Books

    Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko HaramBy Isha Sesay(HarperCollins) In April 2014, 276 young female students were kidnapped by Boko Haram—a jihadist Nigerian terrorist group—for trying to get an education in Chibok, a small town in Borno State, Nigeria. This horrific act inspired the famous social media hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which you might’ve seen promoted by influential women including Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and Malala Yousafzai. In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Isha Sesay, a former CNN International anchor, details...
The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays By Esmé Weijun Wang(Graywolf Press)   An autobiography told through author Esmé Weijun Wang’s most pivotal, painful, and significant experiences with mental illness, The Collected Schizophrenias is a no-holds-barred portrayal of a diagnosis that has been misunderstood for far too long. In the first essay, Wang opens with the facts: the DSM’s definition of schizoaffective disorder, and her official diagnosis eight years after her first hallucination. From there, Wang delves into more personal experiences: weighing whether she can have children; attending in-patient treatment; and navigating—then ultimately...
Territory of Light: A NovelBy Y??ko Tsushima(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)     A mother raising a child on her own is perhaps one of the world’s most ubiquitous tales. Heart and hope pair well with despair and anxiety in author Y?ko Tsushima’s novel Territory of Light, about a mother who divorces, battles depression, and overcomes financial barriers in the heart of Tokyo. Originally published in 12 chapters in the Japanese literary magazine Gunz? in the late 1970s, this English translation of the story by Geraldine Harcourt is...
Bowlaway: A NovelBy Elizabeth McCracken(Ecco) Elizabeth McCracken’s last novel was released 18 years ago, and although there’ve been short stories and a soul-shaking memoir to fill the void, here comes Bowlaway to make up for lost time. Whole lives through multiple generations are described on these pages. But the story opens with the simple discovery of someone sleeping in an early 20th-century cemetery in Massachusetts—an adult orphan who soon transforms the town with her split skirts, peculiar preferences, and passion for candlepin bowling.  Like any family’s story,...
  Pam Grossman is known to be a badass in the occult scene: she’s respected and admired for her knowledge and dedication to her magical practice. The author and host of “The Witch Wave” podcast has just written a new book—which is amazing in every way.  In Pam Grossman’s latest book, Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power, she reflects on her journey to becoming a witch, creating an alchemical blend of honesty, sincerity, wisdom, strength, and humor. From her explorations as a “teen witch” to...
  What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the SilenceEdited by Michele Filgate(Simon & Schuster)      Editor Michele Filgate’s anthology, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, is a book revealing just that—unspoken conversations between authors and their mothers that have shaped their relationships for better or worse. It was inspired by Filgate’s Longreads essay by the same name, which grappled with her stepfather’s abuse, her mother’s silence, and the wedge it drove between them. Moving and important, the essay went viral...

Thick: And Other Essays By Tressie McMillan Cottom (The New Press) Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essay collection, Thick, illuminates social structures that assure the failure of many, but most especially Black women. From dismissal of Black pain to capitalism’s hunger for inadequacy, the truths Cottom tackles not only need to be heard but also demand to be believed. Readers will feel both engaged by the author’s quippy cadence and impressed by her absolute authority on the subjects of beauty, media, money, and how these forces intersect with Black feminism. The...
  Southern Lady Code: EssaysBy Helen Ellis(Doubleday) Helen Ellis, the bestselling author of American Housewife, has done it again! Southern Lady Code is an equally funny collection of essays about how Ellis’ upbringing in Alabama shaped who she is today. Throughout the book, her mother gives advice about how to survive and succeed as a woman. When instructing her daughter on how to protect herself, Ellis’ mother says, “Helen Michelle, what you do is empty a fake lemon juice lemon and fill it with hairspray. When you squeeze...
    One From the Heart BROOKLYN-BASED STYLIST LaTonya Yvette inspires a dedicated following with her eponymous lifestyle blog, as much for the creative way she layers an outfit as for her honest reflections on motherhood and her changing body. Her first book, Woman of Color (Abrams Image), is a memoir, but it is also a map for living, filled with beautiful images and how-to sections that break down such essentials as tying a hair wrap and dealing with grief or bullies. But Yvette’s viewpoint isn’t the only...
In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our May/June 2019 issue, here's her review of Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson Andrea Gibson has been one of the world’s most important spoken-word poets for well over a decade. But with their latest collection, Lord of the Butterflies (Button Poetry Press), the non-binary author has evolved into something far more profound; a deeply inspired writer, wholly unafraid of life’s unknowns. The book takes a potent and critical look at the...