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The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter. New York. 1967. Simon & Schuster. hardcover. 191 pages. Jacket design by Paul Davis. 

 

 

magic toyshopFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A startling tale of the redemptive power of physical and emotional love. One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother’s wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave the comfortable home of her childhood, she is sent to London to live with relatives she has never met: Aunt Margaret, beautiful and speechless, and her brothers, Francie, whose graceful music belies his clumsy nature, and the volatile Finn, who kisses Melanie in the ruins of the pleasure gardens. And brooding Unlce Philip loves only the life-sized wooden puppets he creates in his toyshop. This classic gothic novel established Angela Carter as one of our most imaginative writers and augurs the themes of her later creative work.

 

 

Carter Angela Angela Carter (7 May 1940 – 16 February 1992) was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, picaresque and science fiction works. In 2008, The Times ranked Carter tenth, in their list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’ Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature. She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. They divorced after twelve years. In 1969 Angela Carter used the proceeds of her Somerset Maugham Award to leave her husband and relocate for two years to Tokyo, Japan, where she claims in NOTHING SACRED (1982) that she ‘learnt what it is to be a woman and became radicalised.’ She wrote about her experiences there in articles for New Society and a collection of short stories, FIREWORKS: NINE PROFANE PIECES (1974), and evidence of her experiences in Japan can also be seen in THE INFERNAL DESIRE MACHINES OF DOCTOR HOFFMAN (1972). She then explored the United States, Asia and Europe, helped by her fluency in French and German. She spent much of the late 1970s and 1980s as a writer in residence at universities, including the University of Sheffield, Brown University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of East Anglia. In 1977 Carter married Mark Pearce, with whom she had one son. As well as being a prolific writer of fiction, Carter contributed many articles to The Guardian, The Independent and New Statesman, collected in SHAKING A LEG. She adapted a number of her short stories for radio and wrote two original radio dramas on Richard Dadd and Ronald Firbank. Two of her fictions have been adapted for the silver screen: The Company of Wolves (1984) and THE MAGIC TOYSHOP (1987). She was actively involved in both film adaptations, her screenplays are published in the collected dramatic writings, The Curious Room, together with her radio scripts, a libretto for an opera of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, an unproduced screenplay entitled The Christchurch Murders (based on the same true story as Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures) and other works. These neglected works, as well as her controversial television documentary, The Holy Family Album, are discussed in Charlotte Crofts' book, Anagrams of Desire (2003). Her novel NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS won the 1984 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for literature. At the time of her death, Carter was embarking on a sequel to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre based on the later life of Jane's stepdaughter, Adèle Varens. However, only a synopsis survives. Angela Carter died aged 51 in 1992 at her home in London after developing lung cancer.

 

 

 

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The Memoirs Of Satan by William Gerhardi and Brian Lunn. London. 1932. Cassell & Company. hardcover. 382 pages.

 

 

 

memoirs of satanFROM THE PUBLISHER -

SATAN narrates the epic of mankind and the part he has played therein. From the dim days of the remote Ice Age he watches the growth of the world, the coming of man, the part played by love and passion. He gives his version of the stories of Adam and Eve, the destruction of Sodom, the adventures of Jonah, the tribulation of Job ; he recalls the great days of history when he possessed Tiberius, Nero, the Caliph of Bagdad, Cromwell, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, and many another. Finally, he arrives at a Bayswater boardinghouse, an old man and very weary. He has his last great adventure, makes his last possession, and then his mortal remains are taken for cremation to Golders Green. FROM Futurian War Digest, a sci-fi/fantasy fanzine published in Leeds during the Second World War by J. Michael Rosenblum – (from Issue 13 (Vol. 2, Number 1), dated October 1941: ‘The Memoirs of Satan’ collated by William Gerhardie and Brian Lunn, (Cassell & Co 1932) is a surprising sort of book altogether. According to this, Satan was a collaborator of God, chosen to look after this earth because of his free and independent spirit. Mankind is due to an infatuation of his for a primitive she-ape, and he continually bemoans the fact that he did not choose a more sensible animal, such as the whale, to half endow with his divine nature. Due to his failure with this planet, Satan is finally punished by the All-Highest with the withdrawal of his immortality, and he dies, leaving the notes of his eon-long existence in a Bloomsbury hotel.’

 

 

 

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

 Brian Lunn (1893–1956) was a British writer. He was born in Bloomsbury, London to Methodist parents. He had a somewhat Puritanical upbringing, his father Henry Simpson Lunn (1859-1939, founder of Lunn's Travel agency that would become Lunn Poly) having strong religious beliefs which were in conflict with his talent as a businessman. Arnold Lunn and Hugh Kingsmill were his brothers. His most important work as a writer was 'Switchback', his autobiography published in 1948. Its highlight is Brian's description of a mental breakdown he had while serving in Mesopotamia in the 11th Black Watch. The onset of his breakdown was described as follows: 'Men and beasts passed through the haze, black outlines; a troup of mules with Indian driver was a stately silhouette; shambling after them a bucket-carrying menial with tousled turban and bedraggled shirt flapping round flexed knees was an immortal grotesque, raised above the plane of human need and anxiety. The Platonic Idea, as interpreted by Schopenhauer, the basis of art. Removed from all appeal to the will, the horrible was transmuted into the beautiful. He was, in fact, a sanitary man staggering back from a punishment fatigue; constantly in trouble, he would incur more fatigues, with stoppages of pay, staggering in the bog of inefficiency under implacable authority. ' '...I looked along the river banks - tents and incinerators, horses and mules, soldiers, native and European, a complex of endeavour in an enterprise as unreal as all the day-to-day needs and anxieties and discomforts, ambitions and humiliations of each individual, were real.' ‘Unreal? The word came back to me as a sudden illumination. That was it, it was all a staged show.' The delusions which accompanied this insight were hardly more absurd than the futilities of war. His other books were a biography of Martin Luther, a travel guide to Belgium and a history of the Rothschild family. "Salvation Dynasty" was Brian Lunn's account of the Salvation Army's founders.

 

 

 

 

 

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 Joyce's Dublin: A Walking Guide To Ulysses by Jack McCarthy (with Danis Rose). New York. 1991. St Martin's Press. hardcover. 93 pages. Jacket photograph courtesy of The Bettman Archive. Jacket design by Doris Borowsky. 0312058853.

 

 

0312058853FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   James Joyce once remarked that he was ‘more interested in the street names of Dublin than in the riddle of the universe.’ Dublin is a detailed presence in all of Joyce’s works, but his classic novel ULYSSES guaranteed Dublin enduring fame for readers and visitors. JOYCE’S DUBLIN traces the routes the main characters take throughout ULYSSES, a series of intricately crafted peregrinations Joyce used to puzzle and intrigue his readers. He even bragged about putting ‘so many enigmas and puzzles’ in ULYSSES that it would keep the professors busy for centuries. Like ULYSSES, this book is divided into eighteen chapters, each with notes to accompany the novel and designed for layman and scholar. Anything but the expected stoic academic tome, it is a guide for people who want to see the city for themselves and fo1lw in the footsteps of Stephen and Bloom - climbing the Martello Tower, walking Sandymount Strand, drinking at Davy Byrne’s Pub, or reading in the National Library - and truly digest Joyce’s masterpiece.

 

 

 

JACK MCCARTHY is a lawyer, real estate developer, and author living and working in Princeton, New Jersey. He is married, and has three children. DANIS ROSE is an editor of the James Joyce Archive, and the author of several books on Joyce, including THE LOST NOTEBOOK: NEW EVIDENCE ON THE GENESIS OF ULYSSES (1989).

 

 

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Selected Poems by Robert Creeley. Berkeley. 1991. University Of California Press. 366 pages.  hardcover. Cover photos: top left, Jonathan Williams; top-right and lower left, Elsa Dorfman; lower-right, Chris Felver. Jacket design: Barbara Jellow.  0520069358.  

 

 

0520069358FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Here, in a new selection of 200 poems from over four decades, is the distinctive voice of Robert Creeley, reminding us of what has made him one of the most important and affectionately regarded poets of our time. Since the publication of For Love, Robert Creeley has been a popular and frequently controversial force in American poetry. He has challenged established canons of literary taste, prompted the most avant-garde writers of his gene ration, and, with his spare, subtly colloquial poems, defined a literary style to which today’s ‘language’ poets trace their inspiration. In opposition to established literary tastes, Creeley’s idiosyncratic lyrics have shaped the legacy of a ‘new American poetry’ for an entire generation of younger poets. Creeley published his first poem in the Harvard magazine Wake in 1946. In 1949 he began corresponding with William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound. Creeley’s acquaintance with the poet Charles Olson dates from the following year. In 1954, as rector of Black Mountain College (an experimental arts school in North Carolina), Olson invited Creeley to join the faculty and to edit the Black Mountain Review. Through the Review and his own incisive essays, Creeley helped define an emerging counter-tradition to the literary establishment - a postwar poetry originating with Pound, Williams, and Zukofsky and expanding through the lives and works of Olson, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, Edward Dorn, and others. Like many of these experimental poets, Creeley broke into the literary establishment by stealth, and he still views himself as something of an outsider. ‘I began with fugitive publication,’ he says, ‘and have been variously on the run ever since.’ Creeley’s poems are distinctive for their precise, terse - almost minimalist-language. The syncopated rhythms and silences of his verse have been compared to the jazz improvisations of Charlie Parker. From the initial lyrics of personal exploration to the recognitions of adamant daily life, Selected Poems offers an introduction to the singular inventiveness that has established Creeley as a major contemporary poet.

 

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

 

 

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Droll Tales: The Second Decade by Honore de Balzac. New York. 1929. Covici Friede. 279 pages.  hardcover.  Illustrated by Jean De Bosschere. Translated from the French by J. Lewis May.

 

 

droll tales the second decade covici friede 1929 no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Droll Stories, collection of short stories by Honoré de Balzac, published in three sets of 10 stories each, in 1832, 1833, and 1837, as Contes drolatiques. Rabelaisian in theme, the stories are written with great vitality in a pastiche of 16th-century language. The tales are fully as lively as the author’s masterful Comédie humaine series, but they stand apart for their good-humoured licentiousness and historical wordplay. Droll Stories -  Volume 2, The Second Ten Tales. CONTENTS: The Three Clerks of Saint Nicholas; The Continence of King Francis I; The Merry Quips of the Nuns of Poissy; How the Chateau D’Azay Came to Be Built; The Sham Courtesan; The Danger of Being Too Innocent; A  Dear Night of Love; The Sermon of the Merry Vicar of Meudon; Love’s Despair; The Succubus; Epilogue.

 

 

 

Balzac Honore de  Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon. Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics. An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was an apprentice in a law office, but he turned his back on the study of law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician; he failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience. Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal difficulties, and he ended several friendships over critical reviews. In 1850 he married Ewelina Hanska, his longtime love; he died five months later.

 

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Algerian Chronicles by Albert Camus. Cambridge. 2013. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 240 pages.  hardcover.  Translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer. Introduction by Alice Kaplan.  9780674072589.  

 

 

9780674072589FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   More than fifty years after Algerian independence, Albert Camus’ Algerian Chronicles appears here in English for the first time. Published in France in 1958, the same year the Algerian War brought about the collapse of the Fourth French Republic, it is one of Camus’ most political works—an exploration of his commitments to Algeria. Dismissed or disdained at publication, today Algerian Chronicles, with its prescient analysis of the dead end of terrorism, enjoys a new life in Arthur Goldhammer’s elegant translation. “Believe me when I tell you that Algeria is where I hurt at this moment,” Camus, who was the most visible symbol of France’s troubled relationship with Algeria, writes, “as others feel pain in their lungs.” Gathered here are Camus’ strongest statements on Algeria from the 1930s through the 1950s, revised and supplemented by the author for publication in book form. In her introduction, Alice Kaplan illuminates the dilemma faced by Camus: he was committed to the defense of those who suffered colonial injustices, yet was unable to support Algerian national sovereignty apart from France. An appendix of lesser-known texts that did not appear in the French edition complements the picture of a moralist who posed questions about violence and counter-violence, national identity, terrorism, and justice that continue to illuminate our contemporary world.

 

 

Camus AlbertAlbert Camus was born in Algeria in 1913. The son of a working-class family, he spent the early years of his life in North Africa, where he worked at various jobs to help pay for his courses at the University of Algiers. In occupied France in 1942 he published THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS and THE STRANGER, a philosophical essay and a novel that first brought him to the attention of intellectual circles. THE STRANGER has since gained an international reputation and is one the most widely read novels of this century. Among his other works of fiction are THE PLAGUE, THE FALL, and EXILE AND THE KINGDOM. In 1957 Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. On January 4, 1960, he was killed in a car accident.

 

 

 

 

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The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein by Robert Heinlein. New York. 1966. Ace Publishing. 189 pages.  paperback.

 

 

ace worlds of robert a heinlein 91501FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   What if you had invented a means of predicting a man’s death, and all the insurance companies were going bankrupt? What if you had in your hands the ultimate weapon, for which no defense exists, and you knew that momentarily any other country could discover the same weapon? What if you had to find a young girl, blind and alone, who was lost somewhere on the vast face of the Moon? ROBERT A. HEINLEIN—winner of three Hugo Awards, and the most honored writer in science fiction—takes it from there in THE WORLDS OF ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, in stories which origin ally established his exciting reputation, plus a completely new, never-before-published novelette which shows Heinlein at the peak of his ability. It’s a collection no SF fan can afford to miss! 

 

Heinlein Robert Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction writer. Often called the ‘dean of science fiction writers’, he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre in his time. He set a standard for scientific and engineering plausibility, and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was one of the first science fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades, and he, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are often considered to be the ‘Big Three’ of science fiction authors. A notable writer of science fiction short stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship of John W. Campbell, Jr. in his Astounding Science Fiction magazine—though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree. Within the framework of his science fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices. Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974. He won Hugo Awards for four of his novels; in addition, fifty years after publication, three of his works were awarded ‘Retro Hugos‘—awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence. In his fiction, Heinlein coined words that have become part of the English language, including ‘grok‘ and ‘waldo‘, and popularized the terms ‘TANSTAAFL‘ and space marine. He also described a modern version of a waterbed in his novel The Door Into Summer, though he never patented or built one. Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for film and television.

 

 

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The Black Interior: Essays by Elizabeth Alexander. Saint Paul. 2004. Graywolf Press. paperback. 224 pages.  Cover design by Julie Metz. Cover art: Elizabeth Catlett. ‘The Black Women Speaks’.  1555973930.

 

 

1555973930FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   ‘Elizabeth Alexander is one of the brightest stars in our literary sky. a poet of poise and power. Now we see that she’s also capable of striking prose. These essays speak eloquently not only about literature - especially poetry - but also about life itself and the complicated culture in which we live. Her sharp intelligence and her knowledge of the contemporary arts make her a superb, invaluable commentator on the American scene.’ - Arnold Rampersad, Stanford University. ‘When a poet of such declarative distinction as Elizabeth Alexander unfolds her critical wings, she swoops across the landscape of Black cultural thought, making it new, making it her own. This is a work of great generosity and insight that explores the deep springs of African American creativity with a sensibility that is both moving and engaging.’ - Homi K. Bhabha, Rothenberg Professor of English, Harvard University. ‘In prose that is both elegant and clear, rigorous and accessible, Elizabeth Alexander illuminates in these essays on art, literature, film and politics, places in African American culture that elude stereotypic representations and the limits of public discourse.’ - Valerie Smith, Princeton University. ‘Elizabeth Alexander’s keen observations about a broad range of African American artifacts - poems, films, photographs, and conceptual art, for example - offer far more than clever visual analysis. They set cultural objects into their broadest social context. In these perceptive and eloquent essays, Alexander continually reminds us of the power of representation – words, images, indeed art itself - to oppress, to provoke, and ultimately to liberate. THE BLACK INTERIOR represents the best and most resonant form of cultural history writing that tackles life-and-death issues through the lenses of visual and literary culture.’ - Maurice Berger, Senior Fellow, The Vera List Center for Art & Politics, New School University.

 

 

Alexander Elizabeth Elizabeth Alexander is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently ANTEBELLUM DREAM BOOK. She has taught and lectured on African American art and culture across the country and abroad for nearly two decades. Alexander currently teaches English and African American Studies at Yale University.

 

 

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Rails Under My Back by Jeffrey Renard Allen. New York. 2000. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 563 pages. 0374246262.

 

 

0374246262FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   An astonishing debut novel, exploring the bonds, boundaries, and bondage of an African American family. Rails Under My Back is a daring work of art that reveals its family theme in a stunning depiction of its paradoxically opposite: abandonment. In this multifaceted, brilliantly colored, intensely musical novel, Jeffery Renard Allen tracks the interwoven lives of two brothers, Lucius and John Jones, who are married to two sisters, Gracie and Sheila McShan. For them, their parents, and their children, life is always full of departures; someone is always fleeing town and leaving the remaining family to suffer the often dramatic, sometimes tragic consequences. The multiple effects of the comings and goings are devastating: these are the almost mythic expression of the African American experience during the past half-century. Rails Under My Back ranges, as the characters do, from the City, which is somewhat like both New York and Chicago, to Memphis, to the West, and to many 'inner' and 'outer' locales. One image that holds the family together is that of the railroads taking them from place to place-from the South to the North, from their living to their working quarters, from one form of bondage or freedom to another. The McShans and the Joneses somehow prevail, in their bigger-than-life way, and their story has extraordinary literary, religious, and historical power. Allen's voice is unforgettable.

 

 

Allen Jeffery Renard  Jeffery Renard Allen (born 1962 Chicago) is an American poet, essayist, short story writer, and novelist.He is the author of two collections of poetry, Harbors and Spirits (Moyer Bell 1999) and Stellar Places (Moyer Bell 2007), and three works of fiction, the novel Rails Under My Back (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2000), a story collection Holding Pattern (Graywolf Press, 2008) and a second novel, Song of the Shank (Graywolf Press, 2014). In writing about his fiction, reviewers often note his lyrical use of language and his playful use of form to write about African American life. His poems tend to focus on music, mythology, history, film, and other sources, rather than narrative or autobiographical experiences.

 

 

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Cane by Jean Toomer. New York. 1975. Liveright. hardcover. 116 pages.  Jacket design by Tim Gaydos. With A New Introduction by Darwin T. Turner. 087140611x.

 

 

087140611xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   First published in 1923 and now reissued with a new introduction by Darwin T. Turner, CANE is an acknowledged classic - a powerful work of innovative fiction evoking Negro life in the South, primarily Georgia. Jean Toomer was born in 1894 in Washington, D.C., the son of educated blacks of Creole stock. He studied various subjects at a number of universities, but literature was his first love and he regularly contributed avant-garde poetry and short stories to such magazines as DIAL, BROOM, SECESSION, DOUBLE DEALER, and LITTLE REVIEW. After a brief literary apprenticeship in New York, Toomer taught school in rural Georgia. It was that experience that led to the writing of CANE. ‘By far the most impressive product of the Negro Renaissance, [CANE] ranks with Richard Wright’s NATIVE SON and Ralph Ellison’s INVISIBLE MAN as a measure of the Negro novelist’s highest achievement. Jean Toomer belongs to that first rank of writers who use words almost as a plastic medium, shaping new meanings from an original and highly personal style.  Toomer displays a concern for technique which is fully two decades in advance of the period. While his contemporaries of the Harlem School were still experimenting with a crude literary realism, Toomer had progressed beyond the naturalistic level to ‘the higher realism of the emotions,’ to symbol, and to myth.’ - Robert A. Bone, THE NEGRO NOVEL IN AMERICA. ‘No earlier volume of poetry or fiction or both had come close to expressing the ethos of the Negro in the Southern setting as Cane did. Even in today’s ghettos astute readers are finding that its insights have anticipated and often exceeded their own.’ - Arna Bontemps. ‘The colored people did not praise it. The, white people did not buy it.  Yet (excepting the work of DuBois) CANE contains the finest prose written by a Negro in America.’ - Langston Hughes.

 

Toomer Jean Jean Toomer (December 26, 1894 – March 30, 1967) was an American poet and novelist and an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance. His first book Cane, published in 1923, is considered by many his most significant. Toomer was born Nathan Eugene Pinchback Toomer in Washington, D.C. His father was a prosperous farmer, originally born into slavery in Hancock County, Georgia. His mother, Nina Pinchback, was of mixed ethnic descent. Her father, Louisiana Governor P. B. S. Pinchback, was a planter and the first African American to become governor of a U.S. state. Her mother was a mulatto slave. Both of Toomer's maternal grandparents had white fathers. After Reconstruction, the Pinchbacks had moved to Washington, D.C., where they became part of the ‘mulatto elite.’ Toomer's father (also called Nathan Toomer) abandoned the family when his son was an infant, and the boy and his mother lived with her parents. As a child in Washington, Toomer attended all-black schools. When his mother re-married and they moved to suburban New Rochelle, New York, he attended an all-white school. After his mother's death, Toomer returned to Washington to live with his Pinchback grandparents. He graduated from the M Street School, an academic black high school. By his early adult years, Toomer resisted racial classifications and wanted to be identified only as an American. Between 1914 and 1917 Toomer attended six institutions of higher education (the University of Wisconsin, the Massachusetts College of Agriculture, the American College of Physical Training in Chicago, the University of Chicago, New York University, and the City College of New York) studying agriculture, fitness, biology, sociology, and history, but he never completed a degree. His wide readings among prominent contemporary poets and writers, and the lectures he attended during his college years, shaped the direction of his writing. After leaving college, Toomer published some short stories and continued writing in the volatile social period following World War I. He worked for some months in a shipyard in 1919, then escaped to middle-class life. Labor strikes and race riots occurred in several major cities during the summer of 1919, and artistic ferment was high. He devoted several months to the study of Eastern philosophies and continued to be interested in this. Some of his early writing was political, and he published three essays from 1919-1920 in the prominent socialist paper New York Call. They drew from the socialist and ‘New Negro’ movements of New York. Toomer was reading much new American writing, for instance Waldo Frank's Our America (1919). In 1921 Toomer took a job for a few months as a principal at a new rural agricultural and industrial school for blacks in Sparta, Georgia. It was in the center of Hancock County and in the Black Belt 100 miles southeast of Atlanta. His exploration of his father's roots in Hancock County, as well as being forced into witnessing the segregation and labor peonage of the Deep South, led him to identify more strongly as an African American. Several lynchings took place in Georgia during 1921-1922, continuing to enforce white supremacy with violence. In 1908 the state had ratified a constitution essentially disfranchising blacks; by Toomer's time, it passed laws to prevent outmigration and established high licenses fees for employers recruiting labor in the state. African Americans had started their Great Migration north and planters feared losing their pool of cheap labor. It was a formative experience for Toomer; he started writing about it while still in Georgia and submitted the long story ‘Georgia Night’ to the Liberator in New York while there. Toomer returned to New York where he became friends with Waldo Frank, who also served as his mentor and editor on his novel Cane. In 1923, Toomer published the High Modernist novel Cane, in which he used a variety of forms, and material inspired by his time in Georgia. It was also an ‘analysis of class and caste’, with ‘secrecy and miscegenation as major themes of the first section’. He had conceived it as a short-story cycle, and acknowledged the influence of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio (1919) as his model, in addition to other influential works of that period. He also appeared to have absorbed The Waste Land of T. S. Eliot and considered him one of the American group of writers he wanted to join, ‘artists and intellectuals who were engaged in renewing American society at its multi-cultural core.’ Many scholars considered Cane to be his best work. A series of poems and short stories about the black experience in America, Cane was hailed by critics and is seen as an important work of both the Harlem Renaissance and the Lost Generation. Toomer resisted racial classification and did not want the book marketed as a black work. As he said to his publisher Horace Liveright, ‘My racial composition and my position in the world are realities that I alone may determine.’ Toomer found it more difficult to get published throughout the 1930s, as did many authors during the Great Depression. He became very interested in the work of the spiritual leader George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, who had a lecture tour in the United States in 1924. That year, and in 1926 and 1927, Toomer went to France to study with Gurdjieff, who had settled at Fontainebleau. He was a student of Gurdjieff until the mid-1930s. In 1931 Toomer married the writer Margery Latimer. The following year she died in childbirth in August 1932 and he named their only daughter Margery. In 1934 he married a second time, to Marjorie Content. Because Toomer was notable as a writer, his two marriages, both classed as inter-racial, attracted notice and some social criticism. In 1940 the Toomers moved to Doylestown, Pennsylvania. There he formally joined the Quakers and began to withdraw from society. Toomer wrote a small amount of fiction and published essays in Quaker publications during this time, but devoted most of his time to serving on Quaker committees and working with high school students. His last literary work published during his lifetime was Blue Meridian, a long poem extolling ‘the potential of the American race’. He stopped writing for publication after 1950, although he wrote for himself, including several autobiographies. He died in 1967 after several years of poor health. Darwin T. Turner is presently professor of English and chairman of the Afro-American Studies program at the University of Iowa. He has also taught at Clark College, Morgan State College, Florida A&M, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Hawaii. He is the author of numerous essays in Black Studies and in American literature, and is prominent in professional organizations. He has currently been working with Jean Toomer’s unpublished writings.

 

 

 

 

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Why I Left America & Other Essays by Oliver W. Harrington. Jackson. 1993. University Press Of Mississippi. hardcover. 113 pages.  Photo of Oliver W. Harrington by Gerhard Kindt. 0878056556.

 

 

0878056556FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   To American black newspapers of the 1930s and 1940s Ollie Harrington was a prolific contributor of humorous and editorial cartoons. He emerged as an artist during the Harlem Renaissance and created Bootsie, the popular cartoon figure that became a fixture in black newspapers. Langston Hughes praised Harrington as America’s greatest black cartoonist. After serving as a war correspondent in Italy, he returned to his homeland and the impediment of racism that pervaded American life. As director of public relations for the NAACP, he crusaded against America’s policies of institutionalized racism, openly supporting leftist reform leaders. Upon hearing in this era of red-baiting that he was targeted for investigation, Harrington left America. In the culturally rich American community on the Left Bank in Paris that would come to include Chester Himes, James Baldwin, and Richard Wright, he became a fixture. In 1961 he found himself trapped behind the Berlin Wall, but he chose to remain in East Germany. His cartoons appeared in East German magazines and in the American Communist newspaper The Daily World. Although he became a favorite with Eastern Bloc students and intellectuals, in America Harrington was mainly forgotten. The autobiographical pieces included in WHY I LEFT AMERICA AND OTHER ESSAYS, written mainly during the 1960s and 1970s, detail Oliver W. Harrington’s experiences as an African American artist in exile. One theme that persists in these writings and his cartoons is his intolerance of racism. Hence, as an artist, he has found it impossible not to be political. ‘Although I believe that ‘art for art’s sake’ has its merits,’ he says. ‘I personally feel that my art must be involved, and the most profound involvement must be with the Black liberation struggle.’ One essay, from Ebony magazine, fuels speculation about the mysterious circumstances in the death of his friend Richard Wright. In another piece Harrington details how he created the celebrated Bootsie. He writes in others of his life in New York during the Harlem Renaissance and in Paris with fellow black expatriate figures. Why did this African American choose to live in exile for over forty years? In an affectionate foreword to this volume Richard Wright’s daughter Julia gives clues to the answer. Her insights, along with M. Thomas Inge’s introductory essay about Harrington’s life and achievements, bring special focus to the experiences of an outstanding African American artist and social critic who has been virtually without recognition in his homeland.

 

 

Harrington Oliver W  Oliver Wendell "Ollie" Harrington (February 14, 1912 – November 2, 1995) was an American cartoonist and an outspoken advocate against racism and for civil rights in the United States. Of multi-ethnic descent, Langston Hughes called him "America's greatest African-American cartoonist". Harrington requested political asylum in East Germany in 1961; he lived in Berlin for the last three decades of his life. Born to Herbert and Euzsenie Turat Harrington in Valhalla, New York, Harrington was the eldest of five children. He began cartooning to vent his frustrations about a viciously racist sixth grade teacher and graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1929. Immersing himself in the Harlem Renaissance, Harrington found employment when Ted Poston, city editor for the Amsterdam News became aware of Harrington's already considerable skills as a cartoonist and political satirist. In 1935, Harrington created Dark Laughter, a regular single panel cartoon, for that publication. The strip featured the debut of his most famous character, Bootsie, an ordinary African American dealing with racism in the U.S. Harrington described him as "a jolly, rather well-fed but soulful character." During this period, Harrington enrolled in Fine Arts at Yale University to complete his degree, but could not finish because of the United States entry into World War II). During World War II, the Pittsburgh Courier sent Harrington as a correspondent to Europe and North Africa. In Italy, he met Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP. After the war, White hired Harrington to develop the organization's public relations department, where he became a visible and outspoken advocate for civil rights. In that capacity, Harrington published "Terror in Tennessee," a controversial expose of increased lynching violence in the post-W.W. II South. Given the publicity garnered by his sensational critique, Harrington was invited to debate with U.S. Attorney General Tom C. Clark on the topic of "The Struggle for Justice as a World Force." He confronted Clark for the U.S. government's failure to curb lynching and other racially motivated violence. In 1947 Harrington left the NAACP and returned to cartooning. In the postwar period his prominence and social activism brought him scrutiny from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Hoping to avoid further government scrutiny, Harrington moved to Paris in 1951. In Paris, Harrington joined a thriving community of African-American expatriate writers and artists, including James Baldwin, Chester Himes, and Richard Wright, who became a close friend. Harrington was shaken by Wright's death in 1960, suspecting that he was assassinated. He thought that the American embassy had a deliberate campaign of harassment directed toward the expatriates. In 1961 he requested political asylum in East Germany. He spent the rest of his life in East Berlin, finding plentiful work and a cult following. He illustrated and contributed to publications such as Eulenspiegel, Das Magazine, and the Daily Worker.Harrington had four children. Two daughters are U.S. nationals; a third is a British national. All were born before Harrington emigrated to East Berlin. His youngest child, a son, was born several years after Harrington married Helma Richter, a German journalist. Publications:   Dark Laughter: The Satiric Art of Oliver W. Harrington, ed. M. Thomas Inge (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993); Why I Left America and Other Essays, ed. M. Thomas Inge (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993); Laughing on the Outside: The Intelligent White Reader's Guide to Negro Tales and Humor (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1965). [With Philip Sterling and J. Saunders Redding]; Bootsie and Others: A Selection of Cartoons (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1958); Hezekiah Horton (Viking Press, 1955). [with Ellen Tarry]; Terror in Tennessee: The Truth about the Columbia Outrages (New York: "Committee of 100", 1946). M. Thomas Inge is the Robert Emory Blackwell Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College.

M. Thomas Inge is the Robert Emory Blackwell Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College.

 

 

 

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Those Bones Are Not My Child: A Novel by Toni Cade Bambara. New York. 1999. Pantheon Books. hardcover. 676 pages. October 1999.  Jacket photograph by CORBIS/Galen Rowell. Jacket design by Marjorie Anderson. 0679442618.

 

 

0679442618FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   THOSE BONES ARE NOT MY CHILD is a staggering achievement: the novel that Toni Cade Bambara worked on for twelve years until her death in 1995 - a story that puts us at the center of the nightmare of the Atlanta child murders. It was called ‘The City Too Busy To Hate,’ but two decades ago more than forty black children were murdered there with grim determination, their bodies found - in ditches, on riverbanks - strangled, beaten, and sexually assaulted. Bambara was living in Atlanta at the time, and THOSE BONES ARE NOT MY CHILD is the result of her painstaking first-hand research, as she delved into the murders and the world in which the occurred. Evoking the culture of the late 1970s and early ‘80s with a keen eye - the Iranian hostage crisis, disco, Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver - THOSE BONES ARE NOT MY CHILD powerfully dramatizes the story of one black family surviving on the margins of a seemingly prosperous city. On Sunday morning, July 20, 1980, Marzala Rawls Spencer awakens to find that her teenage son has gone missing, even as the Atlanta child abductions are beginning to be reported. As she and her estranged husband frantically search for their son, the story moves with authority through the full spectrum of Atlanta’s political, social, and cultural life, illuminating the vexing issues of race and class that bedevil the city. Suspenseful, richly dramatic, profoundly affecting, THOSE BONES ARE NOT MY CHILD explores the complex relationships within one family in dire crisis. And as Toni Morrison, who edited Bambara’s manuscript, has observed, it is also ‘the narrative revelation of a major Southern city of the ‘80s, a revelation of what clogs the bloodstream of ‘The City Too Busy To Hate:’

 

 Bambara Toni Cade TONI CADE BAMBARA was the author of two short story collections, GORILLA, MY LOVE and THE SEABIRDS ARE STILL ALIVE; a novel, THE SALT EATERS; and a collection of fiction, essays, and conversations, DEEP SIGHTINGS AND RESCUE MISSIONS. Her writings continue to appear in literature anthologies throughout the world. A noted documentary filmmaker and screenwriter, Bambara’s film work includes the documentaries The Bombing of Osage Avenue and W. E. B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four Voices.

 

 

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Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions: Fiction,Essays, and Conversations by Toni Cade Bambara. New York. 1996. Pantheon Books. hardcover. 255 pages. November 1996.  Jacket photograph by Joyce Middler. Jacket design by Marjorie Anderson. Edited & With a Preface by Toni Morrison. 0679442502.

 

 

0679442502FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   On December 9, 1995, Toni Cade Bambara died at the age of fifty-six, a profound loss to American Culture. In its obituary the New York Times called her ‘a major contributor to the emerging genre of black women’s literature, along with the writers Toni Morrison and Alice Walker.’ The author of many acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, among them three pioneering and timeless volumes: GORILLA, MY LOVE and THE SEABIRDS ARE STILL ALIVE, both collections of stories, and THE SALT EATERS, a novel, Bambara had not published a new book in the fourteen years prior to her death. She developed during that time a keen interest in film - as a scriptwriter, filmmaker, critic, and teacher - and collaborated on several television documentaries, including The Bombing of Osage Avenue, about the police assault on the MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia, and on the W. E. B. Du Bois Film Project. Bambara also helped to launch the careers of many other black women filmmakers. DEEP SIGHTINGS AND RESCUE MISSIONS is a brilliant distillation of Bambara’s original sensibility and a confirmation of her status as one of America’s great post—World War II writers. Here is a rich selection of her writings, many of which have never before appeared in print: stories (‘Madame Bai and the Taking of Stone Mountain,’ ‘Ice,’ ‘Luther on Sweet Auburn’), essays (‘Language and the Writer,’ ‘The Education of a Storyteller.’), film criticism (‘School Daze’), and a revealing interview. DEEP SIGHTINGS AND RESCUE MISSIONS is an unexpected treasure not only to those who are already familiar with Bambara’s work, but to a new generation of readers who will recognize in her writing a strong precursor to much of contemporary American literature.

 Bambara Toni Cade

 TONI CADE BAMBARA is the author of two short-story collection, GORILLA, MY LOVE and THE SEABIRDS ARE STILL ALIVE, and a novel, THE SALT EATERS. She edited THE BLACK WOMAN and TALES AND SHORT STORIES FOR BLACK FOLKS. Bambara’s works have appeared in many periodicals and have been translated into several languages.

 

 

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Racism 101 by Nikki Giovanni. New York. 1994. Morrow. hardcover. 203 pages.  Jacket design by Debra Morton Hoyt. Front jacket photograph by Chris Callis Studio. 0688043321.

 

 

0688043321FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In RACISM 101, Nikki Giovanni indicts higher education for the inequities it perpetuates, contemplates the legacy of the l960s, provides a survival guide for black students on predominantly white campuses (complete with razor-sharp comebacks to the dumb questions constantly asked of black students) and excoriates Spike Lee while offering her own ideas for a film about Malcolm X. And that is just for starters. She also writes about W. E. B. Du Bois, gardening, Toni Morrison, Star Trek, affirmative action, space exploration, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the role of griots, and the rape and neglect of urban schools. But to reduce Nikki Giovanni’s essays to their subjects is to miss altogether their significance. As Virginia C. Fowler writes in her Foreword, ‘These pieces are artistic expression of a particular way of looking at the world, featuring a performing voice capable of dizzying displays of virtuosity.’ Profoundly personal and blisteringly political angry and funny, lyrical and blunt, RACISM 101 will add an important chapter to the debate on American national values.

 

 

Giovanni Nikki  Nikki Giovanni, one of America’s most widely read living poets, has earned a reputation for being outspoken and controversial - mostly because she always speaks her mind. She entered the literary world at the height of the Black Arts Movement and quickly achieved not simple fame but stardom. A recording of her poems was one of the best-selling albums in the country; all but one of her nearly twenty books are still in print with several having sold more than a hundred thousand copies. Named woman of the year by three different magazines, including Ebony, and recipient of a host of honorary doctorates and awards, Nikki Giovanni has read from her work and lectured at colleges around the country. Her books include BLACK FEELING, BLACK TALK/BLACK JUDGEMENT; MY HOUSE; THE WOMEN AND THE MEN; COTTON CANDY ON A RAINY DAY; THOSE WHO RIDE THE NIGHT WINDS; and SACRED COWS.  AND OTHER EDIBLES. Nikki Giovanni is a professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic.

 

 

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 ‘Face Zion Forward’: First Writers of the Black Atlantic, 1785-1798 by Joanna Brooks and John Saillant (editors). Boston. 2002. Northeastern University Press. paperback. 242 pages. Cover illustration by Leslie Evans.  Introduction by Joanna Brooks and John Saillant. 1555535399.

 

 

1555535399FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   At the close of the Revolutionary War, in 1783, more than three thousand black Loyalists, many liberated from slavery by enlisting in the British army, left New York for Nova Scotia in search of land and freedom. Almost half of the emigrants settled an independent black community at Birchtown, Nova Scotia, where, in spite of extraordinarily harsh conditions, they established their own churches and schools and cultivated a shared sense of themselves as a chosen people. A majority of the population emigrated once again in 1791, this time setting sail for Sierra Leone to fulfill what they perceived to be their prophetic destiny. This circuit of gathering, exodus, and diaspora was grounded in a unique black Atlantic theology focused on redemption and Zion that was conceptualized and shaped by the charismatic black evangelists of diverse Protestant faiths who converged in the Nova Scotia settlements. ‘‘Face Zion Forward’ now brings together the remarkable writings of these early authors of the black Atlantic. This collection of memoirs, sermons, and speeches, many of which are based on the Birchtown experience, documents how John Marrant, David George, Boston King, and Prince Hall envisioned the role of Africa and African American communities in black liberation. ‘Face Zion Forward’ provides an informed reconstruction of the major ideological and theological conversations that occurred among North American blacks after the American Revolution and illustrates the disparate and complex underpinnings of the modern black Atlantic. In addition, the work presents invaluable insights into African American literary traditions and the development of Ethiopianist and black nationalist discourses.

 

Brooks Joanna and Saillant John

JOANNA BROOKS is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.

JOHN SAILLANT is Associate Professor of English and History at Western Michigan University.

RICHARD YARBOROUGH, editor of the Northeastern Library of Black Literature, is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed. New York. 2008. Norton. hardcover. 798 pages.  Jacket design by Debra Morton Hoyt. 9780393064773.

 

 

9780393064773FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In the mid-1700s the English captain of a trading ship that made runs between England and the Virginia colony fathered a child by an enslaved woman living near Williamsburg. The woman, whose name is unknown and who is believed to have been born in Africa, was owned by the Eppeses, a prominent Virginia family. The captain, whose surname was Hemings, and the woman had a daughter. They named her Elizabeth. So begins this epic work-named a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Times-Annette Gordon-Reed's ‘riveting history’ of the Hemings family, whose story comes to vivid life in this brilliantly researched and deeply moving work. Gordon-Reed, author of the highly acclaimed historiography THOMAS JEFFERSON AND SALLY HEMINGS: AN AMERICAN CONTROVERSY, unearths startling new information about the Hemingses, Jefferson, and his white family. Although the book presents the most detailed and richly drawn portrait ever written of Sarah Hemings, better known by her nickname Sally, who bore seven children by Jefferson over the course of their thirty-eight-year liaison, The Hemingses of Monticello tells more than the story of her life with Jefferson and their children. The Hemingses as a whole take their rightful place in the narrative of the family's extraordinary engagement with one of history's most important figures. Not only do we meet Elizabeth Hemings-the family matriarch and mother to twelve children, six by John Wayles, a poor English immigrant who rose to great wealth in the Virginia colony-but we follow the Hemings family as they become the property of Jefferson through his marriage to Martha Wayles. The Hemings-Wayles children, siblings to Martha, played pivotal roles in the life at Jefferson's estate. We follow the Hemingses to Paris, where James Hemings trained as a chef in one of the most prestigious kitchens in France and where Sally arrived as a fourteen-year-old chaperone for Jefferson's daughter Polly; to Philadelphia, where James Hemings acted as the major domo to the newly appointed secretary of state; to Charlottesville, where Mary Hemings lived with her partner, a prosperous white merchant who left her and their children a home and property; to Richmond, where Robert Hemings engineered a plan for his freedom; and finally to Monticello, that iconic home on the mountain, from where most of Jefferson's slaves, many of them Hemings family members, were sold at auction six months after his death in 1826. As THE HEMINGSES OF MONTICELLO makes vividly clear, Monticello can no longer be known only as the home of a remarkable American leader, the author of the Declaration of Independence; nor can the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president have been expunged from history until very recently, be left out of the telling of America's story. With its empathetic and insightful consideration of human beings acting in almost unimaginably difficult and complicated family circumstances, THE HEMINGSES OF MONTICELLO is history as great literature. It is a remarkable achievement.

Gordon Reed Annette

 

 ANNETTE GORDON-REED is a professor of law at New York Law School and a professor of history at Rutgers University. She is the author of THOMAS JEFFERSON AND SALLY HEMINGS: AN AMERICAN CONTROVERSY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader by Ida B. Wells. New York. 2014. Penguin Books. Edited and with an Introduction by Mia Bay. General Editor: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 518 pages. paperback. Cover photograph: Ida B. Wells, in a photograph by Mary Garrity, c.1893. 9780143106821.

 

 

9780143106821FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘The way to right wrongs is to turn to the light of truth upon them.’ Seventy-one years before Rosa Parks was arrested for her courageous act of resistance, police dragged a young black journalist named Ida B. Wells off a train for refusing to give up her seat. That experience shaped Wells’s career as a journalist and spurred her to become a fierce civil rights advocate. When hate crimes touched her life personally, she began what was to become her life’s work: an anti-lynching crusade that captured attention across the United States and abroad. A pioneer in the civil rights movement, Wells exposed the horrors of lynching and brought to light the myths used to justify it. Covering the scope of Wells’s remarkable career, The Light of Truth contains her early writings, her anti-lynching exposés, articles from her travels abroad, and her later journalism. ‘Brave woman! You have done your people and mine a service which can neither be weighed nor measured.’ - Frederick Douglass.

 

 

Wells Ida B  Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, and an early leader in the civil rights movement. She documented lynching in the United States, showing that it was often used as a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites, rather than being based in criminal acts by blacks, as was usually claimed by white mobs. She was active in women's rights and the women's suffrage movement, establishing several notable women's organizations. Wells was a skilled and persuasive rhetorician, and traveled internationally on lecture tours.

 

 

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Songs From the Gallows/Galgenlieder by Christian Morgenstern. New Haven. 1993. Yale University Press. Translated from the German by Walter Arndt. 137 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration Luft-Leone Design. 0300052782.

 

 

 

0300052782FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Christina Morgenstern (1871-1914) was a German poet, theosophist, and translator whose nonsense poems have been among the best-known and best-loved works in Germany throughout this century. Often compared to the drolleries of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, Morgenstern’s poems are whimsical yet haunting, a rare blend of humor and odd metaphysical intimations. Morgenstern wrote the first of his Galgenlieder after he and some friends had returned from a carefree outing past Gallows Hill near Potsdam and formed a ‘fraternal order of the gallows.’ His collection, published in Germany between 1905 and 1916, eventually comprised 286 poems. This new edition is a bilingual selection of some 90 poems from the original work. The reader is introduced to inventions like the clock that moves slowly or quickly as its sympathy for the clock watcher dictates; the luncheon newspaper that, when read, also satisfies one’s hunger; the mail that is sent from a vacation retreat on the antlers or tails of bucks. To translate Morgenstern is a daunting task, and Walter Arndt has succeeded brilliantly, following the poet’s verbal acrobatics, his phonetic, semantic, and syntactic play with words and clauses, and, where possible, his trick of stripping discourse of conventions and pretensions by a bizarre literal interpretation of conventional phrases and metaphors. His translation of Morgenstern’s poems of nonsense, or ‘supersense,’ will be treasured by scholars of the German lyric and by children of all ages.

 

 

Morgenstern Christian  Christian Otto Josef Wolfgang Morgenstern (6 May 1871 – 31 March 1914) was a German author and poet from Munich. Morgenstern married Margareta Gosebruch von Liechtenstern on 7 March 1910. He worked for a while as a journalist in Berlin, but spent much of his life traveling through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, primarily in a vain attempt to recover his health. His travels, though they failed to restore him to health, allowed him to meet many of the foremost literary and philosophical figures of his time in central Europe. Morgenstern's poetry, much of which was inspired by English literary nonsense, is immensely popular, even though he enjoyed very little success during his lifetime. He made fun of scholasticism, e.g. literary criticism in "Drei Hasen", grammar in "Der Werwolf", narrow-mindedness in "Der Gaul", and symbolism in "Der Wasseresel". In “Scholastikerprobleme" he discussed how many angels could sit on a needle. Embedded in his humorous poetry is a subtle metaphysical streak. Gerolf Steiner's mock-scientific book about the fictitious animal order Rhinogradentia (1961), inspired by Morgenstern's nonsense poem Das Nasobēm, is testament to his enduring popularity. Morgenstern was a member of the General Anthroposophical Society. Dr. Rudolf Steiner called him 'a true representative of Anthroposophy'. Morgenstern died in 1914 of tuberculosis, which he had contracted from his mother, who died in 1881. Walter Arndt, Sherman Fairchild Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Dartmouth College, is also a distinguished and prize-winning translator of Pushkin, Rilke, Goethe, Wilhelm Busch, and other poets.

 

 

 

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The Spook Who Sat By The Door by Sam Greenlee. London. 1969. Allison & Busby. hardcover. 182 pages. 0850310032.

 

 

0850310032FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The CIA needs a Negro: there have been accusations of racial discrimination. So black Dan Freeman begins his lone career in an all-white world. Dan Freeman — tame, conspicuous, harmless. But behind this mask he coolly develops his subversive expertise in judo, guns, women, strategy.  Moving as easily among Washington’s power-hungry politicians as among the threatening street gangs of Chicago’s ghetto, Freeman plays the heroes of one world against the victims of the other. The top men in the CIA, hypocritical social workers, brainwashed policemen, a middle-class girlfriend, a beautiful whore, tough young junkies all have their place in Freeman’s lethally calculated program. He uses and manipulates all the opportunities and people around him. He is a man with a foot in both camps and a finger squeezing slowly on the trigger. There is no time for sentimentality. THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR is a book that had to be written. It describes an America that has gone beyond the stage of civil rights demonstrations and spontaneous riots: an America where the only hope for the black man is in deadly efficient guerrilla warfare. Sam Greenlee has written a novel about a revolution that may happen tomorrow.ABOUT THE AUTHOR - My name is Sam Greenlee. I am a black American and I write; not necessarily in that order of importance. I was born of a refugee family in Chicago, 13 July 1930, a second generation immigrant from the deep South. My father was a chauffeur, my mother a singer and dancer in the chorus line of the Regal Theater on Forty-seventh and South Parkway on the south side of Chicago. I received a non-education in Chicago ghetto non-schools and played catchup at three universities: Wisconsin, Chicago and Thessalonikki. I served for two years as an Infantry Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, in the 31st Infantry ‘Dixie’ Division. I was a professional propagandist in the foreign service of the United States Information Service. I served in Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia and Greece, and was given the Meritorius Service Award for activities during the 1958 Kassem revolution in Baghdad. I have recently returned from four years of writing in Greece. I am employed, with fat salary and fancy title, by an otherwise white civil rights organization in Chicago. My job is to sit by the door.

 

Greenlee Sam   Samuel Eldred Greenlee, Jr. (July 13, 1930 – May 19, 2014) was an African-American writer, best known for his controversial novel The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which was first published in London by Allison & Busby in March 1969 (having been rejected by dozens of mainstream publishers), and went on to be chosen as The Sunday Times Book of the Year. The novel was subsequently made into the 1973 movie of the same name, directed by Ivan Dixon and co-produced and written by Greenlee, that is now considered a "cult classic". Born in Chicago, Greenlee attended the University of Wisconsin (BS, political science, 1952) and the University of Chicago (1954-7). He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (Beta Omicron 1950). He served in the military (1952-4), earning the rank of first lieutenant, and subsequently worked for the United States Information Agency, serving in Iraq (in 1958 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for bravery during the Baghdad revolution), Pakistan, Indonesia, and Greece between 1957 and 1965. Leaving the United States foreign service after eight years, he stayed on in Greece. He undertook further study (1963-4) at the University of Thessaloniki, and lived for three years on the island of Mykonos, where he began to write his first novel. That was eventually published in 1969 as The Spook Who Sat by the Door, the story of a black man who is recruited as a CIA agent and having mastered the skills of a spy then uses them to lead a black guerrilla movement in the US. Greenlee co-wrote (with Mel Clay) the screenplay for the 1973 film The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which he also co-produced with director Ivan Dixon and which is considered "one of the more memorable and impassioned films that came out around the beginning of the notoriously polarizing blaxploitation era." In 2011, an independent documentary entitled Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door was filmed by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward, about the making and reception of the Spook film,  in which Greenlee spoke out about the suppression of the film soon after its release. In a chance meeting with Aubrey Lewis (1935–2001), one of the first Black FBI agents to have been recruited in 1962 by the FBI, Greenlee was told that The Spook Who Sat by the Door was required reading at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Other works by Greenlee include Baghdad Blues, a 1976 novel based on his experiences traveling in Iraq in the 1950s and witnessing the 1958 Iraqi revolution, Blues for an African Princess, a 1971 collection of poems, and Ammunition (poetry, 1975). In 1990 Greenlee won the Illinois poet laureate award. He also wrote short stories, plays (although he found no producer for any of them), and the screenplay for a film short called Lisa Trotter (2010), a story adapted from Aristophanes' Lysistrata. On May 19, 2014, Greenlee died in Chicago at the age of 83. On June 6, 2014, Chicago's DuSable Museum of African American History sponsored an evening of celebration in his honor, attended by his daughter Natiki Montano.

 

 

 

 

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Graveyard Of The Angels by Reinaldo Arenas. New York. 1987. Avon. Paperback Original. Translated from the Spanish by Alfred J. MacAdam. 122 pages. May 1987. paperback. 0380750759

 

 

0380750759FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘A GREAT LOVE IS, ABOVE ALL, A GREAT PROVOCATION. .. ‘ A beautiful young mulatto in long-ago Havana, Cuba, takes a white man into her bed. In itself, this act of love was more commonplace than remarkable. But Cecilia Valdés was the illegitimate daughter of don Cándido, a wealthy slave trader arid coffee baron. Her inamorato was Leonardo, don Cándido’s son. Such can be the stuff of tragedy. For highly acclaimed exiled Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, it is the jumping-off place for hilarious farce-risque, absurd, wildly funny, and quintessentially irreverent. Arenas, whose searing prose has exposed the brutalities and haunting beauty of his native land in his earlier works, tells here a tale filled with heartbreak; touches it with magic; and creates a fantastic, bittersweet tragicomedy that captures the essence of the bondage of the human heart. ‘A remarkable writer as much for his talent as for his intellectual dignity. I am his reader and his admirer!’ - Octavio Paz.

 

 

Arenas Reinaldo Reinaldo Arenas (July 16, 1943 - December 7, 1990) was a Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright who despite his early sympathy for the 1959 revolution, grew critical of and then rebelled against the Cuban government. Arenas was born in the countryside, in the northern part of the Province of Oriente, Cuba, and later moved to the city of Holguín. In 1963, he moved to Havana to enroll in the School of Planification and, later, in the Faculty of Letters at the Universidad de La Habana, where he studied philosophy and literature without completing a degree. The following year, he began working at the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí. While there, his talent was noticed and he was awarded prizes at Cirilo Villaverde National Competition held by UNEAC (National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists). (Soto 1998) Interestingly, his Hallucinations was awarded ‘first Honorable Mention’ in 1966 although, as the judges could find no better entry, no First Prize was awarded that year (Colchie 2001). His writings and openly gay lifestyle were, by 1967, bringing him into conflict with the Communist government. He left the Biblioteca Nacional and became an editor for the Cuban Book Institute until 1968. From 1968 to 1974 he was a journalist and editor for the literary magazine La Gaceta de Cuba. In 1973, he was sent to prison after being charged and convicted of ‘ideological deviation’ and for publishing abroad without official consent. He escaped from prison and tried to leave Cuba by launching himself from the shore on a tire inner tube. The attempt failed and he was rearrested near Lenin Park and imprisoned at the notorious El Morro Castle alongside murderers and rapists. He survived by helping the inmates to write letters to wives and lovers. He was able to collect enough paper this way to continue his writing. However, his attempts to smuggle his work out of prison were discovered and he was severely punished. Threatened with death, he was forced to renounce his work and was released in 1976. In 1980, as part of the Mariel Boatlift, he fled to the United States. Despite his short life and the hardships imposed during his imprisonment, Arenas produced a significant body of work. His Pentagonia is a set of five novels that comprise a ‘secret history’ of post revolutionary Cuba. It includes the poetical Farewell to the Sea, Palace of the White Skunks and the Rabelaisian Color of Summer. In these novels Arenas’ style ranges from a stark realist narrative to absurd satiric humor. He traces his own life story in what to him is the absurd world of Castro’s Cuba. In each of the novels Arenas himself is a major character, going by a number of pseudonyms. His autobiography, Before Night Falls was on the New York Times list of the ten best books of the year in 1993. In 2000 this work was made into a film, directed by Julian Schnabel, in which Arenas was played by Javier Bardem. In 1987, Arenas was diagnosed with AIDS, but he continued to write and speak out against the Cuban government. He mentored many Cuban Exile writers, including John O’Donnell-Rosales. After battling AIDS, Arenas committed suicide by taking an overdose of drugs and alcohol on December 7, 1990, in New York. In a suicide letter written for publication, Arenas wrote: ‘Due to my delicate state of health and to the terrible depression it causes me not to be able to continue writing and struggling for the freedom of Cuba, I am ending my life. I want to encourage the Cuban people out of the country as well as on the Island to continue fighting for freedom. Cuba will be free. I already am.’

 

 

 

 

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Why I Have Not Written Any Of My Books by Marcel Benabou. Lincoln. 1996. University Of Nebraska Press. Translated from the French by David Kornacker. 111 pages. hardcover. 0803212399

 

 

0803212399FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Marcel Benabou is quick to acknowledge that his own difficulty in writing has had plenty of company. But the frustrations and pleasures can still be felt privately. Words stick and syntax is stubborn, meaning slips and synonyms cluster. A blank page taunts and a full one accuses. Benabou knows the heroic joy of depriving critics of victims, the kindness of sparing publishers decisions, and the public charity of leaving more room in bookstore displays. At once the budding of an author and the withering of the authoritative, Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books polishes the varnish of self-conscious writing until it peels away. It provides both a respectful litany of writers' fears and a dismissal of the alibis offered to excuse them.

 

 

Benabou Marcel Marcel Bénabou is a scholar of Roman history, a novelist, and, since 1970, the Definitively Provisional Secretary of the Oulipo. His first and latest books are Résistance africaine à la romanisation (1976) and Ecrire sur Tamara (2002). Three of his novels have been published in English by the University of Nebraska Press: Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books (1996), Dump This Book While You Still Can! (2001), and, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, Jacob, Menahem, and Mimoun: A Family Epic (1998).

 

 

 

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An Anthology of German Poetry from Hölderlin to Rilke in English Translations with German Originals by Angel Flores (editor). Garden City. 1960. Anchor/Doubleday. A Doubleday Anchor Original. 458 pages. A197. paperback. Cover and typography by Edward Gorey.

 

 

anchor anthology of german poetry from holderlin to rilke a197FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Here, in new translations done especially for this volume, are major and representative works of fourteen leading German lyric poets of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Included in this volume are: Friedrich Hölderlin, Novalis, Clemens Brentano, Joseph von Eichendorff, August Graf von Platen, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Heinrich Heine, Nikolaus Lenau, Eduard Mörike, Stefan George, Christian Morgenstern, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Georg Traki, and Rainer Maria Rilke. The translations, each an independent work in its own right, have been done by such well-known writers as Vernon Watkins, Randall Jarrell, Robert Lowell, Constantine Fitzgibbon, Hugh McDiarmid, Francis Golffing, Peter Viereck, Michael Hamburger, Edwin Morgan, and Herman Salinger. Many of the poems are here translated into English for the first time. The original German text is given immediately below each translation. There are biographical notes on each poet, together with bibliographies giving suggestions for further reading.

 

 

Angel Flores (1900-1992) was a Puerto Rican author. He received an AB from New York University and a PhD from Cornell University. He passed away in 1992 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

 

 

 

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The Murder of Harriet Krohn: An Inspector Sejer Mystery by Karin Fossum. Boston/New York. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson. 242 pages. August 2009. hardcover. Jacket design by Michaela Sullivan. 9780544273399

 

 

9780544273399FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Available for the first time in English, the seventh entry in the beloved Inspector Sejer series from Norway’s Queen of Crime, Karin Fossum. On a wet, gray night in early November, Charlo Torp, a former gambler who’s only recently kicked the habit, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn’s apartment, flowers in hand. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to starting a new life and winning his daughter’s forgiveness, Charlo plans to rob the wealthy old woman’s antique silver collection. What he doesn’t expect is for her to put up a fight. The following morning Harriet is found dead, her antique silver missing, and the only clue Inspector Sejer and his team find in the apartment is an abandoned bouquet. Charlo should feel relieved, but he’s heard of Sejer’s amazing record — the detective has solved every case he’s ever been assigned to. Told through the eyes of a killer, The Murder of Harriet Krohn poses the question: how far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterward?

 

Fossum KarinKarin Fossum is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer crime series. Her recent honors include a Gumshoe Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for mystery/thriller. She lives in a small town in southeastern Norway.

 

 

 

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Charles Reznikoff: A Critical Essay by Milton Hindus. London. 1977. Menard Press. 69 pages. paperback.0903400081. 

 

 

0903400081FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Charles Reznikoff (August 31, 1894 – January 22, 1976) was an American poet known for his long work, Testimony: The United States (1885-1915), Recitative (1934-1979). The term Objectivist was first coined for him. The two-volume Testimony was based on court records and explored the black experience in the United States. He followed this with Holocaust (1975), based on court testimony about Nazi death camps during World War II. When Louis Zukofsky was asked by Harriet Monroe to provide an introduction to what became known as the Objectivist issue of Poetry, he contributed his essay, Sincerity and Objectification: With Special Reference to the Work of Charles Reznikoff. This established the name of the loose-knit group of 2nd generation modernist poets and the two characteristics of their poetry: sincerity and objectification.

 

Hindus Milton Milton Hindus (1916-1988) was a scholar of American and European literature and was one of the original 13 professors that founded Brandeis University in 1948. He taught there until his retirement in 1981. A native New Yorker, Professor Hindus was teaching at the University of Chicago when he was recruited as by Brandeis. He devoted much of his time in recent years to the work of Charles Reznikoff, a Brooklyn-born poet and editor (1894-1976). Professor Hindus wrote ''Charles Reznikoff: Man and Poet'' (1984), and ''Charles Reznikoff: A Critical Essay'' (1977), and worked on ''The Collected Letters of Charles Reznikoff.' He wrote ''Celine: The Crippled Giant'' (1950), a critical biography of the French writer Louis Ferdinand Celine, which was reissued as a paperback in 1997. Hindus was fascinated by Celine’s poetry, but repelled by his anti-semitism. Hindus corresponded with Celine for several years and the two eventually met for a series of meetings in Denmark in 1949. He also wrote ''The Proustian Vision'' (1954), ''A Reader's Guide to Marcel Proust'' (1962), and ''F. Scott Fitzgerald: An Introduction and Interpretation'' (1967). He was the author of ''Leaves of Grass: One Hundred Years Later'' (1955), which remains in print and earned him the Walt Whitman Prize of the Poetry Society of America. He also edited ''Walt Whitman'' for the Critical Heritage Series (1997). Also among his 16 books were ''The Jewish East Side: 1881-1924'' (1995), and ''A World at Twilight: A Portrait of East European Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust'' (1971). He graduated in 1936 from City College, where he earned a master of arts degree in 1938. Before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1946, he did postgraduate work at Columbia University and lectured at Hunter College and the New School for Social Research in New York. Hindus once wrote "My conviction is that the most important life is that of the mind, and if this does not transpire through all the writer's work, then indeed he has written in vain."

 

 

 

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Seeds Of Corruption by Sabri Moussa. Boston. 1980. Houghton Mifflin. Winner Pegasus Prize For Literature. Translated from the Arabic by Mona N. Mikhail. 169 pages. hardcover. Jacket by Danile Earl Thaxton. 0395285410

 

 

0395285410FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Set in the harsh desert of eastern Egypt, Seeds of Corruption is the tale of a Ulysses-like hero in search of himself and his ultimate salvation. The novel becomes a singularly compelling play between the peace and desolation of the desert, the corruption of the dissolute Egyptian king and his court, the purity of the hero's daughter, and the simple dignity of the fishermen and desert Bedouins. Seeds of Corruption eloquently portrays the corruption of the Egyptian monarchy and the aristocracy before 1952 as aided by foreign influence. Nicola, a mine engineer of European background, must decide his true identity. Is he an exploiter, like his bourgeois business partner, or is he more like the people of the desert whom he admires so deeply for their ancestral dignity and sense of honor? The novel offers a vivid and colorful panorama of the Eastern desert by the Red Sea. Such a distant place is a refreshing departure and Moussa's style is rich in imagery and metaphors, making this book a masterpiece of fine Arabic writing.

 

 

Moussa Sabri  Sabri Moussa was born in 1932 in Dumiyat, Egypt, and lives in Cairo. He started writing in 1951 and has published four collections of short stories, three novels, three travel books and scripts for ten major Egyptian films, some of which, including Al-Boustagi [The Postman], are now considered classics.

 

 

 

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My Inventions and Other Writings by Nikola Tesla. New York. 2011. Penguin Books. Introduction by Samantha Hunt. 167 pages. paperback. Cover image: Inventor and physicist Nikola Tesla. Cover college: Janet Hansen. 9780143106616

 

 

9780143106616FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Famous for his pioneering contributions to the electronic age, his lifelong feud with Thomas Edison, and his erratic behavior, Nikola Tesla was one of the most brilliant and daring inventors and visionaries of his time. Originally written in 1919 as a series of articles in Electrical Experimenter magazine, MY INVENTIONS is Tesla's autobiography, with meditations on his major discoveries and innovations, including the rotating magnetic field, the magnifying transmitter, and the Tesla coil. This volume also includes three articles by Tesla, as well as an enlightening introduction that discredits many of the myths surrounding the thinker's eccentric life.

 

 

  Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, Tesla Nikolamechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before immigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison in New York City. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant. His work in the formative years of electric power development was also involved in the corporate struggle between making alternating current or direct current the power transmission standard, referred to as the War of Currents. Tesla went on to pursue his ideas of wireless lighting and electricity distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs and made early (1893) pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. He tried to put these ideas to practical use in his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission, which was his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project. In his lab he also conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He even built a wireless controlled boat, one of the first ever exhibited. Tesla was renowned for his achievements and showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal 'mad scientist.' His patents earned him a considerable amount of money, much of which was used to finance his own projects with varying degrees of success. He lived most of his life in a series of New York hotels, through his retirement. He died on 7 January 1943. His work fell into relative obscurity after his death, but in 1960 the General Conference on Weights and Measures named the SI unit of magnetic flux density the tesla in his honor. Tesla has experienced a resurgence in interest in popular culture since the 1990s.

 

 

 

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Islandia: A Poem by Maria Negroni. Barrytown. 2001. Station Hill Press/Barrytown Ltd. Translated from the Spanish by Anne Twitty. Bilingual Edition. 171 pages. paperback. 1886449155

 

 

1886449155FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Islandia is an extraordinary cycle of poems written in two very different and contrasting forms - the Nordic, masculine, epic style of the prose poems, and the Mediterranean, feminine, mannered lyric style of the others. Anne Twitty’s translation of this masterful cycle has itself been carried out with great mastery.’ - Esther Allen, translator of Octavio Paz, Rosario Castellanos, and Jorge Luis Borges. ‘The saga of Scandinavians, who - in flight or exile - founded Islandia, is counterpointed by the ironic verses of a female speaker who is also a shipwreck, a fugitive, and a seeker-inventor of islands. In this work, destinies cross—that of vehement navigators among the whales and mists, and that of a writer who, telling the saga of others, assumes and discards a sumptuous mask.’ - Julio E. Miranda, Domingo Hoy, Caracas. ‘With remarkable beauty, a major poet deciphers a landscape and a language embedded in the most profound Latin American tradition.’ - Tomás Eloy MartInez, author of Santa Evita. ‘A female voice brilliantly deconstructs the masculine constellation: epic/adventure/war... A severely wrought patina makes for a sense of excavation, out of which rises a different, female, spirit of adventure. In the words of the H.D. epigraph: ‘We are discoverers / of the not-known / the unrecorded; we have no maps.’ - Rosmarie Waidrop, author of The Reproduction of Profiles. ‘It is not easy to find a form for journey… for there is no poetry without cost.’ So say the ongoing voices in Maria Negroni’s remarkable and innovative book-length poem. It is a compelling work, deftly connecting embodied experience to history and a cornucopia of language.’ - Sophie Cabot Black, author of The Misunderstanding of Nature.

 

Negroni Maria María Negroni was born October 9, 1951 in Rosario, Argentina. She has published eleven books of poetry, three collections of essays, and two novels, as well as works in translation from French and English. Her work has appeared internationally in literary journals, including Diario de Poesía, Página 12, The Paris Review, Circumference, and Bomb, among others. She has been awarded two Argentine National Book Awards, for her collection of essays Ciudad Gótica (1996) and her poetry collection Viaje de la noche (1997). Her book of poems Islandia, in Anne Twitty’s translation, received a PEN Translation Award in 2001. She has been a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Fundación Octavio Paz, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and others. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. Winner of the following awards - International Prize for Essay Writing from Siglo XXI, 2002 PEN Award for best book of poetry in translation, for Islandia, 2000-2001 Octavio Paz Fellowship for Poetry, 1997 Argentine National Book Award, for El viaje de la noche, 1994 Guggenheim Fellowships.

Anne Twitty is a writer, interpreter and translator who lives in New York City. She was for some years editor of the Epicycle section of Parabola Magazine, where some of her essays were published. Anne Twitty’s translations of selections from Maria Negroni’s works have appeared in Hopscotch, Mandorla, The Paris Review and on-line at www.archipelago.org. Her translation of Night Journey (El viaje de la noché) appeared in a bilingual edition published by Princeton University Press in 2002.

 

 

 

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Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems Of Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker. New York. 1996. Scribner. Compiled & With an Introduction by Stuart Y. Silverstein. 256 pages. hardcover. 0684818558

 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

0684818558   Dorothy Parker wrote more than three hundred poems and verses for a variety of popular magazines and newspapers during the early years of her literary career. She collected most of these pieces in three volumes of poetry, Enough Rope, Sunset Gun and Death and Taxes. It is the remaining poems and verses, the ones that she failed to collect and whose very existence has been unknown to most of the general public for more than half a century, that comprise this volume. Eclectic and exuberant, the 122 forgotten poems and verses display the raw talent and dexterity of America's most renowned cynic. Some are topical, providing gimlet-eyed commentary on urban life from the First World War through the mid-twenties. With incomparable wit, Parker dissects contemporary fads and, in the raucous "Hate Verses," gleefully maligns most facets of humanity and popular culture, from husbands and wives to bohemians, slackers, summer resorts and movies. Some of the pieces are rare examples of Parker's experimentation with structured poetic forms. Others are more personal, celebrating her love of animals or scrutinizing the perils of passion. Notoriously - and irrationally - critical of her own work, Parker chose not to include this poetry in her previous collections. Nonetheless, many of the lost poems compare with her best, and nearly all display the distinctive wit, irony and precision that continue to attract succeeding generations of readers. In an authoritative and immensely entertaining introduction, Stuart Y. Silverstein recounts Parker's celebrated career.

Parker Dorothy  Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker". Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for her sharp wit have endured.

 

 

 

 

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Sunset Gun by Dorothy Parker. New York. 1928. Boni & Liveright. 75 pages. hardcover.

 

 

sunset gun boni and liveright 1928 no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A collection of 68 poems.by Dorothy Parker, including A Pig's-Eye View of Literature: The Lives and Times of John Keat, Percy Bysshe Shelly and George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron; Mortal Enemy, Penelope plus others. Poems in this book first appeared in the Bookman, the New Republic, the Nation, the New Yorker, Life, the Yale Review, McCall's, the New York World and the New York Post. CONTENTS: Godmother, Partial Comfort, The Red dress, Victoria, The Counsellor, Parable for a Certain Virgin, Bric-a-Brac, Interior, Reuben's Children, for R.C.B., There Was One, On Cheating the Fiddler, Incurable, Fable, The Second Oldest Story, A Pig's-Eye View of Literature: The Lives and Times of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Harriet Beecher Stowe, D.G. Rosetti, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas and His Son, Alfred Lord Tennyson, George Gissing, Walter Savage Landor, George Sand, Mortal Enemy, Penelope, Bohemia, The Searched Soul, The Trusting Heart, Thought for a Sunshiny Morning, The Gentlest Lady, The Maid-Servant at the Inn, Fulfillment, Daylight Saving, Surprise, Swan Song, On Being a Woman, Afternoon, A Dream Lies Dead, The Homebody, Second Love, Fair Weather, The Whistling Girl, Story, Frustration, Healed, Landscape, Post-Graduate, Verses in the Night: Honeymoon, Triolet, Melange for the Unknown George, Liebstod, For a Favorite Grand-Daughter, Dilemma, Theory, A Fairly Sad Tale, The Last Question, Superfluous Advice, Directions for Finding the Bard, But Not Forgotten, Two-Volume Novel, Pour Prendre Conge, For a Lady Who Must Write Verse, Rhyme Against Living, Wisdom, Coda. Parker published her first volume of poetry, Enough Rope, in 1926. The collection sold 47,000 copies and garnered impressive reviews. The Nation described her verse as "caked with a salty humor, rough with splinters of disillusion, and tarred with a bright black authenticity". Although some critics, notably the New York Times reviewer, dismissed her work as "flapper verse", the volume helped cement Parker's reputation for sparkling wit. Parker released two more volumes of verse, Sunset Gun (1928) and Death and Taxes (1931), along with the short story collections Laments for the Living (1930) and After Such Pleasures (1933). Not So Deep as a Well (1936) collected much of the material previously published in Rope, Gun and Death and she re-released her fiction with a few new pieces in 1939 under the title Here Lies.

Parker Dorothy  Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker". Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for her sharp wit have endured.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Manner Music by Charles Reznikoff. Santa Barbara. 1977. Black Sparrow Press. 133 pages. hardcover. 0876853254

 

 

0876853254FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   FROM THE INTRODUCTION by Robert Creeley - A story is an extraordinary human possibility, and people have been making use of its resources no doubt since time, like they say, began. There are, of course, many stories, and many ways of telling each story—many, many variations and points of view and opinions as to what, after all, was the point. What happened? Well, it was like this. .. So the story begins, or might, to tell what happened , or might have happened, or didn't. One had not known, sadly, that Charles Reznikoff wrote novels. That a man should have such quiet and singular genius so modestly put aside (by himself) is regrettable. So much does shout at us, belligerently claiming attention for its style or its intelligence or its newness, that a story such as this one, so shyly assertive of what it so truly knows, is, humanly, such deep relief and reassurance—that one of us can care. The circumstances involved with its writing are briefly summarized by its present publisher, John Martin, as follows: ‘I have recently gone through Charles Reznikoff's lifetime accumulation of manuscript, and was thunderstruck to find a carefully typed, completed novel, which he apparently never mentioned to anyone, or submitted for publication. It was, I think, composed in the early 1950's and is called ‘The Manner Music .’ It is autobiographical, with one character, the narrator of the story, representing an aspect of Charles himself—the Charles who worked as a drummer, selling ladies' hats, who was disillusioned at trying to find the leisure to write, at getting his poetry accepted, etc. The protagonist of the novel, called Jude Dalsimer, is the Charles who never doubted his worth as a poet and who was determined to live out this destiny regardless of circumstance. A third character in the story, called Paul Pasha, is a portrait of Charles' most faithful friend for many years, who was a successful motion picture producer. I believe this novel was written in response to a letter William Carlos Williams wrote Charles in the late 1940's, at a time when Charles' career was at low ebb, urging him to continue writing at any cost, and if possible to write a novel.. .’ Stories are changed in telling, of course, so this one is not a simple rehearsal of a part of a man's life. There are, in fact, many stories here, ‘the manner, music ,’ an interweaving of a complex of ‘things’ happening, being recalled and told. The plot is an ageless one, the story of two men who have known each other since they were boys. One tells us what he knows of the other's life, as he is witness to it but also as the other tells him of it. Times are reasonably good, then are not, then come to the anticipated disaster. Jude Dalsimer, whose life is the novel's center, will not give up his music , which is not a secure means of livelihood as his friend well knows, having himself yielded similar hopes for a more dependable job. But, for Jude, it is the means of transforming all the welter of emotion and event into an articulate form. Neither his wife nor friend, nor anyone else, for that matter, can understand it. But, as his friend finally says: ‘If Jude had wanted to write music and had not done his best to do so, he might have lived longer and more pleasantly but, as he might have explained, it is as if one enlists in an army or perhaps is drafted: he must fight and may fall but may not desert. Most do, of course. I did, I suppose...’

Reznikoff Charles  Charles Reznikoff (August 31, 1894 – January 22, 1976) was an American poet known for his long work, Testimony: The United States (1885-1915), Recitative (1934-1979). The term Objectivist was first coined for him. The two-volume Testimony was based on court records and explored the black experience in the United States. He followed this with Holocaust (1975), based on court testimony about Nazi death camps during World War II. When Louis Zukofsky was asked by Harriet Monroe to provide an introduction to what became known as the Objectivist issue of Poetry, he contributed his essay, Sincerity and Objectification: With Special Reference to the Work of Charles Reznikoff. This established the name of the loose-knit group of 2nd generation modernist poets and the two characteristics of their poetry: sincerity and objectification.

 

 

 

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