Tag Archives: Amanda DeWitt

Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction: July-December 2022

This post is sponsored by me and Home Field Advantage, available now in hardcover and ebook from Wednesday books and audio (narrated by Natalie Naudus and Lori Prince) by OrangeSky Audio!


Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Book Depository

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The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride by Hayli Thomson (July 19th)

58724672Taylor Parker has always been a funny girl―but when she is accepted as a finalist for a diverse writers’ internship at Saturday Night Live, it turns her life upside down. If she wants a shot at winning in a little more than a month, Taylor will have to come out about both of her secrets: She wants to be a comedian . . . and she’s a lesbian.

With a mom who gave up a career in comedy to raise her, and a comedian dad who left for a younger woman, working in comedy is a sore subject in Taylor’s house. To keep her secret under wraps, she sneaks out to do improv and hides her sketches under the bed, and to distract from her anxiety about the competition, Taylor frequents Salem’s Museum of Witchcraft to pine for Abigail Williams from the back row.

It’s at the Museum of Witchcraft where Taylor falls deeper in love with the girl who plays Abigail Williams―Charlotte Grey, an out and proud lesbian at Nathaniel Hawthorne High. Charlotte radiates so much confidence in her acting and queerness that Taylor can’t resist her. So when Charlotte reaches out for help on a school project, Taylor readily agrees. As they spend more time together, Taylor sees what living her truth and pursuing her dreams could bring her, but Charlotte can’t understand why someone as funny as Taylor wouldn’t go all out to make the most of her opportunities. To live up to her own comedy dreams and become the person she wants to be, Taylor will have to find the confidence to tell everyone exactly who she is and what she wants.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Continue reading Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction: July-December 2022

Happy International Asexuality Day!

We’re switching things up this year from Asexual Awareness Week to International Asexuality Day, because why not and also because who wants to wait a whole year to get a great list of ace books?? That said, a bunch of books from the last list are newly available or will be soon, so make sure you take a look there too! (Books from 2022 have been reposted here.)

Available Now(ish)

At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp

53403613. sy475 The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.

Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day…they don’t show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There’s a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they’re stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.

As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Forward March by Skye Quinlan

All Harper McKinley wants is for her dad’s presidential campaign to not interfere with her senior marching band season.

But Harper’s world gets upended when the drumline’s punk-rock section leader, Margot Blanchard, tries to reject her one day after practice. Someone pretending to be Harper on Tinder catfished Margot for a month and now she’s determined to get to know the real Harper.

But the real Harper has a homophobic mother who’s the dean and a father who is running for president on the Republican ticket. With the election at stake, neither of them are happy about Harper’s new friendship with out-and-proud Margot.

As the election draws closer, Harper is forced to figure out if she even likes girls, if she might be asexual, and if it’s worth coming out at all.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon where everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and when the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.

Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Target | Angry Robot

The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann

Thirty, flirty, and asexual Joy is secretly in love with her best friend Malcolm, but she’s never been brave enough to say so. When he unexpectedly announces that he’s met the love of his life—and no, it’s not Joy—she’s heartbroken. Malcolm invites her on a weekend getaway, and Joy decides it’s her last chance to show him exactly what he’s overlooking. But maybe Joy is the one missing something…or someone…and his name is Fox.

Fox sees a kindred spirit in Joy—and decides to help her. He proposes they pretend to fall for each other on the weekend trip to make Malcolm jealous. But spending time with Fox shows Joy what it’s like to not be the third wheel, and there’s no mistaking the way he makes her feel. Could Fox be the romantic partner she’s always deserved?

Buy it: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Ripped Bodice

Arden Grey by Ray Stoeve

58667398Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won’t talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality—which isn’t even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she’s got her love of film photography and her best and only friend, Jamie, to help her cope. Then Jamie, who is trans, starts dating Caroline, and suddenly he isn’t so reliable. Arden’s insecurity about their friendship grows. She starts to wonder if she’s jealous or if Jamie’s relationship with Caroline is somehow unhealthy—and it makes her reconsider how much of her relationship with her absent mom wasn’t okay, too.

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

To Preorder

Never Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky (May 3rd)

(Wren is demisexual.)

57352258Dear (never-been-quite-over-you) Crush,
It’s been a few years since we were together,
but I can’t stop thinking about the time we almost…

Wren Roland has never been kissed, but he wants that movie-perfect ending more than anything. Feeling nostalgic on the eve of his birthday, he sends emails to all the boys he (ahem) loved before he came out. Morning brings the inevitable Oh God What Did I Do?, but he brushes that panic aside. Why stress about it? None of his could-have-beens are actually going to read the emails, much less respond. Right?

Enter Derick Haverford, Wren’s #1 pre-coming-out-crush and his drive-in theater’s new social media intern. Everyone claims he’s coasting on cinematic good looks and his father’s connections, but Wren has always known there’s much more to Derick than meets the eye. Too bad he doesn’t feel the same way about the infamous almost-kiss that once rocked Wren’s world.

Whatever. Wren’s no longer a closeted teenager; he can survive this. But as their hazy summer becomes consumed with a special project that may just save the struggling drive-in for good, Wren and Derick are drawn ever-closer…and maybe, finally, Wren’s dream of a perfect-kiss-before-the-credits is within reach.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson (May 10, 2022)

(Lou is demisexual.)

58782872. sy475 Lou has enough confusion in front of her this summer. She’ll be working in her family’s ice cream shack with her newly ex-boyfriend—whose kisses never made her feel desire, only discomfort—and her former best friend, King, who is back in their Canadian prairie town after disappearing three years ago without a word.

But when she gets a letter from her biological father—a man she hoped would stay behind bars for the rest of his life—Lou immediately knows that she cannot meet him, no matter how much he insists.

While King’s friendship makes Lou feel safer and warmer than she would have thought possible, when her family’s business comes under threat, she soon realizes that she can’t ignore her father forever.

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

I Want to Be a Wall by Honami Shirono (May 10, 2022)

Yuriko, an asexual woman, agrees to take a husband to satisfy her parents-which is how she finds herself tying the knot with Gakurouta, a gay man in love with his childhood friend with his own family circumstances. And so begins the tale of their marriage of convenience.

Buy it: Yen Press

It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano (August 2nd)

(Yasmín is questioning.)

It Sounds Like This by Anna MerianoYasmín Treviño didn’t have much of a freshman year thanks to Hurricane Humphrey, but she’s ready to take sophomore year by storm. That means mastering the marching side of marching band—fast!—so she can outshine her BFF Sofia as top of the flute section, earn first chair, and impress both her future college admission boards and her comfortably unattainable drum major crush Gilberto Reyes.

But Yasmín steps off on the wrong foot when she reports an anonymous gossip Instagram account harassing new band members and accidentally gets the entire low brass section suspended from extracurriculars. With no low brass section, the band is doomed, so Yasmín decides to take things into her own hands, learn to play the tuba, and lead a gaggle of rowdy freshman boys who are just as green to marching and playing as she is. She’ll happily wrestle an ancient school tuba if it means fixing the mess she might have caused.

But when the secret gossip Instagram escalates their campaign of harassment and Yasmín’s friendship with Sofia deteriorates, things at school might be too hard to bear. Luckily, the support of Yasmín’s new section—especially introverted section leader Bloom, a sweet ace and aro-spectrum boy—might just turn things around.

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia (August 9, 2022)

(Firuz is aroace.)

Firuz-e Jafari is one of the fortunate ones who have emigrated to the Democratic Free State of Qilwa. Firuz has escaped the slaughter of other traditional Sassanid blood-magic practitioners. They have a good job at a free healing clinic in Qilwa; a kindly new employer, Kofi; and a gifted new student, Afsoneh, a troubled orphan refugee.

But Firuz and Kofi have discovered a terrible new disease which leaves mysterious bruises on its victims. The illness is spreading quickly through Qilwa, and there are dangerous accusations of ineptly-performed blood magic.

In order to survive, Firuz must break a deadly cycle of prejudice while finding a fresh start for their both their blood and found family.

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

The Trouble With Robots by Michelle Morweis (September 6, 2022)

Evelyn strives for excellence. Allie couldn’t care less. Together,
these polar opposites must work together if they have any hope
of saving their school’s robotics program.

Eighth-graders Evelyn and Allie are in trouble. Evelyn’s constant
need for perfection has blown some fuses among her robotics
teammates, and she’s worried nobody’s taking the upcoming
competition seriously. Allie is new to school, and she’s had a history
of short-circuiting on teachers and other kids.

So when Allie is assigned to the robotics team as a last resort, all
Evelyn can see is just another wrench in the works! But as Allie
confronts a past stricken with grief and learns to open up, the gears
click into place as she discovers that Evelyn’s teammates have a lot
to offer—if only Evelyn allowed them to participate in a role that plays to their strengths.

Can Evelyn learn to let go and listen to what Allie has to say? Or will
their spot in the competition go up in smoke along with their school’s robotics program and Allie’s only chance at redemption?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt (September 6, 2022)

Six of Crows goes to Las Vegas in debut author Amanda DeWitt’s suspenseful casino heist, starring an entire crew of asexual teens.

Some people join chess club, some people play football. Jack Shannon runs a secret blackjack ring in his private school’s basement. What else is the son of a Las Vegas casino mogul supposed to do?

Everything starts falling apart when Jack’s mom is arrested for their family’s ties to organized crime. His sister Beth thinks this is the Shannon family’s chance to finally go straight, but Jack knows that something’s not right. His mom was sold out, and he knows by who. Peter Carlevaro: rival casino owner and jilted lover. Gross.

Jack hatches a plan to find out what Carlevaro’s holding over his mom’s head, but he can’t do it alone. He recruits his closest friends—the asexual support group he met through fandom forums. Now all he has to do is infiltrate a high-stakes gambling club and dodge dark family secrets, while hopelessly navigating what it means to be in love while asexual. Easy, right?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Funeral Girl by Emma K. Ohland (September 6, 2022)

(Georgia is aroace.)

58651960. sx318 Sixteen-year-old Georgia Richter feels conflicted about the funeral home her parents run―especially because she has the ability to summon ghosts.

With one touch of any body that passes through Richter Funeral Home, she can awaken the spirit of the departed. With one more touch, she makes the spirit disappear, to a fate that remains mysterious to Georgia. To cope with her deep anxiety about death, she does her best to fulfill the final wishes of the deceased whose ghosts she briefly revives.

Then her classmate Milo’s body arrives at Richter―and his spirit wants help with unfinished business, forcing Georgia to reckon with her relationship to grief and mortality.

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

Silver in the Mist by Emily Victoria (November 1, 2022)

(Devlin is aroace.)

Eight years ago, everything changed for Devlin: Her country was attacked. Her father was killed. And her mother became the Royal Spymistress, retreating into her position away from everyone… even her daughter.

Joining the spy ranks herself, Dev sees her mother only when receiving assignments. She wants more, but she understands the peril their country, Aris, is in. The malevolent magic force of The Mists is swallowing Aris’s edges, their country is vulnerable to another attack from their wealthier neighbor, and the magic casters who protect them from both are burning out.

Dev has known strength and survival her whole life, but with a dangerous new assignment of infiltrating the royal court of their neighbor country Cerena to steal the magic they need, she learns that not all that glitters is weak. And not all stories are true.

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Add to Your TBR

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt

Today on the site I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of an extremely exciting upcoming YA: the ace heist debut Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt, coming September 6th from Peachtree Teen! Here’s the story:

Six of Crows goes to Las Vegas in debut author Amanda DeWitt’s suspenseful casino heist, starring an entire crew of asexual teens.

Some people join chess club, some people play football. Jack Shannon runs a secret blackjack ring in his private school’s basement. What else is the son of a Las Vegas casino mogul supposed to do?

Everything starts falling apart when Jack’s mom is arrested for their family’s ties to organized crime. His sister Beth thinks this is the Shannon family’s chance to finally go straight, but Jack knows that something’s not right. His mom was sold out, and he knows by who. Peter Carlevaro: rival casino owner and jilted lover. Gross.

Jack hatches a plan to find out what Carlevaro’s holding over his mom’s head, but he can’t do it alone. He recruits his closest friends—the asexual support group he met through fandom forums. Now all he has to do is infiltrate a high-stakes gambling club and dodge dark family secrets, while hopelessly navigating what it means to be in love while asexual. Easy, right?

And here’s the wildly eye-catching cover, designed by Adela Pons with art by Víctor Bregante!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

A word from our author…

“Aces Wild isn’t a book I ever expected to write, and I never would have guessed that it would be my debut! When I first started putting the words on the page, I was intimidated by writing a contemporary story—how do you make real life exciting?! I wanted to write asexual characters, but I didn’t want to write a story about asexuality, and I wasn’t sure if that was allowed. As the pieces of the story came together, I realized how important they were to me, and how important I hoped they could be for readers someday. I would write a story about comedy and larger-than-life adventure and asexuality too, but not as something that the characters struggled with or came to understand, but as something that had brought them together.

I’ll always love this story because it’s fun and as flashy as its beautiful cover (look at that neon!), but also because it’s something I wrote during a very difficult time in my life, and so much of the love and understanding that kept me going then is held in its pages. Deep at its heart, Aces Wild is about understanding yourself in the face of loss and change, and the different types of love that help us along the way, if we allow ourselves to ask for it. It’s also about silly jokes and internet friends and blackjack too, so you could say that it has range. It means so much to me to have it out into the world, I hope readers enjoy it as much as I do!”

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Amanda DeWitt is an author and librarian, ensuring that she spends as much time around books as possible. She also enjoys Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragon-ing, and even more writing, just not whatever it is she really should be writing. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Masters in Information and Library Science. She lives in Clearwater, Florida with her dogs, cats, and assortment of chickens. Aces Wild: A Heist is her debut novel.

July 2021 Deal Announcements

Children’s Fiction

Author of I THINK I LOVE YOU Auriane Desombre‘s debut THE SISTER SPLIT, pitched as a reverse Parent Trap, in which a young girl teams up with her future step sister to create a plan full of hijinks that will stop their parents from getting married, so she doesn’t have to move away from the city and leave her best friend – a girl – she’s starting to develop feelings for behind, to Kelsey Horton at Delacorte, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2023, by Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management (world).

Alex Kahler writing as K.R. Alexander’s GALLOWGATE, set in a school for banishing wayward ghosts, where a haunted boy finds forbidden magic, otherworldly foes, fierce friends, and queer romance, to David Levithan at Scholastic, for publication in spring 2023, by Brent Taylor at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world).

Adult Fiction

Hayden Stone’s AN UNEXPECTED KIND OF LOVE, pitched as Notting Hill but queer, in which an uptight bookseller stumbles headlong into a relationship with the actor whose movie is filming in his family’s struggling shop, to Heather Howland at Entangled Embrace, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2021 (world).

Booker winner for SHUGGIE BAIN Douglas Stuart’s YOUNG MUNGO, a portrayal of working-class life and a suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men born under different stars—a Protestant and a Catholic—who should be sworn enemies if they’re to be seen as men at all, again to Peter Blackstock at Grove/Atlantic, for publication on April 5, 2022, by Anna Stein at ICM (NA).

Author of SEVEN SUSPECTS and A KIND OF JUSTICE Renee James’s BEATNIKKI’S CAFE, in which a middle-aged transgender business woman tries to keep a low profile, but when a goon assaults her business partner, she reduces him to a bloody mess—and suddenly, she and everyone close to her are targets of a revenge-minded thug who is ruthless, clever, and unbound by any moral code, to Michael Nava at Amble, in a nice deal, for publication in March 2022, by Tina Schwartz at The Purcell Agency (world English).

Bronwyn Fischer’s THE RED FERN POEM, pitched as a queer CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS or a modern THE PRICE OF SALT, following a first-year university student and an older woman whose unexpected interest in her sparks an all-consuming and insidious love affair, exploring youthful self-consciousness, self-delusion, and self-definition, to Abby Muller at Algonquin, for publication in spring 2023, by Sam Hiyate at The Rights Factory (world, excl. Canada and UK).

Lambda Literary Award Finalist, GLAAD Media Award winner, and author of REAL QUEER AMERICA Samantha Allen’s PATRICIA WANTS TO CUDDLE, a contemporary horror comedy novel pitched as queer Grendel for the Instagram era, following a group of contestants on a reality television dating competition as they compete for love, and their lives, while on a remote island that’s home to an elusive and woefully misunderstood creature, to Sareena Kamath at Zando, at auction, by Leila Campoli at Stonesong (world English).

Author of HOW TO LIVE IN DETROIT WITHOUT BEING A JACKASS Aaron Foley’s BOYS COME FIRST, about the lives of 30-something Black gay men navigating love, life, and career in Detroit as they confront their evolving friendship and individual hiccups, including workplace micro-aggressions, bad Tinder dates, situationships and frenemies, while attempting to maintain their Blackness in America’s comeback city and the ever-changing expectations of homosexuality in structures largely architected by white gay men, to Anne Trubek at Belt, in a nice deal, for publication in May 2022 (US).

Young Adult Fiction

AJ Mason’s KLOUD 9, a queer space opera graphic novel about a lonely orphan trying to keep himself afloat with odd jobs, and an extraterrestrial star soldier who, after falling in love, are forced to go on the run and flee the solar system, joined by a motley crew, illustrated by Dominic Bustamante, to Erika Turner at IDW Publishing, in a three-book deal, for publication in 2023, by Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management (world).

Author of THE CAMINO CLUB Kevin Craig’s BOOK OF DREAMS, in which a young man is given a book by a mysterious bookseller and falls into its pages, and must find an escape before he becomes a chapter in its horrific narrative; and WHERE IS ETHAN SINCLAIR, in which two young men try to solve the puzzling disappearance of a friend by studying his blog, only to unravel a mystery that sets them on a path to fight for justice for their missing friend—and hopefully bring him home safe, to Annie Harper at Duet, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2022 (world). Rights: MJ Courchesne at Gryphon Publishing Consulting

Rose Szabo’s WE ALL FALL DOWN, the first book in the River City duology, about a city where magic used to thrive and four queer young people are cast as archetypal figures—the maiden, the hero, the monster, and the witch—in an age-old ritual that will revive the flow of magic, even though none of them quite fit the roles thrust upon them and in the end discover that they can only stay true to themselves, to Trisha de Guzman at Farrar, Straus Children’s, in a very nice deal, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2022, by Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency (world English).

Author of ENTER TITLE HERE (as Rahul Kanakia) and WE ARE TOTALLY NORMAL Naomi Kanakia’s JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE, about an Indian American trans girl who transfers from her prestigious all-boys’ school to the sister school that she’s always idealized, and has to decide whether she’s content to be treated like a second-class citizen or whether to risk her place by demanding that her school live up to its own principles, to Stephanie Guerdan at Harper Teen, for publication in spring 2023, by Christopher Schelling at Selectric Artists (world).

Amanda DeWitt’s ACES WILD, in which a character pitched as a modern asexual Kaz Brekker assembles a crew of ace teens he met through fandom forums and leads them on a Las Vegas heist to prove his incarcerated mother was set up by a rival casino owner, to Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen, in a nice deal, for publication in fall 2022, by Cate Hart at Harvey Klinger (world).

Lambda Literary Award finalist and author of RUNNING WILD Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s NO STOPPING US NOW, pitched as Mrs. America meets A League of Their Own, where a 17-year-old girl whose chance encounter with Gloria Steinem inspires her to fight for her public school to actually follow the new Title IX law, facing a menacing coach and navigating her feelings for a fellow teammate in the process; a story about the joy of sports and the power of sisterhood based on the author’s own activism as a champion athlete in 1970s Portland, Oregon, to Kat Georges at Three Rooms Press, for publication in spring 2022 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Title IX’s passage, by Reiko Davis at DeFiore and Company (world).

Editor of KINDRED Michael Earp, ed.’s fully illustrated untitled YA queer fairy tales anthology, which interprets original fairy tales with a queered ideology, questioning the heteronormative culture from which these traditional stories come and how that is perpetuated when left unexamined; contributors include Amie Kaufman, Mackenzi Lee, Dean Atta, Will Kostakis, Lily Wilkinson, Sophie Gonzales, Alison Evans, Alexandra Villasante, Abdi Nazemian, Gary Lonesborough, and James Brandon, to Meg Whelan at Affirm Press, by Ben Fowler at Abner Stein, on behalf of Taryn Fagerness Agency and Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency (world).

Non-Fiction

Journalist, critic, and host of Crooked Media’s podcast Keep It Ira Madison III’s PURE INNOCENT FUN, a collection of essays that explores popular culture of the 1990s and earlier through the author’s perspective and lived experience as a Black, gay TV writer and cultural critic, to Jamia Wilson at Random House, at auction, by Erin Malone at William Morris Endeavor (NA).

National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Yaddo, and Michener Center for Writers fellow Greg Marshall‘s LEG: THE STORY OF A LIMB AND THE BOY WHO GREW FROM IT, a memoir that grapples with family, disability, illness, and coming of age in two closets–as a gay man and as a man living with cerebral palsy–while exploring with trenchant humor what it means to “transform” when there are parts of yourself you cannot change, pitched in the vein of Ryan O’Connell meets David Sedaris, to Zachary Knoll at Simon & Schuster, in a pre-empt, by Hannah Brattesani at Friedrich Agency (NA).

Slate journalist June Thomas’s WHERE ARE ALL THE LESBIANS?, a cultural history, celebration, and critical look at queer women’s communities in the second half of the 20th century, to Seal Press, at auction.