New at Peter White Public Library

“Class” by Stephanie Land

In her second memoir, the author of “Maid” recounts her experience of seeking higher education, while also being a single-mother below the poverty line. Through her engaging, precise storytelling, Land vividly illustrates the inconsistencies of a society that claims to value hard work and persistence, while also being built around unpredictable bureaucratic and educational systems. “Class” is a testimony to both the conflicts of personal ambition and motherhood, as well as questioning who has the right to create art, and what kind of work is valued in America.

“Alphabetical Diaries” by Sheila Heti

This unconventional collection comprises diary-entry excerpts that are arranged according to the alphabetical order of their first letters. Each section accumulates meaning, and momentum, not from a linear timeline but from memories and images that contrast. “Calculate your money and move forward. Call Fiona. Call her and see how she’s doing. Called Fiona. Calling up bad memories reinforces them to the exclusion of the good ones and turns the good ones bad. Came back here and worked and worked. Can I be happy in this way? Can I be truthful?” Full of questions, confessions, and disclosures, this patchwork shows a woman searching for answers and order in life.

“Whiskey Tender: A Memoir” by Deborah Jackson Taffa

This stunning memoir recalls Taffa’s childhood on the traditional lands of the Quechan (Yuma) people on a reservation in California, then in a Navajo Nation border town in New Mexico. The move between her two homes took place in 1976, was inspired, in part, by her parents’ hopes for their children to “be mainstream Americans.” In spite of this, as she grows, Taffa avidly researches her ancestral history searching for links and stories. With visceral prose and an exceptional voice, she tells a story of building identity, and disenchantment with an era’s American Dream.

“Grief is For People” by Sloane Crosley

In her new memoir, Sloane Crosley, well known for her humorous essay collections (“Look Alive Out There,” “I Was Told There’d Be Cake”) takes on a somewhat different topic: grief. The book was launched into being by the death of her mentor and close friend, and is divided into sections that allude to the Five Stages of Grief. Relatable is the tension of wanting to hold someone’s memory close, while contemplating a future without them. As always, Crosley tells this story with precision and brutal honesty.

By Ann Richmond Garrett

Administrative Assistant


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