Stay Up with Hugo Best
Erin Somers ’13g, Simon & Schuster, April 2019
When newly retired late-night comedian Hugo Best extends an invitation to 29-year-old June Bloom, one of his newly unemployed writers, to spend a weekend at his Greenwich, Connecticut, mansion, she’s clear-eyed enough to assume the notorious womanizer isn’t inviting her to trade notes on bits and routines. In need of a job and money, June accepts her onetime role model’s invitation, but as the weekend unfolds and Best gradually reveals himself, their dynamic proves to be much more complicated and less predictable than she anticipated. In her fiction debut, Somers serves up a timely exploration of sexual politics and an affecting story of a young woman’s navigation of the perils of adulthood.
What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About
Michele Filgate ’06, Simon & Schuster, April 2019
Filgate was a UNH undergrad when she started to write the essay that gives this anthology, a collection of reflections on motherhood by a critically acclaimed group of writers, its name. It took her 14 years to realize that the heart of her story lay not as she thought with the stepfather who had abused her throughout her teen years but with the mother who had failed to protect her from him, and finally sharing her truth — her essay was published in October 2017, just as the #MeToo movement was beginning to take off — was both liberating and terrifying. In stories filled with heartbreak and longing, ambivalence and tenderness, Filgate and 14 others share their personal, poignant perspectives about the complex, essential relationship between mothers and their children.
Dave Hall ’72, Blaine Creek Press, 2019
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this spare volume by artist Hall holds easily a novel’s worth. Inspired by a lifetime of dawns and dusks in New England and the northern Rockies as well as two grandfathers who loved the outdoors and the passing a friend who knew where to find the beauty in life, “Moving Water” pairs Hall’s reflections on fly fishing, friendship and family with his own oil paintings. The results are at once soothing and stunning.
Brandon Amico ’12, Gold Wake Press, March 2019
Amico, the winner of a 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, wrote his debut collection “on lunch breaks and in traffic jams, in airport lounges and doctors’ waiting rooms — any- where I had a moment to myself and my phone handy.” In poems that take on everything from student debt to dying bees to political posturing, “Disappearing, Inc.” serves up both wit and despair in its depiction of a world where commerce and branding, information and misinformation have become driving forces.
Andrew Merton, professor of English emeritus, Accents Publishing, Feb. 2019
There may be a crow on the cover of emeritus English professor Merton’s third collection of poems, but chickens get equal time and then some — as do snakes and walruses and rabbits, tubas and pianos, and God and Elmer Fudd. Designed to keep you off balance, Merton’s poems range from the absurd to the sublime, taking on weighty topics like depression, grief and regret on one page and imagining a bar populated by Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Mae West and Ella Fitzgerald the next.