SHUTDOWN: How Covid rocked the global economy, by Adam Tooze. (Viking, $ 28.) Tooze’s account of the dual health and economic crisis of 2020 is in fact a warning that America’s institutions and systems, and the assumptions, positions and divisions that underpin them, leave us ill-prepared to face the next challenge ahead. large scale, anyway. to be. “Distinct understandings of our world and its risks have become so divergent and ingrained that they pose their own existential threat,” writes Robert E. Rubin in his review. “Whether we can overcome this inconsistency and meet the challenges ahead while protecting the values at the heart of the American idea – freedom, pluralism, democracy – is the essential question posed by ‘Shutdown’. “
MADE IN CHINA: A memory of love and work, by Anna Qu. (Catapult, $ 26.) In a tale of bitterness and pain, Qu tells how she cut loose threads from the sleeves in her immigrant family’s sweatshop in Queens and honors the intricacy of her mother, an intimidating figure who often comes across as domineering, capricious and contemptuous. Chanel Miller reviews it alongside another new memoir on immigrant life, Ly Tran’s “House of Sticks,” and says the two authors “capture the confusion and wonder of lifetimes spent searching. … The immigrant child aspires to be understood and to unload his truths, while being responsible for preserving the humanity of his parents. The child is the only one carrying a small headlamp, trying to dig into their parents’ past and unearth the stories that will pinpoint the source of their erratic behavior, buried fear and sporadic violence, offering a more forgiving lens.
AWARDS, by Gayl Jones. (Tag, $ 27.95.) Set in Brazil in the late 1600s, Jones’ first novel in 22 years unveils the brutal slavery and degradation of various African peoples who were kidnapped by warring factions in Europe in their voracious quest for land, resources. , power and destruction. “More than that, ‘Palmares’ is an odyssey, finding a woman first of a place, then a person,” writes Robert Jones Jr. in his review. “Mercy, this story sparkles. Shaken. Lamentations. Move to rhythms long forgotten. Chants in incantations highly prohibited. It is a story woven with extraordinary complexity, depth and skill; in many ways: saint.
HOW TO FIGHT A GIRL: Stories, by Venita Blackburn. (MCD / FSG originals, paper, $ 16.) These 30 stories, many of which take place in Southern California, explore grief, the body, homosexuality, and the political and societal forces that shape the lives of young women in particular. The book shines with its propensity to magnify small moments and to question our assumptions. “Throughout this intimate collection, Blackburn artfully captures the interiority of his characters, with emotional precision – unearthing things we often leave unsaid,” writes Jared Jackson in his review. “We’re lucky she does.”
ALLEGED GUILTY: How the Supreme Court empowered the police and violated civil rights, by Erwin Chemerinsky. (Liveright, $ 27.95.) This book is a damning indictment of the modern Supreme Court, showing on a case-by-case basis that when it comes to criminal law, “the police almost always win.” Melvin I. Urofsky, reviewing it, writes that “all legislators, indeed all concerned citizens, must read this book. It is an eloquent and damning indictment not only of horrific police practices, but also of the judges who have tolerated them and continue to do so. “