Jackson Adams and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP. Today they share their thoughts about a few upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. The books in this discussion will be published in September.
Jackson Adams: David A. F. Sweet’s Three Seconds in Munich: The Controversial 1972 Olympic Basketball Final takes a look at one of most infamous moments of Olympic History, the 1972 basketball game that saw a US victory overturned at the last moment in a stunning decision. What’s most stuck with me since reading the book is how raw the wound still is for the players Sweet spoke to, who still struggle with the loss today. It’s the kind of hurt that’s rarely seen in these kind of stories, illustrated evocatively and told thrillingly.
Anna Weir: I’ve been really enjoying Sonja Livingston’s The Virgin of Prince Street: Expeditions into Devotion. Writing about faith is never easy, particularly Catholic faith, in the face of so much internal turmoil. Livingston doesn’t turn away from such issues, but neither does she allow them to drive her away. She undertakes a variety of expeditions—from a mobile confessional in Cajun Country to a eucharistic procession in Galway, Ireland, to the Death and Marigolds Parade in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Mass in a county jail on Thanksgiving Day—to better understand devotion in her own life. It’s a fascinating journey.
What else are you looking forward to, Jackson?
JA: It’s Prairie Schooner Book Prize season at the press and this year’s poetry winner, Hard Damage by Aria Aber, is one of my favorites of the month. The majority of Aber’s poems interrogate a life lived forcibly separated from one’s culture, interrogating America’s complex history in Afghanistan, from funding the mujahadeen to the cruelties conducted in the name of the War on Terror. This is rendered hauntingly personal by Aber in pieces like “Nostos” and “Foreign Policies,” which center the aching loss of America’s dehumanizing actions in the Middle East.
What else are you excited about, Anna?
AW: Every September I look forward to the new Prairie Schooner Book Prize winners, so of course my next pick is Extinction Events: Stories by Liz Breazeale. This slim volume is centered on world-ending situations, from volcanic eruptions and disappearing islands to high school humiliations and missing parents. Breazeale’s writing is absorbing and dark, leaves you questioning the fate of the familiar things around you.
In contrast to these apocalyptic stories, the responses on social media have been absolute day-makers. Please enjoy these pets with me:
Tune in next month for more reading suggestions from your friendly neighborhood publicists!