We are grateful to Kenyon Review Nonfiction Editor Geeta Kothari for recommending Lauren Russell’s Descent (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2020) as well as Deepa Anappara’s Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line.

“Both of my summer reading recommendations give voice to those history has forgotten or wants to forget,” writes Kothari, who continues:

Lauren Russell’s brilliant second book, Descent … feels both necessary and urgent, and I was struck by Russell’s ability to create intimacy within the larger story of the Civil War and its legacy. Using excerpts from her slave-owning great-great-grandfather’s diary, archival research, and interviews with his descendants, Russell creates a “biomythology,” in which her great-great-grandmother Peggy finally gets a place in history.

Read Kenyon Review‘s full list here.