Looking for something to read this summer? Slip these forthcoming titles from local authors and presses into your vacation bags.

Searching for Amylu Danzer

John Rosenthal [Waywiser Press; June 2021]

A Chapel Hill writer and photographer plumbs the depths of time, memory, and loss in this memoir as he recounts a childhood friend, Amylu, who grew up and disappeared at the age of 20. Her powerful imprint on his life in the decades that have followed is acute and aching. This slim, poetic volume reflects those aches, and will resonate with those who have wrestled with impossible questions after loss. —Sarah Edwards

Bone House

K-Ming Chang [Bull City Press; June 29]

From Lambda Literary Award finalist K-Ming Chang, we can expect this 25-page micro-chapbook to be a queer Taiwanese-American retelling of Wuthering Heights. Chang, also a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree known for her novel Bestiary, writes the story of three women as they interrogate their complicated relationships with love, loss, violence, and history. —Rebecca Schneid

Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old

Steven Petrow [Penguin Random House Publishing; June 29]

An inevitable part of being young is reckoning with the fear of getting older. Thirteen years ago, Hillsborough writer Petrow started channelling the fears and frustrations that came up, as he watched his own parents age, into a list: what he wouldn’t do when he got to be their age. He then converted that list into this book—a sage guide to aging that’s equal parts funny and practical, addressing the common, rational (and irrational) fears attached to the process. —RS

Nate’s New Age

Michael Hanson [Atmosphere Press; 2021]

In his new novel, UNC-Chapel Hill librarian Michael Hanson follows Nate, a 28-year-old skydiving instructor who is riddled with inner demons and searching for meaning (primarily, yes, through sex and substances) as he angles and longs for more. Hanson, described by James Dickey as a “dead-serious and talented writer,” hits the mark with his ability to write a character’s flaws with clarity, and then give him the pages to grow. —SE

Springer Mountain: Meditations on Killing and Eating

Wyatt Williams [UNC Press; September 2021]

What are the implications of eating meat? In this release, former Atlanta restaurant critic Wyatt Williams applies years of investigative reporting to uncomfortable questions about animals and our appetites that, as factory farming proliferates, are only becoming more urgent. More profanely poetic than polemic—Williams is a kindred spirit to experimental essayists like Eula Biss—Springer Mountain gestures at the beating heart of life’s big inquiries. —SE


Sara Ahmed [Duke University Press; September 2021]

In her powerful new book, British Australian feminist Sara Ahmed builds on a series of oral and written testimonies from students and employees who have complained to higher education universities about harassment and inequality. Here, she asks readers to think about some inescapable questions: What happens when complaints are pushed under the rug? How is complaint radical feminism? And, how can we learn about power from those who choose to fight against the powerful? RS 

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