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Tales of the German Imagination: From the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann by Peter Wortsman (editor). New York. 2012. Penguin Books. paperback. 361 pages. Cover: 'Melancholy of the Mountains', 1929, Coloured woodcut by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Translated from the German, selected and editied with an introduction by Peter Wortsman. 9780141198804.


9780141198804FROM THE PUBLISHER -



   Bringing together tales of melancholy and madness, nightmare and fantasy, this is a new collection of the most haunting German stories from the past 200 years. Ranging from the Romantics of the early nineteenth century to works of contemporary fiction, it includes Hoffmann's hallucinatory portrait of terror and insanity 'The Sandman'; Chamisso's influential black masterpiece 'Peter Schlemiel', where a man barters his own shadow; Kafka's chilling, disturbing satire 'In the Penal Colony'; the Dadaist surrealism of Kurt Schwitters' 'The Onion'; and Bachmann's modern fairy tale 'The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran'. Macabre, dreamlike and expressing deep unconscious fears, these stories are also spiked with unsettling humour, showing stylistic daring as well as giving insight into the darkest recesses of the human condition. Peter Wortsman's powerful translations are accompanied by brief overviews of the lives of each author, and an introduction discussing the notion of 'angst' and the stories' place in the context of German history.



Wortsman PeterPeter Wortsman is a translator and writer living in New York whose English rendering of Posthumous Papers of a Living Author, by Robert Musil, now in its third edition (Eridanos, 1988; Penguin, 1995; Archipelago Books, 2006—and recently excerpted in Flypaper, Penguin Mini-Classics, 2011), has been called “a classic in itself.” Wortsman is the author of a book of short fiction, A Modern Way to Die (Fromm International, 1991); two stage plays, The Tattooed Man Tells All (2000) and Burning Words (2004); an artists’ book, it-t=i (Here and Now Press, 2005), on which he collaborated with his brother, the artist Harold Wortsman; and travel writing in leading newspapers, journals, and websites, several of which are anthologized in the last four issues of The Best Travel Writing 2008-2011. A former Fulbright and Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow, Wortsman is the recipient of the 1985 Beard’s Fund Short Story Award and the 2008 Geertje Potash-Suhr Prosapreis of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German. His short fiction appeared most recently in the Spring 2011 issue of The Berlin Journal, and his latest nonfiction was published, in German translation, in the April 2011 issue of Cicero, Magazin für politische Kultur. He also recently published essays in Die Welt and Die Zeit. The project he worked on while at the Academy, an anthology he compiled and translated, with the working title “The Singing Bone, Enigmatic Tales of the German Imagination” will be published in 2013 by Penguin Classics, Penguin UK. Photo credit: Jean-Luc Fievet.




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The Italics Are Mine by Nina Berberova. New York. 1969. Harcourt Brace & World. 606 pages. hardcover. Jacket photograph & design by Robert A. Propper. Translated from the Russian by Philippe Radley. 


italics are mineFROM THE PUBLISHER -



   This is the autobiography of Nina Berberova, who was born in St Petersburg in 1901, the only child of an Armenian father and a North Russian mother. After the Revolution, and the persecution of intellectuals which followed, she was forced to flee to Paris, where she was to remain for 25 years. There she formed part of a group of literary Russian emigres that included Gorky, Bunin, Svetaeva, Nabokov and Akhmatova, and earned a precarious living as a journalist, barely surviving the hardship and poverty of exile. In 1950 she left France for the United States to begin a new life with no money and no knowledge of English.




Berberova NinaNina Nikolayevna Berberova (26 July 1901 – 26 September 1993) was a Russian writer who chronicled the lives of Russian exiles in Paris in her short stories and novels. She visited post-Soviet Russia and died in Philadelphia. Born in 1901 to an Armenian father and a Russian mother, Nina Berberova was brought up in St Petersburg. She left Russia in 1922 with poet Vladislav Khodasevich (who died in 1939). The couple lived in several European cities before settling in Paris in 1925. There Berberova began publishing short stories for the Russian emigre publications Poslednie Novosti (‘The Latest News’) and Russkaia Mysl’ (‘Russian Thought’). The stories collected in Oblegchenie Uchasti (‘The Easing of Fate’) and Biiankurskie Prazdniki (‘Billancourt Fiestas’) were written during this period. She also wrote the first book length biography of composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1936, which was controversial for its openness about his homosexuality. In Paris she was part of a circle of poor but distinguished visiting literary Russian exiles which included Anna Akhmatova, Vladimir Nabokov, Boris Pasternak, Tsvetaeva and Mayakovsky. After living in Paris for 25 years, Berberova emigrated to the United States in 1950 and became an American citizen in 1959. Since 1954 was married for George Kochevitsky - the Russian pianist and the teacher.) She began her academic career in 1958 when she was hired to teach Russian at Yale. She continued to write while she was teaching, publishing several povesti (long short stories), critical articles and some poetry. She left Yale in 1963 for Princeton, where she taught until her retirement in 1971. In 1991 Berberova moved from Princeton, New Jersey to Philadelphia. Berberova’s autobiography, which details her early life and years in France, was written in Russian but published first in English as The Italics are Mine (Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969). The Russian edition, Kursiv Moi, was not published until 1983. Much of Berberova’s early literary archive (1922–1950) is located in the Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection at Stanford University. Her later literary archive (after 1950) is in the Nina Berberova Papers and Nina Berberova Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.




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Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra. New York. 2017. Farrar Straus Giroux. 9780374274788. 406 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Jason Heuer.


9780374274788FROM THE PUBLISHER - 


One of our most important public intellectuals reveals the hidden history of our current global crisis. How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world―from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present. He shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises―of freedom, stability, and prosperity―were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world―or were left, or pushed, behind―reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose―angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today, just as then, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more billions adrift in a demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity―with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.



Mishra PankajPankaj Mishra born 1969 in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh (North India), is an Indian essayist and novelist. He is particularly notable for his book BUTTER CHICKEN IN LUDHIANA, a sociological study of small-town India, and his writing for the New York Review of Books. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in commerce from Allahabad University before earning his Master of Arts degree in English literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He was the Visiting Fellow for 2007-2008 at the Department of English, University College London, UK. In 1992, he moved to Mashobra, a Himalayan village, where he began to contribute literary essays and reviews to The Indian Review of Books, The India Magazine, and the newspaper The Pioneer. His first book was BUTTER CHICKEN IN LUDHIANA: TRAVELS IN SMALL TOWN INDIA (1995), a travelogue that described the social and cultural changes in India in the new context of globalization. His novel The ROMANTICS (2000), an ironic tale of people longing for fulfillment in cultures other than their own, was published in eleven European languages and won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. His recent book AN END TO SUFFERING: THE BUDDHA IN THE WORLD (2004) mixes memoir, history, and philosophy while attempting to explore the Buddha's relevance to contemporary times. TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: HOW TO BE MODERN IN INDIA, PAKISTAN AND BEYOND (2006), describes Mishra's travels through Kashmir, Bollywood, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, and other parts of South and Central Asia. In 2005, Mishra published an anthology of writing on India, INDIA IN MIND (Vintage). His writings have been anthologized in THE PICADOR BOOK OF JOURNEYS (2000), THE VINTAGE BOOK OF MODERN INDIAN LITERATURE (2004), and AWAY: THE INDIAN WRITER AS EXPATRIATE (Penguin), among other titles. He has introduced new editions of Rudyard Kipling's KIM (Modern Library), E. M. Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA (Penguin Classics), and J. G. Farrell's THE SIEGE OF KRISHNAPUR (NYRB Classics). He has also introduced two volumes of V. S. Naipaul's essays: THE WRITER AND THE WORLD AND LITERARY OCCASIONS. Mishra writes literary and political essays for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and New Statesman, among other American, British, and Indian publications. His work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Common Knowledge, the Financial Times, Granta, The Independent, the London Review of Books, n+1, The Nation, Outlook, Poetry, Time, The Times Literary Supplement, Travel + Leisure, and The Washington Post. He divides his time between London and India, and is presently working on a novel. His book TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: HOW TO BE MODERN IN INDIA, PAKISTAN, TIBET AND BEYOND was reviewed by The Economist (1–7 July 2006 issue). In 2008 he was one of the first authors to take part in the Palestine Festival of Literature. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008..






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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.





   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 country in a decade or more’ (The Globe and Mail), John Ralston Saul argues that while Fascism was defeated in World War II, its ‘corporatist’ doctrines powerfully influence our own society today. Saul explores how these corporatist priorities have now become so woven into our social fabric that they threaten the practice of Western democracy. Our civic order, Saul argues, has been remade to serve the needs of business managers and technocrats. In turn, other parts of society have come to mimic this arrangement as they themselves fracture into competing interest groups and ethnic blocs, virtually eliminating the role of the citizen. This largely unseen social order has deep and vexing roots in Western thought. Saul examines how this structure is bolstered today by political and intellectual charlatans who misleadingly describe it as a ‘common sense’ arrangement, rather than what it is: an insidious war of attrition against the individual as citizen and the delicate system of open dialogue and doubt that alone guarantees the future of democracy. An international bestseller whose publication is widely regarded as a pivotal event, THE UNCONSCIOUS CIVILIZATION is a crucible of contemporary thought from a writer possessed of the originality and power to elevate today’s debate above its present limits and expose our system in a light both terrifying and profound.Saul John Ralston




JOHN RALSTON SAUL is an internationally renowned novelist and essayist and the author of VOLTAIRE’S BASTARDS and THE DOUBTER’S COMPANION, among other works. Named one of Utne Reader’s 100 visionaries, he gave the prestigious 1995 Massey Lectures at the University of Toronto, on which THE UNCONSCIOUS CIVILIZATION is based. Translated into several languages, the book has been a Canadian bestseller for close to a year.





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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.





   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 transition that does not come fast enough to help them. Appachana manages to capture the pervasive humor, poignancy, and self-delusion of the lives of the people she observes, but she does so without seeming to pass judgment on them. She focuses on unexpected moments, as if catching her characters off guard, lovingly exposing the fragile surfaces of respectability and convention that are so much a part of every society, but particularly strong in India, with its caste system, gender privileges, and omnipresent bureaucracies. One of the most unusual aspects of many of the stories is the way in which they are informed by but never ruled by the author's feminism. She never lectures her readers but lets us see for ourselves. Appachana's vision is unique, her writing superb. Readers will thank her for allowing them to enter Appachana Anjanaterritory that is at once distant and exotic and familiar and recognizable.



Anjana Appachana graduated from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. In 1984 she left India to live in the United States, where she graduated from Pennsylvania State University. One of the stories in this collection won an O'Henry Festival prize in 1989. She now lives in Tempe, Arizona, and is working on a novel.





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Dancing With Mermaids by Miles Gibson. New York. 1986. Dutton. 196 pages. Jacket painting by Hilary Gibson. Jacket design by Mark O'Connor. 0525244441.


0525244441A lively tale of madness in a seaside English town.





   A rare gem that did not nearly the acclaim it should have at publication. Ray Bradbury called this 1985 novel, ‘Absolutely first rate. Absolutely wonderful’, when it was first published in 1985. And The New Yorker described it as ‘a wild, poetic exhalation that sparkles and hoots and flies’. Strange things and mysterious events are happening to the seashore rustics in the Dorset fishing town of Rams Horn, whose lives are dominated by lust and other dark forces they can’t quite comprehend.



Gibson MilesMiles Gibson (born 1947) is a reclusive English novelist, poet and artist. Gibson was born in a squatters camp at an abandoned World War II airbase - RAF Holmsley South in the New Forest and raised in Mudeford, Dorset. He was educated at Sandhills Infant School, Somerford Junior School and Somerford Secondary Modern. Upon leaving school he migrated to London and worked in advertising as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson after winning a place in their ten most ingenious undergraduate writers in Britain today competition, despite lacking the primary qualification of a university education. He later flirted with Fleet Street as a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph Magazine under the brilliant editorship of John Anstey. He was the Telegraph's runner-up Young Writer of the Year, in 1969. Gibson’s darkly satirical writing has been described as both 'magic realism' and 'absurdist fiction.' Although his narratives remain linear in construction his employment of black humour, pastiche, and untrustworthy narrators[6] places him firmly among the postmodernists. When the Huffington Post ran a list of their favorite literary novelists to take the plunge into genre fiction, they included Gibson's Einstein: 'Miles Gibson, one of the very few British authors to successfully pen a magical realism novel based in the UK, is known for his toying with genre. Maybe his most notable genre piece came in 2004 with sci-fi comedy Einstein, one of the genre's forgotten treasures.' His works include two collections of poetry, The Guilty Bystander (1970) and Permanent Damage (1973), as well as the novels The Sandman (1984), Dancing with Mermaids (1985), Vinegar Soup (1987), Kingdom Swann (1990), Fascinated (1993), The Prisoner of Meadow Bank (1995), Mr Romance (2002)[8] and Einstein (2004). His works for children include Say Hello to the Buffalo, illustrated by Chris Riddell (1994), Little Archie (2004) and Whoops - There Goes Joe, illustrated by Neal Layton (2006). Kingdom Swann was adapted by David Nobbs as the feature-length comedy drama Gentlemen's Relish for BBC TV, starring Billy Connolly, Sarah Lancashire and Douglas Henshall (2001). He has written drama for BBC Radio 4 and his essays, poetry and short stories have appeared in various newspapers, journals and anthologies.






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Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey by Janet Malcolm. New York. 2001. Random House. 213 pages. Jacket photograph courtesy of the author. Jacket design by Robbin Schiff. 0375506683. November 2001.





   To illuminate the mysterious greatness of Anton Chekhov's writings, Janet Malcolm takes on three roles: literary critic, biographer, and journalist. Her close readings of the stories and plays are interwoven with episodes from Chekhov's life and framed by an account of Malcolm's journey to St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Yalta. She writes of Chekhov's childhood, his relationships, his travels, his early success, and his self-imposed 'exile'--always with an eye to connecting them to themes and characters in his work. Lovers of Chekhov as well as those new to his work will be transfixed by Reading Chekhov.

Malcolm Janet





Janet Malcolm's previous books are Diana and Nikon: Essays on Photography; Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession; In the Freud Archives; The Journalist and the Murderer; The Purloined Clinic: Selected Writings; The Silent Woman: Slyvia Plath and Ted Hughes; and The Crime of Sheila McGough. She lives in New York with her husband, Gardner Botsford.






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At the Dusk of Dawn: Selected Poetry and Prose by Albery Allson Whitman. Boston. 2009. Northeastern University Press. hardcover. 331 pages. Jacket illustration: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Edited by Ivy G. Wilson. Northeastern Library of Black Literature. 9781555537074.


9781555537074FROM THE PUBLISHER -



   Albery Allson Whitman (1851-1901), born the child of slaves in Kentucky, made his livelihood as a preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He also produced a prodigious amount of poetry. Many of these works--replete with 'mulatto' figures and vignettes about black, Native, and white subjects in the frontier spaces of the Midwest and Florida--prefigure current preoccupations in literary and cultural studies. This collection includes selections from all of his major narrative poems, along with other poems, letters, and a sermon. By collecting and republishing these works--many of which have been out of print for more than a century--this volume restores Whitman's standing as one of the most important post-Civil War African American writers.



Whitman Albery Allson

Albery Allson Whitman (1851-1901) was an African American poet, minister and orator. Born into slavery, Whitman created a successful career for himself as a writer, and during her lifetime was acclaimed as the 'Poet Laureate of the Negro Race'. Throughout his lifetime he worked as a manual laborer, school teacher, financial agent, fundraiser and pastor. He died in 1901 of pneumonia. Ivy G. Wilson is Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University. He is the author of Specters of Democracy: Blackness and the Aesthetics of Nationalism..



Ivy G. Wilson is Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University. He is the author of Specters of Democracy: Blackness and the Aesthetics of Nationalism.




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The Great Camouflage: Writings of Dissent  (1941-1945) by Suzanne Cesaire. Middletown. 2012. Wesleyan University Press. 9780819572752. Edited by Daniel Maximin. Translated by Keith L. Walker. 67 pages. paperback. Cover illustration: Suzanne Cesaire.


9780819572752FROM THE PUBLISHER - 


The Great Camouflage translates and assembles in one volume the seven articles Suzanne Césaire wrote for the cultural journal Tropiques. Césaire engages anthropology, esthetics, surrealism, history, and poetry as she grapples with questions of power and deception, self-deception, the economic slipknot of a post-slavery debt system, identity and inauthenticity, bad faith, psychological and affective aberration, and cultural zombification. All are caught in the web of "the great camouflage." The collection provides a multifaceted portrait of Césaire, and includes short writings from others who wrote passionately about her, including André Breton, André Masson, René Ménil, Daniel Maximin, and her husband Aimé Césaire and daughter, Ina Césaire.



Cesaire SuzanneSuzanne Césaire [née Roussi] (11 August 1915 – 16 May 1966), born in Martinique, an overseas department of France, was a French writer, teacher, scholar, anti-colonial and feminist activist, and Surrealist. Her husband was the poet and politician Aimé Césaire. Césaire (née Roussi) was born on 11 August 1915 in Poterie, Martinique, to Flore Roussi (née William), a school teacher, and Benoït Roussi, a sugar factory worker. She began her education at her local primary school in Rivière-Salée in Martinique (which still had the status of a French colonial territory at that time), before attending a girls' boarding-school in the capital, Fort-de-France. Having completed her secondary education, she went to study literature in Toulouse and then in Paris at the prestigious École normale supérieure from 1936-1938. During her first year as a student in Paris, Suzanne (then still named Roussi) meet Léopold Sédar Senghor, who introduced her to Aimé Césaire, a fellow student at the École normale supérieure. The following year, on 10 July 1937, the couple married at the town hall of the 14th arrondissement in Paris. During their studies, the Césaires were both part of the editorial team of the militant journal L'Étudiant noir. In 1938 the couple had their first child. The following year they returned to Martinique where they both took up teaching jobs at the Lycée Schoelcher. They went on to have six children together, divorcing in April 1963 after 25 years of marriage. Césaire wrote in French and published seven essays during her career as a writer. All seven of these essays were published between 1941 and 1945 in the Martinique cultural journal Tropiques, of which she was a co-founder and editor along with her husband, Aimé Césaire, and René Ménil, both of whom were notable French poets from Martinique. Her writing explored themes such as Caribbean identity, civilisation, and surrealism. While her writing remains largely unknown to Anglophone readers, excerpts from her essays "Leo Frobenius and the Problem of Civilisations", "A Civilisation’s Discontent", "1943: Surrealism and Us", and "The Great Camouflage" can be found translated into English in the anthology The Refusal of the Shadow: Surrealism and the Caribbean (Verso, 1996), edited by Michael Richardson. Césaire had a particular affinity with surrealism, which she described as "the tightrope of our hope". In her essay "1943: Surrealism and Us", she called for a Martinican surrealism: “Our surrealism will then deliver it the bread of its depths. Finally those sordid contemporary antinomies of black/white, European/African, civilised/savage will be transcended. The magical power of the mahoulis will be recovered, drawn forth from living sources. Colonial stupidity will be purified in the blue welding flame. Our value as metal, our cutting edge of steel, our amazing communions will be recovered." Césaire also developed a close relationship with André Breton following his visit to Martinique in 1941. She dedicated an essay to him ("André Breton, poet", 1941) and received a poem dedicated to her in return ("For madame Suzanne Césaire", 1941). This encounter with André Breton opened the way for her development of Afro-Surrealism. Her writing is often overshadowed by that of her husband, who is the better known of the two. However, in addition to her important literary essays, her role as editor of Tropiques can be regarded as an equally significant (if often overlooked) contribution to Caribbean literature. Tropiques was the most influential francophone Caribbean journal of its time and is widely acknowledged for the foundational role it played in the development of Martiniquan literature. Césaire played both an intellectual and administrative role in the journal's success. She managed the journal's relations with the censor — a particularly difficult role given the oppositional stance of Tropiques towards the war-time Vichy government — as well as taking responsibility for the printing. The intellectual impact she had on the journal is underlined by her essay "The Great Camouflage", which was the closing article of the final issue. Despite her substantial written and editorial contribution to the journal, the collected works of Tropiques, published by Jean-Michel Place in 1978, credits Aimé Césaire and René Ménil as the journal's catalysts. Tropiques published its last issue in September 1945, at the end of World War Two. With the closing of the journal, Suzanne Césaire stopped writing. The reasons for this are unknown. However, journalist Natalie Levisalles suggests that Suzanne Césaire would have perhaps made different choices if she had not had the responsibilities of mothering six children, teaching, and being the wife of an important politician and poet, Aimé Césaire. Indeed, her first daughter, Ina Césaire, remembers her saying regularly: "Yours will be the first generation of women who choose." Having stopped writing she pursued her career as a teacher, working in Martinique and Haiti. She was also an active feminist and participated in the Union des Femmes Françaises. Césaire was a pioneer in the search for a distinct Martiniquan literary voice. Though she was attacked by some Caribbean writers, following an early edition of Tropiques, for aping traditional French styles of poetry as well as supposedly promoting "The Happy Antilles" view of the island advanced by French colonialism, her essay of 1941, "Misère d'une poésie", condemned what she termed "Littérature de hamac. Littérature de sucre et de vanille. Tourisme littéeraire" [Literaure of the hammock, of sugar and vanilla. Literary tourism]. Her encounter with André Breton opened the way for her development of Afro-Surrealism, which followed in the footsteps of her use of surrealist concepts to illuminate the colonial dilemma. Her dictum - "La poésie martinique sera cannibale ou ne sera pas" [Cannibal poetry or nothing] - was an anti-colonial appropriation of a surrealist trope. Suzanne Césaire's repudiation of simple idealised answers - whether assimilationist, Africanist, or creole - to the situation of colonialism in the Caribbean has proved increasingly influential in later postcolonial studies.






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Passing by Nella Larsen. New York. 1929. Knopf. 217 pages. hardcover.


passing knopf 1929 no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER - 


A landmark novel about the cultural meanings of race by the Harlem Renaissance’s premier woman writer. The beautiful, elegant, and ambitious Clare Kendry leads a dangerous life. A light-skinned African American married to a white man unaware of her racial heritage, Clare has severed all ties to her past to become part of white, middle-class society. Clare’s childhood friend, Irene Redfield, as light-skinned as Clare, has chosen to remain within the African-American community. Married to a successful doctor and the mother of two boys, Irene refuses to acknowledge the racism she grew up with and that continues to set limits on her family’s happiness. A chance encounter forces both women to confront the lies they have told others and the secret fears they have buried within themselves. First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkably candid exploration of the destabilization of racial and sexual boundaries.








 Larsen Nella

Nellallitea 'Nella' Larsen, born Nellie Walker (April 13, 1891 – March 30, 1964), was an American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. First working as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels—Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929)—and a few short stories. Though her literary output was scant, she earned recognition by her contemporaries. A revival of interest in her writing has occurred since the late twentieth century, when issues of racial and sexual identity and identification have been studied.







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The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor. New York. 1960. Farrar Straus & Cudahy. 243 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Milton Glaser. 

violent bear it awayFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In this novel Flannery O’Connor is at the top of her powers. THE VIOLENT BEAR IT AWAY displays her astonishing gifts for satire with compassion and for pathos with humor. It tells the story of Francis Marion Tarwater, an orphan who lives backcountry with his great-uncle in Powderhead, Tennessee. Before the old man dies, he prophesies Tarwater’s fate: the Lord will call him to be a prophet. Another crucial prophecy he makes is to Rayber, his nephew, a schoolteacher, about Rayber’s son, Bishop: ‘Either Tarwater or me is going to baptize that child. If not me in my day, him in his.’ At the old man’s death, little Bishop, thanks to Rayber’s alert opposition, remains unbaptized, and on Tarwater falls the burden of baptizing him. A struggle over Bishop begins between Tarwater and Rayber. The clash between these two temperaments provides some of the funniest episodes in the book, as Rayber exerts himself to the straining point in his sincere desire to rescue Tarwater’s mind from darkness. Yet Tarwater, interiorly, is undergoing a struggle of his own. He does not want to be either prophet or baptist; he shows extraordinary strengths within himself in resisting his fate. The story moves inexorably to its climax and an outcome which neither Rayber nor Tarwater could foresee. In its special number devoted to ‘The American Imagination,’ the Times Literary Supplement praised Flannery O’Connor’s ‘merciless humour, extraordinary composure, and a compassion so universal that it raises all her local characters to a universal scale.’ These qualities of her special genius are so vividly present in this novel, and are set forth in prose of such clarity and vigor as to make THE VIOLENT BEAR IT AWAY clearly her most important work.



OConnor FlanneryMary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American writer and essayist, was born in Savannah, Georgia. An important voice in American literature, O'Connor wrote two novels and 32 short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. O'Connor's writing also reflected her own Roman Catholic faith, and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Her Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and was named the ‘Best of the National Book Awards’ by internet visitors in 2009. One of her hobbies was raising peacocks.



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This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith. London. 1961. Heinemann. 240 pages. hardcover. Cover by Jack Whitsett.


this sweet sickness heinemann 1961FROM THE PUBLISHER - 



This Sweet Sickness is a chilling novel. David Kelsey was a brilliant young chemist, and the firm he worked for, Fabrics, thought very highly of him. Everyone at his boarding-house thought highly of him too. He was handsome, successful, polite, and devoted to his ailing mother, with whom he spent every weekend. But David’s mother had been dead for years. David spent his weekends, unknown to anyone else, under another name, in a house he'd bought and furnished for the woman he loved, Annabelle. Annabelle his solace those weekends - her tastes were his, she understood and loved him. Yet Annabelle was married to another man and lived in another town, and had never seen the house David had bought for her. David wasn't going to put up with the situation much longer. He felt it was high time he did something about it. Patricia Highsmith has written an absorbing, terrifying novel of a man's madness - a man who was normal except in one respect, and who, because of his absorption, charming as he seemed most of the time, was finally Highsmith Patriciafrightfully destructive.



Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1921, Patricia Highsmith spent much of her adult life in Switzerland and France. Educated at Barnard College, where she studied English, Latin, and Greek, she had her first novel, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, published in 1950 and saw it quickly made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Despite receiving little recognition in her native land during her lifetime, Highsmith, the author of more than twenty books, won the O. Henry Memorial Award, The Edgar Allan Poe Award, Le Grand Prix de Littérarure Policière, and the Award of the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She died in Switzerland in 1995, and her literary archives are maintained in Berne.






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A Country Doctor's Notebook by Mikhail Bulgakov. London. 1975. Collins & Harvill. Translated from the Russian by Michael Glenny. 158 pages. Jacket design by Michael Harvey. 0002621037.


    Somerset Maugham; Anton Chekhov; A. J. Cronin; some of the most popular and successful writers in both English and Russian literature have been doctors. The powers of observation and human insight fostered by a medical training added to a creative temperament can be an ideal combination in making a writer. With his collection of stories a new name for English-speaking readers is added to the list of doctor-authors - Mikhail Bulgakov. To those who have read and enjoyed his novels of humour, tension and often grotesque fantasy - BLACK SNOW; THE HEART OF A DOG, THE WHITE GUARD and his chefd’oeuvre THE MASTER AND MARGARITA - it will be a rewarding surprise. Here, in a straightforward yet polished and gently ironic vein of writing, are a series of fascinating stories drawn directly from Bulgakov’s own experiences as a newly-qualified doctor during the turbulent years of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. With the ink still wet on his diploma, the 25-year-old Dr Mikhail Bulgakov was flung into the depths of rural Russia which was still largely untouched by such novelties as the telephone, electric light and the motor car. How he coped (and failed to cope) with the new and often appalling responsibilities of a lone practitioner in a vast country practice is described in a delightful blend ol candid realism and wry, self-deprecating humour.


bantam country doctors notebook




Bantam published the 1st American edition as a paperback original - 


















Bulgakov MikhailEldest son of a professor at the Kiev Theological Academy, Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov was born in that city in 1891. After graduating in. medicine at Kiev University, Bulgakov was sent in 1916 (as an alternative to army service) to his first practice in a remote country region of one of the north-western provinces of Russia. There he worked for two years in sole charge of a local govenment clinic serving a large and scattered rural population. Late in 1918, after a spell as a hospital intern, Bulgakov returned to his native Kiev, where he set up in private practice as a specialist in venereology. Driven out, it seems, by the intolerable strains imposed on a doctor in a city racked by civil war, he left Kiev for the Caucasus; it was at this time, in 1919 or 1920, that Bulgakov resolved to give up medicine for a full-time literary career. Moving north to Moscow in the early twenties, Bulgakov endured a period of hardship and struggle to gain recognition as a writer. His first success was his novel The White Guard, originally published in serial form in 1925 and based on his experience of Kiev in the civil war, which he turned into a play for the Moscow Arts Theatre with the altered title of The Days of the Titrbins. From then on Bulgakov’s career was intimately bound up with the stage, in particular with the Moscow Arts Theatre under the joint direction of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, where he worked as an. assistant producer and resident dramatist until his break with Stanislavsky in 1936. After some time spent as an opera librettist with the Bolshoi Theatre, he was reduced to literary impotence by Stalin’s increasingly harsh censorship. Bulgakov fell ill with a painful kidney complaint in 1939, went blind as a result of the disease and died in March 1940. In addition to the stories in the present collection (first published in two magazines in the mid-twenties) Bulgakov wrote altogether fourteen plays, three novels and a rich and varied collection of satirical stories. Although many of his works still remain unpublished in the USSR, enough of his best books and plays have appeared posthumously, between 1955 and 1967, to have secured for Mikhail Bulgakov a place as one of the most original and powerful Russian writers of the twentieth century.





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Scent Of Love by Edla Van Steen. Pittsburgh. 2001. Latin American Literary Review Press. Translated from the Portuguese & With A Foreword by David S. George. 110 pages. 1891270125. Originally published in Portuguese as Cheiro de amor. 





    The fourth of Van Steen’s works to be published in English. This collection of two imaginative stories and a prizewinning title ‘novelette’ from the Brazilian actress, cabaret singer, and author demonstrates a variety of distinct voices and narrative styles. ‘Queen of the Abyss’, presented in modified dramatic form (including stage directions), extracts from the situation of an elderly man’s return, after several decades, to his former family a haunting lesson about the impossibility of rejecting the past. In ‘Less Than A Dream’, the discovery of an old infidelity subjects two beleaguered extended families to a succession of unpredictable, and hilarious, life changes. And ‘Scent of Love’, a newswoman’s reconstruction of the life of an impulsive woman revolutionary, deftly evokes the interrelatedness and complexity of sexual attraction, political allegiance, and moral relativism.



Van Steen EdlaEdla Van Steen (12 July 1936 – 6 April 2018) was a Brazilian journalist, actress and writer. The daughter of a Belgian father and a mother of German descent, she was born in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina and educated at a Catholic boarding school. She began work as a radio broadcaster and then became a journalist in Curitiba. In 1958, she starred in the film Garganta do Diabo (The Devil's Throat). She published a book of short stories Cio (In Heat) in 1965; technically it was her second collection of short stories - an earlier manuscript was lost before it could be published. She founded the art gallery Galeria Multipla and served as its director. Her novel Memórias do Medo (Memories of Fear) was published in 1974. In 1981, it was adapted for television. In 1977, she published her next collection of stories Antes do amanhecer (Before the dawn). The following year, she organized an anthology O Conto da Mulher Brasileira (The Story of the Brazilian Women); she also organized a week in honour of Brazilian writers, sponsored by the São Paulo Ministry of Culture. Her play O último encontro (The Last Encounter) received the Prêmio Molière and the Prêmio Mambembe for best play as well as a prize awarded by the São Paulo association of art critics. She wrote a second play Bolo de nozes (Nut Cake) in 1990. She translated works by playwrights such as Jean-Claude Brisville, Henrik Ibsen and Manfred Karge for the theatre. David George is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and chair of foreign languages at Lake Forest College in Illinois.







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Shooting An Elephant & Other Essays by George Orwell. London. 1950. Secker & Warburg. 212 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Michael Kennard.


shooting an elephant and other essays secker and warburg 1950FROM THE PUBLISHER -



   None of the essays in this posthumous volume has previously appeared in book form and, although each has been printed in some periodical or ‘Little’ review, the majority of them will be new to most readers. They range in time of composition from ‘A Hanging’ which appeared in THE ADELPHI in 1931 to ‘Reflections on Gandhi’ written for PARTISAN REVIEW in 1949, and fall into three main groups. First there are three pieces descriptive of experience: ‘Shooting an Elephant,’ ‘A Hanging’ and ‘How the Poor Die.’ The second and largest group, which includes ‘Politics and The English Language,’ and a long essay on ‘Gulliver’s Travels,’ can be roughly described as being about literature and politics and the relations between the two. Lastly, there is a selection from the weekly column which George Orwell contributed to Tribune under the title ‘I Write As I Please.'





Orwell GeorgeGeorge Orwell, whom V. S. Pritchett has called ‘the conscience of his generation,’ was born in India in 1903 and was educated at Eton. From 1922 to 1927 he served in the Imperial Police in Burma. He spent the next few years in Paris and in England teaching school, writing, and working at a variety of jobs. He went to Spain when the Civil War broke out, fought on the Republican side, and was severely wounded. Back in England, he joined the Home Guard in World War II, and worked for the B.B.C. Orwell first gained wide recognition in America with the publication of his satiric fable ANIMAL FARM (1946). In addition to the well-known NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, his books include the novels COMING UP FOR AIR, BURMESE DAYS, and DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON; the documentary HOMAGE TO CATALONIA; and several collections of essays, the most recent being SUCH, SUCH WERE THE JOYS (1953). Orwell died in London in 1950.EORGE ORWELL first gained wide recognition in America with the publication of his satiric fable, ANIMAL FARM. In addition to NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, his novels include COMING UP FOR AIR, BURMESE DAYS, and DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON. He died in London on January 21, 1950.’





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The Nobleman and Other Romances by Isabelle de Charriere. New York. 2012. Penguin Books. 439 pages. paperback. 9780143106609. Cover art by Joanna Walsh.


9780143106609FROM THE PUBLISHER -



   The only available English translation of writings by an Enlightenment-era Dutch aristocrat, writer, composer-and woman. Born Dutch, noble, and free-spirited, Isabelle de Charrière (also known as Belle de Zuylen) was an enlightened woman whose writings - not unlike Jane Austen's - tackled the intricacies of high society, particularly in matters of love. Published when she was only twenty- two, ‘The Nobleman’ is a PERSUASION-like tale whose heroine challenges her stodgy father in order to marry a man of unassuming ancestry. But Charrière did not confine herself to simple marriage plots and country courtships. Another story, ‘Eagonlette and Suggestina,’ is a thinly veiled critique of Marie Antoinette, cleverly disguised as a fairy tale. These compelling new translations finally restore a remarkable writer and thinker to her rightful place in the literary canon.

Charriere Isabelle de




Isabelle de Charrière , nèe Isabella Agneta Elisabeth van Tuyll van Serooskerken (1740-1805) wrote novels, essays, plays, and operas- both music and libretti. Caroline Warman is a lecturer in French at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Jesus College. This collection developed after she translated ‘Letters from Neuchâtel,’ one of the stories included here, as a birthday present for her aunt.






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Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral by Gabriela Mistral. Albuquerque. 2003. University of New Mexico Press. 407 pages. hardcover. 0826328180.





   The first Nobel Prize in literature to be awarded to a Latin American writer went to the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. Famous and beloved during her lifetime all over Latin America and in Europe, Mistral has never been known in North America as she deserves to be. The reputation of her more flamboyant and accessible friend and countryman Pablo Neruda has overshadowed hers, and she has been officially sentimentalized into a ‘poetess’ of children and motherhood. Translations, and even selections of her work in Spanish, have tended to underplay the darkness, the strangeness, and the raging intensity of her poems of grief and pain, the yearning power of her evocations of the Chilean landscape, the stark music of her Round Dances, the visionary splendor of her Hymns of America. During her lifetime Mistral published four books: Desolation, TENDERNESS, CLEARCUT, and WINEPRESS. These are included in the ‘Complete’ Nobel edition published in Madrid; the Poem of Chile, her last book, was printed years after her death. Le Guin includes poems from all five books in this volume, with particular emphasis on the later work. The intelligence and passion of Le Guin's selection and translation will finally allow people in the North to hear the originality, power, purity, and intransigence of this great American voice. CONTENTS: Foreword; Introduction - About Mistral; The Strong Woman; The Baby Left Alone; Torture; Love Unspoken; Inmost; God Wills It; Shame; Ballad: The Other Woman; Interrogation; Waiting in Vain; Verses: In my mouth. .; Poem of the Son; Verses: By the blue flame. .; The Bones of the Dead; Sea-song of Those who Seek to Forget; Patagonian Landscapes; To the Clouds; Autumn; Summit; Starsong; Rocking; Discovery; Dew; Quechua Song; The Sleep-Wave; Patagonian Lullabye; Song of Death; Mexican Child; Little Bud; Little Star; Weaving the Round; Give me your Hand; Child's Land; Color Round; Rainbow Round; The Ones Not Dancing; Round Dance of the Metals; All-Round; Fire Round; Let Him Not Grow Up; Fear; Given Back; The Empty Nutshell; The Bit of Straw; The Girl with the Crippled Hand; The Rat; The Parrot; The Peacock; The World-Teller; Wind; Light; Water; Rainbow; Strawberry; Mountain; Larks; Pine Woods; Sky Car; Fire; The House; The Earth; Little Feet; Hymn to the Tree; Flight; Riches; The Cup; The Midnight; Two Angels; Paradise; Grace; The Rose; The Death-Girl; Airflower; The Shadow; The Ghost; Bread; Salt; Agua; The Wind; Two Hymns: Tropic Sun, The Cordillera; The Corn; Absence Country; The Foreigner; To Drink; Four Queens; Things; Wall; Old Lion; Song of the Dead Girls; Undone; Confession; Old Woman; Pigeons; The Other Woman; Deserted; The Worrier; The Dancer; Set Free; The Sleepless Woman; The Lucky One; The Fervent One; The Farmwife; The Walker; A Woman; Prisoner's Wife; A Compassionate Woman; California Poppy; The Discovery of the Palm Grove; The Stone of Parahibuna; Death of the Sea; Ocotillo; Cuban Palms; Sharing Out; Message to Blanca; The Fall of Europe; The Footprint; Lady Poison; Eight Puppies; Anniversary; Mourning; A Word; I Sing What You Loved; Farm Tools; The Return; Doors; Jewish Refugee Woman; Dawn; Morning; Evening; Night; Last Tree; Discovery; In Thirst-White Lands; Nightfall; Elqui Valley; My Mountains; Mount Aconcagua; Clover Patch; The Valley of Chile; Palms of Ocoa; Herons; Bird Migration; Cormorants; Houses; Poplar Roads; Falls of the Laja; Bio-Bio; Araucanians; Austral Forest; Moss; Ferns; Lake Llanquihue; Fog; Four Seasons of the Huemul; Faraway Patagonia; Return; The Teller of Tales; Thanksgiving; Ballad of my Name; Electra in the Fog; A Brief Chronology of Mistral's Life.




Mistral GabrielaGabriela Mistral (7 April 1889 – 10 January 1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator and feminist. She was the first Latin American (and, so far, the only Latin American woman) to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which she did in 1945 'for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world'. Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother's love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note. 







Leguin Ursula KUrsula Le Guin has published five volumes of her own poetry, an English version of Lao Tzu's TAO TE CHING, and a volume of mutual translation with the Argentine poet Diana Bellessi, THE TWINS, THE DREAM/LAS GEMALAS, EL SUEÑO. Strongly drawn to Mistral's work as soon as she discovered it, Le Guin has been working on this translation for five years.










Price V BV. B. Price, a UNM alumnus, is a journalist and the author of several books that are available from UNM Press. He is a distinguished poet and critic, and the recipient of the Erna Fergusson Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Alumni Association of the University of New Mexico. He lives in Albuquerque.









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The Icelandic Sagas by W. A. Craigie. Cambridge. 1913. Cambridge University Press. 120 pages. hardcover. 


icelandic sagas craigieFROM THE PUBLISHER -



   The general title of Icelandic Sagas is used to denote a very extensive body of prose literature written in Iceland, and in the language of that country, at various dates between the middle of the twelfth century and the beginning of the fifteenth; the end of the period, however, is less clearly marked than the beginning. The common feature of the works classed under this name, which vary greatly in length, value, and interest, is that they have the outward form of historical or biographical narratives; but the matter is often purely fictitious, and in many cases fact and fiction are inseparably blended. Both in the form and in the matter there is much that is conventional, and many features of style and content are quite peculiar to the special Icelandic mode of storytelling. The word saga (of which the plural is sögur) literally means ‘something said,’ and was in use long before there was any written literature in Iceland. From an early period it had been a custom, which in course of time became an accomplishment and an art, to put together in a connected form the exploits of some notable man or the record of some memorable event, and to relate the story thus composed as a means of entertainment and instruction. Craigie W AIt was out of these oral narratives, augmented and elaborated during the course of several centuries, that the written saga finally arose.





 Sir William Alexander Craigie (August 13, 1867, Dundee, United Kingdom -  September 2, 1957, Watlington, United Kingdom) was a philologist and a lexicographer. A graduate of the University of St Andrews, he was the third editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and co-editor of the 1933 supplement.









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Death Of A Naturalist by Seamus Heaney. London. 1980. Faber & Faber. paperback. 57 pages.  0571090249.                                                    


0571090249Two of my favorite poems from this collection both center around Seamus Heaney's father, 'Digging' and 'Follower.' 





 'His words give us the soil-reek of Ireland, the colourful violence of his childhood on a farm in Derry. The full-blooded energy of these poems makes Death of a Naturalist the best first book of poems 'I've read for some time.' C. B. Cox in the Spectator. 'What delights, in poem after poem, is the accuracy and freshness with which sense-impressions are recorded.' - Richard Kell in the Guardian.




Heaney SeamusSeamus Justin Heaney (13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013) was an Irish poet, playwright, translator and lecturer, and the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. In the early 1960s he became a lecturer in Belfast after attending university there, and began to publish poetry. He lived in Sandymount, Dublin from 1972 until his death. Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997 and its Poet in Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994 he was also the Professor of Poetry at Oxford and in 1996 was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. Other awards that Heaney received include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry (2001), T. S. Eliot Prize (2006) and two Whitbread Prizes (1996 and 1999). In 2012, he was awarded the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry. Heaney's literary papers are held by the National Library of Ireland. Robert Lowell called him ‘the most important Irish poet since Yeats‘ and many others, including the academic John Sutherland, have echoed the sentiment that he was ‘the greatest poet of our age’. Robert Pinsky has stated that ‘with his wonderful gift of eye and ear Heaney has the gift of the story-teller’. Upon his death in 2013, The Independent described him as ‘probably the best-known poet in the world’. Heaney’s son Michael revealed at the funeral mass that his father's final words, ‘Noli timere’ (have no fear), were texted to his wife, Marie, minutes before he died..



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Writing & Being by Nadine Gordimer. Cambridge. 1995. Harvard University Press. 145 pages. hardcover. 067496232x. 






   Whether talking about her own writing, interpreting the works of others, or giving us a window on the world that 'we in South Africa are attempting to reconstruct,' Nadine Gordimer has much to tell us about the art of fiction and the art of life. In this deeply resonant book Gordimer examines the tension for a writer between life's experiences and narrative creations. She asks first, where do characters come from-to what extent are they drawn from real life? We are touching on this question whenever we insist on the facts behind the fiction, Gordimer suggests, and here she tries to unravel the mysterious process that breathes 'real' life into fiction. Exploring the writings of revolutionaries in South Africa, she shows how their struggle is contrastingly expressed in factual accounts and in lyrical poetry. Gordimer next turns to three writers linked by their search for a life that transcends their own time and place: in distinctive and telling ways, Naguib Mahfouz, Chinua Achebe, and Amos Oz defy accepted norms of loyalty to the mores and politics of their countries. Their search in Egypt, Nigeria, and Israel for a meaningful definition of home testifies to what it must be: the destination of the human spirit beyond national boundaries. Ending on a personal note, Gordimer reveals her own experience of 'writing her way out of' the confines of a dying colonialism.




Gordimer NadineNadine Gordimer (born 20 November 1923) is a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, when she was recognised as a woman ‘who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity’. Gordimer's writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. Under that regime, works such as July's People were banned. She was active in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress during the days when the organization was banned. She has recently been active in HIV/AIDS causes. Ms Gordimer says, ‘In imaginative writing theme is communication in the deepest sense. Themes are statements or questions arising from the nature of the society in which the writer finds himself immersed and the kind and quality of the life around him.’




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Resurrection by William Gerhardi. New York. 1934. Harcourt Brace & Company. 372 pages.


resurrection'One grows older furtively, under the watchful eyes of friends. But gradually one sees they are accomplices who condone the crime; which turns into a weakness, an indulgence, finally a boast.' - These are the opening lines from William Gerhardi's RESURRECTION, my favorite New Year's Eve book, and my favorite astral-projection novel.





   A thirty-seven year-old man attends a ball during the course of which he has an out-of-body experience and revisits his entire past. 'Resurrection' is fiction and autobiography merged into one. For though, in its passionate argument for the resurrection of the body, it presents the entire truth of the author's experience, it remains fiction in its technique and in its surface of names and pattern. A brilliant London ball furnishes the setting. Here are encountered the singular and bright individuals whose lives and thoughts have contributed to the reality of the author's existence. Throughout this affair, dancing, falling in love, conversing, eating, he is driven by the powerful conviction that has lately come to him - the conviction that we do not die. This belief so colors and compels each moment, that he has the force to relive his entire life in the course of the evening. More than half of the book is given to an extraordinary recital, during which the author summons up the experiences he had in one year that was unusually crowded with adventure of every sort, a year of travel when he visited America, Greece, Egypt, India. Returning to the ball at last, he returns to his present and to the bewildering contrast that his new belief in an after-life provides. The whole last section is a record of the personal conflict, subtly played out in the setting with which the novel begins. New in treatment as in story, this represents William Gerhardi's most mature contribution to fiction. The style and signature are unmistakable; and they are the same that distinguished such novels as FUTILITY and THE POLYGLOTS.




Gerhardi WilliamWilliam Alexander Gerhardie was a British novelist and playwright. Gerhardie was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s 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 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 Again it deals with Russia 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 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 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.'




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The Good Fight by Shirley Chisholm. New York. 1973. Harper & Row. hardcover. 206 pages.  A Moving & Hard-Hitting Statement by The First Woman & First African American To Run For President In 1968. 0060107642.





   What is it like to be the first black as well as the first woman to run for President? With the striking candor and straightforward style for which she is famous, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm tells the story of her unique campaign of 1972. But THE GOOD FIGHT is more than the story of a battle waged with virtually no funds, no professional organization and with outspoken or oblique opposition from members of her own party and race. It is also the story of her continuing struggle for the reform of American politics. In blunt language she describes how politicians operate, from the wheeling and dealing that accompanied the primaries to the final dramatic maneuvering at the 1972 Democratic national convention. She writes of her relationships with black political leaders Walter Fauntroy, Louis Stokes, Ron Dellums, and Julian Bond, of the innate conservatism and piety she regards as characteristic of the black majority and what this meant in terms of her candidacy, and what direction she feels black politics should take in the years to come. Deeply committed to the cause of equal justice for blacks and for women, she refused to become the captive of either faction, a position that precipitated a bitter power struggle between members of both groups. Scrupulously honest about the errors in her own campaign, she does not hesitate to criticize George McGovern for the arrogance of his campaign staff and its failure to make contact with minority groups, women, labor, older voters, and non-college young people. Interlaced throughout the book are many lively and humorous anecdotes of her experiences on the ‘campaign trail’— including a particularly memorable account of her hospital visit with George Wallace. A firm believer in coalition politics, she offers some practical approaches for achieving this, as well as her own ideas on the future of the Democratic Party and her explicit opinions on the second-term Nixon. Shirley Chisholm sees her campaign as an extension of her role in politics as an idealist without illusions and as a potential voice for all the out-groups and minorities. This book bears the stamp of her remarkable personality; in it she tells the truth as she sees it regardless of its effect on her political future. Chisholm Shirley




Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination (Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination). She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.







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Unbought & Unbossed by Shirley Chisholm. Boston. 1970. Houghton Mifflin. hardcover. 177 pages. October 1970.  Jacket photographs by Gordon Parks. Jr.  0395683680.





   In 1968 Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to be elected to the Congress of the United States. She won this unique designation the hard way — against the odds of her race and sex, and against all the ground rules of the political game. This is Mrs. Chisholm’s own story of how she got there and how she assesses her role as a black woman in politics. Her story begins with a sharply perceived self-portrait of growing up in Brooklyn where her Barbadian parents, long on discipline but strong on love, survived the depths of depression poverty to give their children college educations. It was during these formative years that her nascent racial awareness gathered into a resolve to do something concrete for the black community. Her career in politics started In the early 1950s at the lowest rung on the political ladder, in Brooklyn’s boss-run Democratic clubhouses. Persistently challenging the inequities of the machine, she came to be regarded as a troublemaking maverick — but one to be reckoned with. Her rise from local clubhouse worker to New York State Assemblywoman in Albany on to representative in the U.S. Congress was accomplished by the will of a dynamic, fighting woman with an unswerving belief in her own purpose: to put the needs of her people before political expediency. ‘Unbought and Unbossed’ was Mrs. Chisholms street-corner campaign slogan when she won the election away from the odds-on favorite, former CORE director James Farmer. Since her fiery, precedent-breaking first months in Congress, she has continued to work under this system-bucking banner. Congresswoman Chisholm speaks out and she speaks straight — on a Congress bogged down by ‘the senility system.’ the Nixon administration’s failure to grapple with the priority problems of poverty. She expresses her hopes for the women’s liberation movement and the younger generation in rightful rebellion. She tells how she has managed to combine a political life with a happy marriage. She explains her relations with the militant blacks and her reasons for choosing to work within the political system. With singular fervor and understanding, she has shaped her life and convictions in an attempt to bridge the gaps of generation, sex, and race. Her story has immediate relevance for all Americans. Chisholm Shirley



Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination (Margaret Chase Smith had previously run for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination). She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.




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A Good Man In Africa by William Boyd. New York. 1982. Morrow. hardcover. 342 pages. keywords: Literature England Africa. 0688008208.






   A Good Man in Africa is William Boyd's classic, prize-winning debut novel. It is winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. Escapee from suburbia, overweight, oversexed. Morgan Leafy isn't overburdened with worldly success. Actually, he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery. Nor was it exactly oiling his way up the ladder to hunt down the improbably pointed breasts of his boss' daughter when officially banned from horizontal delights by a nasty dose. .Falling back on his deep-laid reserves of misanthropy and guile, Morgan has to fight off the sea of humiliation, betrayal and ju-ju that threatens to wash over him.



Boyd WilliamWilliam Boyd (born 7 March 1952) is a British novelist and screenwriter resident in London. Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana, and spent his early life in Ghana and Nigeria. He was educated at Gordonstoun school; and then the University of Nice, France, the University of Glasgow, and finally Jesus College, Oxford. Between 1980 and 1983 he was a lecturer in English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and it was while he was there that his first novel, A Good Man in Africa (1981), was published. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005. Although his novels have been short-listed for major prizes, he has never had the same publicity as his contemporaries. Boyd was selected in 1983 as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ in a promotion run by Granta magazine and the Book Marketing Council. Boyd's novels include: A Good Man in Africa, a study of a disaster-prone British diplomat operating in West Africa, for which he won the Whitbread Book award and Somerset Maugham Award in 1981; An Ice-Cream War, set against the background of the World War I campaigns in colonial East Africa, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was nominated for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1982; Brazzaville Beach, published in 1991, which follows a female scientist researching chimpanzee behaviour in Africa; and Any Human Heart, written in the form of the journals of a fictitious twentieth century British writer, which was long-listed for the Booker Prize in 2002. Restless, the tale of a young woman who discovers that her mother had been recruited as a spy during World War II, was published in 2006 and won the Novel Award in the 2006 Costa Book Awards. Boyd published Waiting for Sunrise: A Novel in early 2012. On 11 April 2012 it was announced that Boyd would write the next James Bond novel. Boyd says the book, Solo, will be set in 1969. Jonathan Cape will publish the book in the UK in the autumn of 2013. Boyd used James Bond creator Ian Fleming as a character in his novel Any Human Heart. Fleming recruits the book's protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, to naval intelligence during World War Two. Boyd has also worked with three of the actors who have portrayed Bond in the film series: Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. As a screenwriter Boyd has written a number of feature film and television productions. The feature films include: Scoop (1987), adapted from the Evelyn Waugh novel; Stars and Bars (1988), adapted from Boyd's own novel; Mister Johnson (1990), based on the 1939 novel by Joyce Cary; A Good Man in Africa (1994), also adapted from his own novel; and The Trench (1999) which he also directed. He was one of a number of writers who worked on Chaplin (1992). His television screenwriting credits include: Good and Bad at Games (1983), adapted from Boyd's short story about English public school life; Dutch Girls (1985); Armadillo (2001), adapted from his own novel; A Waste of Shame (2005) about Shakespeare; Any Human Heart (2010), adapted from his own novel; and Restless (2012), also adapted from his own novel. In 1998, Boyd published Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, which presents the paintings and tragic biography of a supposed New York-based 1950s abstract expressionist painter named Nat Tate, who actually never existed and was, along with his paintings, a creation of Boyd's. When the book was initially published, it was not revealed that it was a work of fiction, and some were duped by the hoax; it was launched at a lavish party, with excerpts read by David Bowie (who was in on the joke), and a number of prominent members of the art world claimed to remember the artist. It caused quite a stir once the truth was revealed. The name ‘Nat Tate’ is derived from the names of the two leading British art galleries: the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery. Nat Tate also appears in Any Human Heart, also by Boyd, with a wry footnote to the 1998 book. Boyd adapted two Anton Chekhov short stories - A Visit to Friends and My Life (The Story of a Provincial) - to create the play Longing. The play, directed by Nina Raine, stars Jonathan Bailey, Tamsin Greig, Natasha Little, Eve Ponsonby, John Sessions and Catrin Stewart. Boyd, who was theatre critic for the University of Glasgow in the 1970s and has many actor friends, refers to his ambition to write a play as finally getting ‘this monkey off my back.’




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Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Trilogy by Marie Vieux-Chauvet. New York. 2009. Modern Library. Translated From The Haitian French By Rose-Myriam Rejouis & Val Vinokur. Introduction By Edwidge Danticat. 381 pages. Jacket design by Thomas Beck Stvan. 9780679643517. August 2009.


9780679643517FROM THE PUBLISHER -



   Available in English for the first time, Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s stunning trilogy of novellas is a remarkable literary event. In a brilliant translation by Rose-Myriam Réjouis and Val Vinokur, Love, Anger, Madness is a scathing response to the struggles of race, class, and sex that have ruled Haiti. Suppressed upon its initial publication in 1968, this major work became an underground classic and was finally released in an authorized edition in France in 2005. In Love, Anger, Madness, Marie Vieux-Chauvet offers three slices of life under an oppressive regime. Gradually building in emotional intensity, the novellas paint a shocking portrait of families and artists struggling to survive under Haiti’s terrifying government restrictions that have turned its society upside down, transforming neighbors into victims, spies, and enemies. In ‘Love,’ Claire is the eldest of three sisters who occupy a single house. Her dark skin and unmarried status make her a virtual servant to the rest of the family. Consumed by an intense passion for her brother-in-law, she finds redemption in a criminal act of rebellion. In ‘Anger,’ a middle-class family is ripped apart when twenty-year-old Rose is forced to sleep with a repulsive soldier in order to prevent a government takeover of her father’s land. And in ‘Madness,’ René, a young poet, finds himself trapped in a house for days without food, obsessed with the souls of the dead, dreading the invasion of local military thugs, and steeling himself for one final stand against authority. Sympathetic, savage and truly compelling with an insightful introduction by Edwidge Danticat, Love, Anger, Madness is an extraordinary, brave and graphic evocation of a country in turmoil.

Vieux Chauvet Marie


Marie Vieux-Chauvet, a seminal writer of postoccupation Haiti, was born in Port-au-Prince in 1916 and died in New York in 1973. She is the author of five novels, including Dance on the Volcano, Fonds des Nègres, Fille d’Haiti, and Les Rapaces.




Rose-Myriam Réjouis and Val Vinokur have translated two novels by Patrick Chamoiseau, Solibo Magnificent and Texaco, the latter of which won the American Translators Association Galantière Prize for Best Book. Their translation of Love, Anger, Madness was supported by a Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.




Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She is the author of Brother, I’m Dying; Breath, Eyes, Memory; Krik? Krak!; The Farming of Bones; and The Dew Breaker. She lives in Miami with her husband and two daughters.





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Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, & The Black Working Class by Robin D. G. Kelley. New York. 1994. Free Press. 351 pages. Jacket illustration by Diedra Harris-Kelley. 0002916706.


002916706xWhen Kelley opened the book by describing everyday acts of rebellion while working in a McDonald's in Pasadena, California, I knew this was a book for me. RACE REBELS draws attention to 'ordinary' people and their acts of personal and everyday protest and resistance. This is the kind of history that you don't always find in your history books.





   The annals of both African American and labor history are filled with heroic figures and dramatic protest movements. The strikes, marches, and civil rights struggles that make up the main historical events were by nature extraordinary episodes led by extraordinary personalities. But what of ordinary events and ordinary people? What of the more personal and everyday forms of protest and resistance? What of the radical and underground movements that rarely find a place in African American history? In an unprecedented tour through a previously hidden layer of history, RACE REBELS demonstrates exactly how the cultural world can be a political one. Robin D. G. Kelley makes visible hidden streams of black working-class resistance in the United States, and sheds new light on aspects of black politics and culture that most scholars have dismissed as marginal to the 'main events. ' Examining the words and deeds of African Americans who often found themselves at odds with the black middle class as well as with racist whites, Kelley argues that these men and women created strategies of resistance, and even entire subcultures, that have remained outside mainstream African American politics. They rebelled against both racist oppression and middle-class 'race politics', and - in the South, in particular - did so in a way that made them appear less threatening than they really were. Whether they were masking acts of industrial sabotage with Sambo imitations, or loud-talking a white conductor from the back of a segregated trolley, they encoded their strategies of resistance in order to cover their tracks. Here, for the first time, black America's 'race rebels' are given the historiographical attention they deserve, from the Jim Crow era to the present. From movements like communism and civil rights: to places such as work, home, and the public sphere; to cultural arenas such as fashion in Malcolm X's time and gangsta rap in our own, Kelley finds black working-class people fighting battles many of us never imagined, using weapons many of us never knew existed.



Kelley Robin D GRobin Davis Gibran Kelley (born March 14, 1962) is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. From 2006 to 2011, he was Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC), and from 2003 to 2006 he was the William B. Ransford Professor of Cultural and Historical Studies at Columbia University. From 1994 to 2003, he was a professor of history and Africana Studies at New York University (NYU) as well the chairman of NYU's history department from 2002 to 2003. Robin Kelley has also served as a Hess Scholar-in-Residence at Brooklyn College. In the summer of 2000, Dr. Kelley was honored as a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, where he taught and mentored a class of sophomores, as well as wrote the majority of the book Freedom Dreams. During the academic year 2009–10, Kelley held the Harmsworth Chair of American History at Oxford University, the first African-American historian to do so since the chair was established in 1922. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.





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Selected Writings-3 Volumes: Plays, Fictions, Essays by Friedrich Durrenmatt. Chicago. 2006. University Of Chicago Press. Translated From The German By Joel Agee. Volume 1 Edited & With An Introduction By Kenneth J. Northcott. Volume 2 Edited & With An Introduction By Theodore Ziokowski. Volume 3 Edited By Kenneth J. Northcott & With An Introduction By Brian Evenson. keywords: Literature Translated Germany Switzerland. V. 1 - 315 pages, V. 2 - 363 pages, V.3-203. Jacket photograph - Frederick Durrenmatt signs books in Orell Fussli Photograph by Jules Vogt. Book & jacket design by Matt Avery. 0226174263, 0226174298, 0226174328.


Anyone who admires Durrenmatt's work cannot pass this collection up.



selected writings durrenmattFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   It also looks great on the booksshelf. VOLUME 1: PLAYS - The Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt was one of the most important literary figures of the second half of the twentieth century. During the years of the cold war, arguably only Beckett, Camus, Sartre, and Brecht rivaled him as a presence in European letters. Yet outside Europe, this prolific author is primarily known for only one work, THE VISIT. With these long-awaited translations of his plays, fictions, and essays, Dürrenmatt becomes available again in all his brilliance to the English-speaking world. Dürrenmatt’s concerns are timeless, but they are also the product of his Swiss vantage during the cold war: his key plays, gathered in the first volume of SELECTED WRITINGS, explore such themes as guilt by passivity, the refusal of responsibility, greed and political decay, and the tension between justice and freedom. In The Visit, for instance, an old lady who becomes the wealthiest person in the world returns to the village that cast her out as a young woman and offers riches to the town in exchange for the life of the man, now its mayor, who once disgraced her. Joel Agee’s crystalline translation gives a fresh lease to this play, as well as four others: THE PHYSICISTS, ROMULUS THE GREAT, HERCULES AND THE AUGEAN STABLES, and THE MARRIAGE OF MR. MISSISSIPPI. VOLUME 2: FICTIONS - This second volume of SELECTED WRITINGS reveals a writer who may stand as Kafka’s greatest heir. Dürrenmatt’s novellas and short stories are searing, tragicomic explorations of the ironies of justice and the corruptibility of institutions. Apart from THE PLEDGE, a requiem to the detective story that was made into a film starring Jack Nicholson, none of the works in this volume are available elsewhere in English. Among the most evocative fictions included here are two novellas: THE ASSIGNMENT and TRAPS. THE ASSIGNMENT tells the story of a woman filmmaker investigating a mysterious murder in an unnamed Arab country and has been hailed by Sven Birkerts as ‘a parable of hell for an age consumed by images. ’ TRAPS, meanwhile, is a chilling comic novella about a traveling salesman who agrees to play the role of the defendant in a mock trial among dinner companions—and then pays the ultimate penalty. VOLUME 3: ESSAYS - Dürrenmatt’s essays, gathered in this third volume of SELECTED WRITINGS, are among his most impressive achievements. Their range alone is astonishing: he wrote with authority and charm about art, literature, philosophy, politics, and the theater. The selections here include Dürrenmatt’s best-known essays, such as ‘Theater Problems’ and ‘Monster Essay on Justice and Law,’ as well as the notes he took on a 1970 journey in America This third volume of SELECTED WRITINGS also includes essays that shade into fiction, such as ‘The Winter War in Tibet,’ a fantasy of a third world war waged in a vast subterranean labyrinth—a Plato’s Cave allegory rewritten for our own troubled times. Dürrenmatt has long been considered a great writer—but one unfairly neglected in the modern world of letters. With these elegantly conceived and expertly translated volumes, a new generation of readers will rediscover his greatest works. Friedrich Dürrenmatt was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theater whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author gained fame largely due to his avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire. One of his leading sentences was: ‘A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn’.



Durrenmatt FriedrichFriedrich Dürrenmatt was a member of the Gruppe Olten. Dürrenmatt was born in Konolfingen, in the Emmental, the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather Ulrich Dürrenmatt was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Dürrenmatt began to study of philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. In 1943 he decided to become an author and dramatist and dropped his academic career. In 1945-46, he wrote his first play ‘It is written’. On October 11 1946 he married the actress Lotti Geissler. She died on January 16 1983 and Dürrenmatt married again in 1984 to another actress, Charlotte Kerr. Dürrenmatt also some of his own works and his drawings were exhibited in Neuchâtel in 1976 and 1985, as well as in Zürich in 1978. Like Brecht, Dürrenmatt explored the dramatic possibilities of epic theater. His plays are meant to involve the audience in a theoretical debate, rather than as purely passive entertainment. When he was 26, his first play, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy. The story of the play revolves around a battle between a sensation-craving cynic and a religious fanatic who takes scripture literally, all of this taking place while the city they live in is under siege. The play’s opening night in April, 1947 caused fights and protests in the audience. His first major success was the play Romulus the Great. Set in the year 476 A. D. , the play explores the last days of the Roman Empire, presided over, and brought about by its last emperor. The Visit which tells of a rich benefactor visiting her beneficiaries, is the work best known in the United States. The satirical drama The Physicists which deals with issues concerning science and its responsibility for dramatic and even dangerous changes to our world has also been presented in translation. Radio plays published in English include Hercules in the Augean Stables, Incident at Twilight and The Mission of the Vega The two late works ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Turmbau zu Babel’ are a collection of unfinished ideas, stories, and philosophical thoughts. In 1990, he gave two famous speeches, one in honour of Václav Havel, and the other in honour of Mikhail Gorbachev Dürrenmatt often compared the three Abrahamic religions and Marxism, which he also saw as a religion. Even if there are several parallels between Dürrenmatt and Brecht, Dürrenmatt never took a political position, but represented a pragmatic philosophy of life. In 1969, he traveled in the USA, in 1974 to Israel, and in 1990 to Auschwitz in Poland. Dürrenmatt died on December 14, 1990 in Neuchâtel.







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Blanche On The Lam by Barbara Neely. New York. 1992. St Martin's Press. 180 pages. Jacket artwork by Sandra Dionisi. 0312069081.


Blanche is a maid with a strong feminist black working-class perspective, who has to solve a murder mystery that she would rather not, in the well-to-do household where she works. Barbara Neely's 1st Blanche White novel is a real treat.






   Blanche White, a forty-year-old black domestic with big thighs, a wry sense of humor, and a jaundiced view of the rich, is a most unlikely and reluctant sleuth. When someone is killed in the wealthy household where she is working - and hiding out from the Sheriff - Blanche would just as soon mind her own business, given that she's already got her own troubles with the law. But since she is the most likely suspect unless she uncovers the real killer, Blanche puts her considerable wit and intelligence to work. With the help of the remarkably efficient old-girl network among domestic workers, Blanche attacks the tangled web surrounding the murder to try and nail the true killer in time. In the process, Blanche provides a running commentary from a black, working-class, feminist perspective that is new to the mystery genre and rare in any fiction. Neely Barbara



BarbaraNeely is also the author of BLANCHE ON THE LAM and BLANCHE AMONG THE TALENTED TENTH, for which she won awards that include the Agatha, the Anthony, and the Macavity. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. 











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Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector. New York. 2012. New Directions. paperback. 88 pages. Translated from the Portuguese by Stefan Tobler. 9780811219907.


9780811219907FROM THE PUBLISHER -



   New translation by Stefan Tobler. Introduction by Benjamin Moser. In the forty years since its publication toward the end of its author’s life, Agua Viva, an unordered meditation on the nature of life and time, has exercised a powerful influence on Brazil’s greatest artists: one musician read it one hundred and eleven times. This new translation shows why, in a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically radical as Clarice Lispector’s, this strange and hypnotic work stands out as a particularly magnificent triumph. ‘Glamorous, cultured, moody, Lispector is an emblematic twentieth-century artist who belongs in the same pantheon as Kafka and Joyce.’ - Edmund White. ‘A penetrating genius.’ - Donna Seaman, Booklist. ‘A truly remarkable writer.’ - Jonathan Franzen.



Lispector ClariceCLARICE LISPECTOR (1925-1977) was one of the most significant twentieth-century Brazilian writers. Her works range from essays to novelistic fiction, short stories, and children’s literature. Lispector is best known in Latin America and Europe; only recently have some of her works been translated from Portuguese into English. Other English translations include THE PASSION ACCORDING TO C. H., FAMILY TIES, AN APPRENTICESHIP OR THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS, THE APPLE IN THE DARK, and THE HOUR OF THE STAR.



STEFAN TOBLER is a translator from Portuguese and German. He won the English PEN Writers in Translation prize.


BENJAMIN MOSER’s Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector was acclaimed as ‘a fascinating and welcome introduction to a writer whose best work should be better known in this country’ (Dwight Garner, The New York Times).






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The Voices Of Guns: The Definitive & Dramatic Story Of The Twenty-Two-Month Career Of The Symbionese Liberation Army-One Of The Most Bizarre Chapters In The History Of The American Left by Vin McLellan and Paul Avery. New York. 1977. Putnam. hardcover. 388 pages. 0399117385.





   Intimate, detailed, definitive - here is the complete account, the story behind the headlines, the sensational career of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a tiny cult of California revolutionaries, who captured the curiosity and imagination of millions and wrote one of the most bizarre chapters in the history of the American left. Here is an inside look - fleshed out and human - at this strange band of outsiders. THE VOICES OF GUNS plunges the reader into the emotional politics of radical Berkeley and San Francisco; introduces the SLA’s General Field Marshall Cinque, his ‘soldiers’ and victims, with intimate and revealing profiles; and unfolds the stark drama of the Patricia Hearst kidnapping in context. Dogged, resourceful reporters McLellan and Avery have done the impossible: they have rendered coherent the many paradoxes and contradictions of the SLA. Here are the never-before-published details of the Symbionese plots in the California prisons, the prison escapes they engineered, their recruitment and training, the details of their daily life, and their plans and dreams for the Revolution. Here is the history of the SLA, unexpurgated, from its inception at the Vacaville prison through its first bold, violent statement - the assassination of Dr. Marcus Foster - to its even more sensational next move: the kidnapping of Patricia Campbell Hearst. Here are the Hibernia Bank robbery, the Watts conflagration, the second bank robbery in Carmichael, the ‘safe houses’ in Pennsylvania, and the fantastic journeys across America. And here is the dramatic denouement in San Francisco - the arrests and trials of Bill and Emily Harris, McLellan Vin and Avery PaulWendy Yoshimura, and Patty Hearst, feeble remnants of the ‘Army’ that wanted to change the world. This sensitive, politically astute, and exclusively documented account, factually and passionately written, fully explains what many have come to believe were, collectvely, the crimes of the century.



Vin McLellan was a Boston journalist specializing in political and investigative reporting. He is the former city editor of The Phoenix, Boston’s major alternative weekly. Paul Avery, a veteran investigative reporter, covered the entirety of the SLA/Hearst story for the San Francisco Chronicle.




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  • The Traces Of Thomas Hariot by Muriel Rukeyser

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Mar 5, 2014 | 17:53 pm

    The Traces Of Thomas Hariot by Muriel Rukeyser The Traces Of Thomas Hariot by Muriel Rukeyser. New York. 1971. Random House. 366 pages. hardcover. 0394449231.      FROM THE PUBLISHER -        A study of the life of little-known Elizabethan Thomas Hariot - friend of Ralegh, Drake and Marlowe, and one of the first English explorers of the New World. Hariot was linked to poets, mathematicians and pioneer scientists, involved in the scientific, political, philosophical and sexual heresies of his time, and an expert in ships[…]

  • Sally Hemings by Barbara Chase-Riboud

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Feb 24, 2014 | 06:24 am

    Sally Hemings by Barbara Chase-Riboud Sally Hemings by Barbara Chase-Riboud. New York. 1979. Viking Press. hardcover. 348 pages. June 1979.  Jacket painting by Cornelia Gray. 0670616052.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        One of the greatest love stories in American history is also one of the least known, and most controversial. Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, had a mistress for thirty-eight years, whom he loved and lived with until he died, the beautiful[…]

  • The Italics Are Mine by Nina Berberova

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Jan 23, 2014 | 23:46 pm

    The Italics Are Mine by Nina Berberova The Italics Are Mine by Nina Berberova. New York. 1969. Harcourt Brace & World. 606 pages. hardcover. Jacket photograph & design by Robert A. Propper. Translated from the Russian by Philippe Radley.    FROM THE PUBLISHER -        This is the autobiography of Nina Berberova, who was born in St Petersburg in 1901, the only child of an Armenian father and a North Russian mother. After the Revolution, and the persecution of intellectuals which followed, she was forced[…]

  • The Republic Of Dreams by Nelida Pinon

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Jan 19, 2014 | 23:45 pm

    The Republic Of Dreams by Nelida Pinon The Republic Of Dreams by Nelida Pinon. New York. 1989. Knopf. 663 pages. July 1989. hardcover. 0394555252. Jacket illustration by Steven Rydberg. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. Translated from the Portuguese by Helen Lane. (original title: Republica dos sonhos, 1984 - Livraria Francisco Alves Editora S/A, Rio de Janeiro).   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        This huge, mesmeric novel marks the debut in English of one of the most brilliant and admired of today’s Latin American writers.[…]

  • Tales of the German Imagination: From the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann by Peter Wortsman (editor)

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks Dec 2, 2013 | 15:58 pm

    Tales of the German Imagination: From the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann by Peter Wortsman (editor) Tales of the German Imagination: From the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann by Peter Wortsman (editor). New York. 2012. Penguin Books. paperback. 361 pages. Cover: 'Melancholy of the Mountains', 1929, Coloured woodcut by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Translated from the German, selected and editied with an introduction by Peter Wortsman. 9780141198804.   FROM THE PUBLISHER -        Bringing together tales of melancholy and madness, nightmare and fantasy, this is a new collection of the most haunting German stories from[…]

  • The Real Life Of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov

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

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

  • Conversation In The Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa

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

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

  • The Orwell Reader by George Orwell

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

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

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

  • Eva's Man by Gayl Jones

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

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

  • Corregidora by Gayl Jones

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

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

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

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

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

  • Oriental Tales by Marguerite Yourcenar

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

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

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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.[…]

  • 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.’[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]

  • 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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