(09/15/2014) Route 66: A Road to America's Landscape, History, and Culture (Plains Histories) by Markku Henriksson
(09/15/2014) Route 66: A Road to America's Landscape, History, and Culture (Plains Histories) by Markku Henriksson. Lubbock. 2014. Texas Tech University Press. 269 pages. paperback. 9780896728257. Cover design by Ashley Beck. Foreword by Susan A. Miller. Plains Histories. keywords: Highways America History Transportation Route 66
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
When Markku Henriksson was growing up in Finland, the song '(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66' was one of only two he could recognize--in English or Finnish. It was not until 1989 that Henriksson would catch his first glimpse of the legendary highway. It was enough to lure Henriksson four years later to the second international Route 66 festival in Flagstaff. There he realized that Route 66 was the perfect basis for a multidisciplinary American Studies course, one that he has been teaching at the University of Helsinki ever since. Forming the soul of this work--and yielding a more holistic and complex picture than any previous study--are Henriksson's 1996 (east to west) and 2002 (west to east) journeys along the full length of the Route and his mastery of the literature and film that illuminate the Route's place in Americana. Not a history of the road itself and the towns along the way, Henriksson's perspective offers insight into America and its culture as revealed in its peoples, their histories, cultures, and music as displayed along the Mother Road. Editorial Reviews Review Route 66 is a love letter to America's Main Street. For all its historical and cultural context, this is, ultimately, a Finn's celebration of that fantasy of the American Road. --Susan A. Miller, from the foreword.
McDonnell Douglass Chair of American Studies at the University of Helsinki, Markku Henriksson has lectured on Route 66 in Estonia, Sweden, and Canada, as well as Finland and the United States.
(09/14/2014) Tiny Game Hunting: Environmentally Healthy Ways to Trap and Kill the Pests in Your House and Garden New Edition by Hilary Dole Klein and Adrian M. Wenner
(09/14/2014) Tiny Game Hunting: Environmentally Healthy Ways to Trap and Kill the Pests in Your House and Garden New Edition by Hilary Dole Klein and Adrian M. Wenner. Berkeley. 2001. University of California Press. 268 pages. paperback. 9780520221079. Line drawings by Courtlandt Johnson. keywords: Pests Ecology
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Every year Americans use a staggering five hundred million pounds of toxic pesticides in and around their homes, schools, parks, and roads-a growing health risk for people and the environment. But are these poisons really necessary? This book, appealing to the hunter in us all, shows how to triumph in combat with pests without losing the war to toxic chemicals. Tiny Game Hunting, written in a lively and entertaining style and illustrated with detailed drawings, gives more than two hundred tried-and-true ways to control or kill common household and garden pests without using toxic pesticides.
(09/13/2014) Pitching Around Fidel: A Journey into the Heart of Cuban Sports by S. L. Price. Gainesville. 2014. University Press of Florida. 288 pages. paperback. 9780813049687. keywords: Baseball Cuba
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In an artful pastiche of observation, personal narrative, interviews, and investigative reporting, S.L. Price, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, describes sports and athletes in today's Cuba. On his journeys to the island, Price finds a country that celebrates sports like no other and a regime that uses games as both symbol and weapon in its dying revolution. He finds Olympic and world champion boxers, track stars, volleyball and baseball players, but he also finds that with Castro's revolution staggering beneath the weight of a great depression, Cuba's famed sports system is imploding. Athletes are defecting by plane and raft. Superstars bike to games and legends like boxer Teofilo Stevenson are forced to lost themselves in a bottle of rum. Beyond an examination of sports in the hothouse of revolution, Pitching Around Fidel presents a vibrant and realistic portrait of Cuba today, complete with sex-happy tourists, blackouts, Fidel's famous former lover, and a black-power fugitive wanted in the U.S. for murder and hijacking. At once a biting travelogue and a meditation on sports in both America and Cuba, Pitching Around Fidel is a valuable document about a time and place that is close to fading away. 'Fascinating.'--Chicago Tribune. 'Unprecedented. Astonishing.'--Miami Herald. 'A rarity: a balanced, compassionate, intimate journal of Cuba's slow, agonizing decay.'--Sports Illustrated. 'Price describes a lovely, proud, impoverished people caught in [a] repressive system that destroys thousands as it celebrates a handful.'--Kirkus 'Takes the wider view, poking its nose into the politics and culture of Cuba every few pages. Price has an easy, lyrical style that elevates his work beyond the usual sports fare.'--Business Week. 'Fascinating, sometimes hilarious, often heart-wrenching.'--Philadelphia Inquirer. 'Easily the most engaging book on Cuban sports--if not Cuba--published in many years.'--Baseball America. 'Offers a rare and provocative tour of the world's most remarkable sports culture. It's an unforgettable story of supremely gifted athletes, the utter madness of politics, and the scent of big money across the sea.'--Carl Hiaasen. 'Price is one of the finest writers on sports anywhere.'--USA Today.
(09/12/2014) The Bat: The First Harry Hole Thriller by Jo Nesbø. London. 2012. Harvill Secker. 374 pages. paperback. 9781846556005. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. keywords: Mystery Norway Literature Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The first Inspector Harry Hole novel. Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.
Jo Nesbø’s books, translated into forty-seven languages, have sold more than fifteen million copies worldwide. His previous Harry Hole novels include THE REDBREAST, NEMESIS, THE DEVIL’S STAR THE SNOWMAN, and THE LEOPARD, and he is the author of HEADHUNTERS and several children’s books. He has received the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel. He is also a musician, songwriter, and economist and lives in Oslo.
(09/11/2014) Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman by Peter Korn. Boston. 2014. David R. Godine. 181 pages. hardcover. 9781567925111. keywords: Craft
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The good life that society prescribes -- the untrammeled pursuit of wealth and fame, leisure and consumption -- often leaves some essential part of us malnourished. We may be capable, competent individuals yet find ourselves starved for avenues of engagement that provide more satisfying sustenance. Furniture making, practiced as a craft in the twenty-first century, is a decidedly marginal occupation. Yet the view from the periphery can be illuminating. For woodworker Peter Korn, the challenging work of bringing something new and meaningful into the world through one's own volition -- whether in the arts, the kitchen, or the marketplace -- is exactly what generates the authenticity, meaning, and fulfillment for which many of us yearn. In this moving account, Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer/maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and finally founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected, non-profit institution. This is not a 'how-to' book in any sense. Korn wants to get at the why of craft in particular, and the satisfactions of creative work in general, to understand their essential nature. How does the making of objects shape our identities? How do the products of creative work inform society? In short, what does the process of making things reveal to us about ourselves? Korn draws on four decades of hands-on experience to answer these questions eloquently, and often poignantly, in this personal, introspective, and revealing book. 'Peter Korn writes that his work as a furniture-maker tries to accomplish three goals: integrity, simplicity, and grace. Fortunately, these qualities are also what distinguish his writing. In this book, he gives the reader an almost tangible sense of what it takes to be a creative craftsman, a homo faber, a maker of things, which is one of the central elements of the human condition. But he does much more than that: he explores what the search for self and for belonging entails in our rapidly changing times.' --Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. 'Peter Korn's brilliant new book resonates with me as a visual artist in a profound way. I share his passion for craft and admire his ability to take a plank of wood and fashion anything he sets his mind to. Throughout the centuries, furniture makers and painters have shared a set of belief systems centered on craft. The pleasure and calm that I get as a painter fashioning a complicated work from colored dirt on canvas is, I believe, the same pleasure and peace that Peter Korn and his students get as craftsmen.' --Chuck Close.
(09/10/2014) State of Defiance: Challenging the Johns Committee's Assault on Civil Liberties by Judith G. Poucher
(09/10/2014) State of Defiance: Challenging the Johns Committee's Assault on Civil Liberties by Judith G. Poucher. Gainesville. 2014. University Press of Florida. 217 pages. hardcover. 9780813049939. keywords: History America Politics NAACP
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
'Judith Poucher's account of the resistance to the Johns Committee gives us the individual stories that characterize successful social protest movements. Situated between civil rights, Gay and Lesbian history, and the fight over academic freedom, this book weaves these difficult histories into a single narrative.'--Robert Cassanello, author of To Render Invisible. 'Looks at Florida's Johns Committee in a new way: through the lives and memories of Floridians affected by its persecutions in the 1950s. Their stories are inspiring, disturbing, and instructive.'--Sarah H. Brown, author of Standing Against Dragons. 'An important addition to the expanding body of scholarship on the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee. Readers will find intriguing the process by which 'ordinary citizens' championed integrity and conscience in the face of state oppression.'--Karen L. Graves, author of And They Were Wonderful Teachers: Florida's Purge of Gay and Lesbian Teachers. 'Readers will learn a great deal from the lives of these unsung but extraordinary people who refused to cower before this instrument of legislative terror.'--Steven F. Lawson, author of Civil Rights Crossroads. The Johns Committee, a product of the red scare in Florida, grabbed headlines and destroyed lives. Its goal was to halt integration by destroying the NAACP in Florida and smearing integrationists. Citizens were first subpoenaed under charges of communist tendencies and later for homosexual or subversive behavior. Drawing on previously unpublished sources and newly unsealed records, Judith Poucher profiles five individuals who stood up to the Johns Committee. Virgil Hawkins and Ruth Perry were civil rights activists who, respectively, foiled the committee's plans to stop integration at the University of Florida and refused to divulge Florida and Miami NAACP records. G. G. Mock, a bartender in Tampa, was arrested and shackled in the nude by police but would not reveal the name of her girlfriend, who was a teacher. University of Florida professor Sig Diettrich was threatened with twenty years in prison and being 'outed,' yet he still refused to name names. Margaret Fisher, a college administrator, helped to bring the committee's investigation of the University of South Florida into the open, publicly condemning their bullying. By reexamining the daring stands taken by these ordinary citizens, Poucher illustrates not only the abuses propagated by the committee but also the collective power of individuals to effect change.
Judith G. Poucher is retired professor of history at Florida State College. Her work has appeared in the Florida Historical Quarterly and in Making Waves: Female Activists in Twentieth-Century Florida.
(09/09/2014) The Siren in the Night by Eddie Iroh. Exeter. 1982. Heinemann. 203 pages. 255. paperback. 0435902555. Cover illustration by Martin Lovis. keywords: Literature Africa Nigeria Biafra
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The Nigerian civil war has ended. Biafra has surrendered. But a new war is just beginning. Ben Odo Udaja, a one-time Colonel of the People’s Army, defected from Biafra towards the end of the war. At first he is apprehensive about his fate. With surrender and amnesty, however, he begins to see less to fear, except perhaps reprisals from his former Biafran collaborators. But Colonel Mike Kolawole, head of the Federal Security and Intelligence Directorate, himself no stranger to acts of mindlessness, is convinced that amnesty should not mean amnesia. Kolawole considers the Biafran surrender is a ruse and Ben Udaja and his ilk are the new leaders of a rebel resurgence. In this fast moving thriller, Eddie Iroh brings his war trilogy to its exciting conclusion.
EDDIE IROH, author of Forty-eight Guns for the General (AWS 189) and Toads of War (AWS 213), now completes his action-packed trilogy of the war in Biafra. During the war he was desk editor for the Biafran War Information Bureau. Afterwards he worked for Reuters, the news agency, for Evans, the publishers, and then for the Features and Documentary Department of Nigerian Television, Enugu. Since 1979 he has been the Head and Controller of the Documentary Department, Nigerian Television Authority, Lagos, where he is currently writing and directing a documentary series on the origin and development of the Nigerian peoples called ‘Portrait of a Culture’.
(09/08/2014) Hermann Hesse's Fictions of the Self: Autobiography and the Confessional Imagination by Eugene L. Stelzig
(09/08/2014) Hermann Hesse's Fictions of the Self: Autobiography and the Confessional Imagination by Eugene L. Stelzig. Princeton. 1988. Princeton University Press. 346 pages. hardcover. 0691067503. keywords: Literary Critism Hermann Hesse Germany Literature
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
This masterful synthesis of criticism and biography surveys all of Hermann Hesse's major works and many of his minor ones in relation to the intricate psychological design of his entire life history. Eugene Stelzig examines what it means to be an ‘autobiographical writer’ by considering Hesse's fictions of the self as an exemplary instance of the relationship between life and art and between biography and autobiography. In a graceful and inviting style, he frees this major confessional writer from the confines of German culture and the status of ‘cult figure’ of the 1960s, and situates him in the tradition of world literature and in a variety of literary, psychological, philosophical, and religious contexts. Three introductory chapters on autobiography and Hesse set the stage for a chronological study. Then follows a penetrating analysis of the balance between biographical fact and confessional fantasy in Hesse's long career, from the failed autobiography of his first literary success, Beneath the Wheel, through the protracted midlife crisis of the grotesque Steppenwolf period, to the visionary autobiography of his magisterial fictional finale, The Glass Bead Game.
(09/07/2014) Even Now: Poems by Hugo Claus. Brooklyn. 2013. Archipelago Books. 245 pages. paperback. 9781935744887. Cover design by David Bullin. Selected and translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. With an afterword by Cees Nooteboom. keywords: Poetry Literature Dutch The Netherlands Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Beautifully translated from the Dutch by David Colmer, the IMPAC Award-winning translator of Gerbrand Bakker's The Twin, Hugo Claus's poems are remarkable for their dexterity, intensity of feeling, and acute intelligence. From the richly associative and referential 'Oostakker Poems' to the emotional and erotic outpouring of the 'mad dog stanzas' in 'Morning, You,' from his interpretations of Shakespeare's sonnets to a modern adaptation of a Sanskrit masterpiece, this volume reveals the breadth and depth of Claus's stunning output. Perhaps Belgium's leading figure of postwar Dutch literature, Claus has long been associated with the avant-garde: these poems challenge conventional bourgeois mores, religious bigotry, and authoritarianism with visceral passion. The prose, poetry, and paintings of Hugo Claus (1929-2008) were as influential as they were groundbreaking. His novels include Wonder (Archipelago Books), The Sorrow of Belgium, his magnum opus of postwar Europe, as well as Desire, The Swordfish, Mild Destruction, Rumors, and The Duck Hunt. In addition to his writing, he was a painter, playwright, and director. Claus was the recipient of seven state prizes in Belgium, the Prize for Dutch Literature, and the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding for his body of work.
(09/06/2014) Sky Blue Stone: The Turquoise Trade in World History by Arash Khazeni. Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 196 pages. paperback. 9780520282551. Cover design by Claudia Smelser. California World History Library, 20. keywords: History Turquoise World
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
This book traces the journeys of a stone across the world. From its remote point of origin in the city of Nishapur in eastern Iran, turquoise was traded through India, Central Asia, and the Near East, becoming an object of imperial exchange between the Safavid, Mughal, and Ottoman empires. Along this trail unfolds the story of turquoise--a phosphate of aluminum and copper formed in rocks below the surface of the earth--and its discovery and export as a global commodity. In the material culture and imperial regalia of early modern Islamic tributary empires moving from the steppe to the sown, turquoise was a sacred stone and a potent symbol of power projected in vivid color displays. From the empires of Islamic Eurasia, the turquoise trade reached Europe, where the stone was collected as an exotic object from the East. The Eurasian trade lasted into the nineteenth century, when the oldest mines in Iran collapsed and lost Aztec mines in the Americas reopened, unearthing more accessible sources of the stone to rival the Persian blue. Sky Blue Stone recounts the origins, trade, and circulation of a natural object in the context of the history of Islamic Eurasia and global encounters between empire and nature.
Arash Khazeni is Assistant Professor of History at Pomona College and author of Tribes and Empire on the Margins of Nineteenth-Century Iran.
(09/05/2014) Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art by Jordana Moore Saggese. Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 222 pages. hardcover. 9780520276246. Cover design by Sandy Drooker. keywords: Art Basquiat America
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Before his death at the age of twenty-seven, Jean-Michel Basquiat completed nearly 2,000 works. These unique compositions-collages of text and gestural painting across a variety of media-quickly made Basquiat one of the most important and widely known artists of the 1980s. Reading Basquiat provides a new approach to understanding the range and impact of this artist's practice, as well as its complex relationship to several key artistic and ideological debates of the late twentieth century, including the instability of identity, the role of appropriation, and the boundaries of expressionism. Jordana Moore Saggese argues that Basquiat, once known as ?the black Picasso,' probes not only the boundaries of blackness but also the boundaries of American art. Weaving together the artist's interests in painting, writing, and music, this groundbreaking book expands the parameters of aesthetic discourse to consider the parallels Basquiat found among these disciplines in his exploration of the production of meaning. Most important, Reading Basquiat traces the ways in which Basquiat constructed large parts of his identity-as a black man, as a musician, as a painter, and as a writer-via the manipulation of texts in his own library. 'A brilliant book and a great read. At long last, a deeply researched text on Basquiat's project.' -Jonathan Fineberg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 'Challenging prevailing assumptions about the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Saggese argues that Basquiat's practice was as much conceptual as expressive. Reading Basquiat turns the focus from the artist's lifestyle to his work and the ways in which his approach to appropriation and improvisation addressed the artistic discourse of the 1980s. With this book, Saggese changes the conversation about Basquiat and African Americans' participation in contemporary art.' -John P. Bowles, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jordana Moore Saggese is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art in the Visual Studies Program at California College of the Arts.
(09/04/2014) The Lizard's Tale by Jose Donoso. Evanston. 2011. Northwestern University Press. 205 pages. hardcover. 9780810127029. Jacket design by Marianne Jankowski. Translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine. Edited by Julio Ortega. keywords: Literature Chile Latin America Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Winner of 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation. José Donoso was the leading Chilean representative of the Latin American ‘Boom’ of the sixties and seventies that included Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Manuel Puig, among others. Written as a draft in 1973, set aside, and forgotten, The Lizard’s Tale was discovered among Donoso’s papers at Princeton University by his daughter after his death. Edited for publication by critic and poet Julio Ortega, it was published posthumously in Spanish under the title Lagartija sin cola in 2007. Suzanne Jill Levine, who knew Donoso and translated two of his earlier works, brings the book to an English-language audience for the first time. Defeated and hiding in his Barcelona apartment, painter Antonio Muñoz-Roa—clearly Donoso’s alter ego—relates the story of his flight with Luisa, his cousin, lover, and benefactor, after his scandalous desertion from the ‘Informalist’ movement (a witty reference to a contemporary Spanish art movement and possibly an allusion to the Boom as well), in which he had been a member of a certain standing. Frustrated, old, and alone, the artist looks back on his years in the small town of Dors, a place he unsuccessfully tried to rescue from the crushing advance of modernity, and on the decline of his own family, also threatened by the changing times. In Levine’s able hands, Donoso’s clear prose shines through, forming a compact, powerful, and still-relevant meditation on the commercialization of art and the very places we inhabit.
(08/27/2014) Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping by Richard T. Cahill Jr
(08/27/2014) Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping by Richard T. Cahill Jr.. Kent. 2014. Kent State University Press. 402 pages. paperback. 9781606351932. Cover image courtesy of the New Jersey State Police Museum. True Crime History (Kent State). keywords: Crime America Lindbergh Kidnapping
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. Almost all of America believed Hauptmann guilty; only a few magazines and tabloids published articles questioning his conviction. In the ensuing decades, many books about the Lindbergh case have been published. Some have declared Hauptmann the victim of a police conspiracy and frame-up, and one posited that Lindbergh actually killed his own son and fabricated the entire kidnapping to mask the deed. Because books about the crime have been used as a means to advance personal theories, the truth has often been sacrificed and readers misinformed. Hauptmann's Ladder is a testament to the truth that counters the revisionist histories all too common in the true crime genre. Author Richard T. Cahill Jr. puts the true back in true crime, providing credible information and undistorted evidence that enables readers to form their own opinions and reach their own conclusions. Cahill presents conclusions based upon facts and documentary evidence uncovered in his twenty years of research. Using primary sources and painstakingly presenting a chronological reconstruction of the crime and its aftermath, he debunks false claims and explodes outrageous theories, while presenting evidence that has never before been revealed. Hauptmann's Ladder is a meticulously researched examination of the Lindbergh kidnapping that restores and preserves the truth of the crime of the century.
Richard T. Cahill Jr. received a B.A. in history and political science from Mount Saint Mary College and a J.D. from Albany Law School. His professional experience includes clerking for a criminal court judge, serving as both an assistant district attorney and a criminal defense attorney, and practicing civil law.
(09/03/2014) In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader By Karl Kraus. Montreal. 1976. Engendra Press. 263 pages. 0919830021. Edited By Harry Zohn. With translations by Joseph Fabry, Max Knight, Karl F. Ross. and Harry Zohn. keywords: Literature Austria Translated.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘My readers think that I write for the day because my writings are based on the day. So I shall have to wait until my writings are obsolete. Then they may acquire timeliness.’ The voice of Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Vienna’s legendary satirist, polemicist, and pacifist, today speaks with a timeliness and a freshness that the passing of four decades has not diminished. Kraus assailed the sins of early 20th-century Europe in vitriolic fashion, often finding himself virtually alone in the unpopularity of his stance. In 1919 Kraus indicated the compass of his themes as follows: ‘Sex and untruth, stupidity, abuses, cadences and clichés, printer’s ink, technology, death, war and society, usury, politics, the insolence of office . . . art and nature, love and dreams. . . ’ The present Reader includes samples of Kraus’s thoughts and feelings on all these subjects, in prose and in verse, culminating in a readable and performable condensation of modern literature’s most trenchant anti-war drama, THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND. The English-speaking public thus has available for the first time a representative selection from the writings of one of the modern era’s most influential and original thinkers. The four contributors to In These Great Times are natives of Vienna.
Karl F. Ross is by profession a patent attorney, practicing in New York City, and by avocation a linguist and world traveler. Recently retired as editor of ‘Mensa Bulletin’ (the national publication of the international IQ society), a position he held for nearly seven years, Mr. Ross has translated poems from the German of - among others - Christian Morgenstern and the satirist Kurt Tucholsky, which appeared in books co-published with Max Knight and Harry Zohn respectively.
Max Knight and Joseph Fabry attended Karl Kraus’s public readings while students at the University of Vienna Law School. In the 1930s, under the joint pen name of Peter Fabrizius, they wrote short stories and essays for literary journals, later published as collections. In the early 1950s they became editors of scholarly works for the University of California in Berkeley, holding these positions for a quarter-century. Since 1963 they have produced translations of Christian Morgenstern, Johann Nestroy, Bertolt Brecht Heinrich Heine, and of the legal philosophy of Hans Kelsen. Max Knight is also the author of Return to the Alps and Joseph Fabry of The Pursuit of Meaning.
Harry Zohn is chairman of the department of Germanic and Slavic languages at Brandeis University, where he has taught since 1951. He is the author or editor of many books, including a study of Karl Kraus (1971), Men of Dialogue: martin Buber and Albrecht Goes, and the Austrian reader Der Farbenvolle Untergang. Professor Zohn is a translator of considerable accomplishment. Among the authors he has rendered into English are Walter Benjamin, Jacob Burckhardt, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, and Walter Toman. He has also translated Max Weber: A Biography by Marinane Weber, and Half-Truths & One-and-a-Half Truths: Selected Aphorisms by Karl Kraus.
(09/02/2014) Fantastic Night & Other Stories by Stefan Zweig. London. 2004. Pushkin Press. 164 pages. paperback. 1901285545. Cover art - Donati's Comet over Balliol College by William Turner. Translated from the German by Anthea Bell. keywords: Literature Austria Translated Vienna.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
FIVE OF STEFAN ZWEIG’S most compelling novellas are presented together in this powerful volume. FANTASTIC NIGHT is the story of one transforming evening in the life of a rich and bored young man. He spends a day at the races and an evening in the seedy but thrilling company of the dregs of society. His experiences jolt him out of his languor and give him a newfound relish for life, which is then cut short by the Great War. Fantastic Night is joined by The Invisible Collection and Buchmendel, two of Zweig’s most powerful works, which explore lives led in the single minded pursuit of art and literature against a backdrop of poverty and corruption. And finally, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Zweig’s poignant and heartbreaking tale of the strength and madness of unrequited love and The Fowler Snared, in which it is the man whose passion remains unrequited, complete the collection.
Stefan Zweig (November 28, 1881 – February 22, 1942) was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoyed literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.
(09/01/2014) 2666 by Roberto Bolaño. New York. 2008. Farrar Straus Giroux. 898 pages. hardcover. 9780374100148. Jacket art - Gustave Moreau, 'Jupiter and Semele', oil on canvas. Jacket design by Charlotte Strick. Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer. Keywords: Literature Chile Latin America South America Translated.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño’s life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of Santa Teresa - a fictional Juárez - on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.
Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed ‘by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time’ (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times),’ and as ‘the real thing and the rarest’ (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.
(08/31/2014) Quite Contrary: The Litigious Life of Mary Bennett Love by David J. Langum Sr.. Lubbock. 2014. Texas Tech University Press. 213 pages. hardcover. 9780896728745. Cover photograph courtesy of the Conrado Family Archives. Foreword by Gordon Morris Bakken. 6 x 9. 10 B&W illustrations; 1 map; index. keywords: History California Women Pioneers
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
California’s first liberated lady. 'Early California’s socio-legal history has been told in general terms, but here we have an individual story of Mary Bennett Love, a working class nineteenth-century woman, battling to protect her property. This is good stuff, and readers interested in early California or frontier history, women’s history, or legal history deserve to read about Mary Bennett Love’s amazing life.' - Mark R. Ellis, author of Law and Order in Buffalo Bill’s Country: Legal Culture and Community in Lincoln County, Nebraska, 1868-1910. Mary Bennett Love had a physicality exceeded only by her personality. Six feet tall and over 300 pounds, Love was anything but shackled by the mores of her day. In the 1840s, she moved west from Arkansas via the Oregon Trail. A few years later, she separated from her husband and took her six minor children to Santa Clara, where she acquired a Mexican land grant by forging an adult son’s signature. Though illiterate, she knew the law thoroughly and used it to her advantage. No sooner had the American military invaded California than Mary squatted on public lands and engaged in dozens of lawsuits to advance her interests. Her love life was no less tumultuous. Harry Love, her second husband and slayer of Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta, died at her bodyguard’s hands. Quite Contrary is the first book to focus on Mary Bennett Love. Aside from making for an entertaining story, she is representative of the relationship people had with the law in pre-Gold Rush California. Furthermore, her economic success demonstrates the often self-imposed notions of true womanhood—which Mary ignored, paving the way for future female entrepreneurs.
David Langum is Research Professor of Law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. He has written eight books in the field of legal history and biography, with a concentration in western America.
(08/30/2014) The Steel Spring by Per Wahlöö. London. 2012. Vintage Books. 200 pages. paperback. 9780099554752. Cover photograph by Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images. Translated from the Swedish by Sara Death. keywords: Mystery Translated Sweden Scandinavia
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Chief Inspector Jensen is a policeman in an unnamed European country where the government has criminalised being drunk, even in private at home, and where the city centres have been demolished to devote more space to gleaming new roads. Recovering in a hospital room abroad after a liver transplant, Jensen receives a note instructing him to return home immediately, but when he reaches the airport he discovers that all flights home have been cancelled and all communication from within his homeland has ceased. One of the last messages sent requested urgent medical help from abroad and when Jensen is piloted across the border it soon becomes clear that an epidemic has ravaged the country.
Per Wahlöö (1926-1975) was a Swedish writer and journalist, who published with his wife Maj Sjöwall the widely translated series novels of Martin Beck and his colleagues at the Central Bureau of Investigation in Stockholm. Its style has been described as ‘reportal. spare, disciplined and full of sharply observed detail. ’ The critic and awarded mystery writer H.R.F. Keating selected Roseanna (1965) in 1987 for his list of the one hundred best crime novels. Several of the books have also been adapted into screen. Per Wahlöö was born in Göteborg, the son of Waldemar and Karin (Svensson) Wahlöö. After graduating from the University of Lund in 1946, he worked as a journalist, covering criminal and social issues for a number of newspapers and magazines. In the 1950s Wahlöö was engaged in radical political causes, activities that resulted in his deportation from Franco's Spain in 1957. Before becoming a full-time writer, he wrote a number of television and radio plays, and was managing editor of several magazines. As a novelist Wahlöö made his debut with HIMMELSGETEN (1959), which was followed by others dealing with abuses of power and the dark side of the society. Wahlöö's science fiction thrillers include MORD PÅ 31 (1965, THE THIRTY-FIRST FLOOR), which was filmed as Kamikaze in 1989, starring the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in his final screen role. The story was set in a futuristic Germany. STÄLSPRANGET (1968, STEEP SPRING) depicted a deadly plague in Sweden. The protagonist in both novels was Chief Inspector Jensen. GENERALERNA (1965), a trial novel set in a military state, reflected Wahlöö's views on dictatorship. LASTBILEN (1962) was published in the United States as A NECESSARY ACTION and in Britain as THE LORRY. UPPDRAGET (1963), set in a Latin American country, gained an international success. It was translated into English under the title The Assignment. In 1961 Wahlöö met Maj Sjöwall when they were working for magazines published by the same company. At that time Wahlöö was married, Sjöwall was a single parent of a daughter. They became lovers and married. The carefully planned crime novel series was created in the evenings, after their children had been put to bed. Starting from ROSEANNA (1965), their project ended ten years and ten books later with TERRORISTERNA (1975). According to Wahlöö, their intention was to ‘use the crime novel as a scalpel cutting open the belly of the ideological pauperized and morally debatable so-called welfare state of the bourgeois type.’ The narrative focused on realistic police routine and teamwork – rather the deductive leaps of a Hercule Poirot type individual – and was compared to Georges Simenon. The first three novels, ROSEANNA, a story of rape-murder of an American girl whose body in found in a Swedish canal, THE MAN WHO WENT UP IN SMOKE (1966) and THE MAN ON THE BALCONY (1967), were straightforward police procedural novels. They introducing the central characters – the solid, methodical detective Martin Beck with failing marriage, ex-paratrooper Lennart Kollberg, who hates violence and refuses to carry a gun, Gunvald Larsson, wildman and a drop-out from high society, Einar Rönn from the rural north of Sweden and patrolmen Kristiansson and Kvant, the necessary comic pair. Beck considers himself ‘stubborn and logical, and completely calm’. He lives in a small apartment in Stockholm with his wife, Inga, and two children. In the following books Beck's relationship with his wife deteriorates, and he begins an affair with the liberal Rhea Nilsen. THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN (1968), about the investigation of the murder of eight occupants of a Stockholm bus, was made into a film in 1973, directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, and Lou Gossett. The story was set in San Francisco. The film shared its Bay area locale with Dirty Harry (1971), but was otherwise more downbeat. At the end of THE LOCKED ROOM (1972), Sjöwall and Wahlöö show their sympathy towards a bank robber; however, they abhor sexual violence. In COP KILLER (1974) Lennart Kollberg writes his resignation, because of his socialist world view. The later novels, and especially the last, THE TERRORIST, is a bitter analysis of the welfare state, and openly sides with criminals-as-revolutionaries. At the end, Beck is deeply ambivalent about remaining a policeman, because he fears that he is contributing to the violent nature of Swedish society rather than preventing it. The novel was published after Wahlöö's death in Stockholm on June 23, 1975. Though a joint venture, the book was mostly written by Wahlöö, who was already very ill. Wahlöö's other works include translations into Swedish of some Ed McBain's 87th Precinct procedural novels and Noel Behn's political thriller THE KREMLIN LETTER, filmed by John Huston in 1970. With Sjöwall he also edited the literature magazine Peripeo, and wrote a comparative study of police methods in Sweden, the United States, Russia, and England. ‘He was an extreme Left-winger with a taste for popular sport,’ said the English mystery writer Julian Symons of Wahlöö, ‘and his interest in British football. was passionate. The books he wrote with Maj Sjöwall represents an attempt to bring his political feelings into a literary form with a wide appeal.’
(08/29/2014) Murder on the Thirty-First Floor by Per Wahlöö. London. 2012. Vintage Books. 215 pages. paperback. 9780099554769. Cover photograph: ER Productions/Corbis. Translated from the Swedish by Sara Death. keywords: Mystery Translated Sweden Scandinavia
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Chief Inspector Jensen investigates a bomb threat made to the nation's publishing conglomerate, supposedly in retaliation for a murder.
Per Wahlöö (1926-1975) was a Swedish writer and journalist, who published with his wife Maj Sjöwall the widely translated series novels of Martin Beck and his colleagues at the Central Bureau of Investigation in Stockholm. Its style has been described as ‘reportal. spare, disciplined and full of sharply observed detail. .’ The critic and awarded mystery writer H.R.F. Keating selected Roseanna (1965) in 1987 for his list of the one hundred best crime novels. Several of the books have also been adapted into screen. Per Wahlöö was born in Göteborg, the son of Waldemar and Karin (Svensson) Wahlöö. After graduating from the University of Lund in 1946, he worked as a journalist, covering criminal and social issues for a number of newspapers and magazines. In the 1950s Wahlöö was engaged in radical political causes, activities that resulted in his deportation from Franco's Spain in 1957. Before becoming a full-time writer, he wrote a number of television and radio plays, and was managing editor of several magazines. As a novelist Wahlöö made his debut with HIMMELSGETEN (1959), which was followed by others dealing with abuses of power and the dark side of the society. Wahlöö's science fiction thrillers include MORD PÅ 31 (1965, THE THIRTY-FIRST FLOOR), which was filmed as Kamikaze in 1989, starring the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in his final screen role. The story was set in a futuristic Germany. STÄLSPRANGET (1968, STEEP SPRING) depicted a deadly plague in Sweden. The protagonist in both novels was Chief Inspector Jensen. GENERALERNA (1965), a trial novel set in a military state, reflected Wahlöö's views on dictatorship. LASTBILEN (1962) was published in the United States as A NECESSARY ACTION and in Britain as THE LORRY. UPPDRAGET (1963), set in a Latin American country, gained an international success. It was translated into English under the title The Assignment. In 1961 Wahlöö met Maj Sjöwall when they were working for magazines published by the same company. At that time Wahlöö was married, Sjöwall was a single parent of a daughter. They became lovers and married. The carefully planned crime novel series was created in the evenings, after their children had been put to bed. Starting from ROSEANNA (1965), their project ended ten years and ten books later with TERRORISTERNA (1975). According to Wahlöö, their intention was to ‘use the crime novel as a scalpel cutting open the belly of the ideological pauperized and morally debatable so-called welfare state of the bourgeois type.’ The narrative focused on realistic police routine and teamwork – rather the deductive leaps of a Hercule Poirot type individual – and was compared to Georges Simenon. The first three novels, ROSEANNA, a story of rape-murder of an American girl whose body in found in a Swedish canal, THE MAN WHO WENT UP IN SMOKE (1966) and THE MAN ON THE BALCONY (1967), were straightforward police procedural novels. They introducing the central characters – the solid, methodical detective Martin Beck with failing marriage, ex-paratrooper Lennart Kollberg, who hates violence and refuses to carry a gun, Gunvald Larsson, wildman and a drop-out from high society, Einar Rönn from the rural north of Sweden and patrolmen Kristiansson and Kvant, the necessary comic pair. Beck considers himself ‘stubborn and logical, and completely calm’. He lives in a small apartment in Stockholm with his wife, Inga, and two children. In the following books Beck's relationship with his wife deteriorates, and he begins an affair with the liberal Rhea Nilsen. THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN (1968), about the investigation of the murder of eight occupants of a Stockholm bus, was made into a film in 1973, directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, and Lou Gossett. The story was set in San Francisco. The film shared its Bay area locale with Dirty Harry (1971), but was otherwise more downbeat. At the end of THE LOCKED ROOM (1972), Sjöwall and Wahlöö show their sympathy towards a bank robber; however, they abhor sexual violence. In COP KILLER (1974) Lennart Kollberg writes his resignation, because of his socialist world view. The later novels, and especially the last, THE TERRORIST, is a bitter analysis of the welfare state, and openly sides with criminals-as-revolutionaries. At the end, Beck is deeply ambivalent about remaining a policeman, because he fears that he is contributing to the violent nature of Swedish society rather than preventing it. The novel was published after Wahlöö's death in Stockholm on June 23, 1975. Though a joint venture, the book was mostly written by Wahlöö, who was already very ill. Wahlöö's other works include translations into Swedish of some Ed McBain's 87th Precinct procedural novels and Noel Behn's political thriller THE KREMLIN LETTER, filmed by John Huston in 1970. With Sjöwall he also edited the literature magazine Peripeo, and wrote a comparative study of police methods in Sweden, the United States, Russia, and England. ‘He was an extreme Left-winger with a taste for popular sport,’ said the English mystery writer Julian Symons of Wahlöö, ‘and his interest in British football. was passionate. The books he wrote with Maj Sjöwall represents an attempt to bring his political feelings into a literary form with a wide appeal.’
(08/28/2014) Mining Capitalism: The Relationship between Corporations and Their Critics by Stuart Kirsch
(08/28/2014) Mining Capitalism: The Relationship between Corporations and Their Critics by Stuart Kirsch. Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 314 pages. paperback. 9780520281714. keywords: Capitalism Corporations
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Corporations are among the most powerful institutions of our time, but they are also responsible for a wide range of harmful social and environmental impacts. Consequently, political movements and nongovernmental organizations increasingly contest the risks that corporations pose to people and nature. Mining Capitalism examines the strategies through which corporations manage their relationships with these critics and adversaries. By focusing on the conflict over the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea, Stuart Kirsch tells the story of a slow-moving environmental disaster and the international network of indigenous peoples, advocacy groups, and lawyers that sought to protect local rivers and rain forests. Along the way, he analyzes how corporations promote their interests by manipulating science and invoking the discourses of sustainability and social responsibility. Based on two decades of anthropological research, this book is comparative in scope, showing readers how similar dynamics operate in other industries around the world. 'Mining Capitalism is excellent. It makes a much-needed contribution to understanding our contemporary historical moment. Kirsch adeptly moves his focus between close-to-the-ground descriptions of corporate practices and persuasive claims about the ways that corporations work to control meaning and money.'-Kim Fortun, author of Advocacy After Bhopal. 'Kirsch presents a richly detailed study of global corporate attitudes towards natural resources and the politics that inform indigenous social movements facing global capitalist interests. This is a vivid account of how the globalization of nature affects societies that have vastly different understandings of what natural resources mean.'-Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication. 'Mining Capitalism takes us from the devastation of a river to the courtrooms and commissions where activists and thieves reimagine its truth and consequences. This is a thrilling story, and everyone should read it. As both participant and perceptive observer, Kirsch offers us engaged anthropology at its very best.'-Anna Tsing, coeditor of Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon.
Stuart Kirsch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous Analysis of Social and Environmental Relations in New Guinea (2006).
(08/26/2014) Rambling On: An Apprentice's Guide to the Gift of the Gab by Bohumil Hrabal. Prague. 2014. Karolinum Press/Charles University. 352 pages. hardcover. 9788024623160. Translated from the Czech by David Short. keywords: Literature Czech Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Rambling On is a collection of stories set in Hrabal's Kersko. Several of the stories were written before the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague but had to be reworked when they were rejected by Communist censorship during the 1970s. This edition features the original, uncensored versions of those stories. 'Hrabal embodies as no other the fascinating Prague. He couples people's humor to baroque imagination.' (Milan Kundera).
Novelist Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and spent decades working at a variety of laboring jobs before turning to writing in his late forties. From that point, he quickly made his mark on the Czech literary scene; by the time of his death he was ranked with Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Capek, and Milan Kundera as among the nation's greatest twentieth-century writers. Hrabal's fiction blends tragedy with humor and explores the anguish of intellectuals and ordinary people alike from a slightly surreal perspective. His work ranges from novels and poems to film scripts and essays.
(08/25/2014) Vanishing Lung Syndrome by Miroslav Holub. Oberlin. 1990. Oberlin College Press. 84 pages. paperback. 0932440525. Cover: Painting by Paul Klee, 'Flora on the Rocks,' 1940. Design by Stephen J. Farkas, Jr. Translated from the Czech by David Young and Dana Habova. FIELD Translation Series 16. keywords: Poetry Literature Czech Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Vanishing Lung Syndrome confirms Holub's special status as one of Europe's leading poets and as a rare mediator between scientific and literary modes of discourse. This book is darkly witty and mordantly accurate; it documents, among other things, the ignorance, folly and brutality abroad in our world. But it also brims with tenderness, humor, and occasional gleams of hope.
Miroslav Holub (13 September 1923 – 14 July 1998) was a Czech poet and immunologist. Miroslav Holub's work was heavily influenced by his experiences as an Immunologist, writing many poems using his scientific knowledge to poetic effect. His work is almost always unrhymed, so lends itself easily to translation. It has been translated into more than 30 languages and is especially popular in the English-speaking world. Although one of the most internationally well-known Czech poets, his reputation continues to languish at home. Holub was born in Plzen. His first book in Czech was Denní služba (1958), which abandoned the somewhat Stalinist bent of poems earlier in the decade (published in magazines). In English, he was first published in the Observer in 1962, and five years later a Selected Poems appeared in the Penguin Modern European Poets imprint, with an introduction by Al Alvarez and translations by Ian Milner and George Theiner. Holub's work was lauded by many, including Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, and his influence is visible in Hughes' collection Crow (1970). In addition to poetry, Holub wrote many short essays on various aspects of science, particularly biology and medicine (specifically immunology) and life. A collection of these, titled The Dimension of the Present Moment, is still in print. In the 1960s, he published two books of what he called 'semi-reportage' about extended visits to the United States. He has been described by Ted Hughes as ‘one of the half dozen most important poets writing anywhere.’
(08/24/2014) Interludes by Miguel de Cervantes. New York. 1964. Signet/New American Library. 160 pages. January 1964. CT209. paperback. Cover: Lambert. Translated From The Spanish & With A Foreword By Edwin Honig. keywords: Signet Classic Paperback Spain Translated Literature 16th Century
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Published the year before the author's death, and long unavailable to American readers, these short plays represent a pure, untrammeled expression of Cervantes' literary genius. Freed from the complicated mechanics of plot, he concentrates his powers on the area of his greatest mastery - the creation 'of living, breathing, and, above all, magnificently vocal characters. Deceived husbands and straying wives, ambitious politicians and ingenious frauds, garrulous prostitutes and respectable pimps.. It crowds his stage with unforgettable characters who, combined, present a superbly barbed depiction of manners and morals in early - sixteenth - century Spain and a timeless portrayal of the never - ending human comedy. 'These eight short plays are among the most beguiling things Cervantes ever wrote,' comments Edwin Honig, who goes on to say that 'what he achieves in the interludes is something very close to the concentrative spirit of poetry and something characteristically dramatic as well.. dramatic in the way that Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are dramatic.. '. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes (‘the language of Cervantes’). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios (‘The Prince of Wits’). In 1569, Cervantes moved to Rome where he worked as chamber assistant of Giulio Acquaviva, a wealthy priest who became a cardinal during the following year. By then, Cervantes had enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Algerian corsairs. After five years of slavery he was released on ransom from his captors by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order. He subsequently returned to his family in Madrid. In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville. In 1605, he was in Valladolid, just when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signaled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels) in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus (Viaje al Parnaso) in 1614, and in 1615, the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote. Carlos Fuentes noted that, ‘Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written.’
(08/23/2014) In-House Weddings by Bohumil Hrabal. Evanston. 2007. Northwestern University Press. 173 pages. paperback. 0810124300. Cover illustration by John MacDonald. Translated from the Czech by Tony Liman. keywords: Literature Czech Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
Inspired by the biographies Tolstoy’s and Dostoyevsky’s wives published about their famous husbands, Czech novelist Bohumil Hrabal produced a novel, ostensibly his own biography, from his wife’s point of view. In-House Weddings, the first book of a trilogy, introduces Hrabal through the eyes of his wife, Eliska. Her narration guides us through the novelist’s early years, from his upbringing in Nymburk to their own in-house wedding. A source of great interest to the Czech public, Hrabal’s bohemian life as transmogrified here is even more compelling - a wry portrait of artistic life in postwar Eastern Europe and a telling reflection on how such a life might be humorously recast in the light of literary brilliance. WRITINGS FROM AN UNBOUND EUROPE. Born in a Czech brewery,
Bohumil Hrabal (March 28, 1914 - February 3, 1997) went on to become a steelworker and traveling salesman by day, and surrealist poet by night. He moved away from realism in the 1950s to experiment with the stream-of-consciousness style. Banned in his native country during the political upheaval of Prague Spring, Hrabal nevertheless won the prestigious Jaroslav Seifert Prize in 1993 and has been celebrated as genius by Julian Barnes, Susan Sontag, and Milan Kundera. Many of his characters were ‘wise fools’ – everyday men taken to drunken monologues of inadvertent but acute insight. Two of his novels have been made into classic films by Czech New Wave director Jiří Menzel – Closely Watched Trains, winner of the 1967 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and Larks on a String, winner of the 1990 Golden Bear. Before his death, Publishers Weekly named him the ‘most revered living Czech writer,’ describing his work as ‘a humorous and breathless affair… [of] abounding energy and a rambunctious wit.’
Tony Liman was born in Czechoslovakia in 1966 and grew up in Toronto. He received his MFA from the University of British Columbia. He is a writer and translator, and his fiction has appeared in several Canadian literary journals. Liman lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
(08/22/2014) The Hunter: Parker Volume 1 by Richard Stark. San Diego. 2014. IDW Publishers. 206 pages. hardcover. 9781613776599. With a Foreword and Illustrations by Darwin Cooke. Edited by Scott Dunbier. keywords: Mystery Pulp Hard-boiled America
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In 1962, Donald E. Westlake, writing under the pseudonym Richard Stark, created what would become one of the most important and enduring crime fiction series ever produced — Parker. Westlake wrote more than 20 Parker novels, many considered classics of the genre, and a number of which have transitioned to the big screen. Most notable of these is Point Blank, directed by John Boorman and starring Lee Marvin, released in 1967. Westlake received many accolades during his distinguished career, including being named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writer's of America, that prestigious organization's highest honor. Darwyn Cooke has adapted four Parker books as graphic novels so far. The first three, The Hunter, The Outfit, and The Score have all won Eisner and Harvey Awards. He will be providing all-new color illustrations for The Hunter, the first in a series of hardcover prose novels released in chronological order and featuring Cooke's art. The Hunter, the first book in the Parker series, is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loves and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind — to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!.
(08/21/2014) The End of the Poem: Oxford Lectures by Paul Muldoon. New York. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 406 pages. hardcover. 9780374148102. Jacket design by Gretchen Achilles. keywords: Poetry Literary Criticism
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon, 'the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War' (The Times Literary Supplement), presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's 'All Souls' Night' to Stevie Smith's 'I Remember' to Fernando Pessoa's 'Autopsychography.' Here Muldoon reminds us that the word 'poem' comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: 'a thing made or created.' He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography--and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that 'the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written.' And he writes of the boundaries or borders between writer and reader and the extent to which one determines the role of the other. At the end, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase 'the end of the poem': the interpretation that centers on the 'aim' or 'function' of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent, deeply learned, often funny, and always stimulating, The End of the Poem is a vigorous and accessible approach to looking at poetry anew.
(08/20/2014) The Fall of Saints: A Novel by Wanjiku wa Ngugi. New York. Atria Books. 277 pages. February 2014. hardcover. 9781476714912. Cover design by Alan Dingman. keywords: Mystery Kenya Africa Women
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
In this stunning debut novel, a Kenyan expat living the American dream with her husband and adopted son soon finds it marred by child trafficking, scandal, and a problematic past. Mugure and Zack seem to have the picture-perfect family: a young, healthy son, a beautiful home in Riverdale, New York, and a bright future. But one night, as Mugure is rummaging through an old drawer, she comes across a piece of paper with a note scrawled on it-a note that calls into question everything she's ever believed about her husband. A wandering curiosity may have gotten the best of Mugure this time as she heads down a dangerous road that takes her back to Kenya, where new discoveries threaten to undo her idyllic life. She wonders if she ever really knew the man she married and begins to piece together the signs that were there since the beginning. Who was that suspicious man who trailed Zack and Mugure on their first date at a New York nightclub? What about the closing of the agency that facilitated the adoption of their son? The Fall of Saints tackles real-life political and ethical issues through a striking, beautifully rendered story. This extraordinary novel will tug at your heart and keep it racing until the end.
(08/19/2014) The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham. New York. 2014. The Penguin Press. hardcover. 419 pages. Jacket Design By Ben Wiseman. keywords: Literary Criticism Ireland Literature ULYSSES James Joyce. 9781594203367.
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘A great story - how modernism brought down the regime of censorship - told as a great story. Kevin Birmingham’s imaginative scholarship brings Joyce and his world to life. There is a fresh detail on nearly every page.’ - Louis Menand, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Metaphysical Club. For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. All of the minutiae of Leopold Bloom’s day, including its unspeakable details, unfold with careful precision in its pages. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice immediately banned the novel as ‘obscene, lewd, and lascivious.’ Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933. Literary historian Kevin Birmingham follows Joyce’s years as a young writer, his feverish work on his literary masterpiece, and his ardent love affair with Nora Barnacle, the model for Molly Bloom. Joyce and Nora socialized with literary greats like Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot and Sylvia Beach. Their support helped Joyce fight an array of anti-vice crusaders while his book was disguised and smuggled, pirated and burned in the United States and Britain. The long struggle for publication added to the growing pressures of Joyce’s deteriorating eyesight, finances and home life. Salvation finally came from the partnership of Bennett Cerf, the cofounder of Random House, and Morris Ernst, a dogged civil liberties lawyer. With their stewardship, the case ultimately rested on the literary merit of Joyce’s master work. The sixty-year-old judicial practices governing obscenity in the United States were overturned because a federal judge could get inside Molly Bloom’s head. Birmingham’s archival work brings to light new information about both Joyce and the story surrounding Ulysses. Written for ardent Joyceans as well as novices who want to get to the heart of the greatest novel of the twentieth century, The Most Dangerous Book is a gripping examination of how the world came to say yes to Ulysses. Kevin Birmingham received his PhD in English from Harvard, where he is a Lecturer in History & Literature and an instructor in the university's writing program. His research focuses on twentieth-century fiction and culture, literary obscenity and the avant-garde. He was a bartender in a Dublin pub featured in Ulysses for one day before he was unceremoniously fired. This is his first book.
(08/18/2014) The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis by Odysseus Elytis. Baltimore. 1997. Johns Hopkins University Press. 596 pages. hardcover. 0801849241. Jacket design by Glen Burris. Jacket Illustration: 'The Clear Truth,' collage by Odysseus Elytis. Translated from the Greek by Jeffrey Carson and Nikos Sarris. Introduction and Notes by Jeffrey Carson. keywords: Poetry Greece Translated
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
‘Jeffrey Carson--a poet himself with a kindred sensibility to Elytis's--has admirably succeeded in bringing across the Greek poet's lyrical voice and the richness of his diction. This first translation of Elytis's complete works is accurate and elegant, a work of diligence and love that affords the English-speaking reader a picture of the evolution of the poet's work.’--Dorothy M-T. Gregory, The Ionian University, Corfu. In awarding Odysseus Elytis the 1979 Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy declared that he had been selected ‘for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clearsightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness.’ Elytis was largely unknown outside his native Greece before winning literature's highest honor, and much of his work has not been widely available in English. The Collected Poems is the first collection in any language, including Greek, of Elytis's complete poetry, a body of work marked by a profound love of hope, freedom, beauty, and Greek tradition. Twenty years in preparation, this volume includes his early poems, influenced in equal parts by surrealism and the landscape and climate of Greece and the Aegean Sea; his long, epic poem connecting Greece's--and his own--Second World War experience to the myth of the eternal Greek hero, Song Heroic and Mourning for the Lost Second Lieutenant of the Albanian Campaign; his most ambitious work, The Axion Esti, which the Swedish Academy praised as ‘one of 20th-century literature's most concentrated and ritually faceted poems’; and his mature poetry, from Maria Nephele, a poem in two voices, to his last collection, West of Sorrow, written the summer before his death in 1996 at age 84. Throughout his long career as a poet, Elytis remained true to his vision of a poetry that addresses the power of language and links Greece's two thousand years of myth and history with the social and psychological demands of the modern age. Renowned for their astonishing lyricism and profound optimism, Elytis's poems employ surreal imagery and a remarkable variety of forms to capture the natural, sun-soaked beauty of Greece and to give voice to the contemporary Greek--and to a more universally human--consciousness. PRAISE FOR ODYSSEUS ELYTIS: ‘Perhaps the most pervasive presence throughout his work. is the physical experience of Greece: the sun's intense illumination, the seas strewn with jewel-like islands, the life of its proud people beneath the invasion of 20th-century culture and politics. From these Elytis crafts powerful and sparkling lyrics, sometimes bitter, often full of wonder and celebration.’ -- Christian Science Monitor. ‘Elytis is a paragon of enthusiasm, of protean moods, multiple forms; his purpose, in essence: the deification of the sun and the body of man.’ -- Hudson Review. ‘A poet of large achievement. His work. has a kind of passionate optimism about the possibilities of his small Aegean world.’ -- New York Review of Books.
(08/17/2014) Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works by Larry Grimes and Bickford Sylvester (editors). Kent. 2014. Kent State University Press. 376 pages. hardcover. 9781606351819. keywords: Hemingway Cuba
FROM THE PUBLISHER -
The profound impact of Cuba on Ernest Hemingway's life and work Ernest Hemingway resided in Cuba longer than he lived anywhere else in the world, yet no book has been devoted to how his life in Cuba influenced his writing. Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works corrects this omission by presenting contributions by scholars and journalists from the United States, Russia, Japan, and Cuba, who explore how Hemingway absorbed and wrote from the culture and place around him. The volume opens with an examination of Hemingway s place in Cuban history and culture, evaluations of the man and his work, and studies of Hemingway's life as an American in Cuba. These essays look directly at Hemingway s Cuban experience, and they range from the academic to the journalistic, allowing different voices to speak and different tones to be heard. The first section includes reflections from Gladys Rodriguez Ferrero, former director of the Museo Finco Vigía, who describes the deep affection Cubans hold for Hemingway; and recollections from the now-adult members of Gigi's All Stars, the boys baseball team that Hemingway organized in the 1940s. In the second part of the collection, Hemingway scholars among them, Kim Moreland, James Nagel, Ann Putnam, and H. R. Stoneback employ a variety of critical perspectives to analyze specific works set in Cuba or on its Gulf Stream and written during the years that Hemingway actually lived in Cuba. Also included are a long letter by Richard Armstrong describing the Machado revolution in Cuba and Hemingway's photographs of fishermen at Cojimar, which provide vivid visual commentary on The Old Man and the Sea. Appended to the collection are Kelli Larson's bibliography of scholarly writing on Hemingway's Cuban works and Ned Quevedo Arnaiz s sample of Cuban writing on those works. A chronology placing Hemingway s life in Cuba beside historical events is also provided. This important volume illuminates Hemingway's life and work during the Cuban years, and it will appeal to Hemingway fans and scholars alike.
Larry Grimes is emeritus professor of English in the Perry and Aleese Gresham Chair in Humanities at Bethany College. He is the author of The Religious Design of Hemingway's Early Fiction. His essays and reviews have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Hemingway Review, Modern Fiction Studies, and Studies in Short Fiction.
Bickford Sylvester, emeritus professor, University of British Columbia, has organized conferences and published widely on the work of Ernest Hemingway. He has served on the board of the Hemingway Foundation and the editorial board of the Hemingway Review.
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