NEW AND NEWSWORTHY:
What critics are saying about
E-SCRIBES EDITORS' PICK Autumn/Winter 2016
"After the Pretty Pox: The Attic is the first ever Editors' Pick from our editorial panel at e-scribes.com. It blew us away!
When we receive submissions for consideration for an editorial review, rarely do we find several editorial reviewers--working for 'big five' publishers in their day jobs--proclaiming the book one of the best they ever read. That's what happened here.
As one of those reviewers, I found my heart in my mouth, every sense almost frighteningly awakened. I had a deep desire to run into the street and tell everyone they must, must read it.
I don't recall ever having such a strong feeling about a book before, in fact. It stole my heart and imagination.
While many post-apocalyptic novels cleverly portray the visual and environmental devastation and the friction of the relationships and struggles ensuing, After the Pretty Pox: The Attic shows the deeply personal, gentle-paced, introspective sense of isolation and human suffering and then the overcoming of it.
Characters come alive with sentience; you can almost reach and hold them, and in fact, you'll wish you could do so, to fold the suffering ones in your arms and deliver them to safety.
To try and describe the book's story line and contents would be to do a disservice, because for us,this book is about everything; it's about each of us and the world we know--or, at least, the one thought we did.
The language used is strikingly, hauntingly beautiful, relatively formal prose perfectly selected;in places, we found this a literary work of art, and we devoured and savoured each sentence while holding fast onto the next breath, hardly daring to exhale.
After the Pretty Pox: The Attic is a wordsmith's feast, yet there is nothing pretentious about this novel; its words ripple through the reader's mind like a calm stream, free of hyperbole and unnecessary affect. It does not need to try too hard; we find it sublime as it stands.
A truly incredible,inspirational book and a feat of literary achievement, at e-Scribes, we all consider this is an outstanding, thought-provoking, self-questioning must-read.
After the Pretty Pox: The Attic is the first in a series; while we find it stands alone, on its own merit, we will devour the second with equal relish."
What readers are saying:
“For me, this book is near perfection. It had all the ingredients I look for in an "end of the world" book.
“The writing is brilliant. Never thought to find that from an author in this genre. I so look forward to reading the next in this series. Will be following this author.
“If the sequel(s) continue to be as good, I truly believe this story could become a classic in the genre.”
What critics are saying about
From Publisher's Weekly:
"Based on the actual Chinese expulsion of 1885, Baku's first novel is richly textured and well-crafted, with the setting of 19th-century Eureka, Calif. described with commendable accuracy.
Both historical and fictional characters thrive under Baku's hand. The novel resonates with current issues such as nationalism, immigration, and the oppression of women. In the hands of a less talented author, this heart-wrenching type of story could have fallen short, but fortunately, Baku comes through."
From the Historical Novel Society:
"The many heartbreaks of human trafficking and the systematic racism on which many American frontier towns were built form the backdrop of the plot of Carla Baku's well-designed and emotionally charged debut novel.
There's a genuine power in Ya Zhen's story, and Baku captures that power mainly through the well-researched believability of her book's setting.
A strong and unflinching read."