Every now and then we encounter a new book that we’re so excited about we want to shout it from the rooftops, so we've created a special tag to distinguish it from the rest: Tattered Cover Book of the Month (formerly called Tattered Cover V.I.B.)!
Our latest selection is:
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
This beautiful novel is never not a poem, and there’s no page that feels to be anything other than the absolute truth, both for the character on the page and for you, the reader. The central relationship is between a boy and his mother, with the story framed entirely within a letter that he writes to her—a letter which she’ll never understand because she never learned to read. The tautness of the space between the two characters is too easy to strum, and always always just slightly off key in either direction. Deeply specific and also universal, this story makes it impossible not to feel at some point: “That’s me. That’s my mother.” Similarly, for anyone who’s ever hidden their own desire, the boy’s romantic relationship in this novel makes it impossible not to say: “That’s my silence. That’s my love and that’s my love’s suffering.” This book dumps rain into the cracked cement between identities, and then it invites you to watch the hundreds of less-visible fissures that connect every bit of sidewalk fill with water. It’s addiction and abuse, manual labor and immigration and language, matriarchy and femininity and calloused skin. It’s honestly perfect. —Afton Montgomery, Assistant Adult Frontlist Buyer
Purchase this and previous Book of the Month below:
Bestselling British writer Tessa Hadley's The Past brings four middle-aged siblings and their families together for what might be their last summer holiday in the family's country home. Old family dynamics and surprising new twists make for a delightful, entertaining and thought-provoking novel. Hadley's storytelling deftly weaves the family's past, with all its ghosts and memories, jealousies and nearly unconditional love in with its present reality of squabbling and deep affection. Each player in The Past is uniquely engaging: from fading beauty Alice with her ex-boyfriend's 20 year old son Kasim, in tow, sister Frans's odd and captivating young children Ivy and Arthur, Harriet, lonely and harboring a dark and secret longing, and all the others, each with an agenda, all under one roof. The perfect storm for an utterly wonderful, brilliantly crafted novel. The Telegraph calls The Past keenly intelligent, and I certainly agree. A wonderful way to begin your reading year. -- Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Lead Buyer