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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.

 

0826328180FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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.' 

 

 

 

   FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 '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. 

 

 

067496232xFROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

 

   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.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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.

 

0060107642FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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.

 

0395683680FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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.

 

 

0688008208FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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.

 

 

0312069081FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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.

 

0399117385FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   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 Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest by Francis Jennings. New York. 1976. Norton. paperback. 369 pages. Cover design by Jay J. Smith. keywords: History America Colonialism Conquest. 0393008304.

 

0393008304FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Traditionally, historians have thought of American society as a transplantation of European culture to a new continent—a ‘virgin land.’ In this important and disturbing new book, Francis Jennings examines the real history of the relations hips between Europeans and Indians in what is ordinarily called the colonial period of United States history. From the Indian viewpoint, it was the period of the invasion of America. In Mr. Jennings’ view, the American land during the period of discovery and settlement was more like a widow than a virgin. ‘Europeans did not find a wilderness here,’ he writes; ‘rather, however involuntarily, they made one. The so-called settlement of America was a resettlement, a reoccupation of a land made waste by the diseases and demoralization introduced by the newcomers.’ Basing his interpretation on an enormous amount of hitherto unused ethnographical and anthropological literature, Mr. Jennings summarizes what is now known about the Atlantic Coast Indians encountered by the Europeans. He then concentrates on a single region, New England, as an illustrative case study. The result is a radically revisionist interpretation of Puritan history (both as the Puritans wrote and lived it) in relation to the aboriginal population.

 

 

Jennings FrancisFrancis Jennings is Director of the Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois. ‘The Invasion of America fills a void in historical studies on American Indians. Mr. Jennings demonstrates that the story Of the tribes east of the Alleghenies has been as filled with myths and is equally as dramatic and tragic as that of the better-known horse Indians of the Western Plains. He has done so in a richly documented narrative that will surprise many readers with its revelations of the colonial period of America’s past.’ - Dee Brown, author, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

 

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Heimskringla - 3 Volumes by Snorri Sturluson. New York and London. 1964. Everyman’s Library. hardcover. 717, 722, and 847. Volume 1 - Dustjacket drawing by Eric Fraser. Volume 2 - Dustjacket drawing by Aleksander Werner. Translated from the Icelandic by Samuel Lang, Volumes 1 and 2 - New Introduction by Jacqueline Simpson, M.A. Volume 3 - Revised with Introduction and Notes by Peter Foote. 

 

 

heimskringla 3 volumes

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   VOLUME 1 - Saga literature boasts no work with a prouder name than that of Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla. Not only is it a window opened fully on an unfamiliar aspect of the medieval world, but it is an experience shared with a thirteenth-century chieftain who was at once lawyer, poet and patriot, writing of events and figures in the stormy era in which the kingdom of Norway was forged. In these pages he captures the savage glow of the great deeds of Olaf Haraldsson and Olaf Tryggvason, both dominating figures, honoured for their valour, the former revered as a saint within a few years of his death, and the latter, though never actually proclaimed a saint, nevertheless extolled as a hero of Christendom. To Norwegians and Icelanders alike, Olaf Haraldsson was the glorious martyr king, destroyer of heathendom, ‘ God’s Sunbeam’, ‘the Christ of the North.’ His predecessor Olaf Tryggvason vas the driving force in a missionary movement that made Christianity the official religion not only of Norway but of the Faroes, of Iceland and of Greenland. Four lives of Saint Olaf and two of Olaf Tryggvason are known to have been written before those of Snorri, who improved upon the work of his predecessors (who represented largely the ecclesiastical point of view) in the more effective use of the most ancient sources. His port rait of St Olaf is not idealized; his complex nature is shown in all its facets of pride, ambition, religious zeal, cruelty and holiness. It may well be reckoned among the most accomplished portraits of an historical figure in medieval literature. This volume also contains the Tale of the Greenlanders, an anonymous account of the Norse expeditions from Greenland to the coast of America. The notes have been revised in the present edition, and many of the verses recast in the interests of closer accuracy. Snorri’s history of the ages that preceded and followed the reigns of the two Olafs will be found in the second part of Heimskringla: Sagas of the Norse Kings, No. 847 in Everyman’s Library.

VOLUME 2 - This volume contains the histories of the kings of Norway from the dynasty’s mythical origins down to 1177. The sagas of the individual kings range far outside the borders of Norway itself and much information will be found in them concerning the rest of Scandinavia, Iceland, Russia and, not least, the British Isles. Apart from the great Norwegian and Danish settlements during the Viking Age, one need only recall that King Hakon the Good was fostered by King Athelstan of Wessex early in the tenth century, that King Harald the Stern fell at Stamford Bridge in 1066, and that King Magnus Bareleg was killed in battle in Ireland in 1103. The Heimskringla was written in Icelandic between 1223 and 1235. The author, Snorri Sturluson, besides being a great chieftain, lawyer and poet, was an historian deeply versed in Icelandic and Norwegian historical tradition, written and unwritten, possessed of keen psychological insight, and a master of the art of narrative prose. His work is of first importance both as an historical source and as an outstanding example of the characteristic virtues of c1assical Icelandic saga-literature. Dr Samuel Laing’s translation is clear and vigorous. The new Introduction views Snorri against the background of early Icelandic historical writing, of which his work is the culminating achievement considers the sources available to him and his treatment of them, and illustrates his skill as an historian and artist. In this reprint the notes have been thoroughly revised and a large new index added.

 

 

 

Sturluson SnorriSnorri Sturluson (1179 – 23 September 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. He was elected twice as a lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. He was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning ('the fooling of Gylfi'), a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, and the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. He was also the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is often taken to be the author of Egil's saga. As an historian and mythographer, Snorri is remarkable for proposing the hypothesis (in the Prose Edda) that mythological gods begin as human war leaders and kings whose funeral sites develop cults (see euhemerism). As people call upon the dead war leader as they go to battle, or the dead king as they face tribal hardship, they begin to venerate the figure. Eventually, the king or warrior is remembered only as a god.

 

 

 

 

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Haiti Noir by Edwidge Danticat (editor). New York. 2011. Akashic Books. hardcover. 315 pages. keywords: Mystery Anthology Haiti. 9781617750137.

 

9781617750137FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   'A wide-ranging collection from the beloved but besieged Caribbean island. [. ] The 36th entry in Akashic's Noir series (which ranges from Bronx to Delhi to Twin Cities) is beautifully edited, with a spectrum of voices.' --Kirkus Reviews. 'Danticat has succeeded in assembling a group portrait of Haitian culture and resilience that is cause for celebration.' --Publishers Weekly. 'A solid contribution to the [noir] series, especially for its showcasing of a setting not commonly portrayed in crime fiction.' --Booklist. 'Who can ever judge how important Danticat has been to Americans' understanding and re-evaluating Haiti's position and role in the hemisphere? Not just as a novelist and essayist in her own right, but as editor and guiding force behind this collection of short stories and the re-publication and English translation of the Chauvet triptych, the Haitian-born Danticat has brought her country's literature back into the world of English-speakers. Filled with delights and surprises, Haiti Noir, taken as a whole, provides a profound portrait of the country, from its crises to its triumphs, from the tiny bouks of the countryside to the shanties of the sprawling bidonvilles. Danticat herself has a lovely story in the collection, and permits two distinguished foreign writers on Haiti, Madison Smartt Bell and Mark Kurlansky, to slide in there among all the brilliant Haitians.' --Daily Beast. Includes brand-new stories by: Edwidge Danticat, Rodney Saint-Eloi, Madison Smartt Bell, Gary Victor, M.J. Fièvre, Marvin Victor, Yanick Lahens, Louis-Philipe Dalembert, Kettly Mars, Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel, Evelyne Trouillot, Katia Ulysse, Ibi Aanu Zoboi, Nadine Pinede, and others. Haiti has a tragic history and continues to be one of the most destitute places on the planet, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake. Danticat EdwidgeHere, however, Edwidge Danticat reveals that even while the subject matter remains dark, the caliber of Haitian writing is of the highest order.

 

 

Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including BREATH, EYES, MEMORY, KRIK? KRAK!, a National Book Award finalist, THE FARMING OF BONES, an American Book Award winner, and THE DEW BREAKER, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the first Story Prize. She lives in Miami with her husband and daughter.

 

 

 

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Geist and Zeitgeist: The Spirit In An Unspiritual Age - Six Essays by Hermann Broch. New York. 2002. Counterpoint. hardcover. 210 pages. December 2002. Jacket design by Rick Pracher. Translated from the German, Edited, & With An Introduction by John Hargraves. 158243168x.

 

 

158243168xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   From one of the giants of European literature, six essays never before published in English. Hermann Broch achieved international recognition for his brilliant use of innovative literary techniques to present the entire range of human experience, from the biological to the metaphysical. Concerned with the problem of ethical responsibility in a world with no unified system of values, he turned to literature as the appropriate form for considering those human problems not subject to rational treatment. Late in life, Broch began questioning his artistic pursuits and turned from literature to devote himself to political theory. While he is well known and highly regarded throughout the world as a novelist, he was equally accomplished as an essayist. These six essays give us a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of the twentieth century’s most original thinkers.

 

 

Broch HermannHERMANN BROCH (1886-1951) was born in Vienna. He studied philosophy and mathematics, was active in labor relations, and wrote sociological and literary essays. At the time of his death he was researching mass psychology at Yale University.

 

 

JOHN HARGRAVES. Ph.D. is the author of MUSIC IN THE WORLD OF BROCH, MANN AND KAFKA, and numerous articles on music and German literature. He has translated Canetti’s NOTES FROM HAMPSTEAD and DEAR MRS. STRIG (a memoir of Hermann Broch by H. F. Broch de Rothermann) into English, and has edited the German translations of several recent novels of Philip Roth. He teaches at Connecticut College and lives in New York City.

 

 

 

 

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Spies of the Balkans: A Novel by Alan Furst. New York. 2010. Random House. hardcover. 268 pages. Jacket design by Robbin Schiff. 9781400066032.

 

9781400066032FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Greece, 1940. In the port city of Salonika, with its wharves and brothels, dark alleys and Turkish mansions, a tense political drama is being played out. As Adolf Hitler plans to invade the Balkans, spies begin to circle--and Costa Zannis, a senior police official, must deal with them all. He is soon in the game, working to secure an escape route for fugitives from Nazi Berlin that is protected by German lawyers, Balkan detectives, and Hungarian gangsters--and hunted by the Gestapo. Meanwhile, as war threatens, the erotic life of the city grows passionate. For Zannis, that means a British expatriate who owns the local ballet academy, a woman from the dark side of Salonika society, and the wife of a shipping magnate. With extraordinary historical detail and a superb cast of characters, Spies of the Balkans is a stunning novel about a man who risks everything to fight back against the world's evil. Furst Alan

 

 

 

Alan Furst (born February 20, 1941) is an American author of historical spy novels. Furst has been called 'an heir to the tradition of Eric Ambler and Graham Greene,' whom he cites along with Joseph Roth and Arthur Koestler as important influences. Most of his novels since 1988 have been set just prior to or during the Second World War and he is noted for his successful evocations of Eastern Europe peoples and places during the period from 1933 to 1944.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Philby: The Long Road To Moscow by Patrick Seale and Maureen McConville. London. 1973. Hamish Hamilton. hardcover. 282 pages. Jacket design by JEANNE CROSS. Jacket photograph by Jane Bown. 024102367x.

 

philby the long road to moscowFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Traitor? Martyr to his conscience? Victim of the 20th century? Who was Kim Philby? What drove him on his lonely and perilous career as Soviet Russia’s top spy in the West? What sort of human being emerged from a lifetime of deception and terror? This life of Philby is a psychological thriller unfolding in such dramatic grounds as Hitler’s Berlin, Dollfuss’s Vienna, Franco’s Spain, wartime London, Washington in the Cold War, the Middle East and finally Moscow. Like a novel by Sartre, Kim’s career is a diagram of problems. Can loyalty to an international ideal override loyalty to one’s country? How long can a civilised mind withstand the assaults of fear? For the younger generation this is history, revealing a Cambridge of the 1930s as racked by student politics as the universities of today (and perhaps thereby giving us an insight into the Philbys of the 1970s). On the technical side, the book throws new lights on the transition of modern espionage from dependency on agents such as Philby to the electronic automation of today.

 

 

Patrick Seale and Maureen McConville are both British journalists. Patrick Seale and Maureen McConville have worked together since 1967, the year they set off on the Philby trail by helping Eleanor Philby write her memoir of her husband, THE SPY I LOVED. Then, in Paris, as joint correspondents for The Observer during 1968, they wrote French Revolution, an account of that year’s student revolution. Patrick Seale first met Kim Philby in Beirut in 1960, when Seale was writing his first book, a study of Arab politics, The Struggle for Syria, and Philby, nearing the end of his espionage career, was the Middle East correspondent for The Economist and The Observer, appointments which Patrick Seale would take over when Philby fled to Moscow in 1963. Patrick Seale was educated at Balliol College, Oxford and then spent five years at Reuter’s before returning to Oxford in 1 959 to do research at St Antony’s College on modern Middle East history. A graduate of London University, Maureen McConville began her career in provincial newspapers and joined The Observer in 1964.

 

 

 

 

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The Ascent Of Mount Fuji by Chingiz Aitmatov and Kaltai Mukhamedzhanov. New York. 1975. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 211 pages. Jacket design by Antonio Frasconi. A Bilingual Edition. Translated from the Russian by Nicholas Bethell. 0374106290.

 

0374106290FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   In the winter of of 1973 an extraordinarily provocative play was presented on the Moscow stage. THE ASCENT OF MOUNT FUJI jolted Russian audiences with its frank discussion of moral compromises made by individuals in the past. The play’s exploration of human ethics reaches beyond the scope of the recent Soviet experience to all people, regardless of nationality and history. Four former schoolmates, three of their wives, and their favorite old schoolteacher gather for a reunion on a mountain in Kirghizia. The four had grown up and gone to war together, but had rarely made contact in the past twenty years. They are now all respectable members of Soviet society: a schoolteacher, an agronomist on a state farm, an international journalist, and a director of a history institute. It soon becomes apparent that there is a missing fifth member of the: Sabur, a poet, who refused to come to the reunion because he had been denounced by one of these friends during the war. Even now, after so many years, none of them will admit responsibility for Sabur’s fate. It is at this point that the significance of the play’s title is explained by one of the characters: an old Japanese legend says that one must climb to the top of Mount Fuji and there justify the actions of one’s entire life before God. And so, on a remote mountain, the old friends attempt to understand and confront the truths of their past and, in a surprising ending, find themselves faced with moral problems in their present life as well

 

 

 

Both Aitmatov and his co-author, Mukhamedzhanov, are from Central Asian republics in the Soviet Union. Aitmatov, the principal author, a Kirghiz, is winner of a Lenin Prize, the country’s highest literary honor. 

 

 

Aitmatov ChingizChyngyz Aitmatov (12 December 1928 – 10 June 2008) was a Soviet and Kyrgyz author who wrote in both Russian and Kyrgyz. He is the best known figure in Kyrgyzstan's literature. He was born to a Kyrgyz father and Tatar mother. Aitmatov's parents were civil servants in Sheker. In 1937 his father was charged with ‘bourgeois nationalism‘ in Moscow, arrested and executed in 1938. Aitmatov lived at a time when Kyrgyzstan was being transformed from one of the most remote lands of the Russian Empire to a republic of the USSR. The future author studied at a Soviet school in Sheker. He also worked from an early age. At fourteen he was an assistant to the Secretary at the Village Soviet. He later held jobs as a tax collector, a loader, an engineer's assistant and continued with many other types of work. In 1946 he began studying at the Animal Husbandry Division of the Kirghiz Agricultural Institute in Frunze, but later switched to literary studies at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, where he lived from 1956 to 1958. For the next eight years he worked for Pravda. His first two publications appeared in 1952 in Russian. His first work published in Kyrgyz was White rain (1954), and his well-known work ‘Jamila‘ (Jamila) appeared in 1958. In 1961 he was a member of the jury at the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival. In 1971 he was a member of the jury at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival. 1980 saw his first novel The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years; his next significant novel, The Scaffold was published in 1988. The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years and other writings were translated into several languages. In 1994 he was a member of the jury at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2002 he was the President of the Jury at the 24th Moscow International Film Festival. Aitmatov suffered kidney failure, and on 16 May 2008 was admitted to a hospital in Nuremberg, Germany, where he died of pneumonia on 10 June 2008 at the age of 79. After his death, Aitmatov was flown to Kyrgyzstan, where there were numerous ceremonies before he was buried in Ata Beyit cemetery, which he helped found and where his father most likely is buried, in Chong-Tash village, Alamüdün district, Chüy oblast, Kyrgyzstan. His obituary in The New York Times characterized him as ‘a Communist writer whose novels and plays before the collapse of the Soviet Union gave a voice to the people of the remote Soviet republic of Kyrgyz’ and adds that he ‘later became a diplomat and a friend and adviser to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.’ Chinghiz Aitmatov belonged to the post-war generation of writers. His output before ‘Jamila‘ was not significant, a few short stories and a short novel called Face to Face. But it was Jamila that came to prove the author's work. Seen through the eyes of an adolescent boy, it tells of how Jamilia, a village girl, separated from her soldier husband by the war, falls in love with a disabled soldier staying in their village as they all work to bring in and transport the grain crop. Aitmatov's representative works also include the short novels Farewell, Gulsary!, The White Ship, The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, and The Scaffold. Aitmatov was honoured in 1963 with the Lenin Prize for Tales of the Mountains and Steppes (a compilation including ‘Jamila’, ‘First Teacher’ and ‘Farewell Gulsary’) and was later awarded a State prize for Farewell, Gulsary!. Aitmatov's art was glorified by admirers. Even critics of Aitmatov mentioned the high quality of his novels. Aitmatov's work has some elements that are unique specifically to his creative process. His work drew on folklore, not in the ancient sense of it; rather, he tried to recreate and synthesize oral tales in the context of contemporary life. This is prevalent in his work; in nearly every story he refers to a myth, a legend, or a folktale. In The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, a poetic legend about a young captive turned into a mankurt serves as a tragic allegory and becomes a significant symbolic expression of the philosophy of the novel. A second aspect of Aitmatov's writing is his ultimate closeness to our ‘little brothers’ the animals, for their and our lives are intimately and inseparably connected. The two center characters of Farewell, Gulsary! are a man and his stallion. A camel plays a prominent role in The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years; one of the key turns of the novel which decides the fate of the main character is narrated through the story of the camel's rut and riot. The Scaffold starts off and finishes with the story of a wolf pack and the great wolf-mother Akbara and her cub; human lives enter the narrative but interweave with the lives of the wolves. Some of his stories were filmed, like ‘Red Scarf’ (1970) as The Girl with the Red Scarf (1978). In addition to his literary work, Chinghiz Aitmatov was first the ambassador for the Soviet Union and later for Kyrgyzstan, to the European Union, NATO, UNESCO and the Benelux countries. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol. New York. 1996. Pantheon Books. hardcover. 403 pages. February 1996. Jacket image: (Front) detail of 'Peasant Women at Church', 1911, by Kazimir Malevich, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. (Back) Full painting. Jacket design: Kathleen DiGrado. Translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. 0679430229.

 

0679430229FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   DEAD SOULS is the great comic masterpiece of Russian literature - Nikolai Gogol’s satirical epic of life, both real and fantastic, in the benighted provinces. Here are the isolated villages, the pot-holed highways, the country houses, and the hovels. Even more memorably, here is an amazing swarm of characters: rogues and scoundrels, landowners and serfs, officials and more officials-all of them, like Chaucer’s pilgrims and Dickens’s Londoners, both utterly lifelike and alarmingly larger than life. And setting everything in motion is the unstoppable, supremely acquisitive anti-hero, Chichikov, the trafficker in ‘souls’-those peasants who, even if dead, could still be bought, sold, and mortgaged for profit. Of all the classic Russian writers, it is Gogol whose work has suffered the most at the hand of translators: Vladimir Nabokov pronounced all English translations of Dead Souls ‘absolutely worthless. dry and flat.’ Now-as they have done in their award-winning translations of Dostoevsky - Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a text that is altogether faithful to the style and intent of the author’s own language. For the first time, Chichikov and his world are brought to life in an English that captures the writer’s vibrantly comic and lyrical style. English-speaking readers finally have the opportunity to appreciate fully Gogol’s remarkable achievement: a novel, eighteen years in the writing, in which he hoped to show the world ‘the untold riches of the Russian soul.’ Here is Dead Souls in what is certain to become the standard, definitive edition.Gogol Nikolai

 

 

Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukraine in 1809 and died in 1852. Originally trained as a painter, he became interested in the theater, and was soon known for his plays and short stories, notably DIARY OF A MADMAN (1834), THE NOSE (1836), THE INSPECTOR(1836), and THE OVERCOAT (1842). DEAD SOULS, his masterpiece, was published in 1842.

 

 

Richard Pevear, a native of Boston, and Larissa Volokhonsky, a native of Leningrad, are married and live in France. Their translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize.

 

 

 

 

 

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Divagations by Stephane Mallarme. Cambridge. 2007. Harvard University Press. hardcover. 302 pages. Jacket photograph: Kamil Vojmar. Jacket design by Annamarie McMahon Why. Translated from the French by Barbara Johnson. 9780674024380.

 

9780674024380FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   ‘This is a book just the way I don’t like them,’ the father of French Symbolism, Stéphane Mallarmé, informs the reader in his preface to Divagations: ‘scattered and with no architecture.’ On the heels of this caveat, Mallarmé’s diverting, discursive, and gorgeously disordered 1897 masterpiece tumbles forth—and proves itself to be just the sort of book his readers like most. The salmagundi of prose poems, prose-poetic musings, criticism, and reflections that is Divagations has long been considered a treasure trove by students of aesthetics and modern poetry. If Mallarmé captured the tone and very feel of fin-de-siècle Paris, he went on to captivate the minds of the greatest writers of the twentieth century—from Valéry and Eliot to Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida. This was the only book of prose he published in his lifetime and, in a new translation by Barbara Johnson, is now available for the first time in English as Mallarmé arranged it. The result is an entrancing work through which a notoriously difficult-to-translate voice shines in all of its languor and musicality. Whether contemplating the poetry of Tennyson, the possibilities of language, a masturbating priest, or the transporting power of dance, Mallarmé remains a fascinating companion—charming, opinionated, and pedantic by turns. As an expression of the Symbolist movement and as a contribution to literary studies, Divagations is vitally important. But it is also, in Johnson’s masterful translation, endlessly mesmerizing.

 

 

Mallarme StephaneStéphane Mallarmé was the son of Numa Mallarmé, a civil servant, and Elisabeth Desmolins. Mallarmé did not follow his father's or grandfather's path of civil servitude, instead excelling at languages and writing often, influenced by poets Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire. Mallarmé received his baccalaureate in 1860 and went on to publish his first poem ‘Placet’ in the French magazine Le Papillon in 1862. He pursued further studies in London to improve his knowledge of English. In 1863, he married German governess Christina ‘Maria’ Gerhard and obtained his certificate for teaching English. He and Maria traveled to Tournon where he taught in a provincial secondary school. In 1864, Maria gave birth to their daughter, Genevieve. Mallarmé's teaching career took him to Besancon, Avignon, and back to Paris again until he retired in 1893. One of Mallarmé's most well-known poems, L'Aprés Midi D'un Faun (The Afternoon of a Faun) (1865), inspired Debussy's tone poem (1894) of the same name and was illustrated by Edouard Manet. Among his other works are Hérodiade (1896) and Toast Funèbre (A Funeral Toast), which was written in memory of the author Théopile Gautier. Mallarmé's later works include the experimental poem Un Coup de Dés (1914), published posthumously. Besides his own writings, Mallarmé was well-known for his Tuesday evening salons at his home on the Rue de Rome in Paris. These gatherings were a hub of Parisian intellectual life and attracted the likes of writers André Gide, Paul Valéry, Oscar Wilde, Paul Verlaine, Rainer Maria Rilke, and W.B. Yeats, the painters Renoir, Monet, Degas, Redon, and Whistler, and the sculptor Rodin, among others. Those who attended became known as Les Mardistes, derived from the French word for Tuesday. In the 1880s, Mallarmé was at the center of a group of French writers including Andre Gide, Paul Valéry and Marcel Proust. Mallarmé referred to their group as The Decadents, a comment on their bohemian lifestyles. He and Valéry, following Baudelaire, would later become known as two of the leaders of the Symbolist movement in poetry. While French poetry had traditionally held fairly strict conventions of rhyme, meter and theme, Mallarmé and his contemporaries departed from these traditions, employing condensed figures and unorthodox syntax. Mallarmé's work was often termed as difficult or obscure. His later works, including Un Coup de Des, explored the relationship between content and form, between the text and the arrangement of words and spaces on the page. Mallarmé died in Valvin, Vulaines-sur-Seine on September 9, 1898, before finishing what he called his ‘Grande Oeuvre.’

 

Barbara Johnson taught in the departments of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and was the Frederic Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society. She is the author of The Critical Difference, A World of Difference, and The Wake of Deconstruction.

 

 

 

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Los Angeles: A Guide to Recent Architecture by Dian Phillips-Pilverman (with Peter Lloyd). London. 1996. Ellipsis/Konemann. paperback. 320 pages. Cover photograph: (front) Erhard Pfeiffer, Gary Group Office Building; (back) Paul Warchol, Creative Artists Agency. 3895082856.

 

3895082856FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   This book describes and illustrates more than 100 buildings of the last ten years — ranging in scale from shops and family residences to the rediscovery of public space seen in schemes such as Pershing Square, taking in housing for the homeless, schools, daycare facilities, libraries, churches, offices and restaurants along the way. It features the work of the internationally known ‘LA School’ (including Morphosis, Frank Gehry, Eric Moss, and Frank Israel), architects such as Ray Kappe and Pierre Koenig with a long record of interesting work, and the younger architects (BAM Construction/Design Inc and studio bau:ton, among many others) whose work continues the L.A. tradition of innovation.
 

Dian Phillips-Pulverman is an architect. She trained at the Architectural Association School in London and lives in Santa Monica.

 

 

 

 

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The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer by Jesse L. Byock (translator and editor). Berkeley. 1990. University of California Press. hardcover. 146 pages. Jacket design: Donna L. Wittlin. Translated from the Icelandic and with an introduction by Jesse L. Byock. 0520069048.

 

0520069048FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is essential reading for students of oral traditions and for anyone investigating the historical and mythic past of northern Europe. This outstanding new translation by Jesse L. Byock is a welcome and significant addition to the great books of world literature. The saga is an Icelandic prose epic whose anonymous thirteenth-century author based his story on ancient myth and legend grounded in the folk culture of Old Scandinavia. A trove of traditional lore, the saga tells of jealousies stirred by the god Odin, unrequited love, arcane runic knowledge, the vengeance of a barbarian queen, schemes of Attila the Hun, and the mythic deeds of the dragon-slayer, Sigurd the Volsung. As the stories of royal families unfold, the saga recounts the progress of the wars among Burgundians, Huns, and Goths. Some of the episodes may be linked with the events of the fourth and fifth centuries A. D., the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed. The saga treats some of the same legends as the Middle High German epic poem, the NIBELUNGENLIED. In both accounts, though in different ways, Sigurd (Siegfried in the German tradition) acquires the Rhinegold and becomes tragically enmeshed in a love triangle involving a supernatural woman. In the Norse tradition she is a Valkyrie, one of Odin’s warrior-maidens. THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle. With its magical ring acquired by the hero, and the sword to be reforged, the saga has also been a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J.R.R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. Byock’s comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of the Byock Jesse Lnarrative.

 

 

 

JESSE L. BYOCK teaches Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian subjects in the Department of Germanic Languages at the University of California, Los Angeles. His previous books, FEUD IN THE ICELANDIC SAGA (1982), and MEDIEVAL ICELAND: SOCIETY, SAGAS, AND POWER (1988), were published by the University of California Press.

 

 

 

 

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Part-Time Crime: An Ethnography of Fiddling & Pilferage by Jason Ditton. London. 1977. Macmillan. hardcover. 195 pages. 0333214668.

 

0333214668FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   In this book Jason Ditton unravels the paradox of how fiddling - stealing from customers (which is a criminal offence) - is simultaneously ‘fiddling’, that is, felt to be practically and psychologically trifling by those who do it. Through an ethnographic study of bakers’ roundsmen (the author worked as a baker for several months, and then extensively interviewed the other roundsmen) at the ‘Wellbread’ bakery, the novel thesis of ‘part-time’ crime is carefully teased out and documented. The roundsmen are initially taught to fiddle by the bakery management. The customer’s expectation that the roundsmen should be servile is a bitter experience and guarantees that the customer will continue to be fiddled. The roundsmen protect themselves both practically (by practising a portfolio of fiddles which could not all be exposed at once) and psychologically by wrapping themselves in cosy rationalisations like ‘I was told to do it’, ‘we all do it’, or ‘they can afford it’. In the end they (and the rest of us) believe that fiddling ‘isn’t really criminal, is it?’. The book provides us all with a salutary lesson by showing how easily we convince ourselves that our deceptions - our ‘fiddles’ - are Ditton Jasonacceptable.

 

 

 

Jason Ditton is S.S.R.C. Senior Research Fellow in Sociology, University of Durham and Director of the Service Industries Reward Structure Project. He was brought up in Ipswich and educated at Durham. He has written articles on a wide range of subjects including the Sociology of time, boredom, output restriction deviancy theory, and the sociology of blame.

 

 

 

 

 

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Canary in the Cat House by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Greenwich. 1961. Fawcett Gold Medal. paperback. 160 pages. September 1961. s1153. Cover illustration and design by Leo and Diane Dillon. 

 

 

fawcett gold medal canary in the cat house s1153FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Off the top of his head – the short, wild fantasies of one of America’s most imaginative writers - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Scarifying satirist by trade, sings for his supper in a world he regards as a house of ill-repute, or worse - Twelve brilliant stories of today, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

 

 

 

Vonnegut Jr KurtKurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973) blend satire, gallows humor, and science fiction. As a citizen he was a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union and a critical pacifist intellectual. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association. The New York Times headline at the time of Vonnegut's passing called Vonnegut ‘the counterculture's novelist.’

 

 

 

 

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The African-American Novel In The Age Of Reaction: Three Classics by William L. Andrews (editor). New York. 1992. Mentor/New American Library. paperback. 587 pages. July 1992. ME2849. Edited & With An Introduction by William L. Andrews. Includes-IOLA LEROY by Frances E. W. Harper, THE MARROW OF TRADITION by Charles W. Chesnutt, & THE SPORT OF THE GODS by Paul Laurence Dunbar. 0451628497.

 

0451628497FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   ‘Out of the race must come its own defenders. With [African-Americans] the pen is mightier than the sword. It is the wagon of civilization, and they must use it in their own defense.’ - Frances E. W. Harper. In 1896 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the South’s ‘separate but equal’ racial doctrine. Around this time, three powerful but very different black voices responded in protest, and they did so in the three exceptional novels collected here. Frances E. W. Harper’s IOLA LEROY follows the struggles and soul-searching of a light-skinned black woman during the turbulent years of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Charles W. Chesnutt’s THE MARROW OF TRADITION knits together the lives of a rich white family and a mixed-race couple who face the violent results of white supremacy in a North Carolina town. Dramatically different is Paul Laurence Dunbar’s THE SPORT OF THE GODS, the first extensive portrayal in fiction of twentieth-century Harlem - and a disturbing depiction of the plight of black families in the urban ghetto that anticipates the writings of Richard Wright. Widely read by Andrews William Lcontemporary audiences, these novels remain significant as works that influenced a nation’s conscience as well as fine examples of early African-American fiction whose time has come to be recognized and revered.

 

 

William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

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