3 Books Published by Tin House Books on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi A Girl Is a Body of Water

by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Tin House Books (Sep 01, 2020)
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In her twelfth year, Kirabo, a young Ugandan girl, confronts a piercing question that has haunted her childhood: who is my mother? Kirabo has been raised by women in the small village of Nattetta—her grandmother, her best friend, and her many aunts, but the absence of her mother follows her like a shadow. Complicating these feelings of abandonment, as Kirabo comes of age she feels the emergence of a mysterious second self, a headstrong and confusing force inside her at odds with her sweet and obedient nature.

Seeking answers, Kirabo begins spending afternoons with Nsuuta, a local witch, trading stories and learning not only about this force inside her, but about the woman who birthed her, who she learns is alive but not ready to meet. Nsuuta also explains that Kirabo has a streak of the "first woman"—an independent, original state that has been all but lost to women.

Kirabo’s journey to reconcile her rebellious origins, alongside her desire to reconnect with her mother and to honor her family’s expectations, is rich in the folklore of Uganda and an arresting exploration of what it means to be a modern girl in a world that seems determined to silence women. Makumbi’s unforgettable novel is a sweeping testament to the true and lasting connections between history, tradition, family, friends, and the promise of a different future.


Click for more detail about A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib A Fortune for Your Disaster

by Hanif Abdurraqib
Tin House Books (Sep 03, 2019)
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"When an author’s unmitigated brilliance shows up on every page, it’s tempting to skip a description and just say, Read this! Such is the case with this breathlessly powerful, deceptively breezy book of poetry." —Booklist, Starred Review

In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It’s a book about a mother’s death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about forgiveness, and how none of the author’s black friends wanted to listen to "Don’t Stop Believin’." It’s about wrestling with histories, personal and shared. Abdurraqib uses touchstones from the world outside—from Marvin Gaye to Nikola Tesla to his neighbor’s dogs—to create a mirror, inside of which every angle presents a new possibility.

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Click for more detail about When the Only Light Is Fire by Saeed Jones When the Only Light Is Fire

by Saeed Jones
Tin House Books (Nov 15, 2011)
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In his debut chapbook of poetry, Saeed Jones walks on the periphery of the South, those places on the outskirts of town, in bars after midnight, and on dangerous backroads where most people keep their heads down or look the other way. Through Texas and Tennessee, Alabama and the riverbeds of the Mississippi, these poems wrap themselves in cloaks of masks and comfort; garments we learn are flammable if we stand too close to flames. D. A. Powell says of Saeed’s work, "Like Aeneas carrying his father from the ruined city of Troy, Saeed Jones brings all of his beginnings—the roots and tendrils of the kudzu vines, the ’sky burned to blazing, ’ the lore and pain and wisdom of salvation—into a new space where art and beauty stagger the mind; where the story of transformation becomes part of the cultural body of who we are. I get shout-happy when I read these poems; they are the gospel; they are the good news of the sustaining power of imagination, tenderness and outright joy; they are the birth of a new poetry that baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire."