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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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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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«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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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«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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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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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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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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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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Departing as Air chronicles the memories of Jessie, now old and widowed, as she nears the end of her life and looks back on her two marriages, her emotional breakdown and recovery, and her ultimate acceptance--and celebration--of life.
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The High Walls of Jerusalem is a fantastic, detailed, account of the developments of two generations leading to the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Sanders pored through literally thousands of official, primary-source documents of the periods. For those looking for an understanding of how modern Israel came to be, along with the issues surrounding modern-day Middle Eastern problems, this book is indispensable.
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An exquisitely written novel about the delicate balance between loss and desire, abandonment and renewal, and the fragility of relationships.
Licorice, Abby Frucht
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A Place For Outlaws starts off as a family novel, as warmly evocative and intimate over time as an album of family photographs, and imperceptibly, turns into a shocker, grounded in subterfuge, perversity, and violence. The overall movement brings good and evil face-to-face in an unexpected way to contend for the soul of a woman then her son.
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Richard Haddaway's novel is a warm-hearted, realistic, multi-generational story of the Beckwith clan, a Texas oil family dominated by a wealthy patriarch who does his best to hold his children and grandchildren to his narrow views of propriety and restraint. His grandson Stephen watches in grief as his father's life withers under Granddaddy's long shadow. Stephen's own life takes a turn into the same alcoholism and despair that ruined his father. Haddaway's narrative moves through joy and loss, failure and courage. Set near Forth Worth, Texas, the novel takes place from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s.
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Nick Ray lives in a world where everything is for sale. University Ph.D.s, pig fetuses, bomb shelters, and vending-machine-dispensed live bait, to name just a few. But for the first time in a long time, Nick Ray finally has something to sell.

Determined to be covert about an affair he's having with a woman already spoken for (by another woman), Nick buys the cheapest computer he can find at a pawn shop, only to discover that it contains a list of the names and addresses of dozens of members of the Witness Protection Program.

Partnering with a huge Russian gangster with the world's worst fashion sense and a disbarred lawyer who drinks rocket fuel, Nick decides to take advantage. Despite the impressive credentials of this dream team Nick's put together, he soon learns that having something to sell can end up making you a valuable commodity for someone else looking to make a big score.
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One of the great basketball novels written. Dark, funny and compassionate that will remind you what it means to be alive.
Drive, Rob Roberge
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