Spring 2017 Projects include . . . / by Alyson Sinclair

GABRIELLE BELL's first book-length graphic memoir, EVERYTHING IS FLAMMABLE, which will be published in hardcover on April 18th, 2017.

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In Everything is Flammable, Gabrielle returns from New York to her childhood town in rural Northern California after her mother’s home is destroyed by fire. Acknowledging her issues with anxiety, financial hardships, memories of a semi-feral childhood, and a tenuous relationship with her mother, Bell helps her mother put together a new home on top of the ashes. A powerful, sometimes uncomfortable, examination of a mother-daughter relationship and one’s connection to place and sense of self. Everything is Flammable unfolds with humor and brutal honesty.

“I’ve been losing myself on the train this week in Gabrielle Bell’s new comic, Everything Is Flammable. It doesn’t come out until April, so I’m jumping the gun here, but once I read it I couldn’t not write about it—it’s that good. Bell writes and draws stories with deep humanity, and, impressively, that humanity—painful, awkward, and uncertain—is her own. This new book spans a year and follows Bell as she travels to and from her mother’s home in rural Northern California, navigating the guilt she feels as an absent daughter and the anxiety she feels in trying to care for her independent mother. Bell’s self-awareness and observations never result in tidy epiphanies; the book’s strips open out into one another, accumulating without resolution. She is also always funny, and her distinct blocky hatching style gives warmth to every panel. The ineffable quality is that she makes all this look easy.” —Nicole Rudick, The Paris Review

You can watch Gabrielle Bell's video interview last year with The Paris Review here. 

EVENTS in Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and more.

GABRIELLE BELL’s work has been selected for Best American Comics and the Yale Anthology of Graphic Fiction, and has been featured in McSweeney’s, the Believer, Bookforum, and Vice among numerous other publications. Her story, “Cecil and Jordan In New York,” was turned into a film by Michel Gondry. Bell’s previous graphic novel, The Voyeurs, was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and the Atlantic. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.


BORNE a new novel from JEFF VANDERMEERthe acclaimed author of the Southern Reach Trilogy, will be published in hardcover by MCD/FSG on April 25th, 2017.

"VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed Southern Reach trilogy, has made a career out of eluding genre classifications, and with Borne he essentially invents a new one. In a future strewn with the cast-off experiments of an industrial laboratory known only as the Company, a scavenger named Rachel survives alongside her lover, Wick, a dealer of memory-altering beetles, with whom she takes shelter from the periodic ravages of a giant mutant bear named Mord. One day, caught in Mord’s fur, Rachel finds the bizarre, shape-shifting creature 'like a hybrid of sea anemone and squid' she calls Borne. Rachel adopts Borne and takes on its education over Wick’s objections. But Borne proves a precocious student, experiencing more and more complex transformations, testing Rachel’s loyalty as it undertakes a personal mission that threatens Rachel and Wick’s fragile existence even as it brings painful truths to the surface—truths like Wick’s mysterious past with the Company, the identity of the mercurial rival he calls the Magician, the origin of the feral children who roam the wasteland, and even the circumstances of Rachel’s own interrupted childhood. Reading like a dispatch from a world lodged somewhere between science fiction, myth, and a video game, the textures of Borne shift as freely as those of the titular whatsit. What’s even more remarkable is the reservoirs of feeling that VanderMeer is able to tap into throughout Rachel and Wick’s postapocalyptic journey into the Company’s warped ruins, resulting in something more than just weird fiction: weird literature." Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

Read the first pages on Entertainment Weekly

17+ City Tour Stops including Chicago, Minneapolis, NYC, Boston, DC, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, Greenville, SC, Asheville, NC, and more. 

JEFF VANDERMEER is an award-winning novelist and editor, most recently the author of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy—the first volume of which, Annihilation, is currently being made into movie to be released by Scott Rudin / Paramount in 2017—and the coeditor with his wife, Ann VanderMeer, of The Big Book of Science Fiction. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and multiple year’s-best anthologies. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida.


AMY THIELEN’s culinary memoir, GIVE A GIRL A KNIFE, will be published in hardcover by Clarkson Potter/Penguin Random House on May 16th, 2017

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A beautiful debut memoir from James Beard Award–winning writer and chef, Amy Thielen, chronicling her journey from the rural Midwest to the intoxicating world of New York City fine dining—and back again—in search of her culinary roots.

Before Amy Thielen frantically plated rings of truffled potatoes in some of New York City’s finest kitchens—for chefs David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten—she grew up in a northern Minnesota town, home to the nation’s largest French fry factory, with a mother whose generous cooking pulsed with joy, family drama, and an overabundance of butter. 

Give a Girl a Knife, Amy Thielen’s coming-of-age account, pulses with energy, a cook’s eye for intimate detail, and a dose of dry Midwestern humor. Inspired by her grandmother’s tales of cooking on the family farm, Thielen moves with her artist husband to the rustic off-the-grid cabin he built in the woods in northern Minnesota. There, standing at the stove three times a day, she finds the seed of a growing food obsession that sends her on a wild ride through diverse kitchens and eras—from her mother’s 1970s suburban electric range to a turn-of-the-century farmhouse to a hot plate in an illegal warehouse squat—and finally to the sensory madhouse of New York’s top haute cuisine brigades. When she returns to her rural cabin, she comes face-to-face with her past and its veritable cellar of taste memories, discovering that good food can be made anywhere—and that beneath every foie gras sauce lies a rural foundation of potatoes and onions.  

Give a Girl a Knife offers a fresh, vivid view into New York’s high-end restaurant scene before returning Thielen to her roots, where she realizes that the marrow running through her bones is not demi-glace at all, but gravy—honest, irresistible, and thick with the complications of home. 

Read the prologue on Entertainment Weekly!

EVENTS in NYC, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and more TBA.

AMY THIELEN is a chef, TV cook, and two-time James Beard Award–winning writer. She is the author of The New Midwestern Table (2013)hosted Heartland Table on Food Network, and worked for celebrated New York City chefs David Bouley, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Daniel Boulud before moving back home to the Midwest. Amy speaks widely about home cooking and contributes to radio programs and magazines, including Saveur, where she’s a contributing editor. She lives with her husband, visual artist Aaron Spangler, their son, his dog, and a bunch of chickens, in Park Rapids, Minnesota. She can be found at amythielen.com and @amyrosethielen on Instagram and Twitter.


Review copy, interview, and event requests welcome. Find me at aly@alysonsinclairpr.com


Parents and educators: I'm also doing some communications work for Shared Worlds, an annual 2-week summer program for teen writers interested in speculative fiction (weird fiction / sci-fi / fantasy, etc.). It’s a residential program that takes place on the Wofford College campus in Spartanburg, SC. Students work in groups and individually with critically acclaimed authors to create, write, and share their imagined worlds. 2017 visiting authors include Tobias S. Buckell, N.K. Jemisin, Kathe Joja, Sofia Samatar, as well as the camp’s co-director, Jeff VanderMeer

The program regularly accepts about 60 students from across the US and around the world every year. 2017 marks the program's 10th Anniversary! Spread the word that students should apply by April 1st, 2017 if they're interested in attending this July. More info here!