The Top 5 Local Books to Look Forward to This Fall

Don’t miss new books from Frances McCue, Bharti Kirchner, Mita Mahato, E.J. Koh, and David M. Buerge.

Timber Curtain by Frances McCue

Last year’s Ghosts of Seattle Past anthology, it turns out, was just an appetizer for this main course. Like Ghosts, Seattle poetry master McCue’s new book is a lament for the demolition of Hugo House, an organization she helped found. Though the House will soon return to the same spot (albeit in the ground floor of a fancy new building), McCue knows that nothing is the same once it passes through the veil of nostalgia she calls the timber curtain. This 100-percent-made-in-Seattle production is published by local press Chin Music, who really know how to put a gorgeous book together. Sept. 4

Season of Sacrifice: A Maya Mallick Mystery by Bharti Kirchner

Kirchner is one of Seattle’s most prolific authors, with seven novels, four cookbooks, and an uncountable litany of short nonfiction pieces to her name. But she always somehow finds the time and energy to make something new. Her latest novel, Season of Sacrifice, is her very first mystery, and it’s intended as the first in a series featuring “feisty Asian-American private investigator Maya Mallick.” In her debut, Mallick encounters two women dressed all in white who set themselves on fire in the Green Lake neighborhood. Severn House Publishers, Sept. 15

In Between by Mita Mahato

If you’ve ever been to the Short Run comics festival, you’ve probably encountered (and been blown away by) Seattle cartoonist Mita Mahato’s gorgeous papercut comics. Mahato uses the tactile vibrancy of paper itself to tell her stories. (“Hitched,” her minicomic about a road trip, for example, was printed on top of a map.) Her first bound collection of comics, In Between, will expose her work to the wider world and help redefine the art of comics for a new generation. The odds are good that Mahato is about to break big; her voice is unique, and it’s impossible to resist. Pleiades Press, Oct. 2

A Lesser Love by E.J. Koh

Seattle poet E.J. Koh has been an up-and-coming light of the Seattle poetry scene for a couple of years now. She would rise to the surface, publish an astonishing poem, and then go away for a while. At Bumbershoot 2016, she read one about the Korean ferry disaster that left the audience in tears (it was so quiet in the room, you could hear the individual sobs). Now she’s ready to make her mark with her debut collection: A Lesser Love. This marks a major rite of passage for Koh, one that should elevate her to Seattle poetry star status. Pleiades Press, Oct. 16

Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name by David M. Buerge

While most Seattleites know Chief Sealth’s name, ask just a couple of questions and you’ll realize that their knowledge only runs surface-deep. Subtitled The Change of Worlds for the Native People and Settlers on Puget Sound, Buerge’s book claims to offer “the first thorough account of Chief Seattle and his times.” It documents the historical inflection point when European-American settlers arrived and, through guile and violence, claimed this land as their own, as well as the way Sealth responded after his land was taken from him. This portrait could redefine the origins of Seattle for a generation. Sasquatch Books, Oct. 17.

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