Roughly 7 months have passed since Counternarratives appeared on bookshelves, though at times they feel like a year or more. Along the way, the collection, which has received strong reviews--only one, however, in a major daily newspaper, The Wall Street Journal (thank you, WSJ!)--also has made its way onto various "Best of 2015" lists, for which I am deeply grateful, not least because it is challenging book both aesthetically and perhaps even more so in its themes and ideas.
I want to offer my sincerest thanks to all of the book's readers and gifters, its reviewers, and its champions, who have promoted it at bookstores, in their classrooms, to friends and family members, and as one of their top selections for the year. (Thanks also to the reviewers who have written to say that reviews are forthcoming, too, in 2016!)
As a result of the books' sales, New Directions will be issuing a paperback version in 2016, which is already online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon for pre-order, though you can also urge your local bookstore to order it as well. An independent British publisher, Fitzcarraldo Editions, has purchased the rights for the UK, so it will appear there under that imprint, in a cobalt blue cover, in 2016. Their small but glittering backlist includes books by my brilliant former colleague Eula Biss, philosopher Simon Critchley, Chilean author Alejandro Zambra, and the scholar and writer Mathias Énard, winner of the 2015 Prix Goncourt.
Among the most recent "Best of Lists" the book has been fortunate to grace include:
- Conversational Reader--"Favorite Reads of 2015: #2 Counternarratives by John Keene"
- Entropy -- "Best of 2015: Best of Fiction Books"
- Flavorwire -- "Best Fiction of 2015" and "50 Best Independent Press Books of 2015" (This follows the earlier selection of Counternarratives as one of their "Best Books of 2015 (So Far)"
- UPDATED: Full Stop -- "Best of Reviews, 2015"
- Lambda Literary -- "Ten of this Year's Standout LGBTQ Books"
- LitHub - "25 Best Books of the Year, According to Booksellers"
- Mosaic Magazine -- "Best Books of 2015"
- Slate - "The Overlooked Books of 2015"
- Vanity Fair -- "Best Books of 2015 for Gifting...and Hoarding" (This follows their earlier selection of Counternarratives as one of their "Top Spring Picks for Parks and Picnics")
Again, to all these publications, many of the small, independent and online, and to all the booksellers, editors and reviewers who have offered praise and support, I send my deepest thanks always!
Although I have been blogging for a decade now and though some prior blog posts have been cited (including, as one of my former colleagues noted with dismay, because I was and am not an expert in the field, in a dissertation on dance!), this December marks the first time that a blog post of mine has received a public honor of any sort.
What am I talking about? In addition to shining the best light on Counternarratives, Flavorwire's Jonathon Sturgeon also selected my blog post (later republished in Atticus Review) "On Vanessa Place, Gone With the Wind, and the Limit Point of Certain Conceptual Aesthetics" for that site's "Best Literary Criticism of 2015."
Thanks again to Mr. Sturgeon and Flavorwire, and thanks also to the more than 11,000 readers who've read and forwarded the post!