Bay City Books: New books from Bay Area authors – March 2024

New fiction books, from Bay Area and Northern California authors, listed by release date.

Murder at La Vallate

By Cara Black (San Francisco)
Soho Crime, (March 5, 2024)

In the 21st installment of her bestselling series on Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc, Cara Black turns the tables: this time it is Leduc who is accused of murder. The victim? Her ex-husband Melac, who has been pressuring Leduc to let him move their daughter to Brittany. When Leduc wakes up from a coma, she is informed she has been found by the prostrate body of her husband, holding a knife covered in his blood. Leduc must go deep into the underbelly of Paris’s 19th arrondissement to bring the real killer to justice.

Island Rule

By Katie M. Flynn (San Francisco)
Scout Press (March 5, 2024)

In a follow-up to her 2020 debut, The Companions, Katie M. Flynn delivers a collection of 12 strange, interconnecting stories, many set in San Francisco. There’s the judgmental, interfering mother who may have been cursed and turned into a monster after ratting out some high school smokers, her underachieving neighbor who supports herself by dog walking, a couple trying to reconnect by taking mushrooms after a failed adoption attempt, an island where people can grow to be giants, and a San Francisco company who can remove all those awful truths about you from the internet … for a high price. The stories, a blend of reality and fantasy, are set in modern times, each with a spin that makes them otherworldly.

The Tree Doctor

By Marie Mutsuki Mockett (San Francisco and Japan)
Graywolf Press (March 17, 2024)

In The Tree Doctor,  an unnamed Japanese American professor finds herself stranded at her childhood home in the Carmel Valley at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has left her two children and self-centered husband in Hong Kong to put her mother, who suffers from dementia, in a care home. When the world shuts down, the narrator is isolated from the broader world, and her mother’ neglected garden becomes a source of renewal. When she visits a nearby nursery, she meets “The Tree Doctor” a man who promises to help her with an ailing tree. When he turns his sexual attention to the narrator, she blossoms in ways she never expected.

New nonfiction books, from Bay Area and Northern California authors, listed by release date.

Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History

By Margaret Juhae Lee (Oakland)
Melville House (March 5, 2024)

Growing up in Houston, Margaret Juhae Lee never knew much about her grandfather or why her family emigrated from Korea. She had heard bits and pieces, and not much of it was good. It was not until Lee took her own family back to Korea that she started to dig into the truth about her family. By scouring archives, visiting old haunts, and interviewing her grandmother, Lee discovered her grandfather was not a criminal, as rumored, but a brave student who stood up to Korea’s Japanese occupiers. Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History is Lee’s quest to uncover the truth of her family, a journey that took years but healed old wounds and led to the official recognition of her grandfather as a Patriot of South Korea almost 60 years after his death.

The Translator’s Daughter

By Grace Loh Prasad (Oakland)
Ohio State University Press (March 5, 2024)

Grace Loh Prasad’s family fled Taiwan when she was two years old because of the threat of political persecution under Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorship. She grew up in the U.S. with the barest memory of her native Taiwanese language. Since her father was a translator, he interpreted for Prasad when they visited their former homeland. But Prasad’s feelings about Taiwan changed in college when her parents moved back and her mother developed Alzheimer’s. The Translator’s Daughter explores the meaning of home and identity, what it is like to straddle two cultures, and recounts how Prasad forged a stronger connection to the place she was born.

Spying on Spies: How Elizabeth Smith Friedman Broke the Nazis’ Secret Codes

By Marissa Moss, (Berkeley)
Abrams Books for Young Readers (March 12, 2024)

Elizebeth Smith Friedman (1892-1980) was a brilliant codebreaker long overshadowed by her more famous husband. Marissa Moss rights this wrong in Spying on Spies: How Elizebeth Smith Friedman Broke the Nazis’ Secret Codes, a nonfiction book interspersed with graphics that Moss is famous for. Smith Friedman got her start looking for clues to the authorship of Shakespeare’s First Folio and then teamed up with her husband William Friedman to head America’s first government code-breaking unit during World War I. More achievements followed but Friedman Smith’s most important work came during World War II, when she uncovered a previously unknown network of Nazi spies operating in South America.

The Poet and the Silk Girl: A Memoir of Love, Imprisonment, and Protest

By Satsuki Ina (Albany)
Heyday Books, (March 26, 2024)

In 1942, the U.S. government incarcerated 125,000 Japanese Americans in camps around the country. Satsuki Ina’s parents, Itaru and Shizuko Ina, were among them and her memoir The Poet and the Silk Girl, recounts their defiance to this injustice. They were pressured to renounce their American citizenship and were branded as enemy aliens. Satsuki Ina, who was born during her parents’ imprisonment, weaves diary entries, photographs, clandestine letters, and haiku to chronicle how her family survived its ordeal. She ties their treatment to the current incarceration at the U.S.-Mexico border. She now also works as a therapist specializing in community trauma.

The post Bay City Books: New Books from Bay Area Authors – March 2024 appeared first on Local News Matters.

Leave a Reply

The Exedra comments section is an essential part of the site. The goal of our comments policy is to help ensure it is a vibrant yet civil space. To participate, we ask that Exedra commenters please provide a first and last name. Please note that comments expressing congratulations or condolences may be published without full names. (View our full Comments Policy.)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *