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New year, new books, new worlds

January 9, 2015

Happy new year!  This January, days have been dark in more ways than one, with an act of shocking brutality marring our celebrations at the start of 2015.  It’s a moment to renew our commitment to struggle, to invigorate our consciences, and to cast the light of imagination into the world more brightly than ever.  We’re pleased to have several books forthcoming that do exactly that.

 

Up-Down_jacketREVThe Up-Down
by Barry Gifford
January 13, 2015

In this searing conclusion to the Sailor and Lula series that has made him a cult literary icon, Barry Gifford takes us on a cross-country vision quest led by Pace Roscoe Ripley, Sailor and Lula’s son, in pursuit of the up-down, a mysterious fifth direction that forms the axis of all thought and imagination.  In the hilarious yet brooding neo-noir tradition of Gifford’s best work, The Up-Down is a capstone that brings us back to beginnings, a conclusion that leaves us precisely where started, and a lyrical meditation on a world that is, as Gifford has famously written, “wild at heart and weird on top.”

 

Companeras_webCompañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories
by Hilary Klein
February 24, 2015

February 9 of this year will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Mexican army’s notorious sweep through Chiapas in violation of the ceasefire it had reached with the Zapatista movement the previous January — an infamous date in the history of the movement.  In Compañeras, New York-based community organizer Hilary Klein offers a remarkably vivid portrait of the women of the EZLN, monumental in their courage and fierce in their determination.  With an introduction by the revered scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Compañeras tells a story few of us have heard.

 

7S-Marazziti comps B-2Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty
by Mario Marazziti
February 24, 2015

In Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty, Mario Marazziti does what might sound impossible: address the death penalty, the most serious and dire of subjects, with the light intimacy and gentle insistence of a caring friend.  An Italian legislator and spokesperson for the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marazziti has spent years at the forefront of the global struggle against capital punishment, and his book blends reportage, analysis, and reflection to present a nuanced perspective on the current state, and likely future, of the ultimate punishment.  An introduction by Reinventing Bach author Paul Elie rounds out the collection.

 

OM-Sheehan-PB mechIn the Spirit of Homebirth
by Bronwyn Preece
February 24, 2015

The past ten years have seen an increase in US homebirths of more than fifty percent.  In this stunning collection, Canadian midwife, performance artist, and pioneer of off-the-grid living Bronwyn Preece brings together the stories of new parents, expectant couples, midwives, and doulas to document today’s vital rediscovery of ancient birthing techniques — as well as the prudent ways in which they are being supplemented by contemporary science.  Enriched by poetry and art through which new and expectant mothers tell their stories, In the Spirit of Homebirth is not only a book of great value to couples who face birthing decisions, but also a testament to the generative and expressive powers of women everywhere.

 

That’s probably enough for now, but before we sign off, we’d like to share one of the highlights of our holiday season.  It’s a video of Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello reading one of Seven Stories’ runaway hits of 2014, Innosanto Nagara’s A is for Activist, the board book for the children of the ninety-nine percent.  A gift from Seven Stories, in joy and resistance, to the young and the young at heart.  Enjoy.

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