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Dzanc publishes innovative and award-winning literary fiction, including short story collections and novels by accomplished and award-winning writers.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Booksyesterday
At twenty-six, Brian Schwan is washed up. Four years hacking away on third-rate golf courses across the South have produced a grand total of $19,000 in earnings, zero wins, and a string of spectacular tournament flame-outs. He’s just shot a horrendous opening round, his wife wants him to come home and start a family, and even his father, who dreamed of seeing his son a star golfer, seems to have given up on his game. Critically acclaimed, Spikes is a sharply observed novel about the obscurity of our motivations, our capacity for self-delusion, and the surprising, unexpected possibilities for grace.
Spikes, Michael Griffith
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Booksyesterday
As a young journalist, Elizabeth Kadetsky found herself running for hours every day, eating little, and suffering from a troubling and persistent pain in her chest. On a friend’s advice, she applied to the yoga institute in India where the legendary B. K. S. Iyengar took in Western students for instruction.

First There Is a Mountain is a tale of the longing that brings an American woman to the feet of the aging patriarch Iyengar, one of the first to share the esoteric secrets of yoga with the West. Kadetsky soon learns that the yoga she has practiced for years bears little resemblance to what she finds at the institute. Here, earnest aspirants perform intricate postures and hang upside down from ropes to explore the boundaries between the physical and the sublime.

In Iyengar’s vast library and archives, in travels to his birthplace, and in conversations with Iyengar himself, Kadetsky pieces together the unlikely life journey of her teacher. In the process, she discovers a yoga that is part legend, part sacred scripture, and part historical chimera. She explores, too, yoga’s role in transcending India’s caste system, in nation-building, and as an emerging cultural prize. Finally, she finds herself under Iyengar’s touch, leaving behind a discordant childhood and starvation regimens, and reaching for the subtle wisdom of the body.

What began as a spiritual journey ends as something more: a memoir, a love story, a portrait of a country caught between a mythical past and an ambiguous modernity, and the biography of a man who pioneered the phenomenon of modern yoga.

First There Is a Mountain explores the mercurial and complex Iyengar as a character, as a figure in the crosshairs of post-colonial reckoning—a man born in 1918 who shrewdly connected his yoga crusade to the Indian independence movement, the West’s romance with the East of the 1960s, and, later, the Hindu nationalist movement in India.

Upon its original publication by Little, Brown and Co. in 2004, First There Is a Mountain was quickly censured by the Iyengar family for its candid depiction of the beloved, troubled, angry, and brilliant master. The book meanwhile won admirers and supporters among yoga students and studio owners, Indian literary figures, and writers in the American MFA creative writing world for its unlocking the untold story of rigor and cruelty at the Iyengar school in India.

First There Is a Mountain is a beautifully written and moving portrayal of the endlessly fraught but utterly compelling dance of East and West.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 days ago
Dark, irreverent, and truly innovative, the speculative stories in Homesick meditate on the theme of home and our estrangement from it, and what happens when the familiar suddenly shifts into the uncanny. In stories that foreground queer relationships and transgender or nonbinary characters, Cipri delivers the origin story for a superhero team comprised of murdered girls; a housecleaner discovering an impossible ocean in her least-favorite clients’ house; a man haunted by keys that appear suddenly in his throat; and a team of scientists and activists discovering the remains of a long-extinct species of intelligent weasels. In the spirit of Laura van den Berg, Emily Geminder, Chaya Bhuvaneswar, and other winners of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize, Nino Cipri’s debut collection announces the arrival of a brilliant and wonderfully unpredictable writer with a gift for turning the short story on its ear.
Homesick, Nino Cipri
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books23 days ago
This collection of William Goyen's short stories collects all of the stories found in his four earlier collections (including his Collected Stories) as well as nine additional stories, bringing all of his previously published stories into one collection for the first time. With an introduction from Goyen's biographer, Clark Davis, this collections lays out Goyen's work in short fiction in a chronological order. One of America's masters of the form finally presented in full.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books24 days ago
At a busy intersection on a crammed city hillside, an overworked book editor looks up long enough to watch a trio of houses go up in flames. Once the smoke clears, he becomes increasingly concerned by what he sees out his windows and starts asking questions he never bothered with before: Is the encampment in the park responsible for the fires—or are his new upscale neighbors somehow to blame? Has the man upstairs even bothered to notice, or is his time better spent battling with his boyfriend? What's his own ex-wife doing, resurfacing now just when things are getting tense? Is everyone safer with more fire trucks around? And, just a block down the hill, is the new mixed-use project the perfect urban remedy, or will it do even more damage?
By the time the home across the street catches fire, he has to face a few questions about himself, too, including his own role in the neighborhood's upheaval. Inspired by Hitchcock's Rear Window and set in San Francisco, Jon Roemer's debut novel explores a fabled American city divided by rapid and aggressive change.
Five Windows, Jon Roemer
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Bookslast month
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Bookslast month
Winner of the Dzanc Books Prize for FictionAn Indies Introduce pick«Hugely important, hauntingly brutal—Englehardt has just announced himself as one of America’s most talented emerging writers.» —Kirkus starred reviewBloomland opens during finals week at a fictional southern university, when a student walks into the library with his roommate’s semi-automatic rifle and opens fire. When he stops shooting, twelve people are dead.In this richly textured debut, John Englehardt explores how the origin and aftermath of the shooting impacts the lives of three characters: a disillusioned student, a grieving professor, and a young man whose valuation of fear and disconnection funnels him into the role of the aggressor. As the community wrestles with the fallout, Bloomland interrogates social and cultural dysfunction in a nation where mass violence has become all too familiar.Profound and deeply nuanced, Bloomland is a dazzling debut for fans of Denis Johnson and We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Bloomland, John Englehardt
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books2 months ago
Winner of the 2018 Dzanc Nonfiction Prize“Knock Wood is an absolute wonder, and Jennifer Militello is at the top of her form.” —Andre Dubus III, author of Townie and The House of Sand and FogIn Knock Wood, the first nonfiction collection by award-winning poet Jennifer Militello, a knock on wood to ward off illness sets in motion a chain of events and memories that call into question the very structure of time.Anchored by a wooden ring, Militello explores her life through the lens of three intertwined elements: the story of a mentally ill aunt in an abusive marriage; a high school romance with a boy who eventually dies of a heroin overdose; and an extra-marital affair characterized by an otherworldly connection. Cause and effect reverse as significant events—an arrest for a felony committed in high school, a trip by train to meet an illicit lover, and a suicide attempt on those same New York tracks—seem to influence one another outside of time and space. As Militello delicately threads each memory to the next, she explores the themes of family damage and the precarious ties of love.Militello has been recognized many times for her work in poetry and prose, including honors such as the Yeats Poetry Prize from the W.B. Yeats Society of New York, the Betty Gabehart Poetry Prize, and the Tupelo Press First Book Award. Her collection Body Thesaurus was named one of the top poetry books of 2013 by Best American Poetry.
Knock Wood, Jennifer Militello
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
«The narrative has its requisite share of mobsters, cops and bloodshed, but for Domini these are mainly pegs upon which to explore Risto’s sense of displacement and belonging…. Domini’s novel is determined to push the noir—and us—out of well-worn ruts.» —The Washington PostA disastrous earthquake has Naples reeling. While the government scrambles to maintain appearances, poverty and anarchy rack the people on Italy’s margins—the illegal immigrants out of Africa, known as the clandestini. One of whom has just been horrifically murdered.

Enter Risto, a rare success story: a refugee from Mogadishu, orphaned in his teens, he’s now married the Neapolitan Paola and is the proprietor of a celebrated art gallery. The murder recalls the deaths of his loved ones years ago in Mogadishu, a trauma Risto can’t outrun.

Thinking to force the hand of the white authorities, Risto begins his own investigation. But once he starts playing detective, he quickly gets in over his head. Worse, his digging seems to have brought on a strange hallucination: a golden halo only he can see, like a visionary’s foretelling of death. Everyone he knows, including the woman he loves, seems to brim with secrets; every discovery Risto makes drives him toward an earthquake of his own.

A portrait of turmoil inside and out, The Color Inside a Melon explores race and class, belonging and exclusion in one of the world’s ancient cities. Prolific author, critic, and essayist John Domini delivers an unforgettable portrait of humanity’s endless struggle between moving on and making a home.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
A police raid! Unfaithful spouses! A baseball player running the wrong way around the bases! In France!

Somewhere between travelogue and a ‘Dummy’s Guide to Running a Business in France’ (if there were such a thing), I Lived in France and So Can You is a serious but light-hearted exploration of 12 years’ worth of living, working, and loving in France. Using anecdotes from his experiences running an American restaurant in a small provincial city, to managing French baseball teams in Paris, to bringing up children with two different wives, and dealing with French people from all walks of life (including an exploration of the class system that’s still alive and well), Michael Hickins describes a journey through French culture and the life-long friendships he made along the way.

It’s the perfect book for anyone who ever thought about liquidating everything they owned and moving to France, or knows someone who has.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
Both absurd and melancholy, Honey in the Carcase, the newest collection from award-winning Josip Novakovich, moves from scenes as familiar as a dinner party to the brutal landscapes of war-torn Southeast Europe. A man tends bees amid the bombed-out husks of his village. A young girl takes revenge for the loss of a precious life. A Yugoslav drifter finds himself at dead ends in the American heartland. A marriage splinters over a suspicious scent. A cat and a dog enact ancient enmity in the midst of a warzone. An old debt is repaid. And a boy and a juvenile hawk seem to be on a similar quest for freedom and adventure, though violence lurks in the wilds just beyond the window.Novakovich, hailed as “one of the best short-story writers of the decade” (Kirkus Reviews), approaches each story with the signature insight, wit, and compassion that have brought him distinction as winner of the American Book Award and Whiting Writer’s Award, and a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
Funny and heartfelt, this amalgamation of memoir and essay collection tells the story of twenty months the author spent in Lesotho, the small, landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa. There he finds a spirit of joyful absurdity and resolve, surrounded by people who take strangers’ hands as they walk down the road, people who—with sweetest face—drop the dirtiest jokes in the southern hemisphere. But Lesotho is also a place where shepherds exact Old Testament retribution, where wounded pride incites murder and families are devastated by the AIDS epidemic.Driven by a spirit of openhearted cultural exchange in the style of Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country and Alexandra Fuller’s Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Will McGrath’s Everything Lost Is Found Again is a love-drunk ballad to Lesotho, infusing humor and heart into pop ethnography.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
Kirkus Best Books of 2018“Chaya Bhuvaneswar's debut collection maps with great assurance the intricate outer reaches of the human heart. What a bold, smart, exciting new voice, well worth listening to; what an elegant story collection to read and savor.”-Lauren Groff, author of Florida“Stunning, evocative, electric…an exuberant collection.” -Kirkus Reviews (starred)A woman grieves a miscarriage, haunted by the Buddha’s birth. An artist with schizophrenia tries to survive hatred and indifference in small-town India by turning to the beauty of sculpture and dance. Orphans in India get pulled into a strange “rescue” mission aimed at stripping their mysterious powers. A brief but intense affair between two women culminates in regret and betrayal. A boy seeks memories of his sister in the legend of a woman who weds death. And fragments of history, from child brickmakers to slaves in Renaissance Portugal, are held up in brief fictions, burnished, made dazzling and unforgettable.In sixteen remarkable stories, Chaya Bhuvaneswar spotlights diverse women of color—cunning, bold, and resolute—facing sexual harassment and racial violence, and occasionally inflicting that violence on each other. Winner of the 2017 Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize, White Dancing Elephants marks the emergence of a new and original voice in fiction and explores feminist, queer, religious, and immigrant stories with precision, drama, and compassion.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
Winner of the Dzanc Books Prize for FictionAuthor is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Society of Southwestern Authors, and the Arizona Authors’ AssociationPrior to winning the Dzanc Prize for Fiction, the novel was a finalist for the Bellingham Review, a finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books Masters’ Competition, and won an honorable mention in the Glimmer Train Fiction OpenAuthor received grants from the National Science Foundation, Center for European Studies, Mellon Foundation, American Philosophical Society, and the North American Council on British Studies, among others, to complete research related to the novel
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
“We are the generation…to whom nothing much ever happened, who seemed to get skipped over by the major collective experiences of the twentieth century.” This from Ronald Sanders in his introduction to this memoir written in his forties when wondering what somebody only in his forties might have to say about his life that would interest people. And what Sanders came up with is that struggles with life's problems, even during times of uneventfulness, maybe even especially during times of uneventfulness, can still be epic.

This is a great memoir of a young Ronald Sanders, born of a Liverpool musician father and a Brooklyn Jewish mother and his youth in New York.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
«It’s not romantic," Torrey says. «It’s physics. For every letter there is an equal and opposite, you know…letter.»
Sheila’s life is built of little thievings. Adrift in her mid-thirties, she sleeps in fragments, ditches her temp jobs, eavesdrops on her neighbor’s Skype calls, and keeps a stolen letter in her nightstand, penned by a UPS driver she barely knows. Her mother is stifling and her father is a bad memory. Her only friends are her mysterious, slovenly neighbor Vinnie and his daughter Torrey, a quirky twelve-year-old coping with a recent tragedy.When her grandmother Rosamond dies, Sheila inherits a box of secret love letters from Harold C. Carr—a man who is not her grandfather. In spite of herself, Sheila gets caught up in the legacy of the affair, piecing together her grandmother’s past and forging bonds with Torrey and Vinnie as intense and fragile as the crumbling pages in Rosamond’s shoebox.As they get closer to unraveling the truth, Sheila grows almost as obsessed with the letters as the man who wrote them. Somewhere, there’s an answering stack of letters—written in Rosamond’s hand—and Sheila can’t stop until she uncovers the rest of the story. Threaded with wry humor and the ache of love lost or left behind, How to Set Yourself on Fire establishes Julia Dixon Evans as a rising talent in the vein of Shirley Jackson and Lindsay Hunter.
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
Adventuress, miner, home-wrecker, pauper, dreamer—the drama of Colorado legend Baby Doe’s life has inspired several biographies, a 1932 film starring Edward G. Robinson, even an opera, but never before a novel.

Few lives have been so dramatic—leaving Oshkosh, WI and heading toward Colorado’s mining territory in 1879, she ditched her husband and snared silver magnate Horace Tabor, who divorced his wife to marry Baby in the “wedding of the century.”

“A furiously bubbling stew of a manner of ingredients, a grab bag stuffed to the bursting point with the real and invented.” –-The New York Times Book Review

“The novel proposes that shall feel those distinctly nineteenth-century emotions of wonder and surprise…in fact, that we shall experience an old world in a new way.” –-The Boston Globe

“A terrific read…Vernon seems able to write with fluency and authority—and at times with delicacy and profundity.” –-Los Angeles Times Book Review
All for Love, John Vernon
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
A debut collection of 11 stories--slender, understated, sometimes anorexic--deals with the conflicts experienced by southern black people. Of mixed class and education, they're characters who share an ability to find humor in a variety of trying situations.
Squabble, John Holman
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
A debut collection of poetry from Norene Cashen.

“Norene Cashen's poems are sad and beautiful, and they remind me of why I'm sometimes afraid of poetry. She is not afraid to stare into those huge spaces between the eyes or the fingers.” --Andrei Codrescu

“These sparsely punctuated poems feel like parable or myth, issuing from the lips of a concerned prophet. Meant to be read slowly, out loud, these somber lyrics wrestle the biggies: Truth, war, history, death, religion.” —The Metro Times
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Dzanc booksadded a book to the bookshelfDzanc Books3 months ago
The novel that takes his initial offers 14 ways of looking at Baumbach's poet-protagonist, an intellectual's Bukowski, 14 narrative variations on the distorting mirror, calling into question the validity, even the importance, of truth in memory.
B, Jonathan Baumbach
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