Early ReviewersBellevue Literary Press
Bellevue Literary Press is devoted to publishing literary fiction and nonfiction at the intersection of the arts and sciences because we believe that science and the humanities are natural companions for understanding the human experience. We feature exceptional literature that explores the nature of perception and the underpinnings of the social contract. With each book we publish, our goal is to foster a rich, interdisciplinary dialogue that will forge new tools for thinking and engaging with the world.
June 2022 Batch
Request By: June 27 at 06:00 pm EDT - 22 hours left!
Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott meet the horrors of the Civil War as they minister to its casualties
After the Union Army’s defeat at Fredericksburg in 1862, Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott converge on Washington to nurse the sick, wounded, and dying. Whitman was a man of many contradictions: egocentric yet compassionate, impatient with religiosity yet moved by the spiritual in all humankind, bigoted yet soon to become known as the great poet of democracy. Alcott was an intense, intellectual, independent woman, an abolitionist and suffragist, who was compelled by financial circumstance to publish saccharine magazine stories yet would go on to write the enduring and beloved Little Women. As Lock captures the musicality of their unique voices and their encounters with luminaries ranging from Lincoln to battlefield photographer Mathew Brady to reformer Dorothea Dix, he deftly renders the war’s impact on their personal and artistic development.
Inspired by Whitman’s poem The Wound-Dresser and Alcott’s Hospital Sketches, the ninth stand-alone book in The American Novels series is a masterful dual portrait of two iconic authors who took different paths toward chronicling a country beset by prejudice and at war with itself.
“Gripping... Distinctive... A haunting novel that offers candid portraits of literary legends.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Lock captures the strong personalities of Whitman and Alcott without glossing over their flaws in this fascinating snapshot of history.” —Library Journal
April 2022 Batch
Giveaway Ended: April 25 at 06:00 pm EDT
An incomparable storyteller serves up an enchanting concoction of art, love, and longing
In fifteen masterful stories, Frederic Tuten entertains questions of existential magnitude, pervasive yearning, and the creative impulse. A wealthy older woman reflects on her relationship with her drowned husband, a painter, as she awaits her own watery demise. An exhausted artist, feeling stuck, reads a book of criticism about allegory and symbolism before tossing her paintings out the window. Writing a book about the lives of artists he admires—Cezanne, Monet, Rousseau—a man imagines how each vignette could be a life lesson for his wife, the artist he perhaps admires the most.
Whether set in Tuten’s beloved Lower East Side, Rome’s Borghese Gardens, or a French seaside resort, these stories shift seamlessly between the poignancy of memory into the logic of fairytales or dreams, demonstrating Tuten’s exceptional ability to transmute his passion for art and life to the page.
“Frederic Tuten’s stories are filled with art, dreams, yearning, and a past that he captures beautifully and deftly and then lets go. The Bar at Twilight is a wonderful, evocative collection.” —Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings and The Female Persuasion
March 2022 Batch
Giveaway Ended: March 28 at 06:00 pm EDT
A young woman discovers what lurks beneath the system that anointed her among the best and brightest of her generation in this accomplished debut novel
Laura, a student from a modest background, escapes her small town to join the ranks of the academic elite on a Weatherfield fellowship to study at Oxford University. She enthusiastically throws herself into her coursework, yet she is never able to escape a feeling of unease and dislocation among her fellow chosen “students of promise and ambition.”
Years later, back in the United States with a PhD and dissertation on Henry James, she loses her job as an adjunct professor and reconnects with the Weatherfield Foundation. Commissioned to write a history for its centennial, she becomes obsessed by the Gilded Age origins of the Weatherfield fortune, rooted in the exploitation and misery of sugar production. As she is lured back into abandoned friendships within the glimmering group, she discovers hidden aspects of herself and others that point the way to a terrifying freedom.
“A smart, razor-sharp exploration of the precarious island of academic life and the cold unforgiving waters that surround it.” —Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation and Weather
“Phillips’s portrait of a stalled would-be academic is thrillingly intimate and ambitious in its scope, evoking at turns Rachel Cusk, Lynn Steger Strong’s Want, and Christine Smallwood’s The Life of the Mind. Deadpan and dread-filled, shadowed by the specters of war and late capitalism, Benefit probes both the futility and necessity of intellectual work, all in the wry, wise voice of an uncommonly clear-eyed friend.” —Jessica Winter, author of Break in Case of Emergency and The Fourth Child
February 2022 Batch
Giveaway Ended: February 28 at 06:00 pm EST
A virtuosic debut from a gifted violinist searching for a new mode of artistic becoming
How does time shape consciousness and consciousness, time? Do we live in time, or does time live in us? And how does music, with its patterns of rhythm and harmony, inform our experience of time? Uncommon Measure explores these questions from the perspective of a young Korean American who dedicated herself to perfecting her art until performance anxiety forced her to give up the dream of becoming a concert solo violinist. Anchoring her story in illuminating research in neuroscience and quantum physics, Hodges traces her own passage through difficult family dynamics, prejudice, and enormous personal expectations to come to terms with the meaning of a life reimagined—one still shaped by classical music but moving toward the freedom of improvisation.
“Hodges debuts with a literary mosaic of invention, inquiry, and wonder that interrogates classical music, quantum entanglement, the Tiger Mother stereotype, and the fluidity of time. . . . A luminous meditation on the ways in which art, freedom, and identity intertwine. This impresses at every turn.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Masterful. . . . [Hodges’s] writing is deeply intelligent and exquisitely personal, expertly balancing emotional vulnerability with trenchant analysis, and her lyrical prose and clarity of thought render each page a pleasure to read.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)