Category Archives: Writing for Writers

Recommend for First-Year Composition and Rhetoric courses.

We Are the Weather

We Are the Weather

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Hardcover
288 pages • $25.00
ISBN: 9780374280000
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Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Jonathan Safran Foer

“Jonathan Safran Foer’s second book of nonfiction is an eye-opening collection of mostly short essays expressing both despair and hope over the climate crisis, especially around individual choice.”

The New York Times Book Review

Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know. Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response? In We Are the Weather, Jonathan Safran Foer explores the central global dilemma of our time in a surprising, deeply personal, and urgent new way. The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves—with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. We have, he reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic. Only collective action will save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat—and don’t eat—for breakfast.

Jonathan Safran Foer

© Jeff Mermelstein

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Here I Am, and of the nonfiction book Eating Animals. His work has received numerous awards and has been translated into thirty-six languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

We Are the Weather has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Lenoir-Rhyne University (NC)

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The Sun Does Shine

The Sun Does Shine

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
272 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250309471
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How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin

Foreword by Bryan Stevenson
Oprah’s Book Club Selection
Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

“No one I have represented has inspired me more than Anthony Ray Hinton and I believe his compelling and unique story will similarly inspire our nation and readers all over the world.”

—Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of    Just Mercy

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence, and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but to find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

Anthony Hinton (c) Cody Love

© Cody Love

Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly thirty years on death row for crimes he did not commit. Released in April 2015, Hinton now speaks widely on prison reform and the power of faith and forgiveness. He lives in Alabama.

The Sun Does Shine has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Metropolitan State University of Denver; St. John’s University (NY); Utah Valley University; University of California Merced; University of Alabama Honors College

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Falter

Locking Up Our Own

Henry Holt and Co.
Paperback
304 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781250256850
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Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

Bill McKibben

“He has gathered the most vivid statistics, distilled history to its juiciest turns, and made the case as urgently and clearly as can be: The whole breadth of our existence—the ‘human game’—is in jeopardy.”

The Washington Post

Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Falter—“a fresh perspective with surprising examples and an engaging writing style” (Jared Diamond, The New York Times Book Review)—tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history—and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebearers built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.

Bill McKibben

© Nancie Battaglia

Bill McKibben is the founder of the environmental organization 350.org and was among the first to have warned of the dangers of global warming. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, and the winner of the Gandhi Prize, the Thomas Merton Prize, and the Right Livelihood Prize. He is the author of fifteen books, including the bestsellers The End of Nature, Eaarth, and Deep Economy. He lives in Vermont.

One Person, No Vote

One Person No Vote

Bloomsbury
Paperback
368 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781635571394
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How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy 

Carol Anderson

Longlisted for the National Book Award
Foreword by Senator Dick Durbin

“Anderson’s prose is unflinching, and she wastes no time as she marches the reader from the openly racist, clear-cutting suppression tactics of the early 20th century toward the carefully veneered, ruthlessly efficient disenfranchisement campaign of the present.”

—NPR, Best Books of the Year

In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice. Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. In a powerful new afterword, she examines the repercussions of the 2018 midterm elections. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.

Carol Anderson

© Dave Wetty, Cloud Prime Photography

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of many books, including White Rage and One Person, No Vote. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Somewhere in the Unknown World

Somewhere in the Unknown World

Metropolitan Books
Paperback
272 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250296856
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A Collective Refugee Memoir

Kao Kalia Yang

Available in October 2020

Back in the 1980s, Minnesota’s University Avenue was barely clinging to life. Lined with church thrift stores, boarded windows, and prostitutes leaning against streetlights, the sidewalks were thick with bloody, discarded needles. Today, University Avenue is a bustling commercial center, a hub of Halal butchers, Mexican carnicerias, grocery stores selling delicacies to new arrivals from Ethiopia and Bosnia, Iraq and China. A dying strip of America has been revived by the stateless. As the country’s doors are closing and nativism is on the rise, Kao Kalia Yang—herself a refugee from Laos—set out to tell the stories of the refugees to whom University Avenue is now home. Here are people who have summoned the energy and determination to make a new life even as they carry an extraordinary burden of hardship, loss, and emotional damage: Irina, an ex-Soviet, who still hoards magical American fruit—bananas!—under her bed; the Thai brothers of Vinai and their business selling purified water to gullible immigrants; the Kareni boys, who have brought Minnesota to basketball glory. In Yang’s exquisite, poetic, and necessary telling, the voices of refugees from all over the world restore humanity to America’s strangers and redeem its long history of welcome.

Kao Kalia Yang (c) Shee Yang

© Shee Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Song Poet, which received the 2017 Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, and the PEN USA Literary Award. Her book The Latehomecomer also received the Minnesota Book Award. Yang, a regular contributor to NPR’s On Belief, lives in Minneapolis.

Sigh, Gone

Flatiron Books
Hardcover
320 pages • $27.99
ISBN: 9781250194718
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A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In

Phuc Tran

In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Phuc Tran immigrates to America along with his family. By sheer chance they land in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small town where the Trans struggle to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books such as The Metamorphosis, The Scarlet Letter, The Iliad, and more, Tran navigates the push and pull of finding and accepting himself despite the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, teenage rebellion, and assimilation, all while attempting to meet the rigid expectations set by his immigrant parents. Sigh, Gone explores one man’s bewildering experiences of abuse, racism, and tragedy and reveals redemption and connection in books and punk rock. Against the hairspray-and-synthesizer backdrop of the ’80s, he finds solace and kinship in the wisdom of classic literature, and in the subculture of punk rock, he finds affirmation and echoes of his disaffection. In his journey for self-discovery, Tran ultimately finds refuge and inspiration in the art that shapes—and ultimately saves—him.

Phuc Tran (c) Jeff Roberts Imaging jpg

© Jeff Roberts Imaging

Phuc Tran has been a high school Latin teacher for more than twenty years while also simultaneously establishing himself as a highly sought-after tattoo artist in the Northeast. His 2012 TEDx talk “Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive” was featured on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour. He has also been an occasional guest on Maine Public Radio, discussing grammar; the Classics; and Strunk and White’s legacy. He currently tattoos at and owns Tsunami Tattoo in Portland, Maine, where he lives with his family.

My Time Among the Whites

9780374191337_FC

Picador
Paperback
208 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781250299437
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Notes from an Unfinished Education

Jennine Capó Crucet

“Remarkable . . . My Time Among the Whites is also a thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a first-generation college student, a child of immigrants, and a professor to boot.

Los Angeles Review of Books

In this sharp and candid collection of essays, critically acclaimed writer and first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born. Raised in Miami and the daughter of Cuban refugees, Crucet examines the political and personal contours of American identity and the physical places where those contours find themselves smashed: be it a rodeo town in Nebraska, a
university campus in upstate New York, or Disney World in Florida. Crucet illuminates how she came to see her exclusion from aspects of the theoretical American Dream, despite her family’s attempts to fit in with white American culture—beginning with their ill-fated plan to name her after the winner of the Miss America pageant. In prose that is both fearless and slyly humorous, My Time Among the Whites examines the sometimes hopeful, sometimes deeply flawed ways in which many Americans have learned to adapt, exist, and—in the face of all signals saying otherwise—perhaps even thrive in a country that never imagined them here.

Jennine Capo Crucet

© Monica McGovern

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of two previous books: the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers and the story collection How to Leave Hialeah. She is currently a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, as well as a previous recipient of the O. Henry Prize, the Picador Fellowship, and the Hillsdale Award for the Short Story, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Raised in Miami, Florida, she is an associate professor in the Department of English and the Institute for Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska.

The Poisoned City

The Poisoned City

Picador
Paperback
336 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781250181619
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Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy

Anna Clark

“An exceptional work of journalism. Clark delivers a thorough account of a still-evolving public health crisis, one with an unmistakable racial subtext . . . Her book is a deeply reported account of catastrophic mismanagement. But it’s also a celebration of civic engagement, a tribute to those who are fighting back against governmental malpractice.”

San Francisco Chronicle

When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins. Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water supply to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint, mostly poor and African American, were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives. It took eighteen months of activism by city residents and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. By that time, twelve people had died and Flint’s children had suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster has only just begun. In the first full account of this American tragedy, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision-making. Places like Flint are set up to fail—and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences can be fatal.

Anna Clark

© Philip Dattilo

Anna Clark is a journalist living in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other publications. Anna edited A Detroit Anthology, a Michigan Notable Book, and she has been a writer-in-residence in Detroit public schools as part of the InsideOut Literary Arts program. She has also been a Fulbright fellow in Nairobi, Kenya and a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan.

The Poisoned City has been adopted for First-Year Experience program at:

Rider University (NJ)

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Automating Inequality

Automating Inequality

Picador
Paperback
288 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781250215789
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How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

Virginia Eubanks

Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award

“Riveting (an accomplishment for a book on technology and policy). Its argument should be widely circulated, to poor people, social service workers and policymakers, but also throughout the professional classes. Everyone needs to understand that technology is no substitute for justice.”

The New York Times Book Review

Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health, and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems—rather than humans—control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor. In Automating Inequality, Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The U.S. has always used its most cutting-edge science and technology to contain, investigate, discipline and punish the destitute. Like the county poorhouse and scientific charity before them, digital tracking and automated decision-making hide poverty from the middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhumane choices: which families get food and which starve, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. In the process, they weaken democracy and betray our most cherished national values.

Virginia Eubanks

© Sadaf Rassoul Cameron

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Digital Dead End and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. Today, she is a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, New York.

Voices from the Rust Belt

Voices from the Rust Belt

Picador
Paperback
256 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250162977
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Edited by Anne Trubek

“The essays run the gamut from sad and nostalgic to angry or hopeful, inviting the reader to see these towns as more than just a negative headline or a statistic.”

New York Post

Where is America’s Rust Belt? It’s not quite a geographic region but a linguistic one, first introduced as a concept in 1984 by Walter Mondale. In the modern vernacular, it’s closely associated with the “Post-Industrial Midwest,” and includes Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as well as parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, and New York. The region reflects the country’s manufacturing center, which, over the past forty years, has been in decline. In the 2016 election, the Rust Belt’s economic woes became a political talking point, and helped pave the way for a Donald Trump victory. But the region is neither monolithic nor easily understood. The truth is much more nuanced. Voices from the Rust Belt pulls together a distinct variety of voices from people who call the region home. Voices that emerge from familiar Rust Belt cities—Detroit, Cleveland, Flint, and Buffalo, among other places—and observe, with grace and sensitivity, the changing economic and cultural realities for generations of Americans.

Anne Trubek (c) Tanya Rosen-Jones

© Tanya Rosen-Jones

Anne Trubek is the founder and director of Belt Publishing. She is the author of The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting and A Skeptic’s Guide to Writers’ Houses, and the co-editor of Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology.

Voices from the Rust Belt has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Johnson State Community College (KS)