Both / and: a life in many worlds, by Huma Abedin. (Scribner, $30). Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide talks about the 2016 election and the dissolution of her public marriage in these memoirs. Abedin shows readers what it was like to be in rooms where she makes decisions while bearing the burden of unimaginable choices on her own. “It is clear from the start that this book is not a companion tale, but the story of a quintessential person – someone who is determined to tell his own story,” Susan Dominos wrote in her review. “The catalog of her job-like sufferings–the shame she has been subjected to by actions other than her life–is at times excruciating to read; but it is as though she, uttering those episodes out loud, ensures that she does not have them.”
SQUIRREL HILL: Shooting the Tree of Life in a Synagogue and the Spirit of the Neighborhood, by Mark Oppenheimer. (Knopf, $28.95). In 2018, a shooting killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Oppenheimer’s motive narrative traces the aftermath of residents’ burial and mourning, organizing rallies, and directing the onslaught of national media and “shock tourists”. “Oppenheimer paints a picture of an urban neighborhood that never gave up its narrow Jewish population to the suburbs,” Irina Raine wrote in her review. “How Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood became the site of the most dangerous anti-Semitic attack on American soil and what happened next unfolds with precision from one of the best suspense stories.”
oh beautiful, by Jung Yoon. (St. Martin’s, $27.99). The journalist risks everything to chase the scoop into the oil fields of her native North Dakota, only to discover it’s not the story she was expecting. This captivating and timely novel, the author’s second novel, provides a fast-track to conversations about racism, environmental protection, journalism, economics, and fraternity. “The loudest voices in ‘O Beautiful’ are the ones we’ve never heard,” Elizabeth Egan wrote in her final column in the group’s script. “It’s the views and experiences of women who have disappeared”—essentially, “28 women, a teen, and a girl (“a shockingly high number and certainly an undercount”) of the Mahwah tribe who have been reported missing over a two-year period. When Elinor turns her attention to their stories, she begins Her essay—and her future as a woman of words—is taking shape.”
What is Project 1619?
Recognizing a historical moment. In August 2019, The New York Times Magazine launched Project 1619 led by Nicole Hannah Jones. The project explored the history of slavery in the United States and was released to coincide with the anniversary of a ship carrying the first enslaved Africans to the English colonies.
The Last Thing: New and Selected Poems, by Patrick Russell. (Karen and Michael Brazeler/Percia, $26.95). Physical exuberance oozes into Rusal’s poetry, which resists emotional and historical pain with absolute joy in the flesh. His most recent work abandons the realism of dream visions and monologues. “The language in these pages remains deep, demotic, open to all comers and capable of elegant auditory effects,” wrote Stephanie Burt in her review. “Russal’s lively vernacular–especially in the longer and later poems–can sound almost improvised, and proudly suited to oral recitation: the poems invite us to hear it out loud.”
against silence, by Frank Bidart. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25) Bidart’s poems float and swerve, at once cinematic and strangely intimate. Here he seems concerned with individual and collective morality, and sees a threat in silence – the kind that opposes speech in life and the kind in death, which we all face. “Bedart is exciting to read and hard to explain,” Desi Fried writes, and reviews the book along with four other recent collections of poetry. Bidart is impartial but never separated; At his best, he often appears to be the most tender. His poems recognize the damage inherent in what we cherish, defend and even adore, and help us recognize it.”