April Books: Atlas of Perfumed Botany, The Most Human Right, Power On!, and more

Explore a selection of our most anticipated new releases for April

New books this month: a cartography of fragrance; a bold argument for treating free speech as the fundamental human right; a graphic novel following a diverse group of teenage friends who learn how computing can be personally and politically empowering; and more. Explore these and a selection of our other new and soon-to-be-published titles below.


Literature’s Elsewheres: On the Necessity of Radical Literary Practices by Annette Gilbert

Cover of Literatures Elsewheres, featuring a gallery wall with a canvas with the title written on the canvas

What is a literary work? In Literature’s Elsewheres, Annette Gilbert tackles this question by deploying an extended concept of literature, examining a series of diverse, radical, experimental works from the 1950s to the present that occupy the liminal zone between art and literature. These works—by American Artist, Allison Parrish, Natalie Czech, Stephanie Syjuco, Fiona Banner, Elfriede Jelinek, Dan Graham, Robert Barry, George Brecht, and others—represent a pluralized literary practice that imagines a different literature emerging from its elsewheres.

“Beautifully composed, persuasively argued, and enormously informative.” —Marjorie Perloff, author of Infrathin

You might also like Imaginary Languages: Myths, Utopias, Fantasies, Illusions, and Linguistic Fictions by Marina Yaguello


Introduction to Algorithms, Fourth Edition by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest and Clifford Stein

Cover of Introduction to Algorithms, with a mobile-like structure of red triangles

Some books on algorithms are rigorous but incomplete; others cover masses of material but lack rigor. Introduction to Algorithms uniquely combines rigor and comprehensiveness. It covers a broad range of algorithms in depth, yet makes their design and analysis accessible to all levels of readers, with self-contained chapters and algorithms in pseudocode. Since the publication of the first edition, Introduction to Algorithms has become the leading algorithms text in universities worldwide as well as the standard reference for professionals. This fourth edition has been updated throughout, with new chapters on matchings in bipartite graphs, online algorithms, and machine learning, and new material on such topics as solving recurrence equations, hash tables, potential functions, and suffix arrays.

You might also like Algorithms by Panos Louridas


The Most Human Right: Why Free Speech Is Everything by Eric Heinze

Cover of The Most Human Right, featuring speech bubbles spelling out the title on a bright orange background

What are human rights? Are they laid out definitively in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the US Bill of Rights? Are they items on a checklist—dignity, justice, progress, standard of living, health care, housing? In The Most Human Right, Eric Heinze explains why global human rights systems have failed. International organizations constantly report on how governments manage human goods, such as fair trials, humane conditions of detention, healthcare, or housing. But to appease autocratic regimes, experts have ignored the primacy of free speech. Heinze argues that goods become rights only when citizens can claim them publicly and fearlessly: free speech is the fundamental right, without which the very concept of a “right” makes no sense.

“This insightful and penetrating analysis shows how free speech is not just another good thing we have a right to, like food and protection from abuse, but a prerequisite to the very concept of a ‘right.’ (If you disagree, would it be OK for authorities to prevent you from saying why?)” —Steven Pinker, author of Rationality

You might also like The New Fire: War, Peace, and Democracy in the Age of AI by Ben Buchanan and Andrew Imbrie


Power On! by Jean J. Ryoo and Jane Margolis

Cover image of Power On!, featuring a cartoon of the backs of characters' heads and arms with fists raised in power; and at the bottom of the image, a cartoon depicting four teenagers: a white blond boy, a Black girl at a laptop, a mixed race boy, and an Asian girl huddled around a computer screen

This lively graphic novel follows a diverse group of teenage friends as they discover that computing can be fun, creative, and empowering. Taylor, Christine, Antonio, and Jon seem like typical young teens—they communicate via endless texting, they share jokes, they worry about starting high school, and they have each other’s backs. But when a Black man is shot and killed by police in their city, they are outraged—and then they learn that he had been misidentified and tracked by an artificial intelligence program. How can an algorithm be racist? And what is an algorithm, anyway? 

“A must-read for every educator working to make the pressing issues of technology and harm legible to kids.” —Safiya Noble, UCLA; author of Algorithms of Oppression

You might also like The Curie Society by Heather Einhorn, Adam Staffaroni and Janet Harvey


Atlas of Perfumed Botany by Jean-Claude Ellena

Cover of the Atlas of Perfumed Botany, featuring a mint-green background and a drawing of a delicate white flower on a branch with green leaves

For perfume makers, each smell carries with it a multitude of associations and impressions that must be carefully analyzed and understood before the sum of all its parts emerges. All perfumers have their own idiosyncratic methods, drawn from their individual olfactory experiences, for classifying fragrances. In Atlas of Perfumed Botany, Jean-Claude Ellena—virtuoso perfumer and the “nose” of the luxury brand Hermès for more than a decade —leads readers on a poetic, geographic, and botanical journey of perfume discovery. Ellena offers a varied and fascinating cartography of fragrances, tracing historical connections and cultural exchanges. Full-page entries on plants ranging from bergamot to lavender are accompanied by detailed and vivid full-color botanical illustrations.

“Ellena writes in a vivid prose, and has a knack for translating smells into the written word… This enchanting volume merits a spot on any perfume connoisseur’s shelf.” —Publishers Weekly

You might also like Atlas of Poetic Botany by Francis Hallé


Climates. Habitats. Environments. edited by Ute Meta Bauer

Cover of Climates. Habitats. Environments., with an image depicting a tropical island overhanging on top of a bright ocean, with grey skies behind

Modeling the curatorial as a method for uniting cultural production and science, Climates. Habitats. Environments. weaves together image and text to address the global climate crisis. Through exhibitions, artworks, and essays, artists and writers transcend disciplinary boundaries and linear histories to bring their knowledge and experience to bear on the fight for environmental justice. In doing so, they draw on the rich cultural heritage of the Asia-Pacific, in conversation with international discourse, to demonstrate transdisciplinary solution-seeking.

You might also like Art Demonstration: Group Material and the 1980s by Claire Grace


Rewilding: The Radical New Science of Ecological Recovery: The Illustrated Edition by Paul Jepson and Cain Blythe

Cover of Rewilding, depicting three American bison standing in a field with tall green grass, and an ominous grey sky behind them

Progressive scientists and conservation professionals are pursuing a radical new approach to restoring ecosystems: rewilding. By recovering the ripple effect generated by the interactions among plant and animal species and natural disturbances, rewilding seeks to repair ecosystems by removing them from human engineering and reassembling guilds of megafauna from a mix of surviving wild and feral species and de-domesticated breeds, including elk, bison, and feral horses. Written by two leaders in the field, this book offers an abundantly illustrated guide to the science of rewilding. It shows in fascinating detail the ways in which ecologists are reassembling ecosystems that allow natural interactions rather than human interventions to steer their environmental trajectories.

You might also like Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space by Matthew Gandy


The Digital Closet: How the Internet Became Straight by Alexander Monea

Cover of The Digital Closet, depicting a same sex couple laying down holding hands in the background, with simulated webpage tabs open on top of the image

In The Digital Closet, Alexander Monea argues provocatively that the Internet became straight by suppressing everything that is not, forcing LGBTQ+ content into increasingly narrow channels—rendering it invisible through opaque algorithms, automated and human content moderation, warped keywords, and other strategies of digital overreach. Monea explains how the United States’ thirty-year “war on porn” has brought about the over-regulation of sexual content, which, in turn, has resulted in the censorship of much nonpornographic content—including material on sex education and LGBTQ+ activism. In this wide-ranging, enlightening account, Monea examines the cultural, technological, and political conditions that put LGBTQ+ content into the closet.

“Richly sourced and accessible, The Digital Closet is an exercise in pornoliteracy, offering a compelling reading of the internet as structurally heteronormative.” —Shaka McGlotten, SUNY Purchase College 

You might also like Digital Suffragists: Women, the Web, and the Future of Democracy by Marie Tessier


Productive Tensions: How Every Leader Can Tackle Innovation’s Toughest Trade-Offs by Christopher B. Bingham and Rory M. McDonald

Why is leading innovation in today’s dynamic business environment so distressingly hit-or-miss? Drawing on cutting-edge research and probing interviews with hundreds of leaders across three continents, in Productive Tensions Bingham and McDonald find that the most effective leaders and successful innovators embrace the tensions that arise from competing aims: efficiency or flexibility? consistency or change? product or purpose? Bingham and McDonald spotlight eight critical tensions that every innovator must master, and they spell out, with dozens of detailed examples of both success and failure, how to navigate them. The authors guide readers through innovation’s thorniest tensions, using examples drawn from the experience of organizations as varied as P&G, Instagram, the US military, Honda, In-N-Out Burger, Slack, Under Armour, and snowboarding company Burton.

“Brilliantly empowers leaders to throw off the constraints of either/or thinking that lead to mediocre new products and business models.” —Carey Jaros, CEO of Gojo Industries | Purell

You might also like Work without Jobs: How to Reboot Your Organization’s Work Operating System by Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau


The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis by Nate G. Hilger

Cover of The Parent Trap, featuring a mouse trap in the center of the image on a stark white background with broken colored pencils surrounding it

Parenting is, by many measures, the largest industry in the United States. Yet it receives little political support, and its many workers—also known as parents—toil in isolation, without recognition or compensation. If they ask for help, they are made to feel guilty. The parenting industry has no centralized organization representing its interests, and it spends almost nothing on research and development. It’s almost as if parents are set up to fail. In The Parent Trap, Nate Hilger explains how this inefficient, inequitable, and demoralizing situation has come about and what we can do about it.

“Hilger makes a compelling argument for federal investment in child-rearing.” —Library Journal

You might also like There’s Nothing Micro about a Billion Women: Making Finance Work for Women by Mary Ellen Iskenderian


Discover more of the MIT Press’s new releases