals he is observing: the heartbreaking pacing and self-plucking, the stomping and teeth-gnashing.
Meanwhile, back in Guelph, competitive interns Vipesh and Viperine send Samuel research packets, filled with articles with titles like “Box Elder Tree (Acer negundo) Intoxication and Poisoning in Fallow Deer (Dama dama).” The packets come with personal notes. Their cheerful but increasingly concerned voices accompany Samuel on his travels. In some ways, they are his only friends as the charts, graphs and photographs of animal “habitats” appear suddenly in the narrative as Samuel finds himself confronting the well-intentioned zoo keepers who are also his hosts.
To the average person, the zoo keepers seem to love their animals,
and are doing their best. But something is happening to Samuel. As his travels continue from Helsinki to Knoxville, Salt Lake City to Basel, his behavior becomes more and more erratic; he begins lying to and provoking the zoo administrators about why he is there. As his grasp on reality weakens, Samuel’s dreams become more intense. “Each new zoo,” he observes, “had been putting me deeper to sleep.”
Vipesh and Viperine grow more concerned for their boss. They send him esoteric warnings and advice as they compete for his approval. When things come to a head in Basel, and word of Samuel’s misbehavior reaches his supervisor, Samuel has to confront the truth of his own suffering.
A second part of the novel meets Samuel in old age. He has found the book—the one we’re reading, which he’d written decades before— and hardly remembers anything of the year recounted in the book. Instead, the stories and characters come through to him as music on the piano he plays alone. His own stories remind him of the composers he has become obsessed with, and sheet music intersperses with text, forming a parallel narrative to the first part of the book. Ultimately, Samuel arrives at peace through melodies.
In this exceptional novel, an unaccountable and nearly inconceivable distance has opened within a single lifetime. Weak in Comparison to Dreams shows a way of thinking differently about the coherence of a life. Are unremembered dreams part of our lives? What if a single life continues so long that it becomes separate lives which no longer know one another? And what are the habits that we rely on to survive the enclosures and entrapments of our own life.
James Elkins is Chair of the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is an art historian and critic as well as a recognized authority on the experimental use of images in works by W.H. Sebald and Anne Carson to Claudia Rankine and Teju Cole. Elkins grew up in Ithaca, New York and for the last twenty years he has lived, studied, and taught in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of several books on fine art and photography, which focus on the history and theory of images in art, science, and nature. Weak in Comparison to Dreams is his first novel.
FORTHCOMING FALL 2023 FROM UNNAMED PRESS
UPCOUNTRY CHIN-SUN LEE
Publication date: November 7, 2023
World English & Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
Other Rights: Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency LLC
With the death of a local child, a middle-class ex-Manhattanite, a cash-strapped single mother, and a young member of an obscure religious “sect,” become entangled in a Catskills town.
Claire Pedersen and her husband are relocating from NYC to the Catskills—they have found a terrific deal on a property in foreclosure. The house has been in April Ives’ family for three generations, but the single mother of three children from two different fathers needs the money. Claire and April are instantly antagonistic, but the sale proceeds, and renovations begin.
Soon after, Claire’s husband develops an erotic fascination with Anna, a young member of a nearby religious community called The Eternals. Two marriages—and one pregnancy—swiftly and dramatically end. Claire is left to finish the renovation and salvage the life she had imagined. April, meanwhile, is dealing with her ex who has just been released from prison on a drug charge and the decision of whether or not to let him build a relationship with the son he has never known.
Life “upcountry” means close encounters between disparate social classes: Claire and April navigate mutual dislike and unanticipated empathy. The house remains a sore point for both. Anna is the unhappy fulcrum between the two older women. Shunned from The Eternals since the incident with Claire’s husband, she yearns to return to their protection. Anna’s strict views on transgression and penance are baffling to April; for Claire, Anna remains the embodiment of her ruined marriage.
Chin-Sun Lee is the youngest child of North Korean exiles, both her parents having fled their native provinces for Seoul at the outset of the Korean War. After a long career in fashion design, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing at The New School in New York. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Joyland, Your Impossible Voice, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, and The Believer Logger, among other publications. She’s also a contributor to the New York Times bestselling anthology Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press/Penguin 2014) and has participated in the Blood Jet and Lady Fest Reading Series in New Orleans, the Franklin Park, Earshot, and Renegade Reading Series in Brooklyn, and the inaugural Riverviews Artspace event in Lynchburg. She currently lives in New Orleans, working on her second novel. Upcountry is her debut.
KILL FOR LOVE LAURA PICKLESIMER
Publication date: September 5, 2023
World English Rights: Unnamed Press Other Rights: The Rights Factory
The boys on the row are only after one thing, but that bullshit’s for pledges. Tiffany’s on the hunt for something more.
Kill for Love is a searing satirical thriller about Tiffany, a privileged Los Angeles sorority sister who is struggling to keep her sadistic impulses—and haunting nightmares of fire and destruction—at bay. After a frat party hookup devolves into a bloody, fatal affair, Tiffany realizes something within her has awoken: the insatiable desire to kill attractive young men. As Tiffany’s bloodlust deepens and the bodies pile up, she must contend with mounting legal scrutiny, social mediafueled competing murders, and her growing relationship with Weston, who she thinks could be the perfect boyfriend. A female-driven, modernday American Psycho, Kill for Love exposes modern toxic plasticity with dark comedy and propulsive plot.
“In her clear and visceral sentences that evoke a world both like and unlike our own, Picklesimer places you completely in the narrator’s haunting, singular journey.”
—Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin
Laura Picklesimer’s fiction has been featured in the Santa Ana River Review, Bookwoman, Gold Man Review, the Pomona Valley Review and the California Current Writers Series, among other publications. She was the grand prize winner of Enizagam Journal’s 2018 Fiction Contest (judged by acclaimed author Rachel Khong), won third place in the 2021 Rougarou Fabulism & Speculative Fiction Contest, received third place in the Women’s National Book Association’s 2018 YA Fiction Contest, and was a finalist for the 2018 Speculative Literature Foundation Diverse Worlds Grant. Laura earned a creative writing degree from UCLA and an MFA from Cal State Long Beach. She teaches English and creative writing at Chaffey College.
UNDERJUNGLE JAMES STURZ
Publication date: June 20, 2023
World English (ex. UK) Rights: Unnamed Press
Other Rights: Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency LLC
Deep below the surface, our world is cold, dark and content. Colors are fickle. Red disappears first as you descend, followed by the yellow of the sun. The hundred shades of blue last the longest, but eventually there is only black—and the candied ooze of the ocean floor.
In Underjungle, an intelligent life form known as Yc exists in the depths of the oceans, an apex predator among most fish. Long ago, this species fractured from a single historical group into seven distinct tribes, each with their own dialect and cultural idiosyncrasies. Now, one tribe, the Gjala, has stumbled across a most intriguing and unusual object: the sunken corpse of a man. As news travels across the ocean, and the other tribes converge to investigate, the consequences and questions raised will reverberate for generations to come.
Underjungle asks for the reader to give themself up to another world; to step outside not just of themselves, but of their species. A broad metaphysical story of fantastical world-building from accomplished journalist and nature writer James Sturz, Underjungle is a lyrical tale of love and war, encompassing environment, science, art, philosophy, and grief—as deep and surprising as life on the sea floor, which is where much of this story is set. Buoyed by humor and tinged with the unshakeable melancholy of loss is the existential question that forever ties the novel to our human experience: what is our purpose?
James Sturz’s first novel Sasso (Walker, 2001) was praised as “vividly imagined … masterful” (PW), “a fine first novel, only a few missteps short of greatness” (Booklist) and “one of the most intriguing and original books I have read so far this year … a most assured and memorable debut” (Sunday Telegraph). Sturz’s journalism has been published widely, from The Atlantic, WSJ, Outside to The Best Travel Writing from the New York Times and Best Food Writing. More recently, Sturz studied SCUBA diving with one of the technical advisors for Avatar: The Way of Water. He splits his time between Hawaii and New York City.
worship houses, museums, hidden mansions, and the place she once called home, she’s forced to confront her past in order to take charge of her own—and perhaps everyone’s—future.
Praise for Saturnalia
SATURNALIA STEPHANIE FELDMAN
Publication date: October 11, 2022
World English Rights: Unnamed Press
The Saturnalia carnival marks three years since Nina walked away from Philadelphia’s elite Saturn Club—with its genteel debauchery, arcane pecking order, and winking interest in alchemy and the occult. In doing so, she abandoned her closest friends and her chance to climb the social ladder. Since then, she’s eked out a living by telling fortunes with her Saturn Club tarot deck, a solemn initiation gift that Nina always considered a gag but has turned out to be more useful than she could have ever imagined.
For most, the Saturnalia carnival marks a brief winter reprieve for the beleaguered people of the historic city, which is being eroded by extreme weather, a collapsing economy, and feverish summers— whose disease carrying mosquitos are perhaps the only thing one can count on. Like Thanksgiving or Halloween, Saturnalia has become a purely American holiday despite its pagan roots; and nearly everyone, rich or poor, forgets their troubles for a moment.
For Nina, Saturnalia is simply a cruel reminder of the night that changed everything for her. But when she gets a chance call from Max, one of the Saturn Club’s best-connected members and her last remaining friend, the favor he asks will plunge her back into the Club’s wild solstice masquerade, on a mysterious errand she cannot say no to.
Tonight, Nina will put on a dress of blackest black, and attend the biggest party of the year. Before it’s over, she will discover secret societies battling for power in an increasingly precarious world and become custodian of a horrifying secret—and the target of a mysterious hunter. As Nina runs across an alternate Philadelphia balanced on a knife’s edge between celebration and catastrophe, through parades,
“Stephanie Feldman’s Saturnalia achieves a lifetime in one night: The story is both a suspenseful thriller populated by magic and money, and a sharp look into the heart of young people coming of age in a slow apocalypse. Brilliant and fast paced, with enough beauty and hope to ease a troubled evening’s passage.” —Fran Wilde, double Nebula award winning author Updraft, Riverland, and the Gemworld series
“This short novel packs a powerful, fever-dreamy bite. On one hand, Feldman’s striking novel is an unblinking side-eye at our apocalyptic near-future. On the other, it’s a soaring dark fantastic romp full of alchemy, blood, and life. Pick up this book and party like it’s Saturnalia. “ —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Pallbearers Club
“Saturnalia is a tense, supernatural tour through a magic-bent, paganized Philadelphia—that also manages to be heartfelt and beautifully written. I wolfed this down, and Feldman’s talent left me spinning. Don’t miss this. —Daryl Gregory, award-winning author of Spoonbenders
“Nina is an unforgettable narrator, and I loved every twisty turn in her thrilling journey to find safety and meaning in a twilight future where everything might be lost, but some things still matter. —Sam J. Miller, Nebula Award winning author of Blackfish City and The Blade Between
“Bewitching… a thrill for readers… The novel’s pacing is electric, its worldbuilding seamless, and the magic that slowly reveals itself feels truly strange and captivating—a considerable feat… A propulsive fantasy thriller about fortune-seeking at the end of the world that will leave you wanting more.” —Kirkus
“[a] grim, bewitching fantasy thriller… Feldman brings impressive richness and depth to both Nina’s emotional evolution and the masterful world-building. This is sure to win the author many fans.”
“Saturnalia is part The Chosen and The Beautiful and part Eyes Wide Shut, wonderfully weird and chaotic and sexy and tinged with magic. It’s definitely a page-turner, and should be on the list for anyone who likes a little bit of romantic surrealism with their funhouse mirror dystopia.” —Tor’s ‘Most Anticipated SFF Books’
“Tense and suspenseful, Saturnalia features strong world building and a fully realized heroine. The down-on-her-luck protagonist navigating a system of secretive clubs will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Ninth House’ (2019), while the book may also draw in readers of climate horror such as Omar El Akkad’s ‘American War’ (2017) or Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. “ —Booklist
“A heady mix of the most terrifying elements of our troubled past and inevitable future; an eerie, propulsive novel.” —Carmen Maria Machado
“Saturnalia is a twisted, ethereal dispatch from a climate change point of no return....’We say the earth is dying, but it’s not; it’s changing. We’re the ones who are dying,’ Nina reflects midway through her transformative night. Such humility, coupled with reverence for that which remains innocent in the ever warping world, becomes the novel’s true prima materia. Saturnalia is a piquant, eerie, and alarming tale.” —Foreword, Starred Review
Stephanie Feldman is the author of the debut novel The Angel of Losses is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award, and finalist for the Mythopoeic Award. She is co-editor of the multi-genre anthology Who Will Speak for America? and her stories and essays have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Catapult Magazine, Electric Literature, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Rumpus, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. She lives outside Philadelphia with her family.
BURN COAST DALE MAHARIDGE
Publication date: January 18, 2022
World English & Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
suddenly goes missing from her home—a large hand-built structure known as the Ark—the industry’s competing forces can no longer be ignored.
Pairing up with Daniel Likowski, a principled but mysterious grower whose business has been crushed by legalization, Will finds himself swept into a world of lost idealism and desperate loners, mobsters and corporate shell companies, violence and hypocrisy, all operating beneath the canopy of an ancient forest teetering at the very edge of the continent. Spurned on both by his journalistic zeal and a strange love for the place and its people, Will’s investigation is a journey to understand not just what happened to Zoe, but all of them.
In this atmospheric rural noir, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dale Maharidge’s debut novel plunges readers into a country that has existed for decades beyond the bounds of America-at-large, but nevertheless reflects the essential conflicts of our divided culture.
Praise for Burn Coast
“Burn Coast is a rangy, topical thriller that charts the conflicts that erupt when a region dependent on mom-and-pop pot growers confronts the new world of legal marijuana and big-bucks, large-scale producers.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Burn Coast is built on secrets and misdirections... something of an inside-out noir, a novel that appears to be about a missing person case but instead becomes an excavation of missing people: the outcasts and the misfits who have reached the end of the road.”
David Ulin, ALTA Journal
“A mystery of disappearances, and land issues, and unmoored hippies, and so much more, Dale Maharidge applies his considerable prose gifts to fiction and builds a world both unnerving and inviting. A sharply smart and page-turner of a read.” —Aimee
Earthquake-rattled and clinging to the thousand-foot cliffs of the Northern California coast, McGee Ridge is nestled in one of a very few truly wild places left in the Lower 48. It is also home to a band of off-grid outlaws who vanished behind the famed Redwood Curtain in the 1960s, and whose time there is swiftly coming to an end.
Will Spector, a burned-out journalist for the LA Times, arrived here to build a wilderness cabin for himself in the 90s, after spending a decade as a war correspondent. In a community that subsists mainly off illegal cannabis farming, Will is an outlier. As is Zoë Vanderlip, the revered matriarch of the original 60s settlers, whose adult son Klaus is one of the largest growers in the region. Unlike nearly everyone else, neither Will nor Zoë has ever grown marijuana, but when Zoë
For nearly four decades, Dale Maharidge has been one of America’s leading chroniclers of poverty. Alongside photographer Michael S. Williamson, his book And Their Children After Them won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1990, revisiting the places and people of Depression-era America, depicted in Walker Evans’s and James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Also with Williamson, Maharidge produced Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass , which Bruce Springsteen has credited as an influence for songs such as “Youngstown” and “The New Timer.”
Zoë Vanderlip is missing. The Ark is empty. And nobody on McGee Ridge can agree about what exactly happened to her.
FUCKED AT BIRTH: RECALIBRATING THE AMERICAN DREAM FOR THE 2020S DALE MAHARIDGE
Publication date: January 12, 2021
World English & Audio Rights: Unnamed Press
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dale Maharidge has spent his career documenting the downward spiral of the American working class, and his new book explores the limits of the American Dream in the 2020s.
Poverty is both reality and destiny for increasing numbers of people in the 2020s and, as Maharidge discovers spray-painted inside an abandoned gas station in the California desert, it is a fate often handed down from birth. Motivated by this haunting phrase—“Fucked at Birth”—Maharidge explores the realities of being poor in America in the coming decade, as pandemic, economic crisis and social revolution up-end the country.
Part raw memoir, part dogged, investigative journalism, and featuring photos from across the US, Fucked At Birth channels the history of poverty in America to help inform the voices Maharidge encounters daily. In an unprecedented time of social activism amid economic crisis, when voices everywhere are rising up for change, Maharidge’s journey channels the spirits of George Orwell and James Agee, raising questions about class, privilege, and the very concept of “upward mobility,” while serving as a final call to action. From Sacramento to Denver, Youngstown to New York City, Fucked At Birth dares readers to see themselves in those suffering most, and to finally—after decades of refusal—recalibrate what we are going to do about it.
Praise for Fucked at Birth: Recalibrating the American Dream for the 2020s
“This is a book ripped from the headlines, from Black Lives Matter to recently thriving downtowns stripped of office workers and service workers. Those catching the brunt of it all, those with the steepest hills to climb, may have been fucked at birth. But for everyone, as Maharidge observes, the feeling of safety is folly. A sharp wake-up call to heed the new Depression and to recognize the humanity of those hit hardest.”
Kirkus, Starred Review
“In urgent, devastating prose, Dale Maharidge chronicles his road trip across a nation in freefall, meeting left-behind Americans who are surviving not only the pandemic but other deadly contagions he’s diagnosed in decades of reporting: income inequality, institutional racism, creeping fascism, hard-heartedness and fear. For all who seek the cure, Fucked at Birth is essential reading.” —Jessica Bruder, author of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
“Dale Maharidge takes us coast to coast in 2020, down highways along which he first reported decades ago. His honed class awareness—unrivaled among contemporary journalists—reveals that today’s confluent health, economic and social crises are the logical conclusion to generations of unvalidated, untreated despair in a wealthy nation. Forget hollow commentary from detached television news studios in New York City. Fucked at Birth is the truth.” —Sarah Smarsh, author of Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
For nearly four decades, Dale Maharidge has been one of America’s leading chroniclers of poverty. Alongside photographer Michael S. Williamson, his book And Their Children After Them won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1990, revisiting the places and people of Depression-era America, depicted in Walker Evans’s and James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Also with Williamson, Maharidge produced Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, which Bruce Springsteen has credited as an influence for songs such as “Youngstown” and “The New Timer.”
BURNING BUTCH R/B MERTZ
Publication date: April 05, 2022
World Rights: Unnamed Press
Burning Butch is the courageous story of a trans/ non-binary butch on a quest to survive with their authenticity intact.
When divorce moves young R/B Mertz away from rural Pennsylvania and their abusive father, Mertz’s life is torn in two. Mertz’s mom and new stepdad dive headfirst into conservative Catholic homeschooling, entrenching themselves in a world dominated by saints, prayers, and having as many babies as possible, just as Mertz is starting to realize they might be queer.
Mertz clings to Catholicism as a rebellion against their anti-Catholic bio-dad, and to movies and musicals as beacons of the world outside the conservative closet constructed by the homeschoolers—who might actually be more concerned with being conservative than with being good, while Mertz’s bio-dad just wants them to be “normal.”
Trying to stave off the inevitable, Mertz enrolls in a conservative Catholic college in Ohio. Coming of age in the early aughts, they grapple with flirtations, sexual encounters, and confusing relationships with students and faculty, as they try to figure out how to live a life in a world hell-bent on making them choose between their community and their identity.
At turns rebellious, charming, and self-effacing, Mertz struggles to navigate this oppressive environment, questioning whether or not there is a place for them inside or outside of the Catholic Church; whether they can be themselves on the left or the right; whether they can be “conservative” or “liberal;” or whether they can be at all.
Praise for Burning Butch
“That was cool. And I think you’ll agree. Cause r/b mertz is queer as hell and can really really write prose. “ —Eileen Myles
“Don’t let Burning Butch’s wry, witty voice fool you. This work is also heartbreaking and harrowing, carefully calibrated, and downright illuminating. R/B Mertz’s strikingly original memoir creates a space on the page for all outsiders, misfits, renegades, rebels, and queers. This is a tale of resilience and hope penned by a writer whose singular artistic voice is like no other. Burning Butch is an account of a life lived bravely, honestly, and above all else, proudly.” —Alex Espinoza, author of Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime
“This blistering memoir is the book I didn’t know I needed... This is the perfect book for anyone who wonders what roles queer people can occupy in ‘traditional’ religious structures. I’m so grateful they had the courage to share their experience in such a transparent, authentic way.”
BuzzFeed Books, One of 2022’s Most Anticipated Books
“Trans/nonbinary butch poet R/B Mertz challenges religion, conservatism and tradition in this powerful memoir.” —Karla Strand, Ms. Magazine, One of 2022’s Most Anticipated Books
“Burning Butch is a necessary and important memoir. A wonderful addition to underrepresented voices. Honest, insightful and moving.”
—Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana
“This book snuck into my heart like a song I’d never heard but always wanted to, and now I can’t stop humming it. Burning Butch is an urgent reminder that in any community where people read the same
stories, sing the same songs, and pray the same prayers, there are stunning souls buzzing with contradiction, pain, beauty and desire, voices which create gorgeous polyphony rather than discord. With generosity and disarming honesty, R/B Mertz has written a book to help all of us survive being alive, being alive, being alive.” —Will Arbery, author of the Pulitzer Prize-finalist Heroes of the Fourth Turning
“Burning Butch by R/B Mertz howls against the dogged mouth of the past as much as illuminates the present, evoking the legendary Leslie Feinberg and their struggle for selfhood in the classic memoir, Stone Butch Blues. Mertz’s extraordinary and stunning debut memoir extends and deepens the tradition begun by Feinberg for ‘butch’ life, butch recognition, gender non-conformity, and queerness by writing the catastrophic and world-shattering repressions that radical Christianity can inflict on children, people, and communities. In this gorgeously written, powerful and moving literary accomplishment, Mertz reminds us of the sheer miracle that any of us queer kids are alive. Burning Butch is sure to be a new classic. It will lead us into a brighter future.”
—Dawn Lundy Martin , author of Good Stock Strange Blood and Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics
CYBER MAGE SAAD Z. HOSSAIN
Publication date: December 07, 2021
World Rights (ex. India, Bangladesh): Unnamed Press
Welcome to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2089.
A city notorious for its extreme population density has found an unexpected way to not just survive a global climate apocalypse, but thrive: pump enough biological nanotech into the neighborhood and all of the bodies together form a self-sustaining, and even temperate, microclimate. Of course, this means that millions of humans have to stay put in order to maintain a livable temperature, and people are getting restless. All of the nanotech has also led to some surprises: certain people no longer need food or water while others can live without functioning organs.
So the mercenary Djibrel has to carry a machete wherever he goes. Only a swift beheading can ensure the job gets done anymore. Djibrel
navigates the crowded streets, humans teeming with genetic mutations, looking for answers about what happened to the Djinn, a magical super race of genies who seem to have disappeared, or merged, with humans for survival. What Djibrel doesn’t know is that his every move is being tracked by the infamous Cyber Mage—better known to his parents as Murzak, a privileged snarky teenager who regularly works for a Russian crime syndicate with a band of elite hackers, like his best friend ReGi, who resides in North Africa’s FEZ (Free Economic Zone). Respected and feared online, Murzak is about to embark on one of his biggest challenges: attending high school IRL. But when he discovers a brand new type of AI, operating on a dark web from the abandoned Kingdom of Bahrain that he thought was just an urban myth, Murzak and Djibrel will have to face the unimaginable in an already inconceivable world.
In this laugh-out-loud-funny and totally original new novel, Saad Z. Hossain continues his signature genre mashup of SF and fantasy, challenging and subverting everything previously imagined about our future and climate change. A scathing critique of corporate greed, Hossain shows us how to think beyond the naïve ideas of preening moguls like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
Praise for Cyber Mage
“Hossain’s novel can certainly be read as a cautionary tale about climate change, but the energy that powers this story will remind many readers of a twisted version of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.” —Library Journal, Starred Review
“Hossain deftly weaves together multiple plotlines—involving free-willed, intuitive-thinking AIs, djinns working code, shenanigans aboard the International Space Station (which was sold by NASA to Amazon, by the way)... stitching them into a singularly fine fabric of a novel, with an action-packed climax worthy of a Hollywood summer blockbuster (and that’s a compliment!). Cyber Mage hits the sweet spot of being engaging and making you laugh and think in equal measure. If genre-bending novels are your cup of tea, then take a sip from this book. You will not stop till the cup is empty, leaving you wanting more.”
“Hossain’s giddy new novel, another inventive blend of mythology and cyberpunk gizmology... puts a clever spin on both high fantasy and hard science tropes as ancient djinns wield futuristic technology to go head-to-head with humans empowered with their own technowizardry. Fans of both genres will find this an enjoyable romp.”
“Fans of the Shadowrun series and similar gritty future worlds will appreciate this blend of cyber-dystopia and magical beings... Teens who enjoy cyberpunk like Warcross and Ready Player One should try this one.” —Booklist
“A Bangladeshi teenager battles foes both magical and technological in the late 21st century in this unpredictable exploration of an expansive future world.” —Kirkus
Saad Z. Hossain writes in a niche genre of fantasy, science fiction and black comedy with an action-adventure twist. He is the author of Escape from Baghdad! and Djinn City . He was published in the anthologies The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 4 and The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories. He lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
THE CONFESSION OF COPELAND CANE KEENAN NORRIS
Publication date: June 15, 2021
World English Rights: Unnamed Press
Copeland Cane V, the child who fell outta Colored People Time and into America, is a fugitive…
He is also just a regular teenager coming up in a terrifying world. A slightly eccentric, flip-phone loving kid with analog tendencies and a sideline hustling sneakers, the boundaries of Copeland’s life are demarcated from the jump by urban toxicity, an educational apparatus with confounding intentions, and a police state that has merged with media conglomerates—the highly-rated Insurgency Alert Desk that surveils and harasses his neighborhood in the name of anti-terrorism.
Recruited by the nearby private school even as he and his folks face eviction, Copeland is doing his damnedest to do right by himself, for himself. And yet the forces at play entrap him in a reality that chews up his past and obscures his future. Copeland’s wry awareness of the absurd keeps life passable, as do his friends and their surprising array of survival skills. And yet in the aftermath of a protest rally against police violence, everything changes, and Copeland finds himself caught in the flood of history.
Set in East Oakland, California in a very near future, The Confession of Copeland Cane introduces us to a prescient and startlingly contemporary voice, one that exposes the true dangers of coming of age in America: miseducation, over-medication, radiation, and incarceration.
Praise for The Confession of Copeland Cane
“These dispatches from Planet Oakland totally blew me away. Imagine Thomas Pynchon, Nathaniel West, and Ralph Ellison going into a bar
where they decide to write a novel about the gentrification wars in the East Bay. Under the authorial nom de guerre of ‘Keenan Norris,’ they create a picaresque hero named Copeland Cane who battles cops, developers, and rich liberals before vanishing in the chaos of an inevitable small apocalypse. Fantastic.” —Mike Davis, author of Old Gods, New Enigmas
“Keenan Norris’s ear for language is simply genius. This book is praise song, love letter, and requiem for Black and Brown bodies caught up in California’s post-pandemic, private-police ruled near future. A powerfully voiced, page-turning novel and required reading for anyone attempting to understand the struggle for racial justice.” —Nayomi Munaweera, author of What Lies Between Us
“Keenan Norris has a fiercely prophetic voice. His enthralling portrait of Black life in a nearby dystopia forged by right-wing extremists and media elites will make you rage in recognition. A masterfully written coming-of-age story, The Confession of Copeland Cane is a must-read for grasping where the dog whistle politics and hatemongering tactics of living public figures could lead us---and the collective fire it will take to forge a better future.” —Jean Guerrero, author of Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda and Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir
“The Confession of Copeland Cane’s potent cocktail of lyrical dexterity, societal critique, and fascinating characters brings to mind Ishmael Reed’s classic Mumbo Jumbo. With this engaging novel, Keenan Norris announces himself as a voice for a generation living through an age of normalized absurdity. Norris’s voice is necessary and vital—and a call to take heed.” —Dr.
“To Read Confessions of Copeland Cane is to be enthralled by Keenan Norris’ ability to seamlessly inhabit disparate voices while enveloping the reader in the brutality of a corrupt system driven by senseless racism. Norris possesses a singular talent.” —Jervey Tervalon, author of All the Trouble You Need and Dead Above Ground
“Norris has created a voice that cannot be ignored.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Readers will appreciate the provocative story and Norris’ trenchant insights into the corruption of the press and government and the many ways African Americans and other minorities bear the brunt of racial injustice in America.” —Booklist
“A significant new voice in fiction, Norris has written what may be one of the defining novels of the era at the intersection between Black Lives Matter and COVID-19.” —Wendy Jean Fox, BuzzFeed Books
“The oppression Norris is describing looks a lot like the afflictions of our present, a recognition that is bracing. But when the burden to enlighten, to make things right, is placed on Cope—a kid bearing the weight of failures that are vast and collective—his response becomes engrossing... This is not to say there is no joy or love here. Throughout
the novel, there is a lot—for East Oakland, for his parents, for his friends, and for the slain.” —Oscar Villalon, ALTA Journal
Keenan Norris is a novelist, essayist and short story writer. His latest novel, The Confession of Copeland Cane, won the 2022 Northern California Book Award for Fiction. Keenan was a 2017 Marin Headlands Artist-in-Residence and has garnered a Public Voices fellowship (2020), a Callaloo fellowship (2016) and two Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellowships (2017, 2015). He serves as a guest editor for the Oxford African-American Studies Center. He is the editor of the seminal Street Lit literary criticism anthology. Keenan’s short work has appeared in numerous forums, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, LitHub, Alta, Remezcla, popmatters. com and several anthologies of California literature. He teaches at San Jose State University.
CONVERGENCE : TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, AND THE HUMAN-CENTRIC FUTURE DEBORAH WESTPHAL
Publication date: May 11, 2021
World Rights: Unnamed Press
What does it mean to be human-centric? The Convergence is here. Each day the human race becomes more connected and interdependent.
There is no longer a choice in the matter. There is no turning back. All aspects of human life are rapidly converging at an intersection of people, business, and environment. With potential for either a historic integration or catastrophic collision, leaders have two clear choices: remain committed to profits above all else; or shift to a human-centric approach that embraces this convergence.
Author Deborah Westphal, a leader in future-focused strategy, leverages her experiences working with some of the world’s most innovative business leaders, to show how the interests of people (as human beings, not customers), overlap with those of companies in ways never before seen. Convergence charts the path forward for those leaders— particularly in business—who seek to shift to a human-centric mental model. This approach addresses realities from our converging world not necessarily related to a company’s business operations, often integrat-
ing a tangible response with a change in the company’s core values. Simply put, to be human-centric prioritizes the success of people and redefines success for a company.
Praise for Convergence: Technology, Business, and the Human-Centric Future
“In today’s world, there is no shortage of business books about technology, machine learning and what the future will look like. Convergence is a book that adds a much-needed human element to our collective understanding and vision for the future. Through her observations and stories, Westphal provokes us to think and to challenge our assumptions. There is no greater thinker than Westphal and she brings her exceptional clarity, insights about human behavior, and experience to this entire book. This is an essential read for anyone who cares about the future and our place in the world of business.” —
Elizabeth Ross, Chief Marketing Officer at Bright Health
“Convergence will challenge your thinking about leading in today’s global environment. Westphal provides a compelling perspective for entrepreneurs in every sector to consider as they create tomorrow’s growth engines. This is a timely message about positioning your organization for the future.”
—Steve Case, Co-Founder of AOL and Chairman & CEO of Revolution
“When automation replaces humans, how should managers leverage the unique gifts that people bring to the workplace? As technological currents swirl and eddy with the currents of human endeavor, the convergence of competencies creates new opportunities. The successful enterprise of the future will understand how to navigate these swirls and eddies. Deborah Westphal brings a lifetime of experience to exploring the components of this convergence, using compelling anecdotes and allegories to identify and expound upon the components of convergence. A must-read for future-looking enterprises, Convergence will advance how you think about the future work environment and how to thrive in that environment.” —
Dr. Julie J.C.H. Ryan, CEO, Wyndrose Technical Group
“Deborah Westphal uses her own journey to show us how the business environment has evolved and more importantly, what it can become if—I say, if—we stop for just a minute and think about the power of the human system; the system that is one of a kind and always changing.”
Loretta Penn, President, PECC LLC
“Expansive, intriguing, and deeply human, Convergence continues the Toffler legacy. Westphal connects seemingly disparate facts to examine the vast opportunities and immense challenges facing a changing society. She offers her readers perspective and a path to create their future.”
George Anderson, Partner and Leader of Board Effectiveness Services, Spencer Stuart
“Convergence is a must-read for today’s organizations and businesses. Deb Westphal brings her breadth of experiences and knowledge to remind us of the need for human-centric leadership of all organiza-
tions in these dynamic times. She provides a perspective for ensuring humans are at the center of the convergence of technological, societal, and organizational changes facing businesses. Alvin and Heidi Toffler would be extremely proud of her insights for the future.” —General (retired) Lester Lyles, Independent Consultant, former Vice Chief of Staff , U.S. Air Force
“In Westphal’s debut book, she lays out clear links between humancentered policy, the proliferation of advancing technologies, and their impacts on society. [Westphal] delivers a compelling analysis of how these trends are transforming business and a pragmatic assessment of what it all means for the world economy. Convergence is an extremely useful book that any business leader, policymaker, or ordinary citizen will find useful.” —Maury W. Bradsher, Chairman & CEO, District Equity
“Deborah Westphal’s clear ethical compass extends the visionary work of Alvin and Heidi Toffler into this 21st century. I trust that financiers and business executives heed her wise advice.” —Hazel Henderson, CEO, Ethical Markets Media and author of The Politics of the Solar Age
“Deb helps us understand some critical aspects of the world we live in, where we started, and where we are headed. Her insights about the convergence of technology, business, and the future are everything we all must know to create a human-centric tomorrow.” —Ian
Khan, CEO & Founder, Futuracy
“Too many organizations are being destroyed by complexity, held back by mountains of data and legacy processes. While often with the best of intentions, it may be that our focus is wrong: if budgets are statements of our values, we must invest more in our teams and cultures—empowering them to challenge old systems and reinvent how we work. By shifting our norms to invite change and to kill outdated ways of thinking, we will be better positioned to look externally and create a better future, faster.” —Lisa
Bodell, CEO FutureThink
“Deborah Westphal shines a new light on how vital human connections are to the convergence of society’s tectonic shifts. This book brings a fresh perspective to understanding the impact trust serves as the bedrock to our globally infused human-centric endeavor. A must read for serious leaders seeking to build sustainable business roadmaps to the future.” —Dr.
Marsha Ershaghi Hames, Partner, Tapestry Network
Deborah Westphal’s career spans more than 30 years, government agencies and Fortune 100 companies, and virtually every continent. A passionate humanist and life-long learner, she has dedicated her work to guiding our era’s top minds and leaders to see and pursue the future with a sense of realistic caution and optimism.
In 1999, Alvin Toffler tapped her as one of the founding members of his eponymous consulting firm. Since that time, she has guided leaders across the globe to challenge biases, ignite ideas, and build connections and resilience for a secure and sound future. The list of
organizations she has supported includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Marriott, U.S. Air Force, Baxter International, Bayer, Heinz, Microsoft, Koppers, PPG, DARPA, National Security Agency (NSA), Loral Space Systems, NASA, Qwest, Verizon, and Westinghouse.
Deborah is an active speaker who has presented perspectives on human-centric leading to numerous organizations. She has authored hundreds of short-form essays and blogs, numerous talks, and the Foreword for After Shock, a collection of future-focused essays.