Greenlight Bookstore’s pick: “The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches” by Gaétan Soucy
Do you crave a story that is strange beyond measure? In this novel, translated from French, two siblings grow up isolated from the outside world with an authoritarian father as their only point of contact. The language they speak and the universe they inhabit are wholly of their own creation. When the father commits suicide, the siblings must make contact with the villagers to acquire a coffin. All unravels from there. Nothing is as it seems. This book is about cruelty and guilt, and it cannot be tamed.
— Melissa Hohl, 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: “Epitaph of a Small Winner” by Machado De Assis
In this strange novel, our narrator Braz Cubas recounts his life story, beginning with his death. From beyond the grave, Braz looks back on a life well lived, or so it seems to him. The reality, as it play out before us, is more complicated. Written in 1880, this brutal satire of art, politics, intellectual life, and bourgeois values was far ahead of its time, and it influenced a century of Central and South American novelists from Marquez and Borges to Cortazar and Bolano. It is both well crafted and surprisingly hilarious.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.communitybookstore.net].
Word’s pick: “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” by Mark Bray
Forget the news. Forget social media. If you want to understand not only antifascism’s origins and tactics but those of fascism as well, then read this book. In it, Bray presents a clear-cut and compelling trajectory of the global antifa movements that opposed Mussolini and Hitler as well as their modern-day analogues. Though assembled somewhat quickly in response to Trump’s presidency, “Antifa” is an essential resource for those wishing to gain a better understanding of how to resist fascism.