Lundgren’s first novel The Facades came out in Fall of 2013, and swiftly earned his writing comparisons to Franz Kafka, David Lynch, and Haruki Murakami. The Facades tells the tale of one man’s quest for his missing wife within the ghostly framework of the once-thriving Midwestern city of Trude. Through the eyes of Lundgren’s hapless legal clerk Sven Norberg, readers explore the post-modernist back alleys and crumbling buildings of Trude, and encounter with him the shifty and subversive characters tied to his wife’s disappearance. His search becomes a dark but quirky mystery, and expertly balances elements of dystopia and Americana. The Facades is a quick but fulfilling read.
Recommended by Mackenzie Brennan – Associate Editor
If you like comprehensive books, this is one of them. Twain’s instantly recognizable voice with its undertone of amusement. Facts, experiences, history, tales, sights and sounds, how to steer a riverboat in two feet of water at night when you can’t see where you’re going – what more could you want?
Recommended by Charles Brownson – Associate Editor
A lyric remembrance of the poet’s father and their family’s exile and migration to the United States. The work displays both a command of language and an emotional amplitude not often sustained through an entire collection. I return decade after decade to a particular poem in the book, “Arise, Go Down,” in which the father’s rose garden embodies all the beauty and thorniness of the human experience. Lee’s work deserves a revisit, not only for its craft, but also for its lens on the immigrant experience in our increasingly mosaic culture.
Recommended by Elyse Arring – Editor