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How We Assembled Indiespensable #39

The moment we opened Anthony Marra's brutal, beautiful debut novel about an orphaned Chechnyan girl hiding from the Russians during the country's recent decade of war, we knew that for once our choice would be easy. Maile Meloy perfectly captured our experience: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is "both devastating and transcendent....You'll finish it transformed." One colleague was even more succinct, saying simply, "Gorgeous. Just gorgeous!"

Also included is an advance reader copy of another remarkable debut about a young woman enduring trying circumstances, this time the Scottish juvenile justice system. Written by Jenni Fagan, one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, The Panopticon was first published in Britain last year, and it earned review after review lavish with enthusiasm. Irvine Welsh said: "The term 'stunning debut novel' doesn't even begin to cover The Panopticon. Each page sparkles with the ebullient and sinister magic of great storytelling....An utterly magnificent achievement." The Panopticon won't be available to American readers until July, so you, Indiespensable subscribers, are among the first to get your hands on this extraordinary novel.

Finally, we've included a limited-edition Klean Kanteen stainless steel pint. It's beautiful, sits comfortably in the hand, and is nearly indestructible. You'll never have to read thirsty again!






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A collective of high muckamucks, the Panjandrums largely spend their time in competitive Bananagram duels and negotiations regarding Pie Friday — not to mention painstakingly designing each installment of Powell's subscription club, Indiespensable, with the help of independent publishers and local merchants. From time to time, they find it entertaining to give you a look at the hows and whys behind the what. But, if you're yearning for more, send questions, suggestions, and random anecdotes to (They especially like stories about pets, babies, and pie fillings.)

Books mentioned in this post

  1. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
    Sale Hardcover $9.98
  2. The Panopticon
    Used Hardcover $12.00

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