Books

WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM: A Novel By Christine Pride and Jo Piazza (Atria Books) The novel We Are Not Like Them starts with a compelling premise. A Black journalist named Riley returns home to Philadelphia and reconnects with her childhood best friend Jen, who is white—and married to a police officer. When the cop kills a Black teenager, it’s a career-making story for Riley, a personal crisis for the pregnant Jen, and the ultimate test of their relationship.The narrative swaps perspective from character to character. Authors Christine...
L.A.-based author, educator, and activist Patrisse Cullors co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, and her 2018 memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, was a huge bestseller. Now, her new book, An Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World, is poised to once again inspire readers to fight for a better future. Here, she shares how she gets her revolutionary words out into the world.  –Emily Rems  Do you prefer to write longhand or to type? What kind of software do you use? I...
THIS IS HOW I DISAPPEAR By Mirion Malle (Drawn and Quarterly)  The graphic novel This Is How I Disappear revolves around Clara, a millennial in Montreal struggling with a recent breakup, a boss who expects full-time hours for part-time pay, and a book of poetry inspired by her breakup that she is under contract to finish writing. While her sadness is initially credited to her heartbreak, it expands into a void of numbing emptiness that leaves her increasingly disengaged from life. Haunted by the pain of a past sexual...
In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our Fall 2021 issue, here's her review of Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party.  Chessy Normile’s Great Exodus, Great Wall, Great Party is a book so good from a voice so original, you won’t want to put it down. But you’ll inevitably have to—to wipe tears from your eyes, cover your mouth as you scream with laughter, and pace the room wondering how in the hell she came up with such damn good lines....
Solange, R&B singer, songwriter, and Beyonce's little sis, has debuted her latest project: a free library featuring rare works by Black authors. In 2013, Solange founded the creative studio Saint Heron and has produced visual art and podcasts. Solange, also known as Solange Knowles, is renowned for her albums A Seat at the Table (2016) and When I Get Home (2018).  The Saint Heron website now displays 50 titles by Black authors, available to US-based readers for up to 45 days. “Season One” of Saint Heron...
The Irish author of Normal People, Sally Rooney, has yet again successfully covered a range of topics which permeate our lives in her new novel, Beautiful World, Where are You (BWWAY). While Rooney has had huge success with her previous two books, Conversations with Friends (2017) and Normal People (2018), she has received a ton of backlash recently upon the publishing of her third book. This backlash came from Rooney rejecting a publishing deal with an Israeli publisher, Modan Publishing House, due to the practice of...
In her new memoir, The Big Hurt, author and actress Erika Schickel re-examines her “bad girl” self-image and offers an intimate look into her long process of healing from emotional and sexual trauma.  “Life isn’t linear,” Schickel says in the book. “Eventually we will double back on ourselves, and hopefully we will have grown wiser, maybe we will have learned something.” It is through this lens of past and present intertwined that Schickel approaches her own story, interweaving tales of her reckless adolescence with glimpses into...
I had been living in New York City for six months and working at school for students with Autism and related disorders when I heard about Allison Moorer. More accurately, I heard her twangy Alabama drawl as she chatted with her son’s teacher during afternoon pickup. It was a fall afternoon in the midst of after school dismissal and Moorer’s voice rang disparate compared to the usual city cadences that echoed throughout our school building.   As a Virginia transplant her voice reminded me of my mom’s...
As we step into fall, we can't think of anything better than cosy up at home with a good book with a cup of hot chocolate. Need some recommendations on what to read? Check out our reviews below on books by Maggie Nelson and Nichole Perkins. On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint By Maggie Nelson (Graywolf Press) There are few cultural critics with as much name recognition as MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Maggie Nelson, author of nine books, including 2015’s New York Times bestseller, The Argonauts. Her latest, On Freedom:...
Rosa Brooks was tear-gassed in utero. As the 1960s became the ’70s, her mother, left-wing activist and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, was pregnant and protesting against the Vietnam War when she was gassed by police. Ehrenreich passed her rebellious streak down to Brooks, now 51, who grew to ask herself: How do I rebel against a rebel? Decades later, Brooks was working as a tenured law professor at Georgetown and driving her kids around the Virginia suburbs. But a sense of subversion infiltrated her days. So, in the polarized period between the election...