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The Royal Game and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig. New York. 1981. Harmony Books. Translated From The German By Jill Sutcliffe. Introduction By John Fowles. 250 pages. Jacket design by Shirley Tuckley. 0517545535.

 

 

The stories of Stefan Zweig are exquisite gems. In his day he was one of most popular writers of his time, but now many of his books are out-of-print. Thankfully, a few presses like Pushkin Press are making some of Zweig's work available once again. THE ROYAL GAME & OTHER STORIES contains some of Zweig's classics.

 

 

 

0517545535FROM THE PUBLISHER -


   It is difficult to imagine, while reading the five newly translated stories here, how a writer of Stefan Zweig's awesome gifts came to suffer literary obscurity. Such formidable figures as Thomas Mann, Richard Strauss, and Sigmund Freud all praised Zweig; his books were international best-sellers. As John Fowles writes in his introduction to The Royal Game and Other Stories, Zweig is a 'remarkably fertile and gifted writer. Stefan Zweig's stories have a dark magnetism; they explore the limitless scope of every kind of single-mindedness-obsessional love, pathological revenge, and even madness in chess. Zweig wrote: 'A psychological problem is as attractive for me in a living person as in an historical person. my novels and biographies come out of the same source. , an insatiable curiosity. ' Zweig pushes his fictional characters through traps and pitfalls that divert them from their characteristic behavior and then follows them to the extremes to which their minds will eventually lead. The reader is inexorably drawn into a web of hidden secrets and unforgettable characters. THE ROYAL GAME AND OTHER STORIES brings to the modern reader a compelling kind of narrative wizardry little found today. As John Fowles, author of The French Lieutenant's Woman, concludes in his introduction, 'Now I must let Zweig's troubled, but always humane, spirit speak for itself. It has wandered much too far out of the English-speaking world's memory. It is time, on this centenary of his birth, that we read him again. ' Five stories you will always remember by a writer you will never forget. In LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, a celebrated novelist returns home early one morning. His servant hands him tea and a letter; the letter is written in an unfamiliar, shaky, feminine hand. It begins, 'To you who never knew me,' and gradually reveals a woman's obsession and impossible love. THE BURNING SECRET is a story from the land of childhood. During the days of Imperial Austria, a young baron arrives in Semmering for a mountain holiday. At an elegant dinner, he finds an object for his lust: a sensual Jewess, who is accompanied by her small boy. The baron befriends the boy, gains his confidence, and closes in on the married mother. AMOK is a tale of dark passion. As John Fowles says, 'Conrad's literal typhoons are carried over into the domain of the sexual. ' A European doctor commits a crime. Guilt-ridden and alcoholic, he is banished to the remote tropics. At first, he successfully fights death and disease - later, they seep into his very being. A wealthy married woman mysteriously appears at his isolated outpost, pregnant with her lover's child. Trapped by her own passion, she requests the doctor's services. He agrees but only if she will first surrender herself to him. Frau Wagner, in 'FEAR,' is respectable-she has a husband, children, and servants. Yet something has gone wrong; she lives and dreams the horror that her secret love will be discovered. THE ROYAL GAME is the story of a man who enters into a fateful chess match. Imprisoned years before by the Gestapo, a single chess book saves Dr. B. from the madness of solitary confinement. Now while he is aboard a ship to Buenos Aires, his fellow passengers urge him to challenge Czenotivic, the world champion, to a match. Dr. B. hesitates, then agrees. The madness of his imprisonment returns. 'Stefan Zweig has suffered, since his death in 1942, a darker eclipse than any other famous writer of this century. Even 'famous writer' understates the prodigious reputation he enjoyed in the last decade or so of his life, when he was arguably the most widely read and translated serious author in the world. ' - From the Introduction by John Fowles.

 

 

Zweig Stefan STEFAN ZWEIG was born in 1881 in Vienna to a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He was first known as a poet and translator and then as a biographer, producing studies of an assortment of people-notably, Erasmus, Joseph Fouch?, and Marie Antoinette. His well-known collection of stories, Kaleidoscope, appeared in 1934 and his one-truly remarkable-novel, Beware of Pity, appeared in 1939. Zweig traveled widely, and living in Salzburg between the wars, he made friends with the greats-Romain Rolland, Freud, Toscanini. Recognition as a writer came early, and by the time he was forty, he had already achieved literary fame. In 1934, with Nazism entrenched across the border, Zweig left Austria to settle in England-his publishing life was destroyed by the Nazis and he saw his dream of a united Europe shattered. Shortly after completing the title story in this collection in 1942, Zweig took his own life in Petropolis, Brazil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joseph Fouche: The Portrait Of A Politician by Stefan Zweig. London. 1930. Cassell & Company. Translated From The German By Eden & Cedar Paul. 327 pages.

 

Long out-of-print, this biography of Joseph Fouche, a major behind-the-scenes figure in the French Revolution, is a fascinating study of one man's rise from relatively humble beginnings to the absolute pinnacle of power, back down again, then up, and then again down. Fouche's roll-coaster ride of fortune is a remarkable story.

 

joseph fouche cassell and company 1930FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   'Gambler-in-chief at the great roulette board of human destiny,' Joseph Fouche is one of the most amazing figures in history. He is 'the most remarkable politician the world has ever known,' says Stefan Zweig, and, by way of proof, offers a brilliant and fascinating biography. Against the flaming background of the French Revolution we see Fouche, hitherto unknown, a 'semi-priest,' take his seat as member of the dreaded National Convention of France. When the people cry for the blood of the aristocrats he proceeds to Lyons, which has risen against the revolutionists, and plunges into an orgy of murder and blasphemy; when the people turn to moderation he repudiates his former companions, helps to speed Robespierre to the guillotine, and becomes the most moderate of moderates. His rise is meteoric, his fall equally so. Suddenly Citizen Fouche sinks into obscure poverty, earning his crust of bread by petty spying, even, at one tune, by becoming a swineherd. Then in the next era Fouche rises again to new and greater heights as Minister of Police to Napoleon. Not only does he spy out Napoleon's enemies, he even uses Josephine to spy on the Emperor himself. Joseph Fouche, the man who killed aristocrats and tended swine, finally becomes Duke of Otranto, millionaire, aristocrat, master-spy, and super-blackguard. From the pages of this volume emerge not only Fouche, but some of the great figures of history: Napoleon, Robespierre, Louis XVIII, Talleyrand, Lafayette. To read it is to gain knowledge of sixty of the most volcanic years the world has known.

Zweig Stefan

Stefan Zweig (November 28, 1881 – February 22, 1942) was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer. At the height of his literary career, in the 1920s and 1930s, he was one of the most famous writers in the world. Zweig was the son of Moritz Zweig (1845–1926), a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer, and Ida Brettauer (1854–1938), from a Jewish banking family. Joseph Brettauer did business for twenty years in Ancona, Italy, where his second daughter Ida was born and grew up, too. Zweig studied philosophy at the University of Vienna and in 1904 earned a doctoral degree with a thesis on ‘The Philosophy of Hippolyte Taine‘. Religion did not play a central role in his education. ‘My mother and father were Jewish only through accident of birth‘, Zweig said later in an interview. Yet he did not renounce his Jewish faith and wrote repeatedly on Jews and Jewish themes, as in his story Buchmendel. Zweig had a warm relationship with Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, whom he met when Herzl was still literary editor of the Neue Freie Presse, then Vienna's main newspaper; Herzl accepted for publication some of Zweig's early essays. Zweig believed in internationalism and in europeanism; Herzl's Jewish nationalism could not therefore have much attraction, as The World of Yesterday, his autobigraphy, makes clear. The Neue Freie Presse did not review Herzl's Der Judenstaat. Zweig himself called Herzl's book an ‘obtuse text, [a] piece of nonsense’. Stefan Zweig was related to the Czech writer Egon Hostovský. Hostovský described Zweig as ‘a very distant relative’; some sources describe them as cousins. At the beginning of World War I, patriotic sentiment was widespread, and extended to many German and Austrian Jews: Zweig, as well as Martin Buber and Hermann Cohen, all showed support. Zweig, although patriotic, refused to pick up a rifle; instead, he served in the Archives of the Ministry of War, and soon acquired a pacifist stand like his friend Romain Rolland, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature 1915. He then moved to Switzerland until the end of the war. Zweig remained a pacifist all his life and advocated the unification of Europe. Like Rolland, he wrote many biographies. His Erasmus of Rotterdam he called a ‘concealed self-portrayal’ in The World of Yesterday. Zweig married Friderike Maria von Winternitz (born Burger) in 1920; they divorced in 1938. As Friderike Zweig she published a book on her former husband after his death. She later also published a picture book on Zweig. In 1939 Zweig married his secretary Lotte Altmann. Zweig left Austria in 1934, following Hitler's rise to power in Germany. He then lived in England (in London first, then from 1939 in Bath). Because of the swift advance of Hitler's troops into France and all of Western Europe, Zweig and his second wife crossed the Atlantic Ocean and traveled to the United States, where they settled in 1940 in New York City, and traveled. On August 22, 1940, they moved again to Petrópolis, a town in the conurbation of Rio de Janeiro. Feeling more and more depressed by the growth of intolerance, authoritarianism, and nazism, and feeling hopeless for the future for humanity, Zweig wrote a note about his feelings of desperation. Then, in February 23, 1942, the Zweigs were found dead of a barbiturate overdose in their house in the city of Petrópolis, holding hands. He had been despairing at the future of Europe and its culture. ‘I think it better to conclude in good time and in erect bearing a life in which intellectual labour meant the purest joy and personal freedom the highest good on Earth’, he wrote. The Zweigs' house in Brazil was later turned into a museum and is now known as Casa Stefan Zweig. Zweig was a very prominent writer in the 1920s and 1930s, and befriended Arthur Schnitzler and Sigmund Freud. He was extremely popular in the USA, South America and Europe, and remains so in continental Europe; however, he was largely ignored by the British public, and his fame in America has since dwindled. Since the 1990s there has been an effort on the part of several publishers (notably Pushkin Press and the New York Review of Books) to get Zweig back into print in English. Plunkett Lake Press Ebooks has begun to publish electronic versions of his non-fiction as well. Criticism over his oeuvre is severely divided between some English-speaking critics, who despise his literary style as poor, lightweight and superficial, and some of those more attached to the European tradition, who praise his humanism, simplicity and effective style. Zweig is best known for his novellas (notably The Royal Game, Amok, Letter from an Unknown Woman – filmed in 1948 by Max Ophüls), novels (Beware of Pity, Confusion of Feelings, and the posthumously published The Post Office Girl) and biographies (notably Erasmus of Rotterdam, Conqueror of the Seas: The Story of Magellan, and Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles and also posthumously published, Balzac). At one time his works were published in English under the pseudonym 'Stephen Branch' (a translation of his real name) when anti-German sentiment was running high. His biography of Queen Marie-Antoinette was later adapted for a Hollywood movie, starring the actress Norma Shearer in the title role. Zweig enjoyed a close association with Richard Strauss, and provided the libretto for Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman). Strauss famously defied the Nazi regime by refusing to sanction the removal of Zweig's name from the program for the work's première on June 24, 1935 in Dresden. As a result, Goebbels refused to attend as planned, and the opera was banned after three performances. Zweig later collaborated with Joseph Gregor, to provide Strauss with the libretto for one other opera, Daphne, in 1937. At least one other work by Zweig received a musical setting: the pianist and composer Henry Jolles, who like Zweig had fled to Brazil to escape the Nazis, composed a song, ‘Último poema de Stefan Zweig’, based on ‘Letztes Gedicht’, which Zweig wrote on the occasion of his 60th birthday in November 1941. During his stay in Brazil, Zweig wrote Brasilien, Ein Land der Zukunft (Brazil, Land of the Future) which was an accurate analysis of his newly adopted country and in his book he managed to demonstrate a fair understanding of the Brazilian culture that surrounded him. Zweig was a passionate collector of manuscripts. There are important Zweig collections at the British Library and at the State University of New York at Fredonia. The British Library's Stefan Zweig Collection was donated to the library by his heirs in May 1986. It specialises in autograph music manuscripts, including works by Bach, Haydn, Wagner, and Mahler. It has been described as ‘one of the world's greatest collections of autograph manuscripts’. One particularly precious item is Mozart's ‘Verzeichnüß aller meiner Werke’ – that is, the composer's own handwritten thematic catalogue of his works. The 1993–1994 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hopes & Impediments: Selected Essays by Chinua Achebe. New York. 1989. Doubleday. 188 pages. Jacket illustration by Sally Sturman. 0385247303. October 1989.

 

A thought-provoking collection of essays from the Nigerian author of THINGS FALL APART. His essay on Joseph Conrad is especially brilliant.

 

0385247303FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   One of the most provocative and original voices in contemporary literature, Chinua Achebe commands widespread critical acclaim. His novels, including the recently published ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANAH, are considered modern classics. HOPES AND IMPEDIMENTS draws on the best critical writings of this powerful writer over the past twenty-five years, offering a new perspective on the human condition. These essays range from an analysis of Joseph Conrad that has infuriated many an English professor, to a moving tribute to James Baldwin. There are reflections on broad topics such as 'The Truth of Fiction,' 'Thoughts on the African Novel,' 'Impediments to Dialogue Between North and South,' and on the present needs of his own society. Throughout these provocative works run the central themes of literature and art against the background of Europe and Africa and the black-white divide. Mr. Achebe brings to bear his unique creative energies in exposing the monster of racist habit. 'Gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.' - Nadine Gordimer.

 

Achebe ChinuaChinua Achebe (born Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe, 16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958), often considered his masterpiece, is the most widely read book in modern African literature. Chinua Achebe published THINGS FALL APART in 1958. It was followed by NO LONGER AT EASE (AWS 3) and ARROW OF GOD (AWS 16). A MAN OF THE PEOPLE (AWS 31) aroused widespread interest on publication at the time of the January 1966 coup because of its prophetic ending. The effects of his novels, and of his editorship of the African Writers Series has had a dramatic impact on the development of the literature of Africa. Some of the stories in GIRLS AT WAR (AWS 100) and some of the poems in BEWARE SOUL BROTHER (AWS 120) are set in the war. His essays were published in 1975 under the title MORNING YET ON CREATION DAY (Heinemann). He was educated at Government College, Umuahia and University College, Ibadan. By the time he left the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in 1966 he had become Director of External Broadcasting. Since the war he has been at the Universities of Nigeria, Massachusetts and Connecticut. He has now returned to Nsukka. Among many recent honours has been the award of a Fellowship of the Modern Languages Association of America and of Doctorates at the Universities of Stirling and Southampton. He has recently followed Heinrich Boll, the Nobel prizewinner, as the recipient of the Scottish Arts Council's Neil Gunn Fellowship. Chinua Achebe is best known as a novelist. But the years of the Nigerian crisis and the civil war were not, for both practical and psychological reasons, a time for work on full-length novels. He found poetry a means of expressing his distress, even though few of the poems speak directly of the war. He has added some new poems to this collection which has already been published in Nigeria. 

 

 

 

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The Art Of The Novel by Milan Kundera. New York. 1988. Grove Press. Translated From The French By Linda Asher. 165 pages. Jacket design by the author. 0802100112.

Milan Kundera reinvigorates our desire to tackle the classics in literature.

 

0802100112FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In these seven related essays he reacquaints us with some of the giants of the novel and inspires us to rethink our relationships to their narratives. 'Need I stress that intend no theoretical statement at all, and that the entire book is simply a practitioner's confession? Every novelist's work contains an implicit vision of the history of the novel, an idea of what the novel is; I have tried to express here the idea of the novel that is inherent in my own novels. ' In seven relatively independent but closely linked parts, Milan Kundera sets forth his personal conception of the European novel Is its history coming to an end? Today in the period of 'terminal paradoxes,' the novel 'cannot live in peace with the spirit of our time:. if it is to go on 'progressing' as novel, it can do so only against the progress of the world. ' One of the parts is devoted to Hermann Broch, another to Kafka, and throughout the book Kundera constantly reflects on the writers who are the mainstays of his 'personal history of the novel': Rabelais, Cervantes, Sterne, Diderot, Flaubert, Tolstoy Musil, Gombrowicz. In two dialogues, the author speaks directly about his own art almost in the craftsman's sense of the word: about his means of creating 'experimental selves' and novelistic 'polyphony' about his methods of composition. And in a characteristically playful and original 'dictionary' he defines and considers the 'key words' that appear throughout his novels as well as those that underlie his aesthetic of the novel.

Kundera Milan

MILAN KUNDERA was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. Since 1975, he has lived in France. He is the author of THE JOKE, LAUGHABLE LOVES, LIFE IS ELSEWHERE, THE FAREWELL PARTY THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING, THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING and the play JACQUES AND HIS MASTER. The fiction was originally written in Czech, THE ART OF THE NOVEL in French.

 

 

 

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Therese Raquin by Emile Zola. New York. 1962. Penguin Books. Translated From The French & With An Introduction By Leonard Tancock. 256 pages. The cover shows a detail from Under the Lamplight by Edouard Vuillard in the Musee Annonciade, St Tropez. 0140441204.

THERESE RAQUIN has all of the steaminess of a James M. Cain novel. Absolutely hypnotic in stretches - It is short, but not too sweet.

pc therese raquin 1962FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 'Putrid Literature', 'a quagmire of slime and blood', 'a sewer' - these were some of the critics' reactions to this novel. The immediate success which THERESE RAQUIN enjoyed on publication in 1868 was partly due to scandal, following the accusation of pornography; in reply Zola defined the new creed of Naturalism in the famous preface which is printed in this volume. The novel is a grim tale of adultery, murder and revenge in a nightmarish setting. A thriller and, as Leonard Tancock says in his introduction, a cautionary tale on the sixth and seventh commandments, this early work of Zola's is full of black macabre poetry which has kept its tragic power for over a century.

Zola EmileÉmile François Zola (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse.

 

 

 

 

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The Cowards by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 1970. Grove Press. Translated From The Czech By Jeanne Nemcova. 416 pages.

 

Josef Skvorecky's groundbreaking novel of he last days of the Nazi Protectorate of Czechoslovakia.

 

 

cowardsFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Danny Smiricky is as concerned with woman and jazz as he is with the departure of the defeated Nazis and the advancing Soviet army. Still, there is no way to avoid the political absurdities that are just around the corner. 'I wrote a novel about which there are two divergent opinions: it was considered either epoch-making or scandalous. But I never set out to create art at all, I simply tried to write a book. THE COWARDS came out quite smoothly, without any problems. I expected to be attacked for excessive naturalism, slang, some of the erotic scenes, and I was ready to defend myself on the grounds of literary theory. But I would have never dreamed that I might become the target of attacks for having sullied things which are holy and glorious. ' Thus spoke the author in 1962. Josef Skvorecky's crime was that he wrote about the Red Army as a collection of men, not as gods of the proletariat. Czech writers, poets, composers, directors, editors, and readers thought The Cowards was indeed one of the major works of fiction to emerge from the post-war period. Politicians and establishment critics with Stalinist leanings found the book scandalous. As a result, all who appreciated THE COWARDS--the editors who published the novel and the critics who praised it--were fired outright and the accustomed avenues of expression denied them. This was Prague in 1958. Under Dubcek, the book was reissued and quickly became a manifesto for the young generation of Czechoslovak liberals. Since then, it has been translated into German, French, Polish, English, and other editions are soon to appear. 'What is THE COWARDS anyway? The story of a small town, its jazz, its student life, the end of the war. ' It is also the intense, personal story of Danny Smiricky and the boys in his band who somehow float above the turmoil, somehow remain the only sane human beings in a chaotic time. The cowards scoff at the self-appointed civil government, they find the regimentation of the military authorities absurd, and their only immediate thoughts--with humor, irony, and fantasy--are of the girls they have had or the girls they want. THE COWARDS relates the events of the last week of the Nazi Protectorate of Czechoslovakia, of the advancing Soviets, of Danny's feelings for women, politics, sharp clothes, his saxophone, and his 'image. ' It is a remembrance of a lost time, of a lost feeling, of a boredom with the exterior world, and a fascination with jazz and Danny's own sprawling imagination. Josef Skvorecky's book is an important statement by a major international writer.

 

 

Skvorecky JosefJosef Škvorecký (September 27, 1924 – January 3, 2012) was a Czech-Canadian writer and publisher who spent much of his life in Canada. SKVORECKY was born in Bohemia, emigrated to Canada in 1968, and was for many years a professor of English at Erindale College, University of Toronto. He and his wife, the novelist Zdena Salivarova, ran a Czech-language publishing house, Sixty-Eight Publishers, in Toronto, and were long-time supporters of Czech dissident writers before the fall of communism in that country. Skvorecky’s novels include THE COWARDS, MISS SILVER’S PAST, THE BASS SAXOPHONE, THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS, and DVORAK IN LOVE. He was the winner of the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1984 Governor General’s Award for fiction in Canada. Škvorecký's fiction deals with several themes: the horrors of totalitarianism and repression, the expatriate experience, and the miracle of jazz.

 

 

 

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 The World and Africa by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois. New York. 1947. Viking Press. 276 pages.

 

Although published in 1947, this book has a freshness of vision that many contemporary books lack. This is a serious look at Africa's contribution to world culture and Africa's place in world history. Of particular interest is the way that Du Bois connects the scramble for Africa to the First World War.

 

 

world africaFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   DuBois never relented in attacks upon imperialism, especially in Africa. (His book entitled THE WORLD AND AFRICA was written as a contradiction to the pseudo-historians who consistently omitted Africa from world history. ) In 1945 he served as an associate consultant to the American delegation at the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco. He charged the world organization with planning to be dominated by imperialist nations and not intending to intervene on the behalf of colonized countries. He announced that the fifth Pan-African Congress would convene to determine what pressure could be applied to the world powers. W. E. B. Du Bois' THE WORLD AND AFRICA, which refutes the racist thesis primarily associated with Eurocentric historians that of all the continents, Africa had made no contribution to world history and civilization. Du Bois's main objectives in this celebratory book, as in his classic SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, were threefold: to write the history and culture of the people of Africa and African descent; to enable African Americans to identify with Africa as a proud and dignified source of identity that could be placed on an equal footing with Europe, Asia, and North America; and to posit Africa's humanism and rich heritage as a compelling argument against racism and colonialism. Du Bois believed that freedom was whole and indivisible, that Black people in America would not be completely free until Africa was liberated and emancipated in modernity; his Pan-Africanism was born out of the consciousness of freedom as a common goal for Black and Brown people.

 

 

 

Du Bois W E B William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963) was a black civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. He became a naturalized citizen of Ghana in 1963 at the age of 95. David Levering Lewis, a biographer, wrote, 'In the course of his long, turbulent career, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth-century racism -- scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity. ' W. E. B. Du Bois was born on Church Street on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, at the south-western edge of Massachusetts, to Alfred Du Bois and Mary Silvina Burghardt Du Bois, whose February 5, 1867, wedding had been announced in the Berkshire Courier. Alfred Du Bois had been born in Haiti. Their son was born 5 months before the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, and added to the U. S. Constitution. Alfred Du Bois was descended from free people of color, including the slave-holding Dr. James Du Bois of Poughkeepsie, New York, a physician. In the Bahamas, James Du Bois had fathered three sons, including Alfred, and a daughter, by his slave mistress. Du Bois was also the great-grandson of Elizabeth Freeman ('Mum Bett'), a slave who successfully sued for her freedom, laying the groundwork for the eventual abolition of slavery in Massachusetts. Du Bois was born free and did not have contact with his biological father. He blamed his maternal grandparents for his father's leaving because they did not take kindly to him. Du Bois was very close to his mother Mary, who was from Massachusetts. Du Bois moved frequently when he was young, after Mary suffered a stroke which left her unable to work. They survived on money from family members and Du Bois' after-school jobs. Du Bois wanted to help his mother as much as possible and believed he could improve their lives through education. Some of the neighborhood whites noticed him, and one allowed Du Bois and his mother to rent a house from him in Great Barrington. While living there, Du Bois performed chores and worked odd jobs. Du Bois did not feel differently because of his skin color while he was in school. In fact, the only times he felt out of place were when out-of-towners would visit Great Barrington. One such incident occurred when a white girl who was new in school refused to take one of his fake calling cards during a game. The girl told him she would not accept it because he was black. He then realized that there would always be some kind of barrier between whites and others. Young Du Bois may have been an outsider because of his status, being poor, not having a father and being extremely intellectual for his age; however, he was very comfortable academically. Many around him recognized his intelligence and encouraged him to further his education with college preparatory courses while in high school. This academic confidence led him to believe that he could use his knowledge to empower African Americans. Du Bois was awarded a degree from Fisk University in 1888. During the summer following graduation from Fisk, Du Bois managed the Fisk Glee Club. The club was employed at a grand luxury summer resort on Lake Minnetonka in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. The resort was a favorite spot for vacationing wealthy American Southerners and European royalty. Du Bois and the other club members doubled as waiters and kitchen workers at the hotel. Observing the drinking, rude and crude behavior and sexual promiscuity of the rich white guests of the hotel left a deep impression on the young Du Bois. Du Bois entered Harvard College in the fall of 1888, having received a $250 scholarship. He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from Harvard in 1890. In 1892, received a stipend to attend the University of Berlin. While a student in Berlin, he travelled extensively throughout Europe, and came of age intellectually while studying with some of the most prominent social scientists in the German capital, such as Gustav von Schmoller. In 1895, Du Bois became the first African American to receive a Ph. D. from Harvard University. After teaching at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the University of Pennsylvania, he established the department of sociology at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Du Bois wrote many books, including three major autobiographies. Among his most significant works are The Philadelphia Negro (1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), John Brown (1909), Black Reconstruction (1935), and Black Folk, Then and Now (1939). His book The Negro (1915) influenced the work of several pioneer Africanist scholars, such as Drusilla Dunjee Houston and William Leo Hansberry. In 1940, at Atlanta University, Du Bois founded Phylon magazine. In 1946, he wrote The World and Africa: An Inquiry Into the Part that Africa has Played in World History. In 1945, he helped organize the historic Fifth Pan-African Conference in Manchester, England. While prominent white voices denied African American cultural, political and social relevance to American history and civic life, in his epic work, Reconstruction Du Bois documented how black people were central figures in the American Civil War and Reconstruction. He demonstrated the ways Black emancipation--the crux of Reconstruction--promoted a radical restructuring of United States society, as well as how and why the country turned its back on human rights for African Americans in the aftermath of Reconstruction. This theme was taken up later and expanded by Eric Foner and Leon F. Litwack, the two leading contemporary scholars of the Reconstruction era. In total, Du Bois wrote 22 books, including five novels, and helped establish four journals. Du Bois was the most prominent intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, the two carried on a dialogue about segregation and political disenfranchisement. He was labeled 'The Father of Pan-Africanism. ' In 1905, Du Bois along with Minnesota attorney Fredrick L. McGhee and others helped to found the Niagara Movement with William Monroe Trotter. The Movement championed, among other things, freedom of speech and criticism, the recognition of the highest and best human training as the monopoly of no caste or race, full male suffrage, a belief in the dignity of labor, and a united effort to realize such ideals under sound leadership. The alliance between Du Bois and Trotter was, however, short-lived, as they had a dispute over whether or not white people should be included in the organization and in the struggle for Civil Rights. Du Bois felt that they should, and with a group of like-minded supporters, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. In 1910, he left his teaching post at Atlanta University to work as publications director at the NAACP full-time. He wrote weekly columns in many newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New York Amsterdam News, three African-American newspapers, and also the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle. For 25 years, Du Bois worked as Editor-in-Chief of the NAACP publication, The Crisis, which then included the subtitle A Record of the Darker Races. He commented freely and widely on current events and set the agenda for the fledgling NAACP. Its circulation soared from 1,000 in 1910 to more than 100,000 by 1920. Du Bois published Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer. As a repository of black thought, the Crisis was initially a monopoly, David Levering Lewis observed. In 1913, Du Bois wrote The Star of Ethiopia, a historical pageant, to promote African-American history and civil rights. The seminal debate between Booker T. Washington and Du Bois played out in the pages of the Crisis with Washington advocating a philosophy of self-help and vocational training for Southern blacks while Du Bois pressed for full educational opportunities. Du Bois thought blacks should seek higher education, preferably liberal arts. Du Bois believed blacks should challenge and question whites on all grounds, but Washington believed assimilating and fitting into the 'American' culture is the best way for Blacks to move up in society. While Washington states that he didn't receive any racist insults until later on his years, Du Bois said Blacks have a 'Double-Conscious' mind in which they have to know when to act 'White' and when to act 'Black'. Booker T. Washington felt that teaching was a duty but Du Bois felt it was a calling. Du Bois became increasingly estranged from Walter Francis White, the executive secretary of the NAACP, and began to question the organization's opposition to racial segregation at all costs. Du Bois thought that this policy, while generally sound, undermined those black institutions that did exist, which Du Bois thought should be defended and improved, rather than attacked as inferior. By the 1930s, Lewis said, the NAACP had become more institutional and Du Bois, increasingly radical, sometimes at odds with leaders such as Walter White and Roy Wilkins. In 1934, after writing two essays in the Crisis suggesting that black separatism could be a useful economic strategy, Du Bois left the magazine to return to teaching at Atlanta University. In 1909, W. E. B. Du Bois addressed the American Historical Association (AHA). According to David Levering Lewis, 'His would be the first and last appearance of an African American on the program until 1940. ' In a review of the second book in Lewis's biographies of Du Bois, Michael R. Winston observed that, in understanding American history, one must question 'how black Americans developed the psychological stamina and collective social capacity to cope with the sophisticated system of racial domination that white Americans had anchored deeply in law and custom. ' Winston continued, 'Although any reasonable answer is extraordinarily complex, no adequate one can ignore the man (Du Bois) whose genius was for 70 years at the intellectual epicenter of the struggle to destroy white supremacy as public policy and social fact in the United States. ' Du Bois was investigated by the FBI, who claimed in May 1942 that '[h]is writing indicates him to be a socialist,' and that he 'has been called a Communist and at the same time criticized by the Communist Party. ' Du Bois visited Communist China during the Great Leap Forward. Also, in the March 16, 1953 issue of The National Guardian, Du Bois wrote 'Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. ' Du Bois was chairman of the Peace Information Center at the start of the Korean War. He was among the signers of the Stockholm Peace Pledge, which opposed the use of nuclear weapons. In 1950, at the age of 82, he ran for the U. S. Senate on the American Labor Party ticket in New York and received 4% of the vote. Although he lost, Du Bois remained committed to the progressive labor cause and in 1958, joined Trotskyists, ex-Communists and independent radicals in proposing the creation of a united left-wing coalition to challenge for seats in the elections for the New York state senate and assembly. He was indicted in the United States under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and acquitted for lack of evidence. W. E. B. Du Bois became disillusioned with both black capitalism and racism in the United States. In 1959, Du Bois received the Lenin Peace Prize. In 1961, at the age of 93, he joined the Communist Party USA. Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the Encyclopedia Africana, a government production, and a long-held dream of his. When, in 1963, he was refused a new U. S. passport, he and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, became citizens of Ghana, renouncing his US citizenship. Du Bois' health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninety-five, one day before Martin Luther King, Jr. 's 'I Have a Dream' speech. At the March on Washington, Roy Wilkins informed the hundreds of thousands of marchers and called for a moment of silence. Young Du Bois may have been an outsider because of his status, being poor, not having a father and being extremely intellectual for his age; however, he was very comfortable academically. Many around him recognized his intelligence and encouraged him to further his education with college preparatory courses while in high school. This academic confidence led him to believe that he could use his knowledge to empower African Americans. Du Bois was awarded a degree from Fisk University in 1888. During the summer following graduation from Fisk, Du Bois managed the Fisk Glee Club. The club was employed at a grand luxury summer resort on Lake Minnetonka in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. The resort was a favorite spot for vacationing wealthy American Southerners and European royalty. Du Bois and the other club members doubled as waiters and kitchen workers at the hotel. Observing the drinking, rude and crude behavior and sexual promiscuity of the rich white guests of the hotel left a deep impression on the young Du Bois. Du Bois entered Harvard College in the fall of 1888, having received a $250 scholarship. He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from Harvard in 1890. In 1892, received a stipend to attend the University of Berlin. While a student in Berlin, he travelled extensively throughout Europe, and came of age intellectually while studying with some of the most prominent social scientists in the German capital, such as Gustav von Schmoller. In 1895, Du Bois became the first African American to receive a Ph. D. from Harvard University. After teaching at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the University of Pennsylvania, he established the department of sociology at Atlanta University Du Bois wrote many books, including three major autobiographies. Among his most significant works are The Philadelphia Negro , The Souls of Black Folk , John Brown , Black Reconstruction , and Black Folk, Then and Now His book The Negro influenced the work of several pioneer Africanist scholars, such as Drusilla Dunjee Houston and William Leo Hansberry. In 1940, at Atlanta University, Du Bois founded Phylon magazine. In 1946, he wrote The World and Africa: An Inquiry Into the Part that Africa has Played in World History. In 1945, he helped organize the historic Fifth Pan-African Conference in Manchester, England. While prominent white voices denied African American cultural, political and social relevance to American history and civic life, in his epic work, Reconstruction Du Bois documented how black people were central figures in the American Civil War and Reconstruction. He demonstrated the ways Black emancipation--the crux of Reconstruction--promoted a radical restructuring of United States society, as well as how and why the country turned its back on human rights for African Americans in the aftermath of Reconstruction. This theme was taken up later and expanded by Eric Foner and Leon F. Litwack, the two leading contemporary scholars of the Reconstruction era. In total, Du Bois wrote 22 books, including five novels, and helped establish four journals. Du Bois was the most prominent intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, the two carried on a dialogue about segregation and political disenfranchisement. He was labeled 'The Father of Pan-Africanism. ' In 1905, Du Bois along with Minnesota attorney Fredrick L. McGhee and others helped to found the Niagara Movement with William Monroe Trotter. The Movement championed, among other things, freedom of speech and criticism, the recognition of the highest and best human training as the monopoly of no caste or race, full male suffrage, a belief in the dignity of labor, and a united effort to realize such ideals under sound leadership. The alliance between Du Bois and Trotter was, however, short-lived, as they had a dispute over whether or not white people should be included in the organization and in the struggle for Civil Rights. Du Bois felt that they should, and with a group of like-minded supporters, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. In 1910, he left his teaching post at Atlanta University to work as publications director at the NAACP full-time. He wrote weekly columns in many newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New York Amsterdam News, three African-American newspapers, and also the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle. For 25 years, Du Bois worked as Editor-in-Chief of the NAACP publication, The Crisis, which then included the subtitle A Record of the Darker Races. He commented freely and widely on current events and set the agenda for the fledgling NAACP. Its circulation soared from 1,000 in 1910 to more than 100,000 by 1920. Du Bois published Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer. As a repository of black thought, the Crisis was initially a monopoly, David Levering Lewis observed. In 1913, Du Bois wrote The Star of Ethiopia, a historical pageant, to promote African-American history and civil rights. The seminal debate between Booker T. Washington and Du Bois played out in the pages of the Crisis with Washington advocating a philosophy of self-help and vocational training for Southern blacks while Du Bois pressed for full educational opportunities. Du Bois thought blacks should seek higher education, preferably liberal arts. Du Bois believed blacks should challenge and question whites on all grounds, but Washington believed assimilating and fitting into the 'American' culture is the best way for Blacks to move up in society. While Washington states that he didn't receive any racist insults until later on his years, Du Bois said Blacks have a 'Double-Conscious' mind in which they have to know when to act 'White' and when to act 'Black'. Booker T. Washington felt that teaching was a duty but Du Bois felt it was a calling. Du Bois became increasingly estranged from Walter Francis White, the executive secretary of the NAACP, and began to question the organization's opposition to racial segregation at all costs. Du Bois thought that this policy, while generally sound, undermined those black institutions that did exist, which Du Bois thought should be defended and improved, rather than attacked as inferior by the 1930s, Lewis said, the NAACP had become more institutional and Du Bois, increasingly radical, sometimes at odds with leaders such as Walter White and Roy Wilkins. In 1934, after writing two essays in the Crisis suggesting that black separatism could be a useful economic strategy, Du Bois left the magazine to return to teaching at Atlanta University. In 1909, W. E. B. Du Bois addressed the American Historical Association According to David Levering Lewis, 'His would be the first and last appearance of an African American on the program until 1940. ' In a review of the second book in Lewis's biographies of Du Bois, Michael R. Winston observed that, in understanding American history, one must question 'how black Americans developed the psychological stamina and collective social capacity to cope with the sophisticated system of racial domination that white Americans had anchored deeply in law and custom. ' Winston continued, 'Although any reasonable answer is extraordinarily complex, no adequate one can ignore the man whose genius was for 70 years at the intellectual epicenter of the struggle to destroy white supremacy as public policy and social fact in the United States. ' Du Bois was investigated by the FBI, who claimed in May 1942 that '[h]is writing indicates him to be a socialist,' and that he 'has been called a Communist and at the same time criticized by the Communist Party. ' Du Bois visited Communist China during the Great Leap Forward. Also, in the March 16, 1953 issue of The National Guardian, Du Bois wrote 'Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. ' Du Bois was chairman of the Peace Information Center at the start of the Korean War. He was among the signers of the Stockholm Peace Pledge, which opposed the use of nuclear weapons. In 1950, at the age of 82, he ran for the U. S. Senate on the American Labor Party ticket in New York and received 4% of the vote. Although he lost, Du Bois remained committed to the progressive labor cause and in 1958, joined Trotskyists, ex-Communists and independent radicals in proposing the creation of a united left-wing coalition to challenge for seats in the elections for the New York state senate and assembly. He was indicted in the United States under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and acquitted for lack of evidence. W. E. B. Du Bois became disillusioned with both black capitalism and racism in the United States. In 1959, Du Bois received the Lenin Peace Prize. In 1961, at the age of 93, he joined the Communist Party USA. Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the Encyclopedia Africana, a government production, and a long-held dream of his. When, in 1963, he was refused a new U. S. passport, he and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, became citizens of Ghana, renouncing his US citizenship. Du Bois' health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninety-five, one day before Martin Luther King, Jr. 's 'I Have a Dream' speech. At the March on Washington, Roy Wilkins informed the hundreds of thousands of marchers and called for a moment of silence.

 

 

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Embers by Sandor Marai. New York. 2001. Knopf. Translated From The Hungarian By Carol Brown Janeway. 217 pages. Jacket painting by Alexandre Cabanel - Portrait of Countess de Keller, 1873. Jacket design by Susan Carroll. 0375407561. October 2001.

 

From Hungary, a rediscovered gem about friendship, betrayal, and revenge.

 

 

0375407561FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   The rediscovery of a masterpiece of Central European literature originally published in Budapest in 1942 and known to modern readers until last year. An extraordinary novel about a triangular relationship, about love, friendship, and fidelity; about betrayal, pride, and true nobility. In a castle at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, an old aristocrat waits to greet the friend he has not seen for forty-one years. In the course of this one night, from dinner until dawn, the two men will fight a duel of words and silences, of stories, of accusations and evasions, that will encompass their entire lives and that of a third person, missing from the candlelit dining hall-the now dead chatelaine of the castle. The last time the three of them sat together was in this room, after a stag hunt in the forest, The year was 1900. No game was shot that day but the reverberations were cataclysmic. And the time of reckoning has finally arrived. Already a great international best-seller, EMBERS is a magnificent addition to world literature in the English language.

 

 

Marai SandorSandor Marai was born in Kassa, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1900. He rose to fame as one of the leading literary novelists in Hungary in the 1930s. Profoundly antifascist, he survived World War II, but persecution by the Communists drove him from the country in 1948, first to Italy and then to the United States. Marai committed suicide in San Diego in 1989. He is the author of a significant body of work, which Knopf is translating into English.

 

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The Life Of The Party by Maureen Freely. New York. 1985. Simon & Schuster. 416 pages. Jacket design by Fred Marcellino. 0671506145.

 

A novel of American expatriate life in Istanbul that is by turns funny and tragic, from the translator of Nobel Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk.

 

0671506145FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Hector Cabot was known to e the life of every party he attended in Istanbul: a famous rascal, an incorrigible womanizer, a good-for-nothing charmer, a loser of geese. That last attribute was commemorated each year on 'Hector Cabot Goosebuying Day' in honor of the famous binge in 1962 when he went downtown to buy a goose for Christmas dinner and returned three days later completely naked except for a Turkish flag. Hector taught at Woodrow College perched above the Bosphorus. Other members of the expatriate circle, though not quite as flamboyant as Hector, were avid spectators of, if not participants in, the decadence: Meredith Lacey, who stalked married men like wild game; her husband, Leslie, melancholy in his repressed homosexuality; Stella Ashe, lover of Hector and mother of his child; Stella's husband, Thomas, the quarry of Meredith Lacey. Those also featured in Maureen Freely's astonishing cast include Hector's demonic Greek mother, Aspasia, whose life is devoted to taunting her daughter-in-law, Amy, the long-suffering victim of Hector's philandering and hijinks; Emin Bey, the elegant and educated Turk who is friend and admirer of Hector; and his nephew Ismet, a secret policeman whose ambition leads him to invent dark secrets about the crowd of fast-living Westerners. Maureen Freely superbly portrays the expatriate party dwindling to its end against the backdrop of Turkeys own internal tensions. This is a marvelous, rich, funny book--full of life--peopled with engaging, sharply drawn characters, offering a sensitive portrait of the clash of cultures. Maureen Freely's vitality and precision as a writer, her ability to capture the niceties of social comedy and tragedy, make THE LIFE OF THE PARTY a novel of breathtaking assurance, wholly fulfilling the promise of her wickedly amusing first novel, MOTHER'S HELPER.

 

 

Freely MaureenMaureen Freely was born in the US but grew up in Turkey, where her family still lives. She was educated at Radcliffe College (Harvard University) and has made her home in England for the past 22 years. She is the author of three works of non-fiction: PANDORA'S CLOCK (1993,) WHAT ABOUT US? (1995) AND THE PARENT TRAP (2000); AND SEVEN NOVELS: MOTHER'S HELPER (1979), THE LIFE OF THE PARTY (1985), THE STORK CLUB (1992), UNDER THE VULCANIA (1994), THE OTHER REBECCA (1996) and ENLIGHTENMENT (2007), which is set in Istanbul. She has been a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent and The Sunday Times for two decades, writing on feminism, family and social policy, Turkish culture and politics, and contemporary writing. For the past ten years she has been the Deputy Director of the Writing Programme at the University of Warwick. She is perhaps best known for her translations of SNOW (2003), ISTANBUL: MEMORIES OF A CITY (2004) and THE BLACK BOOK (2005), by the Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, and for her campaigning journalism after Pamuk and an estimated 80 other writers were prosecuted (and in the case of Hrant Dink, assassinated) for insulting Turkishness, state institutions, or the memory of Ataturk.

 

 

 

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The Pledge by Friedrich Duerrenmatt. New York. 1959. Knopf. Translated From The German By Richard and Clara Winston. 185 pages. Jacket design by George Salter.

 

A police detective's relentless search to find a child-murderer in this unconventional story of guilt, responsibility, justice, and fate from the Swiss writer, Friedrich Duerrenmatt. 

 

 

pledgeFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  A child has been murdered. . . The official solution of the crime does not satisfy the inspector. He sets out on his own to find the bestial killer. Suspense mounts as the story turns into a bizarre tale of guilt and justice. The story of the sex maniac’s crime makes for harrowing reading, but the account of the detective’s decay as a citizen and a man constitutes an arresting and deeply moving human drama. He is driven by his pledge toward a stratagem as questionable as the crime itself.

 

 

 

Durrenmatt Friedrich Friedrich Durrenmatt (Duerrenmatt) was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theater whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author gained fame largely due to his avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire. One of his leading sentences was: 'A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn'. Durrenmatt was a member of the Gruppe Olten. Durrenmatt was born in Konolfingen, in the Emmental, the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather Ulrich Durrenmatt was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Durrenmatt began to study of philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. In 1943 he decided to become an author and dramatist and dropped his academic career. In 1945-46, he wrote his first play 'It is written'. On October 11 1946 he married the actress Lotti Geissler. She died on January 16 1983 and Durrenmatt married again in 1984 to another actress, Charlotte Kerr. Durrenmatt also some of his own works and his drawings were exhibited in Neuchatel in 1976 and 1985, as well as in Zurich in 1978. Like Brecht, Durrenmatt explored the dramatic possibilities of epic theater. His plays are meant to involve the audience in a theoretical debate, rather than as purely passive entertainment. When he was 26, his first play, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy. The story of the play revolves around a battle between a sensation-craving cynic and a religious fanatic who takes scripture literally, all of this taking place while the city they live in is under siege. The play's opening night in April, 1947 caused fights and protests in the audience. His first major success was the play Romulus the Great. Set in the year 476 A. D. , the play explores the last days of the Roman Empire, presided over, and brought about by its last emperor. The Visit which tells of a rich benefactor visiting her beneficiaries, is the work best known in the United States. The satirical drama The Physicists which deals with issues concerning science and its responsibility for dramatic and even dangerous changes to our world has also been presented in translation. Radio plays published in English include Hercules in the Augean Stables, Incident at Twilight and The Mission of the Vega The two late works 'Labyrinth' and 'Turmbau zu Babel' are a collection of unfinished ideas, stories, and philosophical thoughts. In 1990, he gave two famous speeches, one in honour of Vaclav Havel, and the other in honour of Mikhail Gorbachev Durrenmatt often compared the three Abrahamic religions and Marxism, which he also saw as a religion. Even if there are several parallels between Durrenmatt and Brecht, Durrenmatt never took a political position, but represented a pragmatic philosophy of life. In 1969, he traveled in the USA, in 1974 to Israel, and in 1990 to Auschwitz in Poland. Durrenmatt died on December 14, 1990 in Neuchatel.

 

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 Black Looks: Race & Representation by bell hooks. Boston. 1992. South End Press. 200 pages. Cover design by Julie Ault and G. Watkins.

 

Any bell hooks book is worth a read. In this collection of 12 essays hooks takes on popular music, advertising, literature, television, historical narrative, and film in an exploration of race, representation, and resistance. Should be required reading for the planet. Her perspective is fresh and stimulating and definitely against the grain.

 

 

black looksFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In these twelve new essays, feminist theorist and cultural critic bell hooks digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of black women and men within our white supremacist culture. Taking on popular music, advertising, literature, television, historical narrative, and, most importantly, film, hooks consistently demonstrates the incisive intelligence and passion for justice that prompted Publishers Weekly to dub her 'one of the foremost black intellectuals in America today.'

 

hooks bell bell hooks is a writer and professor who speaks widely on issues of race, class, and gender. Her previous books include AIN'T I A WOMAN, FEMINIST THEORY, TALKING BACK, YEARNING, and most recently, with Cornel West, BREAKING BREAD: INSURGENT BLACK INTELLECTUAL LIFE.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Joke by Milan Kundera. New York. 1969. Coward McCann. Translated From The Czech By David Hamblyn & Oliver Stallybrass.

 

 

Later translated From the Czech by Michael Henry Heim in 1982, and then fully revised by the author & newly translated again by Michael Henry Heim. The 1982 edition provides English-language readers an important further means toward revaluation of THE JOKE. For reasons he describes in his Author's Note to that edition, Milan Kundera devoted much time to creating a completely revised translation that reflects his original as closely as any translation possibly can: reflects it in its fidelity not only to the words and syntax but also to the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel's narrators. The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic.

 

joke kunderaFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In 1992, a quarter century after THE JOKE was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence. All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications. Now, a quarter century after THE JOKE was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence. All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications.

 

 

Kundera Milan The son of a well-known pianist, Milan Kundera was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He was enrolled in the Czech Communist Party right after the Second World War, then debarred from it after the incidents of February, 1948 (the takeover of Prague), at which time he was a student. He worked as a laborer, then as a jazz musician, and finally ended up devoting himself to literature and film. He was a professor at the Prague Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies, where his students were the creators of the Czech New Wave in film. After the Russian invasion in 1968, he lost his post and saw all his books removed from the public libraries in his country. In 1975, he settled in France, and in 1979, the Czech government, responding to the publication of THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING, revoked his Czech citizenship. His first novel, THE JOKE, and his collection of stories, LAUGHABLE LOVES, appeared in print in Prague before 1968. His other novels have not been allowed publication in his fatherland. LIFE IS ELSEWHERE won the Prix Medicis for the best foreign novel published in France in 1973, and The Farewell Party won a similar prize, the Premio Mondello, for the best foreign novel published in Italy in 1976. Kundera’s works have been translated into twenty languages.

 

 

 

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The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. New York. 1959. Random House. Translated From The Italian By Archibald Colquhoun. 219 pages. Jacket design by George Salter.

 

The story of a young Baron who rebels against eating snails by taking to the trees... and he never comes down.

 

 

baron in the treesFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In 1767, when he was twelve years old, a rebellious Italian nobleman, Cosimo Piovasco di Rond?, reacted against his father's authoritarianism and the injustice of being forced to eat macabre dishes--beheaded snails among them--prepared by his diabolical sister Battista. He climbed a tree, as boys that age are wont to do. Unlike other boys, Cosimo never came down. THE BARON IN THE TREES is the wonderfully witty novel of Cosimo's unique arboreal existence. From the trees, Cosimo explained, he could see the earth more clearly. Free from the humdrum routine of an earthbound existence, the Baron had fantastic adventures with pirates, women and spies, and still had time to read, study, and ponder the deeper issues of the period. He corresponded with Diderot and Rousseau, became a military strategist, and outstared Napoleon when the Emperor paid him a visit. Dispensing truth and justice from wherever he might be, the Baron was friend to fruit thieves and noblemen alike. He converted the most feared bandit in the area into a dedicated bookworm, whose passion for literature led to his professional downfall. Women were quite willing to go out on a limb for Cosimo. The most daring of all was Viola, the exotic blonde whose love affair with Cosimo is one of the most intense and extraordinary in fiction. This beautifully written novel is a highly imaginative satire of eighteenth-century life and letters. Reminiscent of Voltaire's satirical romances, THE BARON IN THE TREES displays to dazzling effect Italo Calvino's sure sense of the sublime and the ridiculous.

 

 

Calvino ItaloItalo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy, the Cosmicomics collection of short stories, and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler.

 

 

 

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 Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. New York. 1973. Viking Press. 760 pages. Jacket design by Marc Getter. 0670348325.

 

There is no denying that reading GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is an undertaking and I don't pretend to understand everything that Pynchon is up to in the novel. One thing is for sure though, it is a novel like no other. Parts of the book will stay with you long after you have finished it. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth the effort.

 

0670348325FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is an epic postmodern novel written by Thomas Pynchon and first published on February 28, 1973. The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers around the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertaken by several of the characters to uncover the secret of a mysterious device named the 'Schwarzgerat,' or '00000. ' Frequently digressive and often playfully self-conscious, the novel subverts many of the traditional elements of plot and character development, traverses detailed, specialist knowledge drawn from a wide range of disciplines, and has earned a reputation as a 'difficult' book. In 1974, the three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction supported GRAVITY'S RAINBOW for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the board overturned this decision, branding the book 'unreadable, turgid, overwritten, and obscene. ' The novel was nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and won the National Book Award in 1974. Since its publication, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW has spawned an enormous amount of literary criticism and commentary, including two reader's guides and several online concordances, and is widely regarded as Pynchon's magnum opus. GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is composed of four parts, each of these comprising a number of episodes whose divisions are marked by a graphical depiction of a series of squares. It has been suggested that these represent sprocket holes as in a reel of film, although they may also bear some relation to the engineer's graph paper on which the first draft of the novel was written. One of the book's editors has been quoted as saying that the aforementioned squares relate to censored correspondence sent between soldiers and their loved ones during the war. When family and friends received edited letters, the removed sections would be cut out in squared or rectangular sections. The squares that start each of the four parts would therefore be indicative of what is not written, or what is removed by an external editor or censor. The number of episodes in each part carries with it a numerological significance which is in keeping with the use of numerology and Tarot symbolism throughout the novel. Many facts in the novel are based on technical documents relating to the V-2 rockets. Equations featured in the text are correct. References to the works of Pavlov, Ouspensky, and Jung are based on Pynchon's actual research. The firing command sequence in German that is recited at the end of the novel is also correct and is probably copied in verbatim from the technical report produced by Operation Backfire. The novel is regarded by some as the greatest postmodern work of 20th century literature, while others have declared it unreadable. The three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction unanimously supported GRAVITY'S RAINBOW for the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the fourteen-member Pulitzer board overturned this decision, calling the book 'unreadable', 'turgid', 'overwritten', and 'obscene', with at least one member confessing to having gotten only a third of the way through the book. The novel inspired the 1984 song 'Gravity's Angel' by Laurie Anderson. In her 2004 autobiographical performance 'The End of the Moon', Anderson said she once contacted Pynchon asking permission to adapt GRAVITY'S RAINBOW as an opera. Pynchon replied that he would allow her to do so with one condition: the opera had to be written for a single instrument: the banjo. Anderson said she took that as a polite 'no.'

 

 

Pynchon Thomas Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., THE CRYING OF LOT 49, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, SLOW LEARNER, a collection of short stories, VINELAND and, MASON & DIXON. He received the national book award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 If  on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. New York. 1981. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Translated From The Italian By William Weaver. 260 pages. Jacket design by Rubin Pfeffer Jacket photograph by Benn Mitchell. 0151436894.

 

0151436894FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Beguiling and frustrating, IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER draws the reader in with each chapter, and at just the right moment Italo Calvino has a surprise for you. 'The catalogue of forms is endless. ' This quotation from Calvino's INVISIBLE CITIES applies equally to his imaginative flights in the present novel, his first In many years. Far from being a dead form, the novel here is shown as capable of endless mutations. IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, author, ambiance, style; each breaks off with the first chapter, at a moment of suspense. A labyrinth, no less, in which two readers, male and female, pursue the story lines that Intrigue them. Thus, 'If on a winter's night a traveler' by Italo Calvlno gets Inextricably mixed up with 'Outside the town of Malbork,' a work of unquestionably Polish origin, redolent of somewhat carbonized onions. As the book branches out into known and unknown literatures, including a translation from an extinct language, the author, not without malice, rings the changes of contemporary literature with virtuoso versatility. The two be- wildered readers tie their own knots and end up in a king-size bed for parallel readings. They are the true heroes of the tale: for what would writing be without responsive readers? Would it be at all?

 

 

 

Calvino Italo Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923 - September 19, 1985) was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979). Italo Calvino was born in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba, to botanists Mario Calvino and Evelina Mameli. (His brother was Floriano Calvino, a famous geologist.) The family soon moved to its homeland Italy, where Italo lived most of his life. They moved to Sanremo, on the Italian Riviera, where his father had come from (his mother came from Sardinia). The young Italo became a member of the Avanguardisti (a fascist youth organization in which membership was practically compulsory) with whom he took part in the occupation of the French Riviera. He suffered some religious troubles, as his relatives were openly atheist in a largely Catholic country. He was sent to attend a Waldensian private school. Calvino met Eugenio Scalfari (later a politician and the founder of the major Italian newspaper La Repubblica), with whom he would remain a close friend. In 1941 Calvino moved to Turin, after a long hesitation over living there or in Milan. He often humorously described this choice, and used to describe Turin as ‘a city that is serious but sad.’ In 1943 he joined the Partisans in the Italian Resistance, in the Garibaldi brigade, with the battlename of Santiago. With Scalfari he created the MUL (liberal universitarian movement). Calvino then entered the (still clandestine) Italian Communist Party. Calvino graduated from the University of Turin in 1947 with a thesis on Joseph Conrad and started working with the official Communist paper L’Unità. He also had a short relationship with the Einaudi publishing house, which put him in contact with Norberto Bobbio, Natalia Ginzburg, Cesare Pavese and Elio Vittorini. With Vittorini he wrote for the weekly Il Politecnico (a cultural magazine associated with the university). Calvino then left Einaudi to work mainly with L’Unità and the newborn communist weekly political magazine Rinascita. He worked again for the Einaudi house from 1950, responsible for the literary volumes. The following year, presumably to advance in the communist party, he visited the Soviet Union. The reports and correspondence he produced from this visit were later collected and earned him literary prizes. In 1952 Calvino wrote with Giorgio Bassani for Botteghe Oscure, a magazine named after the popular name of the party’s head-offices. He also worked for Il Contemporaneo, a Marxist weekly. From 1955 to 1958 Calvino had an affair with the actress Elsa de’ Giorgi, an older and married woman. Calvino wrote hundreds of love letters to her. Excerpts were published by Corriere della Sera in 2004, causing some controversy. In 1957, disillusioned by the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, Calvino left the Italian Communist party. His letter of resignation was published in L’Unità and soon became famous. He found new outlets for his periodic writings in the magazines Passato e Presente and Italia Domani. Together with Vittorini he became a co-editor of Il Menabò di letteratura, a position which Calvino held for many years. Despite severe restrictions in the US against foreigners holding communist views, Calvino was allowed to visit the United States, where he stayed six months from 1959 to 1960 (four of which he spent in New York), after an invitation by the Ford Foundation. Calvino was particularly impressed by the ‘New World’: ‘Naturally I visited the South and also California, but I always felt a New Yorker. My city is New York.’ The letters he wrote to Einaudi describing this visit to the United States, were first published as ‘American Diary 1959-1960’ in the book Hermit in Paris in 2003. In 1962 Calvino met the Argentinian translator Esther Judith Singer (Chichita) and married her in 1964 in Havana, during a trip in which he visited his birthplace and met Ernesto Che Guevara. This encounter later led him to contribute an article on the 15th of October 1967, a few days after the death of Guevara, describing the lasting impression Guevara made on him. Back in Italy, and once again working for Einaudi, Calvino started publishing some of his cosmicomics in Il Caffè, a literary magazine. Vittorini’s death in 1966 influenced Calvino greatly. He went through what he called an ‘intellectual depression’, which the writer himself described as an important passage in his life: ‘. I ceased to be young. Perhaps it’s a metabolic process, something that comes with age, I’d been young for a long time, perhaps too long, suddenly I felt that I had to begin my old age, yes, old age, perhaps with the hope of prolonging it by beginning it early’. He then started to frequent Paris, where he was nicknamed L’ironique amusé. Here he soon joined some important circles like the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) and met Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the fermenting atmosphere that was going to evolve into 1968’s cultural revolution (the French May). During his French experience, he also became fond of Raymond Queneau’s works, which would influence his later production. Calvino had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne (with Barthes) and at Urbino’s university. His interests included classical studies: Honoré de Balzac, Ludovico Ariosto, Dante, Ignacio de Loyola, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergérac, and Giacomo Leopardi. At the same time, not without surprising Italian intellectual circles, Calvino wrote novels for Playboy’s Italian edition (1973). He became a regular contributor to the important Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. In 1975 Calvino was made Honorary Member of the American Academy, and the following year he was awarded the Austrian State Literary Prize for European literature. He visited Japan and Mexico and gave lectures in several American towns. In 1981 he was awarded the prestigious French Légion d’Honneur. During the summer of 1985, Calvino prepared some notes for a series of lectures to be delivered at Harvard University in the fall. However, on 6 September, he was admitted to the ancient hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, where he died during the night between the 18 and 19 September of a cerebral hemorrhage. His lecture notes were published posthumously as Six Memos for the Next Millennium in 1988. His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic reminiscent of fairy tales (Our Ancestors, Cosmicomics), although sometimes his writing is more ‘realistic’ and in the scenic mode of observation (Difficult Loves, for example). Some of his writing has been called ‘postmodern’, reflecting on literature and the act of reading, while some has been labeled ‘magical realist’, others fables, others simply ‘modern’. Twelve years before his death, he was invited to and joined the Oulipo group of experimental writers. He wrote: ‘My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.’.

 

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 Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen. New York. 1995. New Press. 372 pages. Cover illustration by Jeff Danziger. 156584100x.

 

Not only a revealing look some forgotten American history, but at how American history has traditionally been taught in our schools.

 

156584100xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

High School students hate history. When they list their favorite subjects, history always comes in last. They consider it 'the most irrelevant' of twenty-one school subjects; 'bo-o-o-oring' is the adjective most often applied. James Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian Institution surveying twelve leading high school textbooks of American history. What he found was an embarrassing amalgam of bland optimism, blind patriotism, and misinformation pure and simple, weighing in at an average of four-and-a-half pounds and 888 pages. In response he has written LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, in part a telling critique of existing textbooks but, more importantly, a wonderful retelling of American history as it should - and could -be taught to American students. Beginning with pre-Columbian American history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, and the My Lai massacre, Loewen supplies the conflict, the suspense, unresolved drama, and connection with current-day issues so appallingly missing from textbook accounts. Loewen James WA treat to read and a serious critique of American education, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME is for anyone who has ever fallen asleep in history class.

 

 

 American Book Award-winner James W. Loewen taught race relations at the University of Vermont. In addition to Lies My Teacher Told Me, he has written The Truth About Columbus, and (with Charles Salles) Mississippi: Conflict and Change, the first integrated state history textbook. He lives in Washington, D.C.

 

  

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 The Day Is Born Of Darkness by Mikhail Dyomin. New York. 1976. Knopf. Translated From the Russian By Tony Kahn. 371 pages. Jacket design by Lidia Ferrara. 0394491661. April 1976.

 

day is born of darknessFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Mikhail Dyomin was only 16 when he went to jail for the first time, for evading a compulsory wartime work order. But it was the beginning for him of a 15-year career as a professional criminal, as an inhabitant of one of the strangest and least-known societies on the face of the earth - the Soviet underworld. This extraordinary first-person account of his life there - as a thief, as a convict, as a writer of prison ballads sung in camps from Magadan to the Aral Sea - is an authentic voice out of Russia's lower depths, brilliantly evocative of the color and violence that still lurk behind Communism's stolid gray facade, an engrossing tale of adventure, and probably the fullest picture yet given of life on the wrong side of the law in the Soviet Union. Here in riveting detail are the realities of outlaw existence: the battles in prison ; the tricks of housebreaking, con games, train robbery; the arcana of convict life, from instructions for making a deck of cards out of blood and bread, to tips on eating nettles. Here are the gypsy camps, the brothels and thieves' dens, the black markets and village fairs and long, lonely trains howling into the Asian night, the whole exotic rogue's-world of crime. And here are the characters Dyomin encountered, fought with, loved: Queen Margo, the sophisticated and monumentally connected Grande Dame of Crime; Saloma the Onanist, ultimate prison camp escapist; Khasan, the homicidal cardshark, with his court of cutthroat lovers; the author's deadly enemy Snuffles, whom he finally kills, and dozens more. Dyomin's first robbery, his attendance at the all-European Thieves' Conference in Lvov, his chilling run-in with political terrorists, his narrow escapes, murders, love affairs, imprisonments - adventure piled on adventure, and all recounted with the energy, style, and rolling pace of a born storyteller. THE DAY IS BORN OF DARKNESS ends with the author's discharge from a Siberian labor camp, his dream of becoming a published poet about to come true. Once on the outside, he went on to write five more books under the name Dyomin, becoming a popular and successful writer. In 1971, he quietly defected during a visit to Paris, where he now lives and writes.

 

 

Dyomin Mikhail Mikhail Dyomin has taken his writing name from the forged identity papers he was forced to use while in hiding within the Soviet criminal underground. He was born Georgy Trifonov in 1926. His mother belonged to the pre-revolutionary nobility; his father, a top Red Army commissar in the Civil War, fell into disfavor and was persecuted during the Stalinist era. Dyomin was first arrested in 1942, at the age of sixteen, for disobeying a compulsory work order. Sentenced to two years of hard labor in a Moscow foundry, he was finally given a medical discharge. He worked for a while as an advertising artist, until an office-wide investigation by the secret police sent him fleeing, without identity papers, into the underground. There he lived for several years, working with a pickpocket gang and 'riding the rails. ' After his arrest, he spent six years in some of the most notorious Arctic camps--as a member of the criminal elite--and during this time earned a name for himself as a 'scribbler' of prison songs and poems. Dyomin's first literary scholarship was earned upon his release from the Siberian camp, when his fellow inmates took up a collection to see him through his first book. In the fifteen years following his release, he published six books; he became a member of the Writers' Union and was by all measures a successful, popular author. Yet, he was dissatisfied with the restrictions imposed by state censorship, and during a visit to France some years ago, he quietly defected. He now lives in a small apartment in Paris, where he continues to write.

  

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 The Egyptologists by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest. New York. 1966. Random House. 247 pages.

 

A very funny story about male subterfuge and the war between the sexes, precisely the kind of story that Kingsley Amis, this time with the help of Robert Conquest, tells so well. 

 

egyptologistsFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Every Thursday night in certain parts of London, husbands kiss their wives and then hurry off to attend the weekly meeting of a certain exclusive learned society. Jekyll-like, these men shed their air of scholarly absorption as they near headquarters-a building situated at a specially selected hard-to-find address, where a plaque, inscribed in specially designed hard-to-decipher lettering, reads: METROPOLITAN EGYPTOLOGICAL SOCIETY. Should the reader be at first in some doubt as to the real nature of the activities of the Egyptologists, it is only to be expected. The members' expertise in camouflage and deception has baffled the most perceptive people, and at various times the Society has been suspected of engaging in espionage, in drug-smuggling, in the activity implied by its all-male membership-and even in Egyptology. Why does the Society protect itself so vigilantly against inquiring outsiders? What is the significance of the safeguards listed in Article 22 of its Constitution? And what goes on behind the locked doors of its Isis Room? Hint: if even a fraction of the lecherous males of the world adopted the brilliant masquerade conceived by the authors in this engaging farce, learned societies would proliferate by the thousands.

 

 

Amis Kingsley Kingsley Amis, born in London in 1922, was educated at the City of London School and St. John's College, Oxford. During World II he was a lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals. From 1949 to 1961 he was Lecturer in English at various universities in Great Britain, and also fulfilled an appointment as Visiting Lecturer at Princeton in 1958-59. Mr. Amis won immediate attention with his first novel, Lucky Jim, and has since written four others, as well as a collection of short stories, two books of poetry and a critical survey of science fiction.

 

 

 

 

Conquest Robert Born in 1917, Robert Conquest was educated at Winchester and Oxford, served in a line regiment in World War II and afterward in the British Diplomatic Service, Since 1956 he has interspersed free-lance writing with academic appointments at the London School of Economics and the Columbia University Russian Institute, among others, He has also been the Literary Editor of the Spectator. Mr. Conquest is the author of two books of poems, a science-fiction novel, five works of Soviet political and literary themes, and, with Kingsley Amis, has edited the science-fiction 'Spectrum' anthologies.

 

 

 

 

 

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 Wizard Of The Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. New York. 2006. Pantheon Books. Translated from the Gikuyu by The Author. 771 pages. Jacket illustration & design by Peter Mendelsund. 037542248x. August 2006.

 

Ngugi's most important novel since PETALS OF BLOOD, WIZARD OF THE CROW is an extraordinary novel of twentieth-century Africa, that is by turns spiritual, funny, historical, fantastical, harrowing, and ultimately deeply human.

 

037542248xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

From the exiled Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic-a magisterial comic novel that is certain to take its place as a landmark of postcolonial African literature. In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngugi wa Thiong'o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in WIZARD OF THE CROW is, in his own words, nothing less than 'to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history. ' Commencing in 'our times' and set in the 'Free Republic of Aburlria,' the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburlrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, WIZARD OF THE CROW reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity. Informed by richly enigmatic traditional African storytelling, WIZARD OF THE CROW is a masterpiece, the crowning achievement in Ngugi wa Thiong'o's career thus far.

 

 

 Ngugi wa Thiongo

 Ngugi wa Thiong'o has taught at Amherst College, Yale University, and New York University. He is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, and is director of the university's International Center for Writing and Translation. His books include PETALS OF BLOOD, for which he was imprisoned by the Kenyan government in 1977. He lives in Irvine, California.

 

 

 

 

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 Thinking It Through: An Introduction To Contemporary Philosophy by Kwame Anthony Appiah. Oxford/New York. 2003. Oxford University Press. 412 pages. Jacket design by Mary Belibasakis. 0195160282.

 

Kwame Anthony Appiah is one of our most articulate public intellectuals. This book provides a clearly-written and jargon-free introduction to modern philosophy.

 

0195160282FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

THINKING IT THROUGH is a thorough, vividly written introduction to contemporary philosophy and some of the most crucial questions of human existence, including the nature of mind and knowledge, the status of moral claims, the existence of God, the role of science, and the mysteries of language. Noted philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah shows us what it means to 'do' philosophy in our time and why it should matter to anyone who wishes to live a more thoughtful life. Opposing the common misconceptions that being a philosopher means espousing a set of philosophical beliefs--or being a follower of a particular thinker--Appiah argues that 'the result of philosophical exploration is not the end of inquiry in a settled opinion, but a mind resting more comfortably among many possibilities, or else the reframing of the question, and a new inquiry. ' Ideal for introductory philosophy courses, THINKING IT THROUGH is organized around eight central topics--mind, knowledge, language, science, morality, politics, law, and metaphysics. It traces how philosophers in the past have considered each subject and then explores some of the major questions that still engage philosophers today. More importantly, Appiah not only explains what philosophers have thought but how they think, giving students examples that they can use in their own attempts to navigate the complex issues confronting any reflective person in the twenty-first century. Filled with concrete examples of how philosophers work, THINKING IT THROUGH guides students through the process of philosophical reflection and enlarges their understanding of the central questions of human life. REVIEWS - 'The distinguishing mark of this work, which will set it clearly apart from all the best introductory books of this kind, is the way it makes deep and insightful connections among the various topics. It introduces the reader to all the main problems of contemporary philosophy, and makes philosophical concepts come alive in systematic exploration of the deep thoughts and difficult arguments to which Appiah gives lucid access. '--Neil Tennant, The Ohio State University. 'An extraordinarily successful introduction to philosophy: wise, witty and deeply engaging. '--Paul Boghossian, New York University. 'This book is excellent, one of the best of its kind that I've seen. It accomplishes what few general introductions to philosophy even attempt: to integrate contemporary discussion and argument into a treatment of our perennial problems without losing sight of their roots. '--David Sosa, University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

Appiah Kwame Anthony Kwame Anthony Akroma-Ampim Kusi Appiah was born in London but moved as an infant to Ghana, where he grew up. His father, Joseph Emmanuel Appiah, a lawyer and politician, was also, at various times, a Member of Parliament, an Ambassador and a President of the Ghana Bar Association; his mother, the novelist and children's writer, Peggy Appiah, whose family was English, was active in the social, philanthropic and cultural life of Kumasi, where they lived. His three younger sisters Isobel, Adwoa and Abena, were born in Ghana. As a child, he spent a good deal of time in England, staying with his grandmother, Dame Isobel Cripps, widow of the English statesman Sir Stafford Cripps. Kwame Appiah was educated at the University Primary School at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi; at Ullenwood Manor, in Gloucestershire, and Port Regis and Bryanston Schools, in Dorset; and, finally, at Clare College, Cambridge University, in England, where he took both B. A. and Ph. D. degrees in the philosophy department. His Cambridge dissertation explored the foundations of probabilistic semantics; once revised, these arguments were published by Cambridge University Press as Assertion and Conditionals. Out of that first monograph grew a second book, For Truth in Semantics, which dealt with Michael Dummett's defenses of semantic anti-realism. Since Cambridge, he has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard universities and lectured at many other institutions in the United States, Germany, Ghana and South Africa, as well as at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris; and he is now a member of the Princeton University faculty, where he is a member of the Philosophy Department and the University Center for Human Values. Professor Appiah has also published widely in African and African-American literary and cultural studies. In 1992, Oxford University Press published In My Father's House, which deals, in part, with the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life. His current interests range over African and African-American intellectual history and literary studies, ethics and philosophy of mind and language; and he has also taught regularly about African traditional religions; but his major current work has to do with the philosophical foundations of liberalism and with questions of method in arriving at knowledge about values. Professor Appiah joined the Princeton faculty in 2002 as Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values. In 1996, he published Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race with Amy Gutmann; in 1997 the Dictionary of Global Culture, co-edited with Henry Louis Gates Jr. Along with Professor Gates he has also edited the Encarta Africana CD-ROM encyclopedia, published by Microsoft, which became the Perseus Africana encyclopedia in book form. This is now available in a revised multi-volume edition from Oxford University Press. In 2003, he coauthored Bu Me B?: Proverbs of the Akan, an annotated edition of 7,500 proverbs in Twi, the language of Asante. He is also the author of three novels, of which the first, Avenging Angel, was largely set at Clare College, Cambridge, and he reviews regulalry for the New York Review of Books. In 2004, Oxford University Press published his introduction to contemporary philosophy entitled Thinking It Through. In January 2005, Princeton University Press published The Ethics of Identity and in February 2006 Norton published Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, which won the 2007 Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations. In January 2008, Harvard University Press will publish his Experiments in Ethics, based on his 2005 Flexner lectures at Bryn Mawr. Professor Appiah has homes in New York city and near Pennington, in New Jersey, which he shares with his partner, Henry Finder, Editorial Director of the New Yorker magazine. In 2007, he is the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and he will take on the task of Chairing the Executive Board of the American Philosophical Association in 2008. He is also currently Chair of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies.

 

 

 

 

 

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 The Delicate Prey and Other Stories by Paul Bowles. New York. 1950. Random House. 307 pages. Jacket design by E. McKnight Kauffer.

 

I first discovered the existence of Paul Bowles in an essay by Gore Vidal. At the time I was a teenager working in a small used bookstore where a large portion of my meager earnings wound up going right back to the store for books. I asked the proprietor of the store if we had any books by Paul Bowles. She pulled a volume from the shelf behind the counter saying 'Yes, and it is a first edition.' At the time I could not understand why anyone would buy a hardcover book when a paperback edition of that same book existed, but since there was no paperback copy of the book in the store I put down the cash to purchase this first edition. This was the first first edition I even purchased knowing that it was actually a first edition, and it was a good start to my book collecting mania... These are amazing stories that reminded me in some ways of Poe, but with an even stronger sense of horror. Highly recommended !

 

delicate prey and other storiesFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Despite the fact that many of them have appeared in out-of-the-way places, the stories of Paul Bowles have already created a sensation among critics and low and fellow-writers. Of the seventeen stories in this volume, all but one are set in Arab North Africa, the Far East or Latin America. They share an almost Gothic preoccupation with violence - particularly that violence arising out of the clash of the Westerner with the alien world of the East.

 

 

Bowles Paul Paul Frederic Bowles (December 30, 1910 – November 18, 1999) was an American expatriate composer, author, and translator. Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making various trips to Paris in the 1930s. He studied music with Aaron Copland, and in New York wrote music for various theatrical productions, as well as other compositions. He achieved critical and popular success with the publication in 1949 of his first novel The Sheltering Sky, set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931. In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife, Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Except for winters spent in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) during the early 1950s, Tangier was his home for the remaining 52 years of his life. Paul Bowles died in 1999 at the age of 88. His ashes are buried in Lakemont Cemetery in upstate New York.

 

 

 

 

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 Jesse James: Last Rebel Of The Civil War by T. J. Stiles. New York. 2002. Knopf. 511 pages. Jacket photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. Jacket design by Steven Amsterdam. 0375405836.

 

Jesse James as a member of a death squad? This book provides a totally new look at an American legend. T. J. Stiles shows us a Jesse James who was not only a product of very intensely political times, but also the creation of a 'media-machine' by way of an ex-Confederate journalist named John Newman Edwards.

 

0375405836FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

A brilliant biography of Jesse James, and a stunning reinterpretation of an American icon. Stripped of the familiar myths surrounding him, James emerges a far more significant figure: ruthless, purposeful, intensely political; a man who, in the midst of his crimes and notoriety, made himself a spokesman for the renewal of the Confederate cause during the bitter decade that followed Appomattox. Traditionally, Jesse James has been portrayed as a Wild West bandit, a Robin Hood of sorts. But in this meticulously researched, vividly written account of his life, he emerges as far more complicated. Raised in a fiercely pro-slavery atmosphere in bitterly divided Missouri, he began at sixteen to fight alongside some of the most savage Confederate guerrillas. When the Civil War ended, his violent path led him into the brutal conflicts of Reconstruction. We follow James as he places himself squarely in the forefront of the former Confederates' bid to capture political power with his reckless daring, his visibility, his partisan pronouncements, and his alliance with a rising ex-Confederate editor, John Newman Edwards, who helped shape James's image for their common purpose. In uniting violence and the news media on behalf of a political cause, James was hardly the quaint figure of legend. Rather, as his life played out across the racial divide, the rise of the Klan, and the expansion of the railroads, he was a forerunner of what we have come to call a terrorist. T. J. Stiles has written a memorable book-a revelation of both the man and his time.

 

  

Stiles T J A native of rural Minnesota, T. J. Stiles studied history at Carleton College and Columbia University. His writings about American history include articles in Smithsonian, essays in the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Post, and a five-volume series of primary-source anthologies.

 

 

 

 

 

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 The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and The Hidden History Of The Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh & Marcus Rediker. Boston. 2000. Beacon Press. 433 pages. Jacket design: Sara Eisenman. Jacket art, clockwise from top left: 'Many poor women imprisoned, and hanged for Witches,' 1655, Rare Books Division, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations; 'A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows. 0807050067.

 

0807050067FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 The culture of the Atlantic in an era of rapid expansion of trade, and the influence of sailors, slaves, pirates, and others in the creation of a new global economy. The notion of pirates as a free-enterprise and somewhat democratic alternative to the indentured sailors and more-or-less captive roving workforce options of the time is truly thought provoking. I'll never see pirates in quite the same way again. The intersection of aspects of the slave trade and the growing abolitionist movement with the developing Atlantic culture is a fascinating story told well by Linebaugh and Rediker. Certainly my favorite book of 2000 and one of my all-time favorites. 'For most readers the tale told here will be completely new. For those already well acquainted with the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the image of that age which they have been so carefully taught and cultivated will be profoundly challenged. ' - David Montgomery, author of Citizen Worker. Long before the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, a motley crew of sailors, slaves, pirates, laborers, market women, and indentured servants had ideas about freedom and equality that would forever change history. THE MANY HEADED-HYDRA recounts their stories in a sweeping history of the role of the dispossessed in the making of the modern world. When an unprecedented expansion of trade and colonization in the early seventeenth century launched the first global economy, a vast, diverse, and landless workforce was born. These workers crossed national, ethnic, and racial boundaries, as they circulated around the Atlantic world on trade ships and slave ships, from England to Virginia, from Africa to Barbados, and from the Americas back to Europe. Marshaling an impressive range of original research from archives in the Americas and Europe, the authors show how ordinary working people led dozens of rebellions on both sides of the North Atlantic. The rulers of the day called the multiethnic rebels a 'hydra' and brutally suppressed their risings, yet some of their ideas fueled the age of revolution. Others, hidden from history and recovered here, have much to teach us about our common humanity.

 

 

Linebaugh Peter and Rediker Marcus

 Peter Linebaugh, professor of history at the University of Toledo, is a contributing editor of ALBION'S FATAL TREE and author of THE LONDON HANGED. A member of the Midnight Notes Collective, he lives in Toledo, Ohio.

Marcus Rediker, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, is author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, winner of the American Studies Association's John Hope Franklin Prize and the Organization of American Historians' Merle Curti Social History Award. He is a contributing author of WHO BUILT AMERICA? and lives in Pittsburgh.

 

 

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Happy Birthday, Turk! A Kayankaya Mystery by Jakob Arjouni. New York. 1993. Fromm International. Translated from the German by Anselm Hollo. 154 pages. Jacket design by Linda Kosarin. 0880641487.

 

 

0880641487FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   A Turkish worker is stabbed to death in Frankfurt’s red-light district—certainly no reason for the police to work overtime, Kemal Kayankaya, however, has a different attitude. A 26-year-old of Turkish birth but German upbringing, he doesn’t speak Turkish but looks it, has a German passport and first-hand experience of resentment against foreigners. He is also a private investigator, hired to find the killer and the motive for the crime. Like his literary forefathers Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, he is a loner, but as a Turk, not because he has an option. Yet he is not unarmed; with an irreverent and hilarious sense of humor Kayankaya goes about his search, all the while drinking too much, encountering obnoxious policemen and easy women, After twists and turns he finally runs into a drug ring built on the exploitation of Turkish immigrants. The influence of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett on Jakob Arjouni is impossible to miss; the plot moves quickly, the action thrills, the characters are unforgettable, and the milieu is painted so realistically that it immediately comes to life for the reader.

 

 

 

 

Arjouni JakobJakob Arjouni was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, in 1964. After having spent several years in France, he recently moved to Berlin. He is the author of novels, plays, and radio plays. With the publication of HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TURK! Arjouni was immediately recognized as Germany’s outstanding mystery writer, Already translated into eight languages, this is the first volume of the best-selling Kayankaya series to be published by Fromm international.

 

 

 

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My Wife's The Least of It by William Gerhardi. London. 1938. Faber & Faber. 544 pages.  hardcover.    

 

 

my wifes the least of it no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   William Gerhardi originally intended to call this novel MY WIFE: A STUDY IN INSANITY, a title which horrified his publisher Faber & Faber. It is the story of an elderly man by the name of Charles Baldridge and his efforts to write a successful film script to save himself from insolvency in a journey from comedy to tragedy, nightmare and then farce. Michael Holroyd praised the book as ‘an illustration, detail by dire detail, minute by minute, of our life in time. The film world symbolizes the visible surface of things divorced from all poetic implications. It is actual, but unreal.' 

 

 Gerhardi William William Alexander Gerhardie (1895-1977) was a British (Anglo-Russian) novelist and playwright. Gerhardie (or Gerhardi: he added the ‘e’ in later years as an affectation) was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s (Evelyn Waugh told him ‘I have talent, but you have genius’). H.G Wells was a ferocious champion of his work. His first novel Futility, was written while he was at Cambridge and drew on his experiences in Russia fighting (or attempting to fight) the Bolsheviks, along with his childhood experiences visiting pre-revolutionary Russia. Some say that it was the first work in English to fully explore the theme of ‘waiting’ later made famous by Samuel Beckett in WAITING FOR GODOT, but it is probably more apt to recognize a common comic nihilism between those two figures. His next novel, THE POLYGLOTS is probably his masterpiece (although some argue for DOOM). Again it deals with Russia (Gerhardie was strongly influenced by the tragi-comic style of Russian writers such as Chekhov who he wrote a study of while in College). He collaborated with Hugh Kingsmill on the biography ‘The Casanova Fable’, his friendship with Hugh being both a source of conflict over women and a great intellectual stimulus. After World War II Gerhardie’s star waned, and he became unfashionable, and although he continued to write, he had nothing published after 1939. After a period of poverty-stricken oblivion, he lived to see two ‘definitive collected works’ published by Macdonald (in 1947-49 and then revised again in 1970-74). More recently, both Prion and New Directions Press have been reissuing his works. Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest ‘Pronounced jer (as Ger in Gerald) hardy, with the accent on the a: jer-har’dy. This is the way I and my relatives pronounce it, tho I am told it is incorrect. Philologists are of the opinion that it should be pronounced with the g as in Gertrude. I believe they are right. I, however, cling to the family habit of mispronouncing it. But I do so without obstinacy. If the world made it worth my while I would side with the multitude.’ (Charles Earle Funk, What’s the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936).

 

 

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Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves: Vintage American Photographs by Ann-Janine Morey. University Park. 2014. Penn State University Press. 176 pages. July 2014. hardcover.  123 duotones. 8 × 9.  9780271063317 

9780271063317FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Ann-Janine Morey’s book is a treasure trove of postcard photographs created by ordinary people. Together these document what Morey calls the ‘romance’ of dogs and humans—a story of love, domination, primitivism, and ‘Edenic longings’—embodied in the presence of the dog among humans.’ —Teresa Mangum, University of Iowa. ogs are as ubiquitous in American culture as white picket fences and apple pie, embracing all the meanings of wholesome domestic life—family, fidelity, comfort, protection, nurturance, and love—as well as symbolizing some of the less palatable connotations of home and family, including domination, subservience, and violence. In Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves, Ann-Janine Morey presents a collection of antique photographs of dogs and their owners in order to investigate the meanings associated with the canine body. Included are reproductions of 115 postcards, cabinet cards, and cartes de visite dating from 1860 to 1950. These photographs feature dogs in family portraits, childhood snapshots, hunting pictures, and a variety of studio settings. They offer poignant testimony to the American romance with dogs and show how the dog has become part of cultural expressions of race, class, and gender. Animal studies scholars have long argued that our representation of animals in print and in the visual arts has a profound connection to our lived cultural identity. Other books have documented the depiction of dogs in art and photography, but few have reached beyond the subject’s obvious appeal. Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves draws on animal, visual, and literary studies to present an original and richly contextualized visual history of the relationship between Americans and their dogs. Though the personal stories behind these everyday photographs may be lost to us, their cultural significance is not.

  Morey Ann JanineAnn-Janine Morey is Associate Vice Provost for Cross Disciplinary Studies at James Madison University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich. New York. 2001. I-Books. 246 pages. May 2001. paperback. Cover illustration & design by Steranko. 0743413164.  

 

0743413164FROM THE PUBLISHER -

  No one knew who she was, where she came from, or why she had entered their lives. All they really knew about her was that she possessed a terrifying beauty-and that each time she appeared, a man died horribly.

 

 

Woolrich Cornell  Cornell George Hopley-Woolrich (4 December 1903 – 25 September 1968) was an American novelist and short story writer who sometimes wrote under the pseudonyms William Irish and George Hopley. His biographer, Francis Nevins Jr., rated Woolrich the fourth best crime writer of his day, behind only Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner and Raymond Chandler. A check of film titles reveals that more film noir screenplays were adapted from works by Woolrich than any other crime novelist, and many of his stories were adapted during the 1940s for Suspense and other dramatic radio programs. Born in New York City, Woolrich's parents separated when he was young. He lived for a time in Mexico with his father before returning to New York City to live with his mother, Claire Attalie Woolrich. He attended Columbia University but left in 1926 without graduating when his first novel, Cover Charge, was published. Cover Charge was one of six Jazz Age novels inspired by the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He soon turned to pulp and detective fiction, often published under his pseudonyms. For example, William Irish was the byline in Dime Detective Magazine (February, 1942) on his 1942 story ‘It Had to Be Murder’, (source of the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window) and based on H. G. Wells' short story ‘Through a Window’. François Truffaut filmed Woolrich's The Bride Wore Black and Waltz Into Darkness in 1968 and 1969, respectively, the latter as Mississippi Mermaid. Ownership of the copyright in Woolrich's original story ‘It Had to Be Murder’ and its use for Rear Window was litigated before the United States Supreme Court in Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207 (1990). Woolrich was homosexual and sexually active in his youth. In 1930, while working as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, Woolrich married Violet Virginia Blackton (1910–65), daughter of silent film producer J. Stuart Blackton. They separated after three months, and the marriage was annulled in 1933. Woolrich returned to New York where he and his mother moved into the Hotel Marseilles (Broadway and West 103rd Street). He lived there until her death on October 6, 1957, which prompted his move to the Hotel Franconia (20 West 72nd Street). In later years, he socialized on occasion in Manhattan bars with Mystery Writers of America colleagues and younger fans such as writer Ron Goulart, but alcoholism and an amputated leg (caused by an infection from a too-tight shoe which went untreated) left him a recluse. He did not attend the premiere of Truffaut's film of his novel The Bride Wore Black in 1968, even though it was held in New York City. He died weighing 89 pounds. He is interred in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Woolrich bequeathed his estate of about $850,000 to Columbia University, to endow scholarships in his mother's memory for writing students. Woolrich's novels written between 1940 to 1948 are considered his principal legacy. During this time, he definitively became an author of novel-length crime fiction which stand apart from his first six works, written under the influence of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Most of Woolrich's books are out of print, and new editions have not come out because of estate issues. However, new collections of his short stories were issued in the early 1990s. Woolrich died leaving fragments of an unfinished novel, The Loser; fragments have been published separately and also collected in Tonight, Somewhere in New York (2005).

 

 

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On Earth: Last Poems and an Essay by Robert Creeley. Berkeley. 2006. University of California Press. 89 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Sandy Drooker. 0520247914.  

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

0520247914   Robert Creeley, one of the most significant American poets of the twentieth century, helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the prevailing literary establishment--a postwar poetry originating with Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky and expanding through the lives and works of Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, and others. When Robert Creeley died in March 2005, he was working on what was to be his final book of poetry. In addition to more than thirty new poems, many touching on the twin themes of memory and presence, this moving collection includes the text of the last paper Creeley gave--an essay exploring the late verse of Walt Whitman. Together, the essay and the poems are a retrospective on aging and the resilience of memory that includes tender elegies to old friends, the settling of old scores, and reflective poems on mortality and its influence on his craft. On Earth reminds us what has made Robert Creeley one of the most important and affectionately regarded poets of our time.

 

Creeley Robert  Robert Creeley (May 21, 1926 – March 30, 2005) was an American poet and author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school's. He was close with Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, John Wieners and Ed Dorn. He served as the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities at State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991, he joined colleagues Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, Raymond Federman, Robert Bertholf, and Dennis Tedlock in founding the Poetics Program at Buffalo. Creeley lived in Waldoboro, Maine, Buffalo, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island where he taught at Brown University. He was a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis. New York. 2014. Knopf. 306 pages. September 2014. hardcover. Jacket design by Peter Mendelsund. 9780385353496.  

 

9780385353496FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   From one of England's most renowned authors, an unforgettable new novel that provides a searing portrait of life-and, shockingly, love-in a concentration camp. Once upon a time there was a king, and the king commissioned his favorite wizard to create a magic mirror. This mirror didn't show you your reflection. It showed you your soul-it showed you who you really were. The wizard couldn't look at it without turning away. The king couldn't look at it. The courtiers couldn't look at it. A chestful of treasure was offered to anyone who could look at it for sixty seconds without turning away. And no one could. The Zone of Interest is a love story with a violently unromantic setting. Can love survive the mirror? Can we even meet each other's eye, after we have seen who we really are? In a novel powered by both wit and pathos, Martin Amis excavates the depths and contradictions of the human soul.

 

Amis Martin  Martin Amis is the author of eleven previous novels, the memoir Experience, and two collections of stories and six of nonfiction, most recently The Second Plane. He lives in London.

 

 

 

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A Plague of Pythons by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1965. Ballantine Books. 158 pages. September 1965. paperback.

 

ballantine plague of pythons u2174FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   FREDERIK POHL - At somewhere in his forties, Fred Pohl should hardly qualify for grand old man of anything. But he could. For at least thirty of those forty-odd years he has been writing, reading, agenting, editing, collaborating, commenting and generally holding the field of science fiction together with an enthusiasm that remains unabated. Which is all very well but it does mean that full-length, original novels from Fred Pohl have become a relatively rare thing. (A PLAGUE OF PYTHONS is much expanded from the magazine version). It is a book about a future development which, hopefully, will never, ever come to pass. But with Fred Pohl, you never know. Look what happened to THE SPACE MERCHANTS (we understand advertisers still read it to pick up tips on far out slogans). Or SLAVE SHIP (all kinds of developments in ethology indicate we’ll soon be talking to the animals). And so on. Watch out. 

Pohl Frederik  Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’.

 

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  • The Real Life Of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Sep 2, 2013 | 15:10 pm

    The Real Life Of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov The Real Life Of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov. Norfolk. 1941. 206 pages. November 1941. hardcover.     FROM THE PUBLISHER -    THE REAL LIFE OF SEBASTIAN KNIGHT is a perversely magical literary detective story-subtle, intricate, leading to a tantalizing climax-about the mysterious life of a famous writer. Many people knew things about Sebastian Knight as a distinguished novelist, but probably fewer than a dozen knew of the two love affairs that so profoundly influenced his career, the second[…]

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  • Conversation In The Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Jul 10, 2013 | 16:54 pm

    Conversation In The Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa Conversation In The Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa. New York. 1984. Harper & Row. 601 pages. hardcover. 0060145021. (original title: Conversacion en La Catedral).   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        A powerful novel of political and personal greed, corruption, and terror set in modem Peru, by the author of The Green House and THE TIME OF THE HERO. Under the rule of the unseen military dictator General Odria. suspicion, paranoia, and blackmail become the realities of public and[…]

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  • The Orwell Reader by George Orwell

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Jun 28, 2013 | 16:39 pm

    The Orwell Reader by George Orwell The Orwell Reader by George Orwell. New York. 1956. Harcourt Brace & Company. 456 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Janet Halverson.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Here is Orwell’s work in all its remarkable range and variety. The selections in this anthology show how Orwell developed as writer and as thinker; inevitably, too, they reflect and illuminate the history of the time of troubles in which he lived and worked. ‘A magnificent tribute to the probity, consistency[…]

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  • Mule Bone: A Comedy Of Negro Life by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Jun 19, 2013 | 16:35 pm

    Mule Bone: A Comedy Of Negro Life by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston Mule Bone: A Comedy Of Negro Life by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. New York. 1991. Harper Collins. 282 pages. hardcover. 0060553014. Jacket design by Suzanne Noli. Jacket illustration by David Diaz.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Set in Eatonville, Florida, Zora Neale Hurston’s hometown and the inspiration for much of her fiction, this energetic and often farcical play centers on Jim and Dave, a two-man song-and-dance team, and Daisy, the woman who comes between their[…]

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  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Apr 12, 2013 | 14:55 pm

    Mansfield Park by Jane Austen Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. New York. 1996. Penguin Books. 432 pages. paperback. 0140434143. The cover shows ‘Miss Cazenove mounted on a Grey Hunter’ by Jacques-Laurent Agasse. Edited and with an introduction by Kathryn Sutherland.    FROM THE PUBLISHER -        MANSFIELD PARK is Jane Austen’s most profound and perplexing novel. Adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price grows up a meek outsider among her cousins in the unaccustomed elegance of Mansfield Park.[…]

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  • Eva's Man by Gayl Jones

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Mar 1, 2013 | 20:27 pm

    Eva's Man by Gayl Jones Eva's Man by Gayl Jones. New York. 1976. Random House. 179 pages. March 1976. hardcover. 0394499344. Jacket design and illustration by Wendell Minor.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Sitting in a prison cell—talking to a cellmate, a psychiatrist, herself, us - Eva Medina Canada is trying to remember it all, to keep memory separate from fantasy. But it is not easy. For a woman with no man and no money has to live in the streets, and[…]

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  • Corregidora by Gayl Jones

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Feb 28, 2013 | 20:23 pm

    Corregidora by Gayl Jones Corregidora by Gayl Jones. New York. 1975. Random House. 186 pages. March 1975. hardcover. 0394493230. Jacket design by Wendell Minor.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Ursa Corregidora is lucky. She can sing her terror and her longing in a Kentucky café. She is less helpless then, and less bedeviled. But there is no song to numb her - to help her forget that the fruits of her marriage were violence and sterility; that she cannot live up[…]

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  • The Price Of The Ticket: Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985 by James Baldwin

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Feb 26, 2013 | 20:23 pm

    The Price Of The Ticket: Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985 by James Baldwin The Price Of The Ticket: Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985 by James Baldwin. New York. 1985. St Martin's Press. 690 pages. hardcover. 0312643063. Jacket design by Andy Carpenter.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        James Baldwin is one of the major American voices of this century. Nowhere is this more evident than in THE PRICE OF THE TICKET, which includes virtually every important piece of nonfiction, short and long, that Mr. Baldwin has ever written. With total truth and profound[…]

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  • Oriental Tales by Marguerite Yourcenar

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Jan 14, 2013 | 21:39 pm

    Oriental Tales by Marguerite Yourcenar Oriental Tales by Marguerite Yourcenar. New York. 1985. Farrar Straus Giroux. 147 pages. hardcover. 0374227284. Jacket painting by Tao-chi (1641-ca. 1710), from ‘Returning Home.’ Jacket design by Cynthia Krupat.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Legends caught in flight, fables, allegories - these ten ORIENTAL TALES form a singular edifice in the work of Marguerite Yourcenar, as precious as a chapel in a vast palace. From China to Greece, from the Balkans to Japan, these TALES take us[…]

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  • Harmless Poisons, Blameless Sins by Mohammed Mrabet

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Dec 30, 2012 | 22:41 pm

    Harmless Poisons, Blameless Sins by Mohammed Mrabet Harmless Poisons, Blameless Sins by Mohammed Mrabet. Santa Barbara. 1976. Black Sparrow Press. Taped and Translated from the Moghrebi by Paul Bowles. 105 pages. 0876852746.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        During his childhood Mrabet listened to traditional story tellers in Tangier´s cafés - a world that fascinated him. Later on he would invent his own stories, and Paul Bowles taped and transcribed his stories. Mrabet´s first novel Love with a Few Hairs was published 1967 in London[…]

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  • Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Dec 23, 2012 | 22:39 pm

    Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna. New York. 2006. Atlantic Monthly Press. 323 pages. Jacket art by Bruno Barbier/Robert Harding. 0871139448. September 2006.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        ‘Abie has followed the arc of a letter from London back to Africa, to the coffee groves of Kholifa Estates, the plantation formerly owned by her grandfather. It is a place she remembers from childhood and which now belongs to her - if she wants it. Standing among the ruined[…]

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  • Dr.Futurity by Philip K. Dick

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 3, 2012 | 04:54 am

    Dr.Futurity by Philip K. Dick Dr. Futurity by Philip K. Dick. New York. 1960. Ace Books. Paperback Original. Bound As An Ace Double With SLAVERS OF SPACE by John Brunner. D-421. 138 pages.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -         DR. FUTURITY is a 1960 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. It is an expansion of his earlier short story ‘Time Pawn‘, which first saw publication in the summer 1954 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. DR. FUTURITY was first published as a[…]

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  • The Collected Works Of Jane Bowles by Jane Bowles

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Oct 25, 2012 | 19:55 pm

    The Collected Works Of Jane Bowles by Jane Bowles The Collected Works Of Jane Bowles by Jane Bowles. New York. 1966. Farrar Straus Giroux. Introduction by Truman Capote. 431 pages. Jacket design by Ronald Clyne.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Jane Bowles has for many years had an underground reputation as one of the truly original writers of the twentieth century. This collection of expertly crafted short fiction will fully acquaint all students and scholars with the author Tennessee Williams called the most important writer of[…]

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  • How To Solve It by G. Polya

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Dec 31, 2011 | 01:37 am

    How To Solve It by G. Polya How To Solve It by G. Polya. Garden City. 1957. Anchor/Doubleday. A93. 253 pages. Cover by George Giusti.Typography By Edward Gorey.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -         Heuristic - the study of the methods and rules of discovery and invention - has until our time been a largely neglected, almost forgotten, branch of learning. The disputed province of logic or philosophy or psychology, it tries to understand the process of solving problems and its typical mental operations.[…]

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  • Country Place by Ann Petry

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 21, 2011 | 03:26 am

    Country Place by Ann Petry Country Place by Ann Petry. Boston. 1947. Houghton Mifflin. 266 pages. Cover: Paul Sample.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -     With all the compassionate insight into human beings for which she is noted, Ann Petry exposes the hypocrisies of a tranquil New England town in this dramatic story of a war veteran who searches to find out whether his wife has been unfaithful. ‘Gossip, malice, infidelity, murder. . . are some of the dominant matters treated in Country Place.’[…]

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  • The Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 21, 2011 | 03:23 am

    The Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul The Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul. New York. 1997. Free Press. 199 pages. Jacket design by Tom Stvan. Jacket photograph by Philip Wallick/PPD International. Author photograph by Beverley Rockett. 0684832577. January 1997.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Civilizations, like individuals, are often blinded to their true character by sentiment and ideology - and ours is perhaps the most glaring example. In a powerful meditation already hailed as ‘the best work of popular philosophizing produced in this[…]

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  • The Narrows by Ann Petry

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 21, 2011 | 03:21 am

    The Narrows by Ann Petry The Narrows by Ann Petry. Boston. 1953. Houghton Mifflin. 428 pages.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Originally published in 1953, The Narrows spins the unforgettable tale of a forbidden love affair between Link Williams, a college-educated twenty-six-year-old black man, and Camilo Sheffield, a wealthy married white woman. Set in the sleepy New England town of Monmouth, Connecticut, and 'filled with dramatic force, earthy humor, and tragic intensity', this classic novel deftly evokes a divisive era in America's[…]

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  • Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 by W. E. B. Du Bois

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 21, 2011 | 02:22 am

    Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 by W. E. B. Du Bois Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 by W. E. B. Du Bois. New York. 1938. Harcourt Brace & Company. 746 pages. March 1938.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -      A distinguished scholar introduces the pioneering work in the study of the role of black Americans during the Reconstruction by the most gifted and influential black intellectual of his time. BLACK RECONSTRUCTION IN AMERICA is a book by W. E. B. Du Bois, first published in 1935. It is revisionist approach[…]

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  • Incantations & Other Stories by Anjana Appachana

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 21, 2011 | 02:11 am

    Incantations & Other Stories by Anjana Appachana Incantations & Other Stories by Anjana Appachana. New Brunswick. 1992. Rutgers University Press. 150 pages. Cover photograph by Kasha Dalal. Cover design by the Senate. 0813518288.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        This first collection of fiction by Anjana Appachana provides stories that are beautifully written, the characters in them carefully and respectfully drawn. All the stories are set in India, but the people in them seem somehow displaced within their own society—a society in transition but a[…]

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  • The Street by Ann Petry

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 21, 2011 | 00:20 am

    The Street by Ann Petry  The Street by Ann Petry. Boston. 1946. Houghton Mifflin. A Literary Fellowship Prize 1st Novel. 436 pages.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -      THE STREET tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s. Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork, The Street was Ann Petry's first novel, a beloved[…]

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  • Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 20, 2011 | 23:59 pm

    Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett. New York. 1995. Penguin Books. Edited & With An Introduction and Notes By David Blewett. 480 pages. The cover shows a detail of Lord George Graham in His Cabin by William Hogarth in the National Maritime Museum, London. 9780140433326.   RODERICK RANDOM was published in 1748 to immediate acclaim, and established Smollett among the most popular of eighteenth-century novelists. In this picaresque tale, Roderick Random suffers misfortune after misfortune as he drifts from one pummeling to another[…]

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  • Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship Of Reason In The West by John Ralston Saul

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Nov 20, 2011 | 23:50 pm

    Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship Of Reason In The West by John Ralston Saul Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship Of Reason In The West by John Ralston Saul. New York. 1992. Free Press. 640 pages. Cover design by Michael Langenstein. 0029277256.   The pitfalls of rationalism and and the rise of bureaucracy.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        In a wide-ranging, provocative anatomy of modern society and its origins, novelist and historian John Ralston Saul explores the reason for our deepening sense of crisis and confusion. Throughout the Western world we talk endlessly[…]

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Words Without Borders

New York Review of Books

  • Night Terrors

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Night Terrors If, like me, you’re a baby boomer who pleaded as a child to stay up with the big kids to watch The Twilight Zone, you might remember daring yourself to make it all the way through without taking cover behind[…]

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  • Grand Illusions

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Grand Illusions In Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006), Jonathan Lear writes of the intellectual trauma of the Crow Indians. Forced to move in the mid-nineteenth century from a nomadic to a settled existence, they catastrophically lost not[…]

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  • The Revival of Church Sanctuary

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    The Revival of Church Sanctuary Midway through last year, half a dozen Latin American immigrants scattered across the United States received “notices of intent to fine” from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for failing to leave the country. ICE has long had the authority[…]

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  • Where Health Care Is a Human Right

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Where Health Care Is a Human Right In 2004 the CBC—Canada’s publicly funded broadcaster—produced a TV competition called The Greatest Canadian, which sought to crown a national figure, living or dead, with the title. (The BBC had produced a similar program in the UK two years earlier.)[…]

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  • Things as They Are

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Things as They Are In 1966 the Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective devoted to Dorothea Lange—its first-ever solo exhibition of work by a female photographer. Lange’s photographs have now become part of our collective memory of the Great Depression. Migrant Mother (1936)—a[…]

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  • An Incandescent Inanity

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    An Incandescent Inanity Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852), Russia’s greatest comic writer, thoroughly baffled his contemporaries. Strange, peculiar, wacky, weird, bizarre, and other words indicating enigmatic oddity recur in descriptions of him. “What an intelligent, queer, and sick creature!” remarked Turgenev; another major prose writer,[…]

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  • Learning to Grieve

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Learning to Grieve “Maybe I didn’t die properly,” says Jamie (played by Alan Rickman) in Anthony Minghella’s early film Truly, Madly, Deeply. “Maybe that’s why I can come back.” His partner, Nina (Juliet Stevenson), has been driven mad with grief, following his sudden[…]

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  • China’s Clampdown on Hong Kong

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    China’s Clampdown on Hong Kong As the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China approached, commentary in the English-language press about the future of the colony was written in the elegiac style of obituaries, extolling the past and lamenting the future. In June[…]

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  • Query

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    I am writing the biography of Morton Sobell, and would like to hear from anyone who knew him. David Evanier 917-671-7612 devanier@earthlink.net

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  • The Representative

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    The Representative After the election of 2018, the US Congress became the most racially and ethnically diverse it had ever been. The freshman class contained a record number of incoming women (thirty-six), including the four young progressives who came to be called[…]

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  • Measuring Slavery’s Impact

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    To the Editors: Fara Dabhoiwala in “Speech and Slavery in the West Indies” [NYR, August 20] makes two claims that cannot be correct. As one of the scholars working on the www .slavevoyages.org site, which he kindly references, I would[…]

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  • Boston

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    When I first moved to this city to take a job, and the snows began to fall, a slow sadness took hold of me. Someone left a tiny pencil drawing of a sailboat on the ceiling of my bedroom, and[…]

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  • Seeing Too Clearly

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    Seeing Too Clearly Not long ago, Hari Kunzru was asked in an interview, “What is the worst-case scenario for the future?” He answered with brutal lucidity: The US becomes an autocracy, and devolves into a weak and fractious patchwork of jurisdictions run by[…]

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  • Max Weber’s Agon

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    To the Editors: We appreciate Peter E. Gordon’s thoughtful review of Charisma and Disenchantment, our edition of Max Weber’s “vocation lectures” [NYR, June 11], but of course we’re not writing simply to say thank you. For all the care and[…]

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  • Rashly Filling the Void

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    In an essay about his landmark novel, Native Son, Richard Wright argued that while the racial identity of his protagonist was essential to the storyline, it was not exclusively tied to the book’s broader meaning. True, Bigger Thomas—that brooding, brutal,[…]

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  • Don’t Wish for a Restoration

    The New York Review of Books Oct 29, 2020 | 12:00 pm

    During the last few years—and increasingly during the last few months—Americans have more and more come to resemble the passengers on the steamboat Fidèle in Herman Melville’s The Confidence Man. A sign hanging from the barbershop bulkhead says “No Trust.”[…]

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