2013 new literature

Hilton Als is releasing his first book in fifteen years, the long-awaited White Girls.  White Girls is scheduled for release in early November through McSweeney’s.  

From Publisher’s Weekly:

New Yorker critic Als (The Women) delivers his first book in 15 years—a mesmerizing and varied collection of essays, some previously published. His eponymous white girls include Louise Brooks, Flannery O’Connor, Truman Capote, Richard Pryor, Malcolm X, Michael Jackson, Eminem, and others. Using his subjects as a springboard to analyze literature, photography, films, music, television, performance, race, gender, sexual orientation, and history, Als offers wry insights throughout. For example, he notes how O’Connor’s readers often overlooked the originality and honesty of her portrayal… of Southern whiteness as it chafed under its biggest cultural influence—Southern blackness. In his opening essay, Tristes Tropiques, Als revels in his relationship (twinship) with the unnamed SL (Sir or Lady), noting that the relationship defies categorization in an America that is nothing if not about categories: There was no context… to understand us… two colored men who were together, not lovers, not bums, not mad. Highly attuned to popular culture, Als is a writer of many moods—meditative, sardonic, haunting, funny, reflective, and unconventional. Whether agonizing over photos of black lynchings (and realizing that the true meaning of the N-word is a slow death), or constructing a critique of Virginia Woolf in the voice of Richard Pryor’s sister, he proves to be a compassionate writer looking for unity—even if it can’t always be found.

Hilton Als received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2000 for creative writing and the 2002–03 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. In 2004 he won the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, which provided him half a year of free working and studying in Berlin. He has taught at Smith College, Wesleyan, and Yale University, and his work has also appeared in The NationThe Believer, and the New York Review of Books.