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Brooklyn bookstore staff picks for Feb. 21

What to read this week

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Word’s pick: “After Birth” by Elisa Albert

One of the most gloriously angry — and just plain glorious — novels I’ve ever read, “After Birth” left me breathless and madly impressed. Ari is a tired, lonely new mother whose life with baby is not the one she was sold. Mina is the very pregnant former riot grrl who moves in down the street. Their friendship is complicated, messy, honest, and fierce, and the story Albert weaves around them is equally intense. I rarely like to make promises about how you’ll think or feel after a novel, but I’m pretty sure few people could read this and look at motherhood the same way.

— Molly Templeton, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbrooklyn.com].

Greenlight Bookstore’s pick: “Signs Preceding the End of the World” by Yuri Herrera

This new book from the awesome press & Other Stories will have you turning to the first page when you’re finished the last. It is a revolving door. Makina is sent by her mother to give her brother a message, but first she has to find him. Along the way, she is helped by different men, all men who are dangerous, but whom she knows are the only way to get across the border.

— Jess Pane, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com].

Community Bookstore’s pick: “The Eleven” by Pierre Michon

When does art become history and history become art? Those are the twin questions at the heart of Pierre Michon’s novella “The Eleven.” Set around the Great Terror of the French Revolution, Michon’s mini-masterpiece uses a fictional painter and painting to explore the process by which a work of art comes to represent its own era. An interest in history is a plus, but check that box and you’re in for some of the most breathtaking prose in contemporary French literature, here in a deft Archipelago Books translation. Fans of fake biographies, historical Apocrypha, and literary forgery, look no further.

— Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.communitybookstore.net].

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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