13 New Books for June

This month, we’ve got our eyes on Lesson in Red by Maria Hummel, Everything Now by Rosecrans Baldwin, The Confession of Copeland Cane by Keenan Norris, and 10 other titles by writers from the West.

alta june 2021 books
Alta
1 BRIGHT SPECIMEN, BY JULIE POOLE
bright specimen, julie poole
Deep Vellum Press

In this collection, inspired by the largest herbarium in the southwestern United States, Poole—a poet raised in the Pacific Northwest—weaves her words around images of pressed flowers, allowing readers to understand all the ways in which we are interconnected with the plants around us. Deep Vellum Press, June 1

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2 THE CONFESSION OF COPELAND CANE, BY KEENAN NORRIS
the confessions of copeland cane, keenan norris
Unnamed Press

Norris’s debut novel is set in East Oakland and follows Copeland Cane V, a teenage boy who tries to forge a better life for himself against a vivid backdrop of poverty, surveillance, and police brutality. Unnamed Press, June 15

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3 EVERYTHING NOW: LESSONS FROM THE CITY-STATE OF LOS ANGELES, BY ROSECRANS BALDWIN
everything now, rosecrans
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Baldwin offers an amalgam of voices in the form of stories, conversations, and reflections that add up to a spectacular collage portrait of Los Angeles. The result is a daring and innovative excavation of the City of Angels as “the Great American City-State.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June 15

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4 FOUCAULT IN CALIFORNIA [A TRUE STORY—WHEREIN THE GREAT FRENCH PHILOSOPHER DROPS ACID IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH], BY SIMEON WADE
foucault in california, simeon wade
Heyday

In 1975, Michel Foucault traveled to Southern California for a long weekend to guest-lecture at the Claremont Graduate School, stopping along the way to drop acid in Death Valley. The saga—newly reissued in paperback—is recounted by Wade, who was Foucault’s host. Heyday, June 1

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5 FUTURE FEELING, BY JOSS LAKE
future feeling, joss lake
Soft Skull Press

This first novel takes us on a quest in which the alienated protagonist, Penfield R. Henderson, must rescue a young trans man after accidentally hexing him. Moving from dingy California motels to bustling New York City streets, Future Feeling illustrates the significance of community and connection. Soft Skull Press, June 1

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6 THE KISSING BUG: A TRUE STORY OF A FAMILY, AN INSECT, AND A NATION’S NEGLECT OF A DEADLY DISEASE, BY DAISY HERNÁNDEZ
the kissing bug, daisy hernandez
Tin House Books

In The Kissing Bug, Hernández undertakes a deep inquiry into Chagas, a rare parasitic disease that took the life of her beloved aunt. Her investigation traces the effects of Chagas on minority communities, revealing how poverty, racism, and public policy have intersected to disrupt adequate healthcare interventions. Tin House Books, June 1

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7 LESSON IN RED, BY MARIA HUMMEL
lesson in red, maria hummel
Counterpoint Press

After the body of an up-and-coming artist is found on a prestigious art school campus, Maggie Richer (whom readers first encountered in Hummel’s novel Still Lives) discovers a series of clues in the dead woman’s art. Counterpoint Press, June 1

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8 LORNA MOTT COMES HOME, BY DIANE JOHNSON
lorna mott comes home, diane johnson
Knopf

From the two-time National Book Award finalist comes a new novel about Lorna Mott Dumas, a woman in her late 60s who decides to leave her husband of 20 years, their three children, and the home they share in his French ancestral village to return to San Francisco, where she seeks to begin anew. Knopf, June 29

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9 THE PENDLETON FIELD GUIDE TO CAMPFIRE STORIES, BY PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS
the pendleton field guide to campfire stories, pendleton woolen mills
Chronicle Books

Full of vivid encounters with wild creatures and myths both old and new, this Pendleton Field Guide kicks the campfire story up a notch. The narratives are interspersed with Pendleton patterns and illustrations that will have you dreaming of a roaring fire and a night in the woods. Chronicle Books, June 1

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10 THE REVENGE OF THE REAL: POLITICS FOR A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD, BY BENJAMIN BRATTON
the revenge of the real, benjamin bratton
Verso Books

In this informative inquiry, UCSD professor Bratton contends with the different strategies nations around the world employed to deal with COVID-19 and the transformations those societies underwent as a result. The Revenge of the Real argues that biotechnologies are essential to politics and puts forth a plan for post-pandemic politics focused on equity. Verso Books, June 29

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11 THE TERRIBLE FOURS, BY ISHMAEL REED
the terrible fours, ishmael reed
Baraka Books

Reed’s latest novel is a continuation of his satirical series on American politics (which includes The Terrible Twos and The Terrible Threes), as his characters must grapple with an imminent alien invasion in the midst of political mayhem. Baraka Books, June 15

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12 WAKE: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF WOMEN-LED SLAVE REVOLTS, BY REBECCA HALL (ILLUSTRATED BY HUGO MARTÍNEZ)
wake, rebecca hall
Simon & Schuster

Hall uses detailed research to evoke the often-erased history of women-led slave revolts while also telling her own story as she contends with the legacy of slavery in her life. Part nonfiction work and part graphic novel, the book features illustrations by Hugo Martínez. Simon & Schuster, June 1

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13 WILD SOULS: FREEDOM AND FLOURISHING IN THE NON-HUMAN WORLD, BY EMMA MARRIS
wild souls, emma marris
Bloomsbury Publishing

Oregon-based Marris has written an extraordinary book about our relationship and obligation to the nonhuman corners of our planet. At its heart, Wild Souls seeks to address the following questions: What are the ethics of hunting? And what is the meaning of ecology in a world increasingly, and dangerously, sullied by human beings? Bloomsbury Publishing, June 29

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