Niq Mhlongo Ohio University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PR9369.4.M48A38 2011 | Dewey Decimal 823.92
Bafana Kuzwayo is a young man with a weight on his shoulders. After flunking his law studies at the University of Cape Town, he returns home to Soweto, where he must decide how to break the news to his family. But before he can confess, he is greeted as a hero by family and friends. His uncle calls him “Advo,” short for Advocate, and his mother wastes no time recruiting him to solve their legal problems. In a community that thrives on imagined realities, Bafana decides that it’s easiest to create a lie that allows him to put off the truth indefinitely. Soon he’s in business with Yomi, a Nigerian friend who promises to help him solve all his problems by purchasing a fake graduation document. One lie leads to another as Bafana navigates through a world that readers will find both funny and grim.
All Coyote's Children
Bette Lynch Husted Oregon State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3608.U852 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Jack and Annie Fallon had been living what seemed the ideal life with their son Riley, spending the school year in Portland, where Jack was a professor of Native American history, and summers at Jack’s family ranch in northeastern Oregon, on land surrounded by the Umatilla Indian Reservation. But a good way of life can disappear almost overnight, as the Umatilla, Cayuse, and Walla Walla peoples already know. Now the teenage Riley is in rehab, Jack has disappeared without a trace into the remote wilderness, and Annie is recovering from her own hospitalization following a mental health crisis.
Still fragile, a bereft Annie returns to the ranch, where she is befriended by Leona, a Umatilla-Cayuse neighbor. Leona, as it turns out, has a long connection to the family that even Jack never knew about. At the time of his disappearance, Jack had been grappling with his family’s legacy—with the conflicts and consequences of white settlement of native ground. Three generations before he was born, the family ranch was taken from the Umatilla reservation through the Allotment Act. Jack’s mother died when he was six, but his father’s stern presence still cast a shadow on the land.
“Survival is hard sometimes,” Leona says, but with her help, Annie is able to bring Riley home from rehab and begin the work of healing their small family, learning, season by season, how to go on living without Jack. Leona, Riley’s friends Alex and Mattie, and old neighbors Gus and Audrey become a larger family for Annie as they share the stories that connect them—long-silenced stories from both cultures that could solve the mystery of Jack’s disappearance.
In prose that is lyrical and clear-eyed, All Coyote’s Children weaves an unforgettable tale of cultures and families caught in the inescapable web of who they are and what they have inherited.
Blue Hours: A Novel
Daphne Kalotay Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3611.A455B58 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
A mystery linking Manhattan circa 1991 to eastern Afghanistan in 2012, Blue Hours tells of a life-changing friendship between two memorable heroines. When we first meet Mim, she is a recent college graduate who has disavowed her lower middle class roots to befriend Kyra, a dancer and daughter of privilege, until calamity causes their estrangement. Twenty years later, Kyra has gone missing from her NGO’s headquarters in Jalalabad, and Mim—now a recluse in rural New England—embarks on a journey to find her. In its nuance, originality, and moral complexity, Blue Hours becomes an unexpected page-turner.
The Book of Joshua
Jennifer Anne Moses University of Wisconsin Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3563.O88437B66 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Eighteen-year-old Joshua Cushing wakes up in a psych ward, not knowing how he got there. Worse, he has only one eye. And no one in his family will tell him what happened to his girlfriend, Sophie. The one thing he knows for sure is that something happened, leaving him with a self and a life he barely recognizes.
Once a popular long-distance runner, Josh is now flabby, frustrated, and furious about returning to his New Jersey high scho ol to repeat his senior year. Forced to attend meetings with other "underage weirdos," he sinks into his loneliness. But when Josh meets Elizabeth Rinaldi, things begin to change. The only other new student in his class, she has a scar on her forehead, a Southern accent, and an attitude. Sharing a status as outcasts and an aptitude for snark, Josh and Elizabeth help each other escape their pasts.
The Book of Joshua weaves an unforgettable story from family secrets, friendship, faith, love, and redemption. It brings readers deeply into the lives of those who suffer from mental illness, as well as the friends and family affected by it.
Set on the coast of Maine and in the high desert of New Mexico in the late 1970s through the early 80s, Buddhism for Western Children is a universal and timeless story of a boy who must escape subjugation, tell his story, and reclaim his soul.
In search of community and transcendence, ten-year-old Daniel’s family is swept into the thrall of a potent and manipulative guru. To his followers, Avadhoot Master King Ivanovich is a living god, a charismatic leader who may reveal enlightenment as he mesmerizes, and alchemizes, Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.
Daniel’s family plunges into a world with different rules and rhythms—and with no apparent exit. They join other devotees in shunning the outside world, and fall under the absolutist authority of the guru and his lieutenants. Daniel bears witness to the relentless competition for the guru’s favor, even as he begins to recognize the perversion of his spirituality. Soon, Daniel himself is chosen to play a role. As tensions simmer and roil, darkness intrudes. Devotees overstep, placing even the children in jeopardy. Daniel struggles with conflicting desires to resist and to belong, until finally he must decide who to save and who to abandon.
With spiraling, spellbinding language, Allio reveals a cast of vivid, often darkly funny characters, and propels us toward a shocking climax where Daniel’s story cracks open like a kaleidoscope, revealing the costs of submitting to a tyrant and the shimmering resilience of the human spirit.
Cross Over Water
Richard Yanez University of Nevada Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3625.A677C76 2011 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Raul Luis “Ruly” Cruz is a young Mexican American who lives in El Paso, just across the Rio Grande from Mexico, home of his an-cestors and some of his current relatives. As he grows from awkward adolescent to manhood, he negotiates the precarious borders of family, tradition, and identity trying to find his own place in the Chicano community and in the larger world. This is an engaging and moving story of growing up in a borderland that is not only geographical but cultural as well.
The Deaf Heart: A Novel
Willy Conley Gallaudet University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3603.O536D43 2015 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Told through a series of quirky, irreverent short stories and letters home during the early 1980s, The Deaf Heart chronicles a year in the life of Dempsey “Max” McCall, a Deaf biomedical photography resident at a teaching hospital on the island of Galveston, Texas. Max strives to become certified as a Registered Biological Photographer while straddling the deaf and hearing worlds. He befriends Reynaldo, an impoverished Deaf Mexican, and they go on a number of unusual escapades around the island.
At the hospital, Max has to contend with hearing doctors, nurses, scientists, and teachers. While struggling through the rigors of his residency and running into bad luck in meeting women, Max discovers an ally in his hearing housemate Zag, a fellow resident who is also vying for certification. Toward the end of his residency, Max meets Maddy, a Deaf woman who helps bring balance to his life.
Author Willy Conley’s stories, some humorous, some poignant, reveal Max’s struggles and triumphs as he attempts to succeed in the hearing world while at the same time navigating the multicultural and linguistic diversity within the Deaf world.
Eleven Miles to Oshkosh
Jim Guhl University of Wisconsin Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3607.U4732E44 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
As the Vietnam War grinds on and the Nixon presidency collapses, Del "Minnow" Finwick's small world in Wisconsin has blown apart. His father, a deputy sheriff, has been murdered by the unknown "Highway 41 Killer." His mom has unraveled. And a goon named Larry Buskin has been pummeling Minnow behind Neenah High.
Minnow finds support in the company of his roguish grandfather, his loyal pal Mark, and beautiful Opal Parsons, who has her own worries as the first African American student in their school. When the sheriff seems in no hurry to solve the murder, Minnow must seek justice by partnering with unlikely allies and discovering his own courage.
Honey in the Horn
H.L. Davis Oregon State University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3507.A7327H66 2015 | Dewey Decimal 813.5
Set in Oregon in the early years of the twentieth century, H. L. Davis’s Honey in the Horn chronicles the struggles faced by homesteaders as they attempted to settle down and eke out subsistence from a still-wild land. With sly humor and keenly observed detail, Davis pays homage to the indomitable character of Oregon’s restless people and dramatic landscapes without romanticizing or burnishing the myths.
Clay Calvert, an orphan, works as a hand on a sheep ranch until he stumbles into trouble and is forced to flee. Journeying throughout the state, from the lush coastal forests, to the Columbia Gorge, to the golden wheat fields east of the Cascades, he encounters a cast of characters as rich and diverse as the land, including a native Tunne boy and a beautiful girl named Luce.
Originally published in 1935, Honey in the Horn reveals as much about the prevailing attitudes and beliefs of H. L. Davis’ lifetime as it does about the earlier era in which it is set. It transcends the limitations of its time through the sheer power and beauty of Davis’ prose. Full of humor and humanity, Davis’s first novel displays a vast knowledge of Pacific Northwest history, lore, and landscape.
An essential book for all serious readers of Northwest literature, this classic coming-of-age novel has been called the “Huckleberry Finn of the West.” It is the only Oregon book that has ever won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. With a new introduction by Richard W. Etulain, this important work from one of Oregon’s premier authors is once again available for a new generation to enjoy.
Jesse Crosse: a novel
Michael J. Moran Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2011 Library of Congress PZ7.M78824Je 2011
Mike Moran first attended Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys-all four years. On the basketball team, he was a point guard. Then, as "Mr. Moran," he taught English for forty years, also at Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys. Recently retired, Moran wrote the boys a novel. The tale revolves around a struggling small-town basketball team with a nerdy manager and a Walter Mittyesque coach. Presented with too few players to scrimmage in practice, the manager takes it upon himself to spread the word throughout the school: "We need you on the team." Three young students appear, diminutive in stature and with scrawny chests, unimpressive at first sight. But with the trio, and their fleet leader Jesse Crosse, the team first experiences shock, then inspiration and constant surprises. The team bonds, leading to stories that will be retold a very long time in a small, out-of-the-way town. It's not a long novel; like one's high school years, it goes by before you know it. Only the message is eternal.
Little Lost River: A Novel
Pamela Johnston University of Nevada Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3610.O389L58 2008 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Set in Boise, Idaho in the early 1980s, Little Lost River is the story of two young women who come together in the wake of tragedy. Cindy Morgan is still reeling from the loss of her mother when an accident leaves her boyfriend missing and presumed drowned. When Frances Rogers happens upon the accident site, she stays with Cindy until help arrives. In the aftermath of that night’s events, as Cindy faces her future with a determination often misunderstood as indifference, Frances becomes her source of both support and compassion. Cindy and Frances are determined to find their own lives unencumbered by conventional expectations, but their path to adulthood is neither easy nor clear, and the future that each girl finds is not what she expected or planned. One generation follows another, and in the end, the girls learn that life moves on its own path, that “transformation is what takes you forward. It’s the only constant thing.”
Miss Carrie: A Novel
Judson N. Hout Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2013 Library of Congress PS3608.O885M57 2014 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
“Set in Arkansas during World War II, Hout’s touching story of an orphaned boy's relationship with the inhabitant of a small town's "haunted house” will keep you guessing, right up to the satisfying ending. Another endearing novel from Judson Hout."
Mourner's Bench: A Novel
Sanderia Faye University of Arkansas Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3606.A965M68 2015 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
At the First Baptist Church of Maeby, Arkansas, the sins of the child belonged to the parents until the child turned thirteen. Sarah Jones was only eight years old in the summer of 1964, but with her mother Esther Mae on eight prayer lists and flipping around town with the generally mistrusted civil rights organizers, Sarah believed it was time to get baptized and take responsibility for her own sins. That would mean sitting on the mourner’s bench come revival, waiting for her sign, and then testifying in front of the whole church.
But first, Sarah would need to navigate the growing tensions of small-town Arkansas in the 1960s. Both smarter and more serious than her years (a “fifty-year-old mind in an eight-year-old body,” according to Esther), Sarah was torn between the traditions, religion, and work ethic of her community and the progressive civil rights and feminist politics of her mother, who had recently returned from art school in Chicago. When organizers from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) came to town just as the revival was beginning, Sarah couldn’t help but be caught up in the turmoil. Most folks just wanted to keep the peace, and Reverend Jefferson called the SNCC organizers “the evil among us.” But her mother, along with local civil rights activist Carrie Dilworth, the SNCC organizers, Daisy Bates, attorney John Walker, and indeed most of the country, seemed determined to push Maeby toward integration.
With characters as vibrant and evocative as their setting, Mourner’s Bench is the story of a young girl coming to terms with religion, racism, and feminism while also navigating the terrain of early adolescence and trying to settle into her place in her family and community.
Some kids have to grow up fast. This is the story of Lonnie Tobin, one such young man. Weary of the physical abuse his mother is subjected to from his father, he takes matt ers into his own hands. Convincing her to flee their fearful home life, son and mother sneak away in the night to the small town of Rocky Branch, where they find peace with her family. It is a corner of the world he thought they had left behind forever. But mysteries abound in this little wooded village, and an unexpected adventure begins when word of a nightly monster on the loose stirs fear among the residents. Young Lonnie soon forgets about his father and becomes fascinated by the story, only to find he might be spending a litt le too much time on The Strange Side of the Tracks.
Sunland: A Novel
Don Waters University of Nevada Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3623.A8688S86 2013 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Sid Dulaney, in his mid-thirties, between jobs and short on funds, has moved back to Tucson to take care of his beloved grandmother. To hold down the cost of her prescriptions, he reluctantly starts smuggling medications over the border. His picaresque misadventures involve the lovable eccentrics at her retirement village, Mexican gang threats, a voluptuous former babysitter, midnight voicemails from his exasperated ex-girlfriend, and, perplexingly, a giraffe. This first novel by the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award proves Waters is an important new voice in American fiction. A big, rollicking, character-filled novel, Sunland is an entertaining and humane view at life on the margins in America today.