Virtual Event: Donovan Hohn, Jordan Kisner and Jaswinder Bolina

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 5:00pm

The Inner Coast: Essays Cover Image 

Join us on Zoom on Wednesday June 24th at 5:00pm PDT for a discussion of three new essay collections published during this time of uncertainty. Donovan Hohn, Jordan Kisner and Jaswinder Bolina will discuss their new essay collections The Inner Coast, Thin Places and, Of Color.

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Praise for The Inner Coast

Donovan Hohn’s prose is as immaculate and quotable as that of any writer of his generation. And while you always sense his outrage about ecological calamity, and never doubt his moral engagement, his advocacy never feels hectoring. There’s no writer living or dead I would rather read on the reliably distressing topic of environmentalism than Donovan Hohn.— Tom Bissell

I’ve seldom encountered a writer with a better understanding of both the literary and the journalistic ways and means of telling a true story. Donovan Hohn thinks clearly; he writes with eloquence and force.— Lewis H. Lapham

Donovan Hohn has a diviner’s capacity to tap into the source and the flow of a story, whether the ‘story’ is narrative or argumentative. His attention to the appearances of things—the false; the true—tunes the reader’s alert-addled animal brain to the meaningful, and the terrible. As the Earth begins to resist us, to remind us that how we’re living will be our undoing, Hohn’s work is that sad, happy thing, glinting in the sand: evidence of what a human mind could do, and what a human heart could yield.— Wyatt Mason

About The Inner Coast

Prize-winning essays on our changing place in the natural world by the best-selling author of Moby-Duck.

Writing in the grand American tradition of Annie Dillard and Barry Lopez, Donovan Hohn is an “adventurous, inquisitive, and brightly illuminating writer” (New York Times). Since the publication of Moby-Duck a decade ago, Hohn has been widely hailed for his prize-winning essays on the borderlands between the natural and the human. The Inner Coast collects ten of his best, many of them originally published in such magazines as the New York Times Magazine and Harper’s, which feature his physical, historical, and emotional journeys through the American landscape.

By turns meditative and comic, adventurous and metaphysical, Hohn writes about the appeal of old tools, the dance between ecology and engineering, the lost art of ice canoeing, and Americans’ complicated love/hate relationship with Thoreau. The Inner Coast marks the return of one of our finest young writers and a stylish exploration of what Guy Davenport called “the geography of the imagination.”

Praise for Thin Places

“Jordan Kisner’s essays are like intricate tattoos: etched with a sharp and exacting blade of intellect, but made of flesh; richly drawn in their details; comprised of equal parts pleasure and pain. Like tattoos, their natural habitat is that strange borderland where our skin meets the world—where we confront our edges, or everything we can’t keep out. Always, and thrillingly, they look inward and outward with exacting grace." —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

"These singular 'encounters with the ineffable' are full of risk and daring, urgency and contact. They confront species of belief head-on without relinquishing doubt. Beautifully lyrical and observant, Kisner's fresh voice speaks with uncanny consolation to this extreme, seemingly apocalyptic moment." —Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait Inside My Head

"Jordan Kisner is a pilgrim for our times. She ventures into the operating room where a surgeon inserts an electrode into a patient’s brain. She mingles with the debutantes of Laredo, Texas as they navigate the fraught space between Wasp and Hispanic privilege. Wherever she is, Kisner probes the ambiguities that we live and dream, exploring the spaces where, in her words, 'Distinctions between you and not-you, real and unworldly, fall away.' She is a tender but fierce writer; rigorous and wise." —Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland: A Memoir

About Thin Places

When Jordan Kisner was a child, she was saved by Jesus Christ at summer camp, much to the confusion of her nonreligious family. She was, she writes, “just naturally reverent,” a fact that didn’t change when she—much to her own confusion—lost her faith as a teenager. Not sure why her religious conviction had come or where it had gone, she did what anyone would do: “You go about the great American work of assigning yourself to other gods: yoga, talk radio, neoatheism, CrossFit, cleanses, football, the academy, the American Dream, Beyoncé.”

A curiosity about the subtle systems guiding contemporary life pervades Kisner’s work. Her celebrated essay “Thin Places” (Best American Essays 2016), about an experimental neurosurgery developed to treat severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, asks how putting the neural touchpoint of the soul on a pacemaker may collide science and psychology with philosophical questions about illness, the limits of the self, and spiritual transformation. How should she understand the appearance of her own obsessive compulsive disorder at the very age she lost her faith?

Intellectually curious and emotionally engaging, the essays in Thin Places manage to be both intimate and expansive, illuminating an unusual facet of American life, as well as how it reverberates with the author’s past and present preoccupations.

Praise for Of Color

"Jaswinder Bolina's insightful, raw and honest collection of brilliant essays illuminate the joys and pains of being a specific person OF COLOR and through his unique lens we also come to understand the universal ongoing story of America."-Wajahat Ali, author of The Domestic Crusaders and contributor to CNN and the New York Times

"Lyrically intelligent, exceptionally alert. A crucial addition to the growing canon of works about race in contemporary America."-Sarah Manguso, author of Ongoingness and 300 Arguments

"(M)oves from the polemic to the personal with the candidness and flair of a rollicking dinner conversation."-Aisha Sabatini Sloan, author of Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit

"(A) a powerful and wise collection of essays, one that will make reverberations into how we look at this country in the future."-Cathy Park Hong, author of Engine Empire and Minor Feelings

About Of Color

In his debut essay collection, award-winning poet Jaswinder Bolina meditates on "how race," as he puts it, "becomes metaphysical": the cumulative toll of the microaggressions and macro-pressures lurking in the academic market, on the literary circuit, in the dating pool, and on the sidewalks of any given U.S. city. Training a keenly thoughtful lens on questions that are never fully abstract-about immigration and assimilation and class, about the political utility of art, about what it means to belong to a language and a nation that brand you as other-OF COLOR is a bold, expansive, and finally optimistic diagnosis of present-day America.

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Inner Coast: Essays Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781324005971
Availability: Coming Soon. Pre-Order Now!
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 2nd, 2020

Prize-winning essays on our changing place in the natural world by the best-selling author of Moby-Duck.


Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea & of the Beachcombers, Oceanograp hers, Environmentalists & Fools Including the Author Who Went in Search of Them Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143120506
Availability: ON HAND in at least ONE of our stores. Click through or call for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Penguin Books - February 28th, 2012

A compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity- "adventurous, inquisitive, and brightly illuminating" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times).

When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography.


Thin Places: Essays from In Between Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374274641
Availability: ON HAND in at least ONE of our stores. Click through or call for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 3rd, 2020

A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

A Lit Hub | Chicago Review | Ms. Magazine March pick

A Lambda Literary Most Anticipated Book

In this perceptive and provocative essay collection, an award-winning writer shares her personal and reportorial investigation into America’s search for meaning


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Of Color: Essays Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781944211868
Availability: Coming Soon. Pre-Order Now!
Published: McSweeney's - June 30th, 2020

In his debut essay collection, award-winning poet Jaswinder Bolina meditates on "how race," as he puts it, "becomes metaphysical": the cumulative toll of the microaggressions and macro-pressures lurking in the academic market, on the literary circuit, in the dating pool, and on the sidewalks of any given U.S. city.


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