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The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley by Robert Creeley. Berkeley. 2013. University of California Press. 467 pages.  hardcover.  9780520241602.  

 

9780520241602FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Robert Creeley is one of the most celebrated and influential American poets. A stylist of the highest order, Creeley imbued his correspondence with the literary artistry he brought to his poetry. Through his engagements with mentors such as William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound, peers such as Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac, and mentees such as Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Ed Dorn, Susan Howe, and Tom Raworth, Creeley helped forge a new poetry that re-imagined writing for his and subsequent generations. This first-ever volume of his letters, written between 1945 and 2005, document the life, work, and times of one of our greatest writers, and represent a critical archive of the development of contemporary American poetry, as well as the changing nature of letter-writing and communication in the digital era.

Creeley Robert  Robert Creeley (1926-2005) published more than sixty books of poetry, prose, essays, and interviews in the United States and abroad. His many honors included the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts at Brown University.

Rod Smith is the author of several collections of poetry, including Deed (2007), editor of the journal Aerial, publisher of Edge Books, and manager of Bridge Street Books in Washington, D.C.

Peter Baker is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Towson University in Maryland. He is the author or editor of six previous volumes, including Detecting Detection: International Perspectives on the Uses of a Plot (2012).

Kaplan Harris is Associate Professor of English at St. Bonaventure University. He has published widely on twentieth-century poetry, including recent articles on Susan Howe, Ted Berrigan, Hannah Weiner, and Kevin Killian.

 

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A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolaño. New York. 2014. New Directions. 109 pages.  hardcover. Jacket photograph by Allen Frame. Jacket design by Erik Rieselbach.  Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer.  9780811223355.  

 

9780811223355FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Published in Spanish right before Bolaño's death, A Little Lumpen Novelita percolates with a fierce and tender love of women. ‘Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime’: so Bianca begins her tale of growing up the hard way in Rome. Orphaned overnight as a teenager—’our parents died in a car crash on their first vacation without us’—she drops out of school, gets a crappy job, and drifts into bad company. Her younger brother brings home two petty criminals who need a place to stay. As the four of them share the family apartment and plot a strange crime, Bianca learns how low she can fall. Electric and tense with foreboding, with its jagged, propulsive short chapters beautifully translated by Natasha Wimmer, A Little Lumpen Novelita delivers a surprising, fractured fairy tale of seizing control of one’s fate.

 

Bolaño Roberto Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile. At fifteen, he moved with his family to Mexico and there became a Trotskyite and a journalist. In 1973, he returned to Chile and enlisted in Allende’s party but was imprisoned for a week after the military coup. He then went to El Salvador, where he knew the poet Roque Dalton, then to Mexico, and finally Spain where he worked as a dishwasher, waiter, night watchman, garbageman, longshoreman, and salesman until the 80’s when he could make enough money to support himself by writing, and publishing. In 1999 he won the extremely prestigious Herralde & el Rómulo Gallego Award, considered the Latin American Nobel Prize (García Márquez and Vargas Llosa have been other winners.) He died of liver failure in Barcelona, and is survived by his wife and two children.

 

 

 

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Black Diamond by Zakes Mda. London. 2014. Seagull Books. 315 pages.  hardcover. Jacket design by Samandini Banerjee.  9780857422224.  

 

9780857422224FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In this novel by celebrated South African writer Zakes Mda, Kristin Uys, a tough magistrate who lives alone with her cat in the Roodepoort district of Johannesburg, goes on a one-woman crusade to wipe out prostitution in her town. Her reasons are personal, and her zeal is fierce. Her main targets are the Visagie Brothers, Stevo and Shortie, who run a brothel, and although she fails to take down the entire establishment, she manages to nail Stevo for contempt of court, serving him a six-month sentence. From Diepkloof Prison, the outraged Stevo orchestrates his revenge against the magistrate, aided and abetted by the rather inept Shortie and his former nanny, Aunt Magda. Kristin receives menacing phone calls and her home is invaded and vandalized—even her cat isn’t spared the threats—and the chief magistrate has no choice but to assign a bodyguard to protect her. To Kristin’s consternation, security guard Don Mateza moves into her home and trails her everywhere. This new arrangement doesn’t suit Don’s longtime girlfriend Tumi, a former model and successful businesswoman, who is intent on turning Don into a Black Diamond—a member of the wealthy new black South African middle class. And Don soon finds that his new assignment has unexpected  complications that Tumi simply does not understand. In Black Diamond, Mda tackles every conceivable South African stereotype, skillfully turning them upside down and exposing their ironies—often hilariously. This is a clever, quirky novel, in which Mda captures the essence of contemporary life in a fast-changing urban world.

Mda Zakes  Zakes Mda is professor of creative writing in the Department of English at Ohio University, and a South African novelist, poet, and playwright.

 

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Things: A Story of the Sixties and A Man Asleep by Georges Perec. Boston. 2014. David Godine. 224 pages.  paperback.  9781567921571.  

 

9781567921571FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   With the American publication of Life, a User's Manual in 1987, Georges Perec was immediately recognized in the U.S. as one of this century's most innovative writers. Now Godine is pleased to issue two of his most powerful novels in one volume: Things, in an authoritative new translation, and A Man Asleep, making its first English appearance. Both provoked strong reactions when they first appeared in the 1960s; both which speak with disquieting immediacy to the conscience of today's readers. In each tale Perec subtly probes our obsession with society's trappings the seductive mass of things that crams our lives, masquerading as stability and meaning. Jerome and Sylvie, the young, upwardly mobile couple in Things, lust for the good life. 'They wanted life's enjoyment, but all around them enjoyment was equated with ownership.' Surrounded by Paris's tantalizing exclusive boutiques, they exist in a paralyzing vacuum of frustration, caught between the fantasy of 'the film they would have liked to live' and the reality of life's daily mundanities. In direct contrast with Jerome and Sylvie's cravings, the nameless student in A Man Asleep attempts to purify himself entirely of material desires and ambition. He longs 'to want nothing. Just to wait, until there is nothing left to wait for. Just to wander, and to sleep.' Yearning to exist on neutral ground as 'a blessed parenthesis,' he discovers that this wish is by its very nature a defeat. Accessible, sobering, and deeply involving, each novel distills Perec's unerring grasp of the human condition as well as displaying his rare comic talent. His generosity of observation is both detached and compassionate.

Perec Georges  Georges Perec (7 March 1936 – 3 March 1982) was a French novelist, filmmaker, documentalist and essayist. He was a member of the Oulipo group. Perec was born the only son of Icek Judko and Cyrla (Schulewicz) Peretz – Polish Jews who had emigrated to France in the 1920s – in a working-class district of Paris. He was a distant relative of the Yiddish writer Isaac Leib Peretz. Perec's father, who enlisted in the French Army during World War II, died in 1940 from unattended gunfire or shrapnel wounds, and Perec's mother perished in the Nazi Holocaust, probably in Auschwitz after 1943. Perec was taken into the care of his paternal aunt and uncle in 1942, and in 1945 he was formally adopted by them. He started writing reviews and essays for La Nouvelle Revue française and Les Lettres nouvelles, prominent literary publications, while studying history and sociology at the Sorbonne. In 1958/59 Perec served in the army (XVIIIe Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes), and married Paulette Petras after being discharged. They spent one year (1960/1961) in Sfax (Tunisia), where Paulette worked as a teacher. In 1961, Perec began working at the Neurophysiological Research Laboratory in the unit's research library funded by the CNRS and attached to the Hôpital Saint-Antoine as an archivist, a low-paid position which he retained until 1978. A few reviewers have noted that the daily handling of records and varied data may have had an influence on his literary style. In any case, Perec's work on the reassesment of the academic journals under subscription was influenced by a talk about the handling of scientific information given by Eugene Garfield in Paris and he was introduced to Marshall McLuhan by Jean Duvignaud. Perec's other major influence was the Oulipo, which he joined in 1967, meeting Raymond Queneau, among others. Perec dedicated his masterpiece, La Vie mode d'emploi (Life A User's Manual) to Queneau, who died before it was published. Perec began working on a series of radio plays with his translator Eugen Helmle and the musician Philippe Drogoz in the late 60s; less than a decade later, he was making films. His first work, based on his novel Un Homme qui dort, was co-directed by Bernard Queysanne, and won him the Prix Jean Vigo in 1974. Perec also created crossword puzzles for Le Point from 1976 on. La Vie mode d'emploi (1978) brought Perec some financial and critical success—it won the Prix Médicis—and allowed him to turn to writing full-time. He was a writer in residence at the University of Queensland, Australia in 1981, during which time he worked on the unfinished 53 Jours (53 Days). Shortly after his return from Australia, his health deteriorated. A heavy smoker, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died the following year, only forty-five years old; his ashes are held at the columbarium of the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Many of his novels and essays abound with experimental word play, lists and attempts at classification, and they are usually tinged with melancholy. Perec's first novel, Les Choses (Things: A Story of the Sixties) was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 1965. His most famous novel, La Vie mode d'emploi (Life A User's Manual), was published in 1978. Its title page describes it as ‘novels’, in the plural, the reasons for which become apparent on reading. La Vie mode d'emploi is an immensely complex and rich work; a tapestry of interwoven stories and ideas as well as literary and historical allusions, based on the lives of the inhabitants of a fictitious Parisian apartment block. It was written according to a complex plan of writing constraints, and is primarily constructed from several elements, each adding a layer of complexity. The 99 chapters of his 600-page novel, move like a knight's tour of a chessboard around the room plan of the building, describing the rooms and stairwell and telling the stories of the inhabitants. At the end, it is revealed that the whole book actually takes place in a single moment, with a final twist that is an example of ‘cosmic irony’. It was translated into English by David Bellos in 1987. Some critics have cited the work as an example of postmodern fiction. Perec is noted for his constrained writing: his 300-page novel La disparition (1969) is a lipogram, written without ever using the letter ‘e’. It has been translated into English by Gilbert Adair under the title A Void (1994). The silent disappearance of the letter might be considered a metaphor for the Jewish experience during the Second World War. Since the name ‘Georges Perec’ is full of ‘e’s, the disappearance of the letter also ensures the author's own ‘disappearance’. His novella Les revenentes (1972) is a complementary univocalic piece in which the letter ‘e’ is the only vowel used. This constraint affects even the title, which would conventionally be spelt Revenantes. An English translation by Ian Monk was published in 1996 as The Exeter Text: Jewels, Secrets, Sex in the collection Three. It has been remarked by Jacques Roubaud that these two novels draw words from two disjoint sets of the French language, and that a third novel would be possible, made from the words not used so far (those containing both ‘e’ and a vowel other than ‘e’). W ou le souvenir d'enfance, (W, or the Memory of Childhood, 1975) is a semi-autobiographical work which is hard to classify. Two alternating narratives make up the volume: one, a fictional outline of a totalitarian island country called ‘W’, patterned partly on life in a concentration camp; and the second, descriptions of childhood. Both merge towards the end when the common theme of The Holocaust is explained. ‘Cantatrix sopranica L. Scientific Papers’ is a spoof scientific paper detailing experiments on the ‘yelling reaction’ provoked in sopranos by pelting them with rotten tomatoes. All the references in the paper are multi-lingual puns and jokes, e.g. ‘(Karybb & Szyla, 1973)’. David Bellos, who has translated several of Perec's works, wrote an extensive biography of Perec: Georges Perec: A Life in Words, which won the Académie Goncourt's bourse for biography in 1994. The Association Georges Perec has extensive archives on the author in Paris. In 2013, Perec's initially rejected novel ‘Gaspar pas mort’ (Gaspar is not dead), which was believed to be lost, was found by David Bellos amongst papers in the house of Perec's friend Alain Guérin. Asteroid no. 2817, discovered in 1982, was named after Perec. In 1994, a street in the 20th arrondissement of Paris was named after him, rue Georges-Perec. The French postal service issued a stamp in 2002 in his honour; it was designed by Marc Taraskoff and engraved by Pierre Albuisson. For his work, Perec won the Prix Renaudot in 1965, the Prix Jean Vigo in 1974, the Prix Médicis in 1978. 

 

 

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Missing Person by Patrick Modiano. Boston. 2014. David Godine. 168 pages.  paperback. 9781567922813.  

 

9781567922813FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Winner of the Prix Goncourt In this strange, elegant novel, winner of France's premier literary prize, Patrick Modiano portrays a man in pursuit of the identity he lost in the murky days of the Paris Occupation, the black hole of French memory. For ten years Guy Roland has lived without a past. His current life and name were given to him by his recently retired boss, Hutte, who welcomed him, a onetime client, into his detective agency. Guy makes full use of Hutte's files - directories, yearbooks, and papers of all kinds going back half a century - but his leads are few. Could he really be the person in that photograph, a young man remembered by some as a South American attache? Or was he someone else, perhaps the disappeared scion of a prominent local family? He interviews strangers and is tantalized by half-clues until, at last, he grasps a thread that leads him through the maze of his own repressed experience. On one level Missing Person is a detective thriller, a 1950s film noir mix of smoky cafes, illegal passports, and insubstantial figures crossing bridges in the fog. On another level, it is also a haunting meditation on the nature of the self. Modiano's sparce, hypnotic prose, superbly translated by Daniel Weissbort, draws his readers into the intoxication of a rare literary experience.

 

Modiano Patrick  Jean Patrick Modiano (born 30 July 1945) is a French novelist and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. He previously won the 2012 Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the 2010 Prix mondial Cino Del Duca from the Institut de France for lifetime achievement, the 1978 Prix Goncourt for Rue des boutiques obscures, and the 1972 Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française for Les Boulevards de ceinture. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have been celebrated in and around France.

 

 

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Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano. Boston. 2014. David Godine. 128 pages.  paperback. 9781567925388.  

 

9781567925388FROM THE PUBLISHER -

9781567925388  Patrick Modiano, winner of the Prix Goncourt, constructs 'a haunting tale of quiet intensity' (Review of Contemporary Fiction). It parallels the story of Jean B., a filmmaker who abandons his wife and career to hole up in a Paris hotel, with that of Ingrid and Rigaud, a refugee couple he'd met twenty years before, and whose mystery continues to haunt him. 

 

Modiano Patrick  Jean Patrick Modiano (born 30 July 1945) is a French novelist and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. He previously won the 2012 Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the 2010 Prix mondial Cino Del Duca from the Institut de France for lifetime achievement, the 1978 Prix Goncourt for Rue des boutiques obscures, and the 1972 Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française for Les Boulevards de ceinture. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have been celebrated in and around France.

 

 

 

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The Iron Sickle A Sueno and Bascom Mystery by Martin Limon. New York. 2014. Soho Crime. 309 pages.  hardcover. Jacket design by James Iacobelli. Jacket photo by Paul Bucknall.  9781616953911.  

 

9781616953911FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Early one rainy morning, the head of the 8th United States Army Claims Office in Seoul, South Korea, is brutally murdered by a Korean man in a trench coat carrying a small iron sickle hidden in his sleeve. The attack was a complete surprise, carefully planned and clinically executed. Against orders, CID agents Sergeant George Sueno and Ernie Bascom start investigating. Somehow, each person they speak to has not yet been interviewed. The 8th Army isn't great at solving cases, but they aren't that bad either. As the search continues, they realise not everyone wants the case solved.

 

 

 

Limon Martin  Martin Limón retired from military service after twenty years in the US Army, including ten years in Korea. He is the author of six previous books in the Sergeant George Sueño series: JADE LADY BURNING, SLICKY BOYS, BUDDHA'S MONEY, THE DOOR TO BITTERNESS, THE WANDERING GHOST, and GI BONES. He lives in Seattle.

 

 

 

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Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. New York. 1954. Mentor/New American Library. 430 pages. September 1954. paperback.  Introduction by Sculley Bradley.  

 

mentor leaves of grass ms117FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   AMERICA SPEAKS. These are the incomparable poems of one of America’s greatest poets - an exuberant, passionate man who loved his country and wrote of it as no other has ever done. Singer, thinker, visionary and citizen extraordinary - this was Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass is his enduring testament to a land whose vitality was the touchstone of his genius.

 

 

Whitman Walt Walter ‘Walt’ Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet,  essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and—in addition to publishing his poetry—was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. He died at age 72 and his funeral became a public spectacle. Whitman's sexuality is often discussed alongside his poetry. Though biographers continue to debate his sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions. However, there is disagreement among biographers as to whether Whitman had actual sexual experiences with men. Whitman was concerned with politics throughout his life. He supported the Wilmot Proviso and opposed the extension of slavery generally. His poetry presented an egalitarian view of the races, and at one point he called for the abolition of slavery, but later he saw the abolitionist movement as a threat to democracy.

 

 

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Her Stories by Virginia Hamilton. New York. 1995. Blue Sky/Scholastic. hardcover. 128 pages.  Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. 0590473700.

0590473700FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In the tradition of Hamilton's The People Could Fly and In the Beginning, a dramatic new collection of 25 compelling tales from the female African American storytelling tradition. Each story focuses on the role of women - both real and fantastic - and their particular strengths, joys and sorrows.

 

Hamilton VirginiaNewbery Award winner Virginia Hamilton is one of the most beloved and respected writers in the field of contemporary fiction for young people. Her novel SWEET WHISPERS, BROTHER RUSH, published by Philomel Books, received the Coretta Scott King Award, the Boston Globe—Horn Book Award and was named a Newbery Honor Book and an American Book Awards Honor Book. Publishers Weekly hailed it as a ‘superb book, convincing and profoundly affecting.’ A LITTLE LOVE, also published by Philomel, was a Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book. Ms. Hamilton has also won the Newbery, National Book Award and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for M.C. HIGGINS, THE GREAT. Ms. Hamilton was married to the poet and anthologist Arnold Adoff.

 

 

 

 

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The Case Against Tomorrow by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1956. Ballantine Books. 152 pages.  paperback. 206.  

 

ballantine case against tomorrow 206FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   TOMORROW.   Frederik Pohl has a disconcerting habit of turning the world on itself. In four short stories and two novelettes the results are hilarious, biting, provocative and startling—depending on what strange reach of the imagination he is exploring. For instance: Have you ever daydreamed about having anything, absolutely anything, you wanted? Yachts, country estates, swimming-pools, cars, luxurious foods, gowns, jewels, servants—anything you care to name. It’s easier than you suspect. You don’t need money. All you need—all anybody needs—is enough worldly goods. If this sounds ridiculous, read what happens when robot production lines turn the world into a consumers’ paradise. It’s not impossible. It’s not even too far off. And you’d better be ready. Not that Mr. Pohl has a grudge against the future, but he comes at it backwards (so to speak), thereby throwing the present into high relief. But in any case, whether his subject is consumer goods, overpopulation, baseball, segregation, Mars or a wicked little ‘yes-no’ machine, Frederik Pohl is practically required reading for any science-fiction fan worthy of the name, and an excellent reason for becoming one.

 

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 Collected Poems Of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005 by Robert Creeley. Berkeley. 2006. University of California Press. 662 pages.  hardcover.  9780520241596.  

 

9780520241596FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This definitive collection showcases thirty years of work by one of the most significant American poets of the twentieth century, bringing together verse that originally appeared in eight acclaimed books of poetry ranging from Hello: A Journal (1978) to Life & Death (1998) and If I were writing this (2003). Robert Creeley, who was involved with the publication of this volume before his death in 2005, helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the prevailing literary establishment-the new 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. The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2005, essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century American poetry, will stand together with The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1975-2000, will be essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century American poetry.

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Creeley Robert  Robert Creeley (1926-2005) published more than sixty books of poetry, prose, essays, and interviews in the United States and abroad. His many honors included the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts at Brown University.

 

 

 

 

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Firefly by Severo Sarduy. Brooklyn. 2013. Archipelago Books. 171 pages.  paperback.  Paperback Original. Translated from the Spanish by Mark Fried.  9781935744641.  

 

9781935744641FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Available for the first time in English, Firefly is Sarduy's most autobiographical work. The story follows the coming-of-age of a precocious and exuberant boy with an oversized head and underdeveloped sense of direction, who views the world as a threatening conspiracy. Told in breathless and lyrical prose, the vel is a loving rendition of a long-lost home, a meditation on exile and an allegory of Cuba's isolation in the world. Firefly responds to the questions of the 'Boom' generation, pushing the conventions of authors like Vargas Llosa or Garcia Marquez.

 

 

 

 

Sarduy Severo  Severo Sarduy (Camagüey, Cuba; February 25, 1937 – Paris; June 8, 1993) was a Cuban poet, author, playwright, and critic of Cuban literature and art. Sarduy went to the equivalent of high school in Camagüey and in 1956 moved to Havana, where he began a study of medicine. With the triumph of the Cuban revolution he collaborated with the Diario libre and Lunes de revolución, pro-marxist papers. In 1960 he traveled to Paris to study at the Ecole du Louvre. There he was connected to the group of intellectuals who produced the magazine Tel Quel, particularly to philosopher François Wahl, with whom he was openly involved. Sarduy worked as a reader for Editions du Seuil and as editor and producer of the Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française. In 1972 his novel COBRA won him the Medici Prize. He was among the most brilliant essayists writing in Spanish and ‘a powerful baroque narrator, full of surprising resources.’ As a poet, he was considered one of the greatest of his time. He was also a more or less secret painter; a major retrospective of his work was held at the Reina Sofía Museum of Madrid after his death. He died due to complications from AIDS just after finishing his autobiographical work Los pájaros de la playa. Along with José Lezama Lima, Virgilio Piñera, and Reinaldo Arenas, Sarduy is one of the most famous Cuban writers of the twentieth century; some of his works deal explicitly with male homosexuality and transvestism.

 

 

 

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The Ballad of Beta-2 by Samuel R. Delany. New York. 1965. Ace Books. 124 pages.  paperback. Cover by Kelly Freas.  Paperback Original.  

 

ace ballad of beta 2 04722FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Between the distant stars lay terror.  Anthropology student Joneny was sent out on a quest he didn’t want: to find the meaning of the Ballad of Beta-2. For the ballad was the only clue that even hinted at what had happened to spaceship Beta-2’s missing crew of galactic colonists. Joneny’s search for the answer led him on a course of indescribable terror - and to a miraculous understanding.

 

Delany Samuel R  Samuel Ray Delany, Jr., also known as ‘Chip’, is an American author, professor and literary critic. His work includes a number of novels, many in the science fiction genre, as well as memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. His science fiction novels include BABEL-17, THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION (winners of the Nebula Award for 1966 and 1967 respectively), NOVA, DHALGREN, and the RETURN TO NEVÈRŸON series. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2002. Between 1988 and 1999 he was a professor of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Between 1999 and 2000 he was a professor of English at SUNY Buffalo. Since January 2001 he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program.

 

 

 

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A Stranger In The Village: Two Centuries Of African-American Travel Writing by Farah J. Griffin and Cheryl J. Fish (editors). Boston. 1998. Beacon Press. hardcover. 366 pages.  Jacket design by Sara Eisenman. Jacket photo: Bessie Coleman, first African-American female aviator. 080707120x.

080707120xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   James Baldwin in Paris, Audre Lorde in the Soviet Union, Langston Hughes in Mexico, Martin Delany in Nigeria, June Jordan in the Bahamans. While much of the black experience in America has been characterized by movement, most attention has been focused on the forced migration of the slave trade and the great migration from the South to northern cities. But there is a rich tradition of writing by African-Americans who have traveled abroad in search of new opportunities, political insight pleasure, and adventure. From sailors to missionaries to leaders of nationalist movement, this unique collection documents a tradition of African-American travel writing throughout two centuries. It includes a nineteenth-century sailor’s account of his amazing adventures to ‘the ends of the world’; a female ‘doctress’ on the Panamanian frontier; the observations of Claude McKay on a newly formed Soviet Union; and Ntozake Shange’s musings from Nicaragua on the power of Motown to overcome boundaries of language and custom. A rich, expansive collection, A STRANGER IN THE VILLAGE offers a new perspective on what it has meant to be a black American.

 

 

Griffin Farah J and Fish Cheryl J

 

Farah J. Griffin, author of WHO SET YOU FLOWIN’?, is assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cheryl J, Fish, author of several articles on women and African-American travelers, is assistant professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY.

 

 

 

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Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings of D. T. Suzuki. Garden City. 1956. Anchor/Doubleday. 294 pages.  paperback.  Edited by William Barrett. Cover design by Seong Moy. Typography by Joseph Ascherl.   

 

anchor zen buddhism a90FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Buddhism crossed from India to China in the 6th century A.D. and confronted the earthy and practical Chinese spirit with the imaginative and speculative spirit of India. The encounter is one of the most extraordinary events in history and makes one of the truly phenomenal chapters in the record of religion and culture. Translated into the Chinese idiom, Buddhism became one of China’s most potent spiritual and cultural forces. One expression of Chinese Buddhism known in China as Ch’an and, when it crossed to Japan in the 12th century as Zen, inspired some of the most beautiful painting, sculpture, and literature that have come from the Far East. Even more it presented to the world a form of religion unique in its emphasis on the freedom and self-realization of the individual. For this reason, Zen Buddhism as it has been discovered by the West in our time emerges as one of the great challenges to Western philosophy, psychology, and religion. The present volume, composed of the work of D. T. Suzuki, Zen’s chief exponent in English, and presented to Western readers by William Barrett, is intended to introduce the general reader to the history and spirit of Zen.

 

Suzuki D T   Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (1870–1966) was a Japanese-born scholar and translator who over the course of the twentieth century came to be regarded as one of the leading authorities on Zen Buddhism. Suzuki was the author of more than a hundred works on the subject in both Japanese and English, and was most instrumental in bringing the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the attention of the Western world. His many books in English include An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Essays in Zen Buddhism, Living by Zen, and Zen and Japanese Culture.

 

 

 

 

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Poetry For My People by Henry Dumas. Carbondale. 1970. Southern Illinois University Press. hardcover. 184 pages.  Preface by Imamu Ameer Baraka Leroi Jones. Introduction by Jay Wright. Edited by Hale Chatfield & Eugene Redmond. 0809304430.

0809304430FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The poems of Henry Dumas demonstrate concisely what an African heritage can mean to an American writer. The poems in this collection of Dumas’s poetry, published and unpublished at the time of his death in 1968 at the age of thirty-four,. represent a diversity of themes and techniques. Even amid this considerable variety, however, we can distinguish themes and devices which occur with sufficient regularity to become characteristic. Naturally, the plight of the black man in America is first among Dumas’s thematic concerns. In this regard, the poet’s chief metaphor involves a living entity (a tree, for example) transplanted from African to American soil, which fails to nourish it properly and even threatens to poison it to death—a fate from which it is able to defend itself by relying upon the African heritage (spirits, gods, ancestors) it recalls within its very cells. To provide the appropriate tone and atmosphere for such poems as these, Dumas makes frequent use of African place names and often employs Swahili or even Arabic words. To protest, as some readers are inclined to do, that such names and words often appear in unlikely or fantastic contexts is to miss the essential point: namely, that the fundamental ‘truth’ in these poems is a strong attachment not merely to the African past itself but also to the emotions, attitudes, and predispositions which it continually engenders and enriches. It is true, of course, that black Americans have for years been giving careful and scholarly attention to the matter of their African heritage. Dumas’s poetry may be viewed, in part, as an assertion of that heritage and an exploration of its effects.

 

Dumas Henry  HENRY DUMAS, a prize-winning writer, was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, on July 20, 1934, and moved to New York City when he was ten years old. His life was ended abruptly on May 23, 1968, by bullets from the gun of a New York Transit policeman in the subway. Reasons for the killing have remained vague and unsatisfactory. Before his death Dumas had been active on the ‘little’ magazine circuit as well as in the initial opening scene of the Black Arts Movement, publishing his stories and poems in Negro Digest/Black World, Rutgers’ Anthologist, the Hiram Poetry Review, Umbra and Black Fire. Since his death his reputation and writings have attracted a large and international community of readers. On the heels of the publication of ARK OF BONES AND OTHER STORIES and PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, writers, artists and students gathered in several largely Black areas of the country to read from the works and proclaim the genius of Dumas. Among the anthologies and periodicals which have printed his work since his death are: Black Scholar, Essence, Brothers and Sisters, Confrontation, Galaxy of Black Writing, You Better Believe it, Open Poetry and Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writings. Just before his death, Dumas was employed by Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis.

Imamu Ameer Baraka (LeRoi Jones), who has provided a Preface to this volume, is one of America’s most esteemed black writers. His best known books are Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note; Blues People; and The Dead Lecturer. In 1964 he won the Obie Award for his play Dutchman, which was made into a motion picture in 1967. Recently he has been giving readings and lectures on college and university campuses throughout the United States.

Jay Wright, who has written an Introduction to this volume, has studied at the University of California (Berkeley), Union Theological Seminary, and Rutgers University. He is a widely published poet and playwright and has held several fellowships. Recently he has served as a reader in the Academy of American Poets Schools Program in New York City and as poet in-residence at Tougaloo College and Talladega College.

Hale Chatfield, coeditor of this volume with Eugene Redmond, is a member of the English faculty at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. He is founder and editor of the Hiram Poetry Review, and the author of two book-length collections of poetry. His work appears regularly in literary periodicals. In July 1968 he was named chairman of the Poetry Advisory Panel to the Ohio Arts Council.

Eugene Redmond, currently Writer-in-Residence at Oberlin College, has won several prizes for poetry. He holds the B.A. degree in English Literature from Southern Illinois University and the M.A. degree from Washington University. This year October House will publish his first book-length collection of poems, THE EYE IN THE CEILING.

 

 

 

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Abominable Earthman by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1963. Ballantine Books. 159 pages.  paperback.   

 

ballantine abominable earthman f685FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Frederik Pohl writes top-flight science fiction in so many areas that it is sometimes difficult to select what is best among such thickets of barbed humor. Nevertheless in the course of ten years, Ballantine Books has managed to publish six collections of pure, undiluted Frederik Pohl:  ALTERNATING CURRENTS, THE CASE AGAINST TOMORROW, TOMORROW TIMES SEVEN, THE MAN WHO ATE THE WORLD, TURN LEFT AT THURSDAY, and now THE ABOMINABLE EARTHMAN. Anyone lucky enough to have obtained the above now owns many stones which have become classics in the field (not to mention his novels, since they are mentioned inside). And, for three good reasons, there will be more. Because Mr. Pohl continues to write.   Because we are firmly devoted to the best in science fiction. And because we are particularly enchanted with a future which envisions us wandering hand-in-hand with Fred Pohl into the slightly acidulated sunset of his wonderful imagination. 

 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 Casanova Fable by William Gerhardi and Hugh Kingsmill. London. 1934. Jarrolds. 223 pages.  hardcover. Cover illustration by P. Youngman Carter.  Illustrated by P. Youngman Carter.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   An absorbing character study of the world’s greatest lover, set against a background of Venetian gondolas; the lilting strains of the Waltz; the eternal romance of Paris; and the carefree laughter of Madrid and London, Rome and St. Petersburg over 150 years ago. This volume is a guide to all readers in approaching a biography which fairly represents the life of men and women addicted to the pursuit of pleasure and a life of adventure. Delightfully illustrated by P. Youngman Carter with eight beautifully coloured plates.

 

  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)..

  Hugh Kingsmill Lunn (21 November 1889 – 15 May 1949), who dropped his last name for professional purposes, was a versatile British writer and journalist. Writers Arnold Lunn and Brian Lunn were his brothers. Hugh Kingsmill Lunn was born in London and educated at Harrow School and the University of Oxford. After graduating he worked for a brief period for Frank Harris, who edited the publication Hearth and Home in 1911/2, alongside Enid Bagnold; Kingsmill later wrote a debunking biography of Harris, after the spell had worn off. He began fighting in the British Army in World War I in 1916, and was captured in France the next year. After the war, he began to write, initially both science fiction and crime fiction. In the 1930s he was a contributor to the English Review; later he wrote a good deal of non-fiction for this periodical's successor, the English Review Magazine. His large output includes criticism, essays and biographies, parodies and humour, as well as novels, and edited a number of anthologies. He is remembered for saying 'friends are God's apology for relations', with a notable flavour of Ambrose Bierce. The dictum was subsequently used by Richard Ingrams for the title of his memoir of Kingsmill's friendships with Hesketh Pearson and Malcolm Muggeridge, two intimate friends whom he influenced greatly.Muggeridge drew a darker attitude from Kingsmill's sardonic wit. Dawnist was Kingsmill's word for those infected with unrealistic or utopian idealism — the enemy as far as he was concerned. Kingmill’s works include: The Will To Love (1919) novel, The Dawn's Delay (1924) stories, Blondel (1927), Matthew Arnold (1928) biography, After Puritanism, 1850-1900 (1929), An Anthology Of Invective And Abuse (1929), The Return of William Shakespeare (1929) novel, Behind Both Lines (1930) autobiographical, More Invective (1930) anthology, The Worst of Love (1931) anthology, After Puritanism (1931), Frank Harris (1932) biography, The Table Of Truth (1933), Samuel Johnson (1933) biography, The Sentimental Journey (1934) biography of Charles Dickens, The Casanova Fable: A Satirical Revaluation (1934) with William Gerhardi, What They Said At The Time (1935) anthology, Parents and Children (1936) anthology; Brave Old World (1936) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, A Pre-View Of Next Year's News (1937) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, Skye High: The Record Of A Tour Through Scotland In The Wake Of The Samuel Johnson And James Boswell.(1937) travel, with Hesketh Pearson, Made On Earth (1937) anthology on marriage, The English Genius: a survey of the English achievement and character (1938) editor, essays by W. R. Inge, Hilaire Belloc, Hesketh Pearson, William Gerhardi, E .S. P. Haynes, Douglas Woodruff, Charles Petrie, J. F. C. Fuller, Alfred Noyes, Rose Macaulay, Brian Lunn, Rebecca West, K. Hare, T. W. Earp, D. H. Lawrence (1938) biography, Next Year's News (1938) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, Courage (1939) anthology, Johnson Without Boswell: A Contemporary Portrait of Samuel Johnson (1940) editor, The Fall (1940), This Blessed Plot (1942) travel, with Hesketh Pearson, The Poisoned Crown (1944) essays on genealogies, Talking Of Dick Whittington (1947) travel, with Hesketh Pearson), The Progress Of A Biographer (1949), The High Hill of the Muses (1955) anthology, The Best of Hugh Kingsmill: Selections from his Writings (1970) edited by Michael Holroyd, Bernard Shaw, His Life and Personality.

 

 

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The Reefs of Space by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson. New York. 1964. ballantine reefs of space u2172 Books. 188 pages. September 1964. paperback.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   During the third millennium A.D. Earth is ruled by a computer that has replaced freedom with order. And the world is ticking over efficiently. Boringly hut efficiently. Then things go wrong and Machine Major Boysie Gann has to find out what. The trouble is coming from the Reefs of Space, where a group Of Earth people has been exiled. Putting the Sun out was just one of their annoying little tricks. But the more Machine Major Boysie Gann finds out, the more he becomes confused. Freedom, for instance, was banned a long time before he was born. But, from what’s happening in the Reefs of Space, it seems to have its good points.

 

 

 

 

Pohl Frederik and Williamson Jack

  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’.

  John Stewart Williamson (April 29, 1908 – November 10, 2006), who wrote as Jack Williamson, was an American science fiction writer, often called the "Dean of Science Fiction" after the death of Robert Heinlein in 1988. Early in his career he sometimes used the pseudonyms Will Stewart and Nils O. Sonderlund.

 

 

 

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Singing The Master: The Emergence Of African America Culture In The Plantation South by Roger D. Abrahams. New York. 1992. Pantheon Books. hardcover. 342 pages. May 1992.  Jacket art: ‘Study for Aspects of Negro Life: An Idyll of the Deep South,’ 1934, tempera on paper, by Aaron Douglas. Jacket design by Marjorie Anderson. 0394555910.

 

0394555910FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In the American South before the Civil War, a harvest celebration developed surrounding the shucking of the corn each autumn. This event brought together both slave and master, with the slaves encouraged to perform. Thanks to the reports of visitors and foreigners, the corn- shucking ceremony became a representative scene of plantation life. In SINGING THE MASTER, Roger Abrahams reconstructs the genesis of the celebration - and offers a controversial and radical interpretation of the occasion. Tracing the origins of the ceremony to the English custom of harvest home Abrahams shows how the slaves, encouraged to express their African cultural heritage, transformed a chance for performance and self-expression into an opportunity for moral and social commentary – an occasion to mock and ridicule their masters. Abrahams also analyzes the corn-shucking ceremony’s fascinating dual cultural legacy - how the African American performance style influenced white culture as it was adapted and - imitated by whites in minstrel and vaudeville shows; and also how the bardic role of the performer, the subversive treatment of authority, and interplay with the audience are present in African American performance style today.

Abrahams Roger D  Roger D. Abrahams is Professor of Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a past president of the American Folklore Society, a former chairman of the English Department at the University of Texas, and a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. Professor Abrahams has done fieldwork in a range of African American communities from a ghetto neighborhood in Philadelphia to the Caribbean. He has also studied arid written about Anglo-American folk songs and children’s lore.

 

 

 

 

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Without Regard To Race: The Other Martin Robison Delany by Tunde Adeleke. Jackson. 2004. University Press Of Mississippi. hardcover. 274 pages.  Photograph of Martin Delany courtesy of the USA and Military History institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion. 1578065984.

 

1578065984FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Before Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois lifted the banner for black liberation and independence, Martin Robison Delany (1812-1885) was at the forefront. He was the first black appointed as a combat major in the Union army during the Civil War. He was a Pan-Africanist and a crusader for black freedom and equality in the nineteenth century. For the past three decades, however, this precursor has been regarded only as a militant Black Nationalist and racial essentialist.’ To his discredit, his ideas, programs, and accomplishments have been maintained as models of uncompromising militancy. Classifying Delany solely for his militant nationalist rhetoric crystalizes him into a one-dimensional figure. This study of his life and thought, the first critical biography of the pivotal African American thinker written by a historian, challenges the distorting portrait and, arguing that Delany reflects the spectrum of the nineteenth-century black independence movement, makes a strong case for bringing him closer to the center position of the political mainstream. He displayed a far greater degree of optimism about the future of blacks in America than has been acknowledged, and he faced pragmatic socio-economic realities that made it possible for him to be flexible for compromise. Focusing on neglected phases in his intellectual life, this book reveals Delany as a personality who was neither uncompromisingly militant nor dogmatically conservative. It argues that his complex strategies for racial integration were much more focused on America than on separateness and nationalism. The extreme characterization of him that has been prominent in the contemporary mind reflects ideologies of scholars who came of age during the civil rights era, the period that initially inspired great interest in his life. This new look at him paints a portrait of the ‘other Delany,’ a thinker able to reach across racial boundaries to offer compromise and dialogue.

 Adeleke Tunde

 

  TUNDE ADELEKE, professor of history and director of African American studies at the University of Montana, Missoula, is the author of UnAfrican Americans: Nineteenth-Century Black Nationalists and the Civilizing Mission and editor of Booker T Washington: Interpretive Essays. He is currently editing for publication a collection of Martin Delany’s post-Civil War papers.

 

 

 

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Libretto For The Republic Of Liberia by Melvin B. Tolson. New York. 1970. Collier Books/Macmillan. paperback. 80 pages. 07090.  

 

collier libretto for the republic of liberia 07090FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Two hundred years after the Mayflower anchored off Plymouth Rock, the black Pilgrim Fathers sailed aboard the Elizabeth from America to West Africa in search of freedom. In this epic masterpiece Melvin Tolson celebrates the founding of the Republic of Liberia by expatriate American blacks in 1847. Although Tolson’s dramatic brilliance has invited comparison with Hart Crane’s classic, The Bridge, his Libretto stands alone as a work of depth, power, vision and originality: a major poetic statement of the ordeal and inspiration that drove the black Pilgrims back to Africa to create Liberia, ‘Black Lazarus risen from the white man’s grave.’ ‘.  there is a great gift for language. a profound historical sense and a first-rate intelligence at work in this poem from first to last.  For the first time, it seems to me, a Negro poet has assimilated completely the full poetic language of his time and, by implication, the language of the Anglo-American poetic tradition.  In the end I found that I was reading Libretto for the Republic of Liberia not because the poem has a Negro subject but because it is about the world of all men. And this subject is not merely asserted; it is embodied in a rich and complex language. and realized in terms of poetic imagination.’ —From the Preface by Allen Tate. ‘.  Tolson has established a new dimension for American poetry.’ - John Ciardi. ‘.  reaches extraordinary rhetorical heights.’ - San Francisco Chronicle.

 Tolson Melvin B

 

MELVIN B. TOLSON was born in Missouri and educated at Fisk, Lincoln and Columbia Universities. He was professor of creative literature at Langston University and the author of RENDEZVOUS WITH AMERICA and HARLEM GALLERY, published by Collier Books. He died in 1966.

 

 

 

 

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The Short Fiction Of Charles W. Chesnutt by Charles W. Chesnutt. Washington DC. 1974. Howard University Press. hardcover. 422 pages.  Jacket design by Roy E. La Grone. Edited & With An Introduction by Sylvia Lyons Render. 0882580124.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

0882580124   Collected in this volume are the 1889--1905 letters of one of the first African-American literary artists to cross the ‘color line’ into the de facto segregated American publishing industry of the turn of the century. Selected for inclusion are those chronicling the rise of Charles W. Chesnutt (1858--1932), an attorney and businessman in Cleveland, Ohio, who achieved prominence as a novelist, short story writer, essayist, and lecturer despite the obstacles faced by a man of color during the ‘Jim Crow’ period. In his insightful commentaries on his own situation, Chesnutt provides as well a special perspective on life-at-large in America during the Gilded Age, the ‘gay ‘90s’ (which were not so gay for African Americans), and the Progressive era. Like his black correspondents-Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, T. Thomas Fortune, and William M. Trotter-he was one of the major commentators on what was then termed the ‘Negro Problem.’ His most distinguished novels, The House Behind the Cedars (1900) and The Marrow of Tradition (1901), were published by major ‘white’ presses of the time not only did his editors and publishers but then-preeminent black and white critics greet these literary protests against racism as proof of the intellectual and artistic excellence of which a long-oppressed people were capable when afforded equal opportunity. Since the 1960s, when the rediscovery of his genius began in earnest, Chesnutt has received even more recognition than he enjoyed by the early 1900s. Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., and Robert C. Leitz, III, have surveyed every collection of Chesnutt’s papers and those of his correspondents in order to reconstruct the story of his most vital years as an author. Their introduction contextualizes the letters in light of Chesnutt biography and the less-than-promising prospects faced by a would-be literary artist of his racial background. Their encyclopedic annotations explaining contemporary events to which Chesnutt responds and what was then transpiring in both black and white cultural environments illuminate not only Chesnutt’s character but those of many now unfamiliar figures who also contributed to what Chesnutt termed the ‘cause.’ Provided in this first-ever edition of Chesnutt’s letters is a detailed portrait of one of the pioneers in the African-American literary tradition and a panorama of American life a century ago.

Chesnutt Charles W Charles Waddell Chesnutt (June 20, 1858 – November 17, 1932) was an American author, essayist, political activist and lawyer, best known for his novels and short stories exploring complex issues of racial and social identity in the post-Civil War South. The legacy of slavery and interracial relations had resulted in many free people of color who had attained education before the war, as well as slaves and freedmen of mixed race. Two of his books were adapted as silent films in 1926 and 1927 by the director and producer Oscar Micheaux. Chesnutt also established what became a highly successful legal stenography business, which provided his main income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Echo Tree: The Collected Short Fiction Of Henry Dumas by Henry Dumas. Minneapolis. 2003. Coffee House Press. paperback. 388 pages.  Cover design by Aaron King. Edited & With A Foreword by Eugene Redmond. Critical Introduction by John S. Wright. 1566891493.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

1566891493   Henry Dumas’s fabulist fiction is a masterful synthesis of myth and religion, culture and nature, mask and identity. From the Deep South to the simmering streets of Harlem, his characters embark on real, magical, and mythic quests. With an astonishing ear for language, Dumas creates a mythology of the psychological, spiritual, and political development of African American culture by interweaving Christian metaphor, African cosmologies, music, black diasporan folklore, and America’s history of slavery and endemic racism. For the first time, all of his short fiction is gathered here, including several previously unpublished stories. ‘[Henry Dumas] had completed work, the quality and quantity of which are almost never achieved in several lifetimes.  He was brilliant.  [He] was able to penetrate, almost like an archeologist, [the] varied experiences of black people of all ages.’ – Toni Morrison. ‘Each sentence a revelation of experience.  [A]ctual black art, real, man, and stunning.’ – Amiri Baraka. ‘Henry Dumas’s.  fiction is among the most significant produced by a writer of any race in this country in the 1960s.  [H]is reputation and standing among American writers and critics [approaches] mythic proportions.’ – Quincy Troupe. ‘The first time I read Henry Dumas’s Ark of Bones, I felt the hair rising on my head.’ – Margaret Walker Alexander.

 

 

Dumas Henry  HENRY DUMAS, a prize-winning writer, was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, on July 20, 1934, and moved to New York City when he was ten years old. His life was ended abruptly on May 23, 1968, by bullets from the gun of a New York Transit policeman in the subway. Reasons for the killing have remained vague and unsatisfactory. Before his death Dumas had been active on the ‘little’ magazine circuit as well as in the initial opening scene of the Black Arts Movement, publishing his stories and poems in Negro Digest/Black World, Rutgers’ Anthologist, the Hiram Poetry Review, Umbra and Black Fire. Since his death his reputation and writings have attracted a large and international community of readers. On the heels of the publication of ARK OF BONES AND OTHER STORIES and PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, writers, artists and students gathered in several largely Black areas of the country to read from the works and proclaim the genius of Dumas. Among the anthologies and periodicals which have printed his work since his death are: Black Scholar, Essence, Brothers and Sisters, Confrontation, Galaxy of Black Writing, You Better Believe it, Open Poetry and Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writings. Just before his death, Dumas was employed by Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis.

 

 

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In The African-American Grain by John E. Callahan. Urbana. 1988. University Of Illinois Press. hardcover. 281 pages.  Cover painting - ‘Untitled’ by Oliver Jackson, 1979. 0252014596.

 

 

0252014596FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In the African-American Grain is a powerful exploration of the impact of African-American oral storytelling techniques on modern and contemporary fiction. Reading literature in the call-and-response tradition, John F. Callahan shows how African-American writers including Charles Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Gaines, and Alice Walker have used the forms and forces of this uniquely participatory discourse to establish not only a potential relationship between storyteller and audience but also a potential for change. In a new preface Callahan comments on how the tradition of call-and-response has continued to develop among African-American writers as well as writers of other backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

Callahan John E  "I worked for a good four plus years on Ellion's second novel and, with Mrs. Ellison's help and Random House's, came up with "Juneteenth." —John Callahan. John Callahan was a graduate student researching the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald when a literary tangent led him along a different path. In the end, it was the work of writer Ralph Ellison, not Fitzgerald, that would leave a lifelong impression on Callahan. Ellison died in 1994, leaving behind 2,000 pages of unpublished writing, an expectation that there was a second novel coming and his widow, Fanny, who eventually asked Callahan to be the literary executor of Ellison’s work. From this archive of work that Ellison left—some of it on scraps of paper and napkins—came Ellison’s posthumous second novel, Juneteenth, and Three Days After the Shooting, both edited by Callahan, the latter novel with his former Lewis and Clark student, Adam Bradley. John Callahan is the Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark College. Callahan’s own writing include In the African-American Grain, A Man You Could Love, and the upcoming The Learning Room.

 

 

 

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Blood On The Forge by William Attaway. New York. 1991. Monthly Review Press. paperback. 315 pages.  Cover illustration: Detail of a drawing by Thomas Hart Benton. Cover design by Linda Mason Briggs. Forewqord by John Oliver Killens. Afterword by Richard Yarborough. 0853457220.

 

 

0853457220FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   BLOOD ON THE FORGE is the powerful story of three black brothers who leave the rural South for the steel mills of Pittsburgh during the 1920s. Forced by racism and economic hardship to abandon their simple sharecropping life in the red-clay hills of Kentucky they follow promises of a better life in the industrial north. From the moment they step onto the freight train heading north, however they discover a world of poverty and exploitation as brutal as the one they are escaping. Amid the toil and sweat of their life in the gray factory town, they also discover a new form of racism - a racism manipulated by management to split the working class along racial lines and turn the union against itself. The afterword examines the life and career of William Attaway, as well as the contemporary response to the book, putting this in the context of the naturalist protest writing of the period, from Richard Wright NATIVE SON to John Steinbeck’s GRAPES OF WRATH.

 

 

 

Attaway William  William Attaway was born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1911, and moved north to Chicago with his family at the age of five. His first novel, LET ME BREATHE THUNDER, was published in 1939 when he was living and working in New York City, and was followed by BLOOD ON THE FORGE in 1941. This was to be his last novel, and he spent the remainder of his career writing for radio, film, and television. He died in Los Angeles in 1986. John Oliver Killens is a novelist and essayist, and author of YOUNGBLOOD and AND THEN WE HEARD THUNDER. Richard Yarborough is an associate professor in the Department of English and a faculty research associate with the Center for Afro- American Studies at UCLA He has published essays and reviews on Afro-American literature and is completing a study of early Afro- American fiction.

 

 

 

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Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays of Lorraine Hansberry by Lorraine Hansberry. New York. 1972. Random House. hardcover. 372 pages. June 1972.  Jacket design by Bill Allen. 039446480x.

 

 

039446480xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   ‘A little more than a month before the assassination of Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry died; she was thirty-four. Somehow it seems like more than coincidence that the two should die within less than a month and a half of each other and scarcely nine months before the ‘deferred dream’ exploded in the streets of Watts. Each of them possessed an uncommon prescience They knew that a plague was about to be loosed upon the land.  ‘ So writes Julius Lester in the introduction to this collection of Lorraine Hansberry’s lost works. At the time of her death in 1965, Lorraine Hansberry’s reputation as one of America’s leading playwrights rested primarily on one play, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, a major work of our time. ‘Never before in the entire history of the American theater had so much of the truth of black people’s lives been seen on the stage,’ wrote James Baldwin concerning it. Until the off-Broadway production in 1969 of TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK, Miss Hansberry had become a part of theatrical history, which is to say, almost forgotten, It was assumed that nothing in her work was relevant to the sixties. But that assumption could only have been made by those who had not returned to it but retained only shadowy and impressionistic memories of early productions. Far from being outdated and irrelevant to the black struggles of today, Ms. Hansberry’s writing anticipates and illuminates the struggles which black people in this land are carrying on right now. Her vision - what Mr. Lester calls her ‘gift to make us see the extraordinary in those who society had decreed were merely ordinary’ — is one of affirmation, and not the despair into which so many artists fall. She was a political radical, whose politics were not dogma but oneness with her people and all people and whose ‘genius,’ Lester writes, ‘lies in her ability to meld her revolutionary commitment with her artistic integrity.  Lorraine Hansberry is the black artist who lived beyond anger, which is not to say that she wasn’t angry. Her plays are an expression of rage against the outrages perpetrated against humanity. Anger did not define her art, but motivated and informed it. The quality which pervades her plays is compassion. She didn’t make the mistake of hating white people. She hated what people did to each other’ - and above all hated the social order that caused inhuman acts. For the young writer - black and white – she stands as the quintessential model, not only for her vision, but for her skill and integrity in the expression of that vision.’ Thus Lorraine Hansberry’s writings can be seen as an important prophetic journey into a time when all men, regardless of race or creed or color, can solve their conflicts humanely and treat each other with compassion. In this volume Robert Nemiroff, Miss Hansberry’s literary executor, has collected and edited her last works, giving for each the critical background necessary to place its importance in the canon of her work. LES BLANCS, which opened on Broadway in 1970, is a penetrating exploration of the making of a black revolutionary and is considered by many to be Ms. Hansberry’s best and most significant play. WHAT USE ARE FLOWERS?, which deals with the perpetuation of the human race, is a beautiful example of Ms. Hansberry’s affirmation of life. The third play in this volume, THE DRINKING GOURD, is a television drama commissioned – but never produced - by NBC. It is an incisive picture of slavery which Ms. Hansberry described as ‘a serious treatment of family relationships by a slave-owning family and their slaves.’ The history of that controversial NBC series, which Mr. Nemiroff provides, illuminates the battlefield in which Lorraine Hansberry wrote with enormous perseverance and extraordinary gifts.

 

 

 Hansberry Lorraine Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was an American playwright and writer. Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black'. She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best known work, the play A Raisin in the Sun, highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. Hansberry's family had struggled against segregation, challenging a restrictive covenant and eventually provoking the Supreme Court case Hansberry v. Lee. The title of the play was taken from the poem 'Harlem' by Langston Hughes: 'What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?' After she moved to New York City, Hansberry worked at the Pan-Africanist newspaper Freedom, where she dealt with intellectuals such as Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois. Much of her work during this time concerned the African struggle for liberation and their impact on the world. Hansberry has been identified as a lesbian, and sexual freedom is an important topic in several of her works. She died of cancer at the age of 34.

 

 

 

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Shadow and Act by Ralph Ellison. New York. 1964. Random House. hardcover. 317 pages. Dustjacket design by Howard Gray.  

 

 

shadow and actFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   SHADOW AND ACT is the first book in more than a decade by the author of INVISIBLE MAN. It contains the best and most provocative of Ralph Ellison’s essays written between 1945 - when The Antioch Review declined to publish his review of Myrdal’s AN AMERICAN DILEMMA - and 1964 - when ‘Hidden Name and Complex Fate’ was delivered as a lecture at the Library of Congress. ‘The pieces collected here,’ Mr. Ellison writes in his Introduction, ‘are concerned with three general themes: with literature and folklore, with Negro musical expression – especially jazz and the blues - and with the complex relationship between the Negro American subculture and the North American culture as a whole. They represent. in all their modesty, some of the necessary effort which a writer of my background must make in order to possess the meaning of his experience.  These essays are a witness of that which I have known and that which I have tried and am still trying to confront. The very least I can say about their value is that they performed the grateful function of making it unnecessary to clutter up my fiction with half-formed or outrageously wrong-headed ideas. At best they are an embodiment of a conscious attempt to confront, to peer into, the shadow of my past and to remind myself of the complex resources for imaginative creation which are my heritage.’

 

Ellison Ralph  RALPH ELLISON was born in Oklahoma City in 1914. He is the author of INVISIBLE MAN (1952), which won the National Book Award and became one of the most important and influential postwar American novels. He published two volumes of nonfiction, SHADOW AND ACT (1964) and GOING TO THE TERRITORY (1986), which, together with unpublished speeches and writings, were brought together as THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF RALPH ELLISON IN 1995. For more than forty years before his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison lived with his wife, Fanny McConnell, on Riverside Drive in Harlem in New York City.

 

 

 

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Lyrics Of Sunshine & Shadow: The Tragic Courtship & Marriage Of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore by Eleanor Alexander. New York. 2002. New York University Press. hardcover. 243 pages.  ABOUT THE COVER: Paul Laurence Dunbar, C. 1900. Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society. Alice Moore Dunbar, C. 1900. Alice Dunbar-Nelson Papers, University of Delaware library, Newark Delaware.  0814706967.

 

0814706967FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   On February 10, 1906 Alice Ruth Moore, estranged wife of renowned early- twentieth-century poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, boarded a streetcar, settled comfortably into her seat, and opened her newspaper to learn of her husband’s death the day before. Paul Laurence Dunbar, son of former slaves, whom Frederick Douglass had dubbed ‘the most promising young colored man in America,’ was dead from tuberculosis at the age of 33. LYRICS OF SUNSHINE AND SHADOW traces the tempestuous romance of America’s most noted African American literary couple. Drawing on a variety of love letters, diaries, journals, and autobiographies, Eleanor Alexander vividly recounts Dunbar and Moore’s tumultuous affair, from a courtship conducted almost entirely through letters and an elopement brought on by Dunbar’s brutal drunken rape of Moore, through their passionate marriage and its eventual violent dissolution in 1902. Moore, once having left Dunbar, rejected his every entreaty to return to him, responding to his many letters only once, with a blunt, one-word telegram (‘No’). This is a remarkable story of tragic romance among African American elites struggling to define themselves and their relationships within the context of post-slavery America. As such, it provides a timely examination of the ways in which cultural ideology and politics shape and complicate conceptions of romantic love. ‘Tells a fascinating tale of two compelling figures whose lives were intriguing, at times harrowing, and in many ways tragic. At the same time, Alexander investigates a broader topic - the history of African American intimacy - yet to be explored in depth.  A riveting narrative.’ - MARTHA HODES, New York University.

 

 

ELEANOR ALEXANDER is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

 

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Three Days Before The Shooting by Ralph Ellison. New York. 2010. Modern Library. hardcover. 1101 pages.  Edited by John F. Callahan & Adam Bradley. 9780375759536.

 

 

9780375759536FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   At his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison left behind roughly two thousand pages of his unfinished second novel, which he had spent nearly four decades writing. Long awaited, it was to have been the work Ellison intended to follow his masterpiece, Invisible Man. Five years later, Random House published Juneteenth, drawn from the central narrative of Ellison's unfinished epic. Three Days Before the Shooting. gathers together in one volume, for the first time, all the parts of that planned opus, including three major sequences never before published. Set in the frame of a deathbed vigil, the story is a gripping multigenerational saga centered on the assassination of the controversial, race-baiting U.S. senator Adam Sunraider, who's being tended to by 'Daddy' Hickman, the elderly black jazz musician turned preacher who raised the orphan Sunraider as a light-skinned black in rural Georgia. Presented in their unexpurgated, provisional state, the narrative sequences form a deeply poetic, moving, and profoundly entertaining book, brimming with humor and tension, composed in Ellison's magical jazz-inspired prose style and marked by his incomparable ear for vernacular speech. Beyond its richly compelling narratives, Three Days Before the Shooting. is perhaps most notable for its extraordinary insight into the creative process of one of this country's greatest writers. In various stages of composition and revision, its typescripts and computer files testify to Ellison's achievement and struggle with his material from the mid-1950s until his death forty years later. Three Days Before the Shooting. is an essential, fascinating piece of Ralph Ellison's legacy, and its publication is to be welcomed as a major event for American arts and letters.

 

Ellison Ralph RALPH ELLISON was born in Oklahoma City in 1914. He is the author of INVISIBLE MAN (1952), which won the National Book Award and became one of the most important and influential postwar American novels. He published two volumes of nonfiction, SHADOW AND ACT (1964) and GOING TO THE TERRITORY (1986), which, together with unpublished speeches and writings, were brought together as THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF RALPH ELLISON IN 1995. For more than forty years before his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison lived with his wife, Fanny McConnell, on Riverside Drive in Harlem in New York City.

 

 

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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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