GalleyCat is highlighting an interesting project going on over at The Book Publicity Blog, which is taking pictures of book reviewers overstuffed review copy shelves. We thought we’d show you our book room. PW’s adult book room is located in the kitchen of our new office. It suffices to say we don’t have a kitchen so much as a very busy library, as you can see, with a fridge in it. The only thing more hectic is working as a freelance reviewer and having hundreds of galleys in your home (this blogger has some experience in that arena). But, they are book, which are better than most other things.
Things got very buzzy around Dinaw Mengestu, the young Ethiopian emigre whose debut, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, won him considerable acclaim, including honors from The National Book Foundation, The LA Times and The Guardian. We called the book a “beautifully observed debut.”
Mengestu’s second novel, also with Riverhead, is a family saga about Ethiopian immigrants living in Illinois, then traveling to Tennessee. The story follows husband and wife Yosef and Mariam, and their son Jonas, who, after his father’s death, attempts to make sense of his family’s past.
The book will be in stores in October, but it’s making its way through our reviews system right now. Our review should appear in the next couple of weeks. No doubt this will be one of the most buzzy literary books of the fall season.
First Sentence: “It was four-hundred eighty-four miles from my parents’ home in Peoria, Illinois, to Nashville, Tennessee, a distance that a seven-year-old red Monte Carlo driving at roughly sixty miles an hour could be crossed in eight to twelve hours, depending on certain variables such as the number of road signs offering side excursions to historical landmarks, and how often my mother, Mariam, would have to go to the bathroom.”
How’s that for a mouthful? And for concise exposition! Also, lookout for an upcoming PW profile of Mengestu.
Galleys flow through our office like a river of, well, galleys. One of the things we’ll do on this blog is highlight a few of the ones we’re excited about and give you a sense of what upcoming books are circulating pre-publication.
We’ll start with something fancy–Listen to This by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, whose previous book The Rest Is Noise won the National Book Critics Circle Award. It’s coming in late September or early October from FSG, and it’s a collection of Ross’s New Yorker pieces, plus one new essay written especially for this collection.
Classical music is Ross’s hometown, as it were, so that’s the focus of these essays, but he also ventures into pop territory, with pieces on Bjork, Bob Dylan, and how rock music and classical can play together.
Lookout for our review soon…