Big news! We’re excited to share that we’ve acquired two small publishers: A Strange Object, out of Austin, Texas, and Phoneme Media, out of Los Angeles. These two presses represent singular, incredible visions, and we can’t wait to make them a part of our catalog.
Phoneme has published more than 30 titles in translation ranging from poetry to short stories and graphic novels. Their backlist represents 25 languages and several award-winning titles (including Rilke Shake, 2016 winner of the National Translation Award and the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry). David Shook, editor at Phoneme, will continue to edit titles – two of which will be coming out as a part of our Fall/Winter 2019 season!
Where to Start:
Sara recommends picking up one of Mario Bellatin’s incredible books. Celebrated innovator Bellatin has published dozens of novels with publishing houses throughout Latin America, Europe, and the United States. A practicing Sufi, Bellatin currently lives in Mexico City. Try The Large Glass or Jacob the Mutant. Or just wait. Those are only the beginning; several more books of his are already on track to publish with us.
Doesn’t sound right at the moment? Try An Eternity in Tangiers, a Cameroonian-Ivorian graphic novel about the refugee crisis; or the poetry collection Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems, the first book ever to be translated from Isthmus Zapotec.
A Strange Object has published seven titles dedicated to primarily debut short story collections. These books are experimental, thoughtful, and willing to take incredible risks (plus, the publisher is named after a comment by Texas’ own Donald Barthelme, writer, playwright, and founder of Houston’s creative writing program at the University of Houston). Jill Meyers, editor of A Strange Object, will also continue to work with us to bring out new titles.
Where to Start:
The store favorite at Deep Vellum Books right now is Belly Up, by Rita Bullwinkel. This collection of short stories is grotesque and tender, comprised of characters questioning their bodies, ghosts, mediums, teenage girls who believe they are actually plants, carnivorous churches, and more. Plus, Bullwinkel is an Editor at Large for McSweeney’s.
If you’re looking for something a little different, try The Writer’s Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction, by Michael Noll. Noll is a local to Austin, where he co-runs the Writer’s League of Texas. His Field Guide is an examination of craft from start to finish. This refreshing approach takes a single page from 40 different contemporary books and examines just what makes them work, followed by exercises and prompts that allow the reader to put those techniques to use.
In addition to working with A Strange Object, we’re also expanding our list of English language-authored books with our La Reunion imprint. Starting in 2020, we will be working with Texas-based authors to bring out books that represent the many voices of our state. We’re starting with a memoir by arts philanthropist Donna Wilhelm (A Life of My Own), a book by Dallas activist and performance artist David Marquis, a book of city photos by Zac Crain… And much more.
To order books from any of these imprints, visit our website at www.deepvellum.org.
We are actively seeking underrepresented stories of Texas. If you have pieces of narrative nonfiction along those lines and would like to be a part of La Reunion Publishing, let us know!