Cover courtesy of David R. Godine

“Beneficence” by Meredith Hall, published by David R. Godine, $25.95, hardcover, on sale 9/15

The debut novel from the acclaimed author of “Without a Map,” “Beneficence” is a beautifully drawn portrait of love, family, loss and resilience. A tender family drama, the book follows a Maine farming family in the mid-century as they experience – and respond to – great tragedy.

“If the word ‘luminous’ didn’t already exist, you’d have to invent it to describe Meredith Hall’s radiant new novel,” Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo said of “Beneficence.” It’s one of a number of exciting new titles and reprints published by David R. Godine since Joshua Bodwell, long-time former director of the Maine Writers and Publisher’s Alliance, took over as editorial director at the Boston publisher last year.

Cover courtesy of Milkweed Editions

“The Century” by Éireann Lorsung, Milkweed Editions, paperback, $16, on sale 10/13

“The Century” is a stunning and timely collection of poetry from Éireann Lorsung, a visiting assistant professor of nonfiction creative writing at the University of Maine in Farmington. Published by poetry powerhouse Milkweed Editions, the poems reckon with a history of violence and domination throughout the world, from the echoes of slavery in the United States, to the Holocaust, to the war on terror. The poems both observe this history (in the great tradition of “witness” poetry) and encourage readers to join in resisting violence. Lorsung is experimental and creative in subverting rules of grammar and structure, skills that earned her a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2016.

Cover courtesy of Syracuse University Press

“Revolutions of All Colors” by Dewaine Farria, published by Syracuse University Press hardcover, $22.95, on sale 10/15

How do we define ourselves? That’s the question at the core of “Revolution of All Colors,” the new novel from Maine Review co-editor Dewaine Farria. The novel follows three young men – Gabriel, Michael and Simon – from their adolescence through their 20s as they figure out who they are and how they fit into the world. We get to see characters not seen enough in fiction – black nerds, and veterans who, like the characters in Will Mackin’s “Bring Out the Dog” and Matt Young’s “Eat the Apple,” struggle with reconciling deep injustice and love of country. The novel, Farria’s first, won the 2019 Veterans Writing Prize from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and Syracuse University Press.

Cover courtesy of Bloomsbury Academic

“Gin” by Shonna Milliken Humphrey, Bloomsbury Academic, paperback, $14.95, on sale 11/20

In their “Object Lessons” series, Bloomsbury Academic explores everyday objects and concepts in brief, handsomely designed books. The newest in the series, from Shonna Milliken Humphrey, director of sponsored programs and research compliance at Bates college, explores the history and cultural cachet of gin. Humphrey notes that gin’s role in film, music and literature is “arguably older, broader, and more complex than any other spirit.” The book is far from a staid account – strange history, trivia, recipes and anecdotes abound, and Humphrey weaves autobiographical episodes throughout, making for an engaging read. With the number of Maine distilleries pumping out gin in the double digits, it’s the perfect bartop companion for this place and time.

Josh Christie is co-owner of Print: A Bookstore in Portland, and is a freelance writer.

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