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16 Of The Most Exciting Books Of 2015 From Independent Publishers

More power to small presses.

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Jarry Lee / BuzzFeed

1. The Musical Brain by César Aira (New Directions)

New Directions

César Aira, the Argentine master of short fiction, returns with The Musical Brain, a highly imaginative collection of short stories, and his first to appear in English. Described as both avant-garde and "delirious," The Musical Brain is a dizzying trip into the lives of "oddballs, freaks, and crazies."

Publication date: Mar. 3

2. Coyote by Colin Winnette (Les Figues Press)

In Colin Winnette’s Coyote, a young girl’s sudden disappearance compels her devastated parents to go on a desperate search, taking them from the deep, dark woods to the bright lights of TV talk shows. But most sinister and disturbing of all is what is left when the search is over, and the parents must face their loss with only each other.Publication date: Jan. 20
Les Figues Press

In Colin Winnette’s Coyote, a young girl’s sudden disappearance compels her devastated parents to go on a desperate search, taking them from the deep, dark woods to the bright lights of TV talk shows. But most sinister and disturbing of all is what is left when the search is over, and the parents must face their loss with only each other.

Publication date: Jan. 20

3. The Infernal by Mark Doten (Graywolf Press)

Mark Doten's debut novel The Infernal is a literary take on the "war on terror" exploring what it means to live in a post-9/11 society. Set during the Iraq War, The Infernal introduces a boy found in the Akkad valley with severe burns who is interrogated and tortured over the course of four days.Publication date: Feb. 17
Graywolf Press

Mark Doten's debut novel The Infernal is a literary take on the "war on terror" exploring what it means to live in a post-9/11 society. Set during the Iraq War, The Infernal introduces a boy found in the Akkad valley with severe burns who is interrogated and tortured over the course of four days.

Publication date: Feb. 17

4. Binary Star by Sarah Gerard (Two Dollar Radio)

Binary Star by Sarah Gerard is the story of a young woman struggling with anorexia and her long-distance boyfriend, who is an alcoholic. A bold, intense account of love and loneliness, Binary Star is also a commentary on modern culture and our society's fixation with "quick-fix solutions" and pills for all our problems.Publication date: Jan. 13
Two Dollar Radio

Binary Star by Sarah Gerard is the story of a young woman struggling with anorexia and her long-distance boyfriend, who is an alcoholic. A bold, intense account of love and loneliness, Binary Star is also a commentary on modern culture and our society's fixation with "quick-fix solutions" and pills for all our problems.

Publication date: Jan. 13

5. The Uses of the Body by Deborah Landau (Copper Canyon Press)

Deborah Landau's third poetry collection, The Uses of the Body, is an evocative meditation on womanhood and the complex challenges it entails. Elegant and tender, The Uses of the Body is haunting in its images and language about the vulnerabilities and "uses" of the female body.Publication date: April 7
Copper Canyon Press

Deborah Landau's third poetry collection, The Uses of the Body, is an evocative meditation on womanhood and the complex challenges it entails. Elegant and tender, The Uses of the Body is haunting in its images and language about the vulnerabilities and "uses" of the female body.

Publication date: April 7

6. Almost Crimson by Dasha Kelly (Curbside Splendor Publishing)

Dasha Kelly's Almost Crimson is the story of CeCe, a woman who is torn between her obligation to take care of her ailing mother and her desire to pursue her dreams. Candid and heartfelt, Almost Crimson is a poignant examination of love, family, chronic depression, and the sacrifices we make.Publication date: May 12
Curbside Splendor Publishing

Dasha Kelly's Almost Crimson is the story of CeCe, a woman who is torn between her obligation to take care of her ailing mother and her desire to pursue her dreams. Candid and heartfelt, Almost Crimson is a poignant examination of love, family, chronic depression, and the sacrifices we make.

Publication date: May 12

7. My Documents by Alejandro Zambra (McSweeney's)

My Documents is award-winning Chilean writer Alejandro Zamba's first short story collection. Through 11 vibrant stories about people in all walks of life, Zambra manages to capture the essence of Chilean life before and after Augusto Pinochet.Publication date: April 14
McSweeney's

My Documents is award-winning Chilean writer Alejandro Zamba's first short story collection. Through 11 vibrant stories about people in all walks of life, Zambra manages to capture the essence of Chilean life before and after Augusto Pinochet.

Publication date: April 14

8. Bipolar Cowboy by Noah Cicero (Lazy Fascist Press)

Noah Cicero's Bipolar Cowboy is romantic and sincere, "a book of love poems for all those who loved so deeply it crossed into mental illness." With a great cover and an even greater title, Cicero's first poetry collection is already off to a great start.Publication date: Feb. 1
Lazy Fascist Press

Noah Cicero's Bipolar Cowboy is romantic and sincere, "a book of love poems for all those who loved so deeply it crossed into mental illness." With a great cover and an even greater title, Cicero's first poetry collection is already off to a great start.

Publication date: Feb. 1

9. The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell (Two Dollar Radio)

Carola Dibbell's The Only Ones introduces a post-pandemic world where a woman immune to the disease, Inez, makes her living as a test subject. When a mother backs out on experimental genetic research, Inez is left responsible for her baby girl, who is a scientific breakthrough, and must protect her from both religious fanatics and the authorities.Publication date: March 17
Two Dollar Radio

Carola Dibbell's The Only Ones introduces a post-pandemic world where a woman immune to the disease, Inez, makes her living as a test subject. When a mother backs out on experimental genetic research, Inez is left responsible for her baby girl, who is a scientific breakthrough, and must protect her from both religious fanatics and the authorities.

Publication date: March 17

10. I Refuse by Per Petterson (Graywolf Press)

I Refuse is the highly anticipated new book from internationally acclaimed novelist Per Petterson. I Refuse follows the story of two men who grew up together before growing apart after an incident on a frozen lake, and their accidental encounter almost four decades later.Publication date: April 7
Graywolf Press

I Refuse is the highly anticipated new book from internationally acclaimed novelist Per Petterson. I Refuse follows the story of two men who grew up together before growing apart after an incident on a frozen lake, and their accidental encounter almost four decades later.

Publication date: April 7

11. The Dig by Cynan Jones (Coffee House Press)

Cynan Jones' The Dig is set in rural Wales, where the fates of a grief-stricken farmer struggling to make it through lambing season after his wife's death, and a badger-baiter capturing animals for powerful clients, begin to intertwine.Publication date: April 2015
Coffee House Press

Cynan Jones' The Dig is set in rural Wales, where the fates of a grief-stricken farmer struggling to make it through lambing season after his wife's death, and a badger-baiter capturing animals for powerful clients, begin to intertwine.

Publication date: April 2015

12. Surrounded by Friends by Matthew Rohrer (Wave Books)

Surrounded by Friends is Matthew Rohrer's seventh poetry collection, a rumination on friendship, whether that friendship is with the living, the dead, or the inanimate. Written partly in the vein of Hafiz and of haiku poets like Kobayashi Issa and Basho, Surrounded by Friends brims with beautifully brief lines and images that stick in the mind.Publication date: April 7
Wave Books

Surrounded by Friends is Matthew Rohrer's seventh poetry collection, a rumination on friendship, whether that friendship is with the living, the dead, or the inanimate. Written partly in the vein of Hafiz and of haiku poets like Kobayashi Issa and Basho, Surrounded by Friends brims with beautifully brief lines and images that stick in the mind.

Publication date: April 7

13. Mort(e) by Robert Repino (Soho Press)

In Robert Repino's post-apocalyptic Mort(e), the Colony, a race of intelligent ants, has started a war with the sole purpose of ending the human race, and has begun transforming other animals in order for them to turn against their human masters. Mort(e) is a house cat turned war hero who sets off on a dangerous journey to the heart of the Colony to find his friend, a dog named Sheba, and to make a discovery that has implications for the fate of all creatures.Publication date: Jan. 20
Soho Press

In Robert Repino's post-apocalyptic Mort(e), the Colony, a race of intelligent ants, has started a war with the sole purpose of ending the human race, and has begun transforming other animals in order for them to turn against their human masters. Mort(e) is a house cat turned war hero who sets off on a dangerous journey to the heart of the Colony to find his friend, a dog named Sheba, and to make a discovery that has implications for the fate of all creatures.

Publication date: Jan. 20

14. Alone and Not Alone by Ron Padgett (Coffee House Press)

Alone and Not Alone is Pulitzer Prize finalist Ron Padgett's highly anticipated new poetry collection, following his Collected Poems from 2013, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the William Carlos Williams Prize.Publication date: May 12
Coffee House Press

Alone and Not Alone is Pulitzer Prize finalist Ron Padgett's highly anticipated new poetry collection, following his Collected Poems from 2013, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the William Carlos Williams Prize.

Publication date: May 12

15. The Strange Case of Rachel K by Rachel Kushner (New Directions)

The Strange Case of Rachel K is a collection of three early stories by Rachel Kushner, author of the critically acclaimed The Flamethrowers. Laced with black humor, The Strange Case of Rachel K explores the realms of mythology and power.Publication date: March 24
New Directions

The Strange Case of Rachel K is a collection of three early stories by Rachel Kushner, author of the critically acclaimed The Flamethrowers. Laced with black humor, The Strange Case of Rachel K explores the realms of mythology and power.

Publication date: March 24

16. The Zoo, a Going by J.A. Tyler (Dzanc Books)

In J.A. Tyler's The Zoo, a Going, one family's visit to the zoo causes young Jonah to discover the complexity of age and growing up, as he questions the relationship between fathers and sons, death, and what it means to come of age.Publication date: March 17
Dzanc Books

In J.A. Tyler's The Zoo, a Going, one family's visit to the zoo causes young Jonah to discover the complexity of age and growing up, as he questions the relationship between fathers and sons, death, and what it means to come of age.

Publication date: March 17

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