Newly Published, From Maori Myths to Europe’s Eastern Borderlands
WHALE FALL: Poems, by David Baker. (Norton, $26.95.) Baker’s 12th volume of poetry finds him in a wistful, elegiac mood, paying witness to the shared frailties of the natural world and the aging, ailing speaker. “Listen, the years are short. They are nothing,” one lovely and haunting poem exhorts. “When we wake it is piecemeal, until we are gone.”
POUKAHANGATUS, by Tayi Tibble. (Knopf, $27.) This chatty, winsome debut by a young New Zealand poet mines family history, Maori myth and the residue of pop culture to fashion a striking sensibility in which superstition wards off ghosts and a David Bowie sticker on a laptop resembles “a tiny … genderless angel lit up by green charger light.”
IGUANA IGUANA, by Caylin Capra-Thomas. (Deep Vellum, paper, $16.95.) “It is easier, I suppose, to wrap / myself in myself,” Capra-Thomas writes early in this volume, her first full-length collection, which makes playful sport of identity by summoning a series of alter egos and other selves.
GIRLS THAT NEVER DIE: Poems, by Safia Elhillo. (One World, paper, $17.) In her third collection, the Sudanese American Elhillo balances stark expressions of sexual violence and female shame with celebrations of girlhood friendship and defiance.
OUR VETERANS: Winners, Losers, Friends, and Enemies on the New Terrain of Veterans Affairs, by Suzanne Gordon, Steve Early and Jasper Craven. (Duke University, paper, $24.95; cloth, $104.95.) This chilling account explores the physical, economic and psychological consequences of military service on veteran health and takes a critical look at the many players involved in shaping veteran life in the United States.
INVENTING THE IT GIRL: How Elinor Glyn Created the Modern Romance and Conquered Early Hollywood, by Hilary A. Hallett. (Liveright, $32.50.) In this seamlessly narrated account, a Columbia University history professor chronicles the British writer’s rise from society darling to steamy romance novelist and world-renowned celebrity in the early 20th century.
TALES FROM THE BORDERLANDS: Making and Unmaking the Galician Past, by Omer Bartov. (Yale University, $30.) Bartov weaves personal memoir with history to tell a multigenerational story of Europe’s eastern borderlands, a site of clashing and overlapping empires and home to a diverse Jewish community that was decimated in World War II.
THE POET’S HOUSE, by Jean Thompson. (Algonquin, $27.) In Thompson’s eighth novel, a young college dropout is working for a landscaper in Northern California and struggling to find purpose until her world is expanded by a chance encounter with a celebrated poet.