During these uncertain times, Teju Cole is curating playlists that reflect current events and his own thoughts on history and music. Brittle Paper has compiled the playlists, which include titles like “songs without words” and “melodious uncle.” For the playlist titled “take my hand,” Cole writes: “Thinking with Arthur Jafa about making culture in freefall. Thinking with Saidiya Hartman about grieving as a way of making life with one another. A moment of rebuilding will come—for the survivors—and the features by which we will recognize each other in that rebuilding are being quietly established right now.”
You’ve probably taken one of those quizzes that lets you find out the nature of your spirit animal. If so, you’ll enjoy this novel take on the form, which lets you see which animal from a famous poem you are. (For the record, this writer got Marianne Moore’s immortal fish.)
Lindsey Drager considers the novella and argues that it is neither a feminine form nor a smaller type of novel. As she puts it, “while other fiction aims outward, the novella curls in, coiling around itself until there’s no distinction between the story’s body and the story’s shell.” Pair with our own Nick Ripatrazone’s essay on the art of the novella.
Out this week: A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin; Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma; Cities I’ve Never Lived In by Sara Majka; Hide by Matthew Griffin; The Blue Hour by Douglas Kennedy; Why They Run The Way They Do by Susan Perabo; We’ve Already Gone This Far by Patrick Dacey; and Perfect Days by Raphael Montes. For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great 2016 Book Preview.