March's picks bring focus to three iconic writers from the catalog of indie publisher, Seven Stories Press
March 2021's pick: Octavia Butler, Howard Zinn, and Barry Gifford--three books for $30 Following February's drive (The Black Panther Party; Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess; The Queen's Gambit) is a bundle co-presented by the indie publisher, Seven Stories Press, and focuses on two perennially popular writers--Octavia Butler and Howard Zinn--as well as a genre frequently requested by incarcerated readers but too often unfulfilled: Westerns. This is the second time we have included Butler in the monthly book drive (the first time was with Kindred), but Books Through Bars can never have enough on hand. Bloodchild and Other Stories is an excellent overview of her writing, that shows off her talent for turning parables into timeless commentaries on our modern world. Howard Zinn on History is just that, twenty-seven short writings on activism, electoral politics, the Holocaust, Marxism, war, and the role of the historian, as well as portraits of Eugene Debs, John Reed, and Jack London. And rounding out this bundle is a Western novel, which we have been wanting to add for some time (it is one of the most commonly requested genres at prisons), but have taken great care to pick a title that doesn't fall into traditional insensitive tropes about indigenous cultures. Barry Gifford's Black Sun Rising (La Corazonada) is a noir set on the Texas-Mexican border, where a group of Native Americans and fugitive slaves have fled in 1851. One of Seven Stories's most beloved house authors, Gifford's novel also appeals to us for being a rare bilingual edition, allowing Books Through Bars to send this out to Spanish and English readers.
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Looking for a book for yourself? Check out our page at Bookshop.org, including lists of recommended reads from Piper Kerman, Victoria Law, Albert Woodfox, Victor LaValle, Mat Johnson, and others!
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