Gabby S. Staff Picks
Don't Call Us Dead is an absolute masterpiece, the kind of book that makes you believe in poetry's ability to change the world. Danez Smith lays out their body in all its vulnerabilities as a queer black HIV positive person living in a police state. The opening poem "summer somewhere" is especially gut-wrenching--both a eulogy for black boys and men killed by the state, and a call to re-imagine our definition of safety.
Much like Khaled Hosseni's novels about Afghanistan, Hala Alyan crafts an exquisite novel about Palestine, perpetual exodus, and the trauma that lives within family trees. Salt Houses does what literature does best: create radical empathy. A book as gorgeous as the cover.