to rule the desert, by Monica Robinson
Orpheus and Eurydice in the American Southwest
This debut novella from Philly writer Monica Robinson is inspired by a story ripe for re-imagining: the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice—with a queer, Southern Gothic twist. Jordan Cameron reviews.
blue: season, by Chris Lombardi
The gendered lines of genius
Philly novelist Chris Lombardi tackles the legacy of James Joyce—and perhaps all creative, eccentric people who have the benefit of being men—in this intricate novel, casting new eyes on Joyce’s daughter Lucia. Michael R. Fisher reviews.
Songs for the Gusle, by Prosper Mérimée; translated by Laura Nagle
Folklore and fakelore
A recent translation by Laura Nagle brings the early work of Prosper Mérimée to English. Songs for the Gusle brims with 19th-century Romantic spirit while keeping a game afoot in the footnotes. Helen Walsh reviews.
Street Smart x 7: A Street Smart Series Omnibus, edited by Alison M. Lewis
Stories of cities
Seven stories that were originally published individually come together in this new collection from Philly indie publisher Frayed Edge Press. The diverse collection is unified by vivid characters and urban settings. Crystal Sparrow reviews.
Side Notes from the Archivist, by Anastacia-Reneé
Archives and alchemy
Poet Anastacia-Reneé might as well be a chemist: her mix of genres in this new collection is a crackling reactive substance that ranges widely without ever losing the author’s singular voice. Emily R. Zarevich reviews.
A new edition of The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, by W.E.B. Du Bois
“One of the most beautifully written social-science books ever”
UPenn professor of sociology and Africana studies Tukufu Zuberi says W.E.B. Du Bois’s 1899 book The Philadelphia Negro is a beautifully written, essential text. It’s out in a new edition from Penn Press. Pamela J. Forsythe reviews.
You or Someone You Love: Reflections from an Abortion Doula, by Hannah Matthews
One year after Dobbs, anti-abortion politics have a “crystal clear” impact in Philly exam rooms
The damage of last year’s Supreme Court decision ending our right to abortion continues to unfold. T.S. Mendola speaks with local providers, and considers You or Someone You Love a sensitive new book by abortion doula Hannah Matthews.
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No Greater Love, by John A. Siegfried and Kevin Ferris
The story of Philly’s only Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War
A new biography traces the family and neighborhood life and military service of West Oak Lane native Michael Crescenz, who saved many lives during his service in Vietnam at age 19. Andrea Smith reviews.
Exploring the nature of Philly with Mike Weilbacher’s Wild Philly
Coyotes, falcons, and beavers—oh my!
Mike Weilbacher details the amazing nature in and around the city in Wild Philly. Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer previews.
Fashion Brand Stories, by Joseph H. Hancock II
Great branding = quality + mythology
Drexel professor and fashion journal editor Joseph H. Hancock II’s Fashion Brand Stories was originally written for students of the industry, but with its third edition, the book proves of much wider interest. Pamela J. Forsythe reviews.