Shelf Lives

7 Seattle Books to Read This Fall

From Marcus Harrison Green's essay collection to a history of the 1991 Huskies.

By Stefan Milne September 15, 2021 Published in the Fall 2021 issue of Seattle Met

Marcus Harrison Green.

Readying to Rise by Marcus Harrison Green

Out sep 21 The founder of the South Seattle Emerald, Marcus Harrison Green is a writer perpetually lucid, able to ascertain truth in the vagaries of trouble. In his first collection of essays, many of which ran in local publications, he writes about his own experience growing up Black in South Seattle and the topics that stem from this city’s stories, particularly on the south end: mental health, racism, equity, family.

Beacons of Liberty by Elena K. Abbott

Out Now After a successful revolt on the Creole slave ship, its new crew did not guide the ship to its destination, New Orleans. Instead, they took the Creole to the British port of Nassau, where the enslaved aboard were ultimately freed. This is the story that begins Beacons of Liberty, a history from Seattle’s Elena K. Abbott looking at how, before emancipation, enslaved peoples in the United States often fled across borders, seeking freedom, their stories stoking debates in the country they escaped.

Green River Valley by Robert Lashley

Out Now From bar bravado to Old Testament glory, from a Rudyard Kipling riff to the voice of an aunt berating a guy hitting on women at a funeral, language in Robert Lashley’s third poetry collection is a living and polyphonic thing. Here Lashley witnesses Black lives in Tacoma, where varied voices contend with gentrification and racism and history’s looming shadows.

Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing Up with the AIDS Crisis edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Out oct 5 This anthology of essays focuses on a specific, transitional generation of queer people, those who “came of age in the midst of the [AIDS] epidemic with the belief that desire intrinsically led to death, internalizing this trauma as part of becoming queer,” writes Seattle’s Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore in her introduction. In these 36 essays—including pieces from Seattleites Laura Lemoon and Patrick Milian—writers stare down that trauma and look beyond it.

Heart Radical: A Search for Language, Love, and Belonging by Anne Liu Kellor

Out sep 7 This memoir recounts Liu Kellor’s journeys through China as she, a mixed-race Chinese American woman, works to understand her place, her path, the thing that called her to travel in the first place. Through it she finds a kind of growth that brings her “back to my core of love and self-acceptance many times, in cycles.”

Anne Liu Kellor.

How to Not Be Afraid of Everything by Jane Wong

Out oct 12 Jane Wong’s family survived China’s Great Leap Forward, in which an estimated 36 million people starved to death between 1958 and 1962. Wong herself grew up in her parents’ takeout restaurant. In her second collection, this divide—of feast and famine across generations—ripples in poems of hallucinatory intensity, a whole world pulsing with menace and possibility.

Fear No Man by Mike Gastineau

Out Now In 1984, the University of Washington Huskies lost only one game. That year, Sports Illustrated ranked college football coaches and facetiously gave UW’s Don James the top three spots. Yet James and the Huskies would win a national championship only after another six years of struggle. In this book from UW Press, local sportswriter Mike Gastineau follows James as he assembles and trains the Huskies who played a season that Gastineau sums up simply as “perfection.”

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