In Kia Corthron’s new novel, Moon and the Mars, beginning in 1857, biracial seven-year-old orphan Theo Brigid Brook. She lives in Manhattan’s infamous impoverished Five Points district neighborhood in New York City with her Grammy Brook and Grammy Cahill, who are discriminated against for being Irish and Black, respectively. Theo observes the social upheaval and racial injustice leading up to the Civil War.
Jakob Guanzon debuts with Abundance, a harrowing story of a man’s desperation and unyielding love for his son. Single father Henry has less than $100 to his name, and he’s planning on spending it on his son Junior’s eighth birthday present: a night in a hotel with a real bed and cable TV instead of sleeping in Henry’s truck. With each chapter name being the amount of money in his pocket, Guanzon’s descriptions of homelessness and grinding poverty are visceral