Also of interest
In well-earned reissues
by Joy Williams (Tin House, $20)
Joy Williams’ 1978 novel is “truly weird,” but in a way readers just discovering it should love, said Ellen Akins in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Plotted it’s not,” and the main character, Pearl, is a drunk prone to visions. But The Changeling is “laced with exquisite lines, some bizarrely funny,” and as Pearl returns to an island ruled by a rich brother-in-law and mothers an infant she believes isn’t hers, you’ll never wonder why the book has won a revival.
Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment
(Library of America, $35)
“Rachel Carson is important less for how she wrote than for what she wrote,” but she bears re-reading, said Charles Mann in The Wall Street Journal. Silent Spring, her 1962 exposé on the dangers of pesticides and insecticides, so changed modern life that today it reads “like a dispatch from a different world.” Paired here with related essays and letters, it depicts a landscape drenched in chemicals and sounds warnings that have mostly proven prescient.
by Eve Babitz (Counterpoint, $17)
“Reading Eve Babitz is like eating cake for breakfast,” said Lauren Sarazen in the Los Angeles Review of Books. In this 1993 short-story collection—“arguably her best work”—the Los Angeles insider excelled as usual at voyeuristic portraits of the fast crowd, but she was also mature enough to examine why her city and her era harbored so much debauchery. While admitting her self-absorption, she also proves her acuity, “cementing herself as a Los Angeles intellectual without sacrificing her boho joie de vivre.”
Love That Bunch
by Aline Kominsky-Crumb (Drawn & Quarterly, $30)
A retrospective collection from an underground-comics legend really shouldn’t be this respectful, said Etelka Lehoczky in NPR.org. Aline Kominsky-Crumb—wife of R. Crumb—“specializes in assaulting readers with overly intimate personal revelations done in a hasty, messy style,” and her often autobiographical work loses power when it’s allowed to become repetitive. Skip the highbrow intro and jump in: Kominsky-Crumb is “unruly from her head to her nib,” and she’s best that way. ■