Omar Robert Hamilton: 5 Books About Right Now

Omar Robert Hamilton’s debut novel The City Always Wins offers a street-level view of one of the most resonant events of our time — the Egypt’s 2011 Tahrir Square uprising — and is one of Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers selections for Summer 2017.  We asked the author about what he reads to make sense of a world in which the headlines can feel overwhelming.

“The City Always Wins is about the Egyptian revolution and the subsequent counterrevolution. But it is also about the political moment we are all in now, the violence of late capitalism and people’s attempts to imagine, and build, a different world.

In the age of information we can sometimes feel overwhelmed with the mass marketing of cheap news and quack punditry — but these are five books that cut through the noise and illuminate.”– Omar Robert Hamilton


By Solmaz Sharif

America, ignore the window and look at your lap:
even your dinner napkins are on FIRE.

“Sharif’s debut collection uses the U.S. Department of Defense’s Dictionary to create a world in which warfare permeates every private moment, where violence shapes language and therefore all of experience. Cutting from Alabama to Shiraz and back again, Look’s poems are the modern American experience, the one endured by both the immigrant and the countries they left behind.”


Age of Anger
By Pankaj Mishra

“There are few better theorists of the present than Pankaj Mishra, and Age of Anger shatters the tired narratives that have dominated the endless “War on Terror.” Mishra asks why the technological advances of the past century have not led to a fairer or happier planet and why, rather, we find ourselves living in a state of permanent panic, how we have become interconnected yet isolated, overconnected yet increasingly xenophobic. Mishra’s prose is as thrilling as his analysis as he charts the rise of Trump, ISIS, and other fragmentary forces pulling at the fabric of the present.”


China Miéville’s introduction to Thomas More’s Utopia

“Miéville’s writing can be breathtaking in its ability to combine pyrotechnic prose with explosive politics. Now, in Verso’s reissue of More’s Utopia, Miéville has written a brilliant new introduction that reaches through the history of the politics of the possible and brings us to today, to the everyday utopianism enjoyed by unaccountable, polluting corporations around the world: ‘We live in utopia; it just isn’t ours. So we live in apocalypse too.'”


Carbon Democracy
By Timothy Mitchell

“We can’t understand our world without a comprehension of the global economic forces that are actively shaping it — and there is no more consequential force than oil, chief among the toxic industries enjoying their utopian era. Mitchell rewrites the history of energy and democracy to give us powerful new tools of comprehension with which to assess our own place — and possibilities — within the global web of carbon-based politics.”


No Is Not Enough
By Naomi Klein

“At the forefront of the corporate carbon-utopians is the Trump administration. Bringing us right up to the present moment is Naomi Klein’s urgent new work, which details the makeup of the ideologues now in the White House and the tactics they will use to entrench their extremist vision of market fundamentalism. Because utopia is never enough. But Klein is a writer of possibility and presents the urgent, coordinated, ecological, intersectional action needed to resist the perpetuation of the corporate utopia of 2017.”

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