3. After Birth by Elisa Albert (Released Feb 17, 2015)
After Birth follows Ari, a new mom who is struggling —not with being a mom, but with being a wife, friend, and person who just created a human child. Elisa Albert’s portrayal of motherhood and friendship is honest, funny, heartbreaking, and relatable (regardless of whether you’re a mom or not). Albert, who has an amazingly fresh, unapologetic voice, creates a female character who pushes boundaries and says what you’re afraid to say. She’s the tough best friend you’ve always, always wanted.
4. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Released March 10, 2015)
Hanya Yanagihara masterfully introduces her readers to four complex men who will wreck you completely. Centered around the tragic life of Jude St. Francis, the novel follows the lives of four friends who, after college, follow their passions, their desires, and their fears. Like most 20-somethings, they’re met with obstacles, as well as crumbs of success that eventually lead them to adulthood. Often times (most times, in fact), A Little Life is frustrating, painful, and deeply saddening. Horrendous, ugly moments are encountered, but there’s also beauty and untouchable brilliance. So, so much of it.
5. Pelican by Emily O’Neill (Released February 15, 2015)
Pelican, a poetry collection which won YesYes Book’s 2014 Pamet River Prize, is a treasure for the world, nay, the universe. Emily, whose work has been featured in The Best Indie Lit New England and Sugar House Review, writes with such poise and delicacy —each word is weighty and thoughtful and beautiful and unforgiving. Emily’s poems are ruthless with language. They’re sharp and lovely, leaving an impression that not only lasts, but leaves a tremendous imprint.
6. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper (Released May 12th, 2015)
Jessica Hopper, who was the music editor for Rookie and is currently a senior editor for the prestigious music publication, Pitchfork, is the female voice in rock ‘n roll literature we’ve been thirstily waiting for. Everything from thorough examinations of Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz to smart critiques of Animal Collective’s body of work, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic is brazen and aggressively asserts its much-needed place in the realm of music criticism.