General book blog.

Pick up Slow Horses and you will not want to stop until you have read all of the Slough House novels. I frequently found myself  laughing out loud while reading these books, and even emitting the occasional gasp. Haven't read a series this good in a long time.


Herron, Mick. Slow Horses: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2020. Soho Press. . With a new preface and an exclusive short story. 334 pages. Paperback. Front cover design by David Litman. Cover photo by Steven Granville. 


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Welcome to the thrilling and unnervingly prescient world of the slow horses. This team of MI5 agents is united by one common bond: They've screwed up royally and will do anything to redeem themselves. This special tenth-anniversary deluxe edition of a modern classic includes a foreword by the author, discussion questions for book clubs, and an exclusive short story featuring the slow horses. London, England: Slough House is where washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what's left of their failed careers. The slow horses, as they're called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated there. Maybe they botched an Op so badly they can't be trusted anymore. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle--not unusual in this line of work. One thing they have in common, though, is they want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there - even if it means having to collaborate with one another. When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, the slow horses see an opportunity to redeem themselves. But is the victim really who he appears to be?



Herron, Mick. Dead Lions: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2013. Soho Press. 9781616952259. 347 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by James Jacobelli. Jacket photograph: Lorna Clark/Getty Images. 

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The CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning British espionage novel about disgraced MI5 agents who inadvertently uncover a deadly Cold War-era legacy of sleeper cells and mythic super spies. The disgruntled agents of Slough House, the MI5 branch where washed-up spies are sent to finish their failed careers on desk duty, are called into action to protect a visiting Russian oligarch whom MI5 hopes to recruit to British intelligence. While two agents are dispatched on that babysitting job, though, an old Cold War-era spy named Dickie Bow is found dead, ostensibly of a heart attack, on a bus outside of Oxford, far from his usual haunts.  But the head of Slough House, the irascible Jackson Lamb, is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade's circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient Cold War secrets that seem to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, who is either a Soviet bogeyman or the most dangerous man in the world. How many more people will have to die to keep those secrets buried?



Herron, Mick. Real Tigers: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2016. Soho Press. 9781616956127. 327 pages. hardcover.  


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When one of their own is kidnapped, the washed-up MI5 operatives of Slough House--the Slow Horses, as they're known--outwit rogue agents at the very highest levels of British Intelligence, and even to Downing Street itself. London: Slough House is the MI5 branch where disgraced operatives are reassigned after they've messed up too badly to be trusted with real intelligence work. The Slow Horses, as the failed spies of Slough House are called, are doomed to spend the rest of their careers pushing paper, but they all want back in on the action. When one of their own is kidnapped and held for ransom, the agents of Slough House must defeat the odds, overturning all expectations of their competence, to breach the top-notch security of MI5's intelligence headquarters, Regent's Park, and steal valuable intel in exchange for their comrade's safety. The kidnapping is only the tip of the iceberg, however--the agents uncover a larger web of intrigue that involves not only a group of private mercenaries but the highest authorities in the Secret Service. After years spent as the lowest on the totem pole, the Slow Horses suddenly find themselves caught in the midst of a conspiracy that threatens not only the future of Slough House, but of MI5 itself.



Herron, Mick. Spook Street: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2017. Soho Press. 9781616956479. 310 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by James Iacobelli. Jacket photo: Robert Evans/Getty Images. 

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What happens when an old spook loses his mind? Does the Service have a retirement home for those who know too many secrets but don’t remember they’re secret? Or does someone take care of the senile spy for good? These are the paranoid concerns of David Cartwright, a Cold War–era operative and one-time head of MI5 who is sliding into dementia, and questions his grandson, River, must figure out answers to now that the spy who raised him has started to forget to wear pants. But River, himself an agent at Slough House, MI5’s outpost for disgraced spies, has other things to worry about. A bomb has detonated in the middle of a busy shopping center and killed forty innocent civilians. The slow horses of Slough House must figure out who is behind this act of terror before the situation escalates.




Herron, Mick. London Rules: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2018. Soho Press. 9781616959616. 327 pages. hardcover. Front cover art: BBA Travel/Alamy Stock Photo. Jacket design: Janine Agro. 


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Ian Fleming. John le Carre. Len Deighton. Mick Herron. The brilliant plotting of Herron's twice CWA Dagger Award-winning Slough House series of spy novels is matched only by his storytelling gift and an ear for viciously funny political satire. At MI5 headquarters Regent's Park, First Desk Claude Whelan is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat's wife, a tabloid columnist, who's crucifying Whelan in print; from the PM's favorite Muslim, who's about to be elected mayor of the West Midlands, despite the dark secret he's hiding; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who's alert for Claude's every stumble. Meanwhile, the country's being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks. Over at Slough House, the MI5 satellite office for outcast and demoted spies, the agents are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. Plus someone is trying to kill Roddy Ho. But collectively, they're about to rediscover their greatest strength--that of making a bad situation much, much worse. It's a good thing Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren't going to break themselves. Mick Herron is the John le Carre of our generation. --Val McDermid.



Herron, Mick. Joe Country: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2019. Soho Press. 9781641290555. 347 pages. hardcover. Cover art: Top - Sung Kuk Kim/123RF; Bottom - Crestock Royalty-Free/Masterfile. Jacket design: Janine Agro. 

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If Spook Street is where spies live, Joe Country is where they go to die. In Slough House, the London outpost for disgraced MI5 spies, memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him an outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process. Meanwhile, in Regent’s Park, Diana Taverner’s tenure as First Desk is running into difficulties. If she’s going to make the Service fit for purpose, she might have to make deals with a familiar old devil. And with winter taking its grip, Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible for killing a slow horse breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score.



Herron, Mick. Slough House: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2021. Soho Press. 9781641292368. 303 pages. hardcover. Front cover design: David Litman, Cover art: Lamarr Golding/EyeEm/Getty. 


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Brexit is in full swing. And due to mysterious accidents, the Slough Houses ranks continue to thin. The seventh entry to the Slough House series is as thrilling and bleeding-edge relevant as ever. A year after a calamitous blunder by the Russian secret service left a British citizen dead from novichok poisoning, Diana Taverner is on the warpath. What seems a gutless response from the government has pushed the Service's First Desk into mounting her own counter-offensive--but she's had to make a deal with the devil first. And given that the devil in question is arch-manipulator Peter Judd, she could be about to lose control of everything she's fought for. Meanwhile, still reeling from recent losses, the slow horses are worried they've been pushed further into the cold. Slough House has been wiped from Service records, and fatal accidents keep happening. No wonder Jackson Lamb's crew are feeling paranoid. But have they actually been targeted? With a new populist movement taking a grip on London's streets, and the old order ensuring that everything's for sale to the highest bidder, the world's an uncomfortable place for those deemed surplus to requirements. The wise move would be to find a safe place and wait for the troubles to pass. But the slow horses aren't famed for making wise decisions. And with enemies on all sides, not even Jackson Lamb can keep his crew from harm.



Herron, Mick. Bad Actors: A Slough House Novel. New York. 2022. Soho Press. 9781641293372. 360 pages. hardcover. 


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Mick Herron, the le Carré of the future (BBC), expands his world of bad spies with an even shadier cast of characters: the politicians, lobbyists, and misinformation agents pulling the levers of government policy. Confirms Mick Herron as the best spy novelist now working.—NPR's Fresh Air. Now an Apple TV+ series starring Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas. In London's MI5 headquarters a scandal is brewing that could disgrace the entire intelligence community. The Downing Street superforecaster—a specialist who advises the Prime Minister's office on how policy is likely to be received by the electorate—has disappeared without a trace. Claude Whelan, who was once head of MI5, has been tasked with tracking her down. But the trail leads him straight back to Regent's Park itself, with First Desk Diana Taverner as chief suspect. Has Taverner overplayed her hand at last? Meanwhile, her Russian counterpart, Moscow intelligence's First Desk, has cheekily showed up in London and shaken off his escort. Are the two unfortunate events connected? Over at Slough House, where Jackson Lamb presides over some of MI5's most embittered demoted agents, the slow horses are doing what they do best, and adding a little bit of chaos to an already unstable situation . . .  There are bad actors everywhere, and they usually get their comeuppance before the credits roll. But politics is a dirty business, and in a world where lying, cheating and backstabbing are the norm, sometimes the good guys can find themselves outgunned.




Herron Mick Mick Herron is a bestselling and award-winning novelist and short story writer, best known for his Slough House thrillers. The series has been adapted into a TV series starring Oscar-winning actor Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb. Raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, Herron studied English Literature at Oxford, where he continues to live. After some years writing poetry, he turned to fiction, and – despite a daily commute into London, where he worked as a sub editor – found time to write about 350 words a day. His first novel, Down Cemetery Road, was published in 2003. This was the start of Herron’s Zoë Boehm series, set in Oxford and featuring detective Zoë Boehm and civilian Sarah Tucker. The other books in the series are The Last Voice You Hear, Why We Die, and Smoke and Whispers, set in his native Newcastle. During the same period he wrote a number of short stories, many of which appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. In 2008, inspired by world events, Mick began writing the Slough House series, featuring MI5 agents who have been exiled from the mainstream for various offences. The first novel, Slow Horses, was published in 2010. Some years later, it was hailed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the twenty greatest spy novels of all time. The Slough House novels have been published in 20 languages; have won both the CWA Steel and Gold daggers; have been shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year four times; and have won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz prize. Mick is also the author of the highly acclaimed novels Reconstruction, This is What Happened and Nobody Walks.






Šalamun, Tomaž. The Selected Poems of Tomaž Šalamun. New York. 1988. Ecco Press. 0880011602. Translated from the Slovene. Edited by Charles Simic. Introduction by Robert Hass. 93 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Jo Anne Metsch. Photograph of the author by Charles LePrince.




From the Introduction: Salamun belongs to the generation of Eastern European poets - it includes Joseph Brodsky of Russia and Adam Zagajewski of Poland - who came of age in the 1960s. He shares with these contemporaries a sense of history and commitment to the freedom of his art, but he is likely to take some Western readers by surprise because he also belongs to the traditions of European avant-garde and experimental poetry. This crossbreeding has produced a unique and exhilarating body of work. Playful, strange, full of whimsical self-mythologizing, marked by a sense of the absurd, an edge of anger, a sense of compassion for all forms of private and baffled suffering, his work has the genuinely unpredictable quality that always signals the presence of a living imagination. Šalamun, like Brodsky and Zagajewski, grew up not with the searing experience of war and its aftermath that has marked the poetry of the older generation (Zbigniew Herbert in Poland, Miroslav Holub in Czechoslovakia, Vasko Popa in Yugoslavia), but in the postwar years, when the pinched material circumstances of economic recovery and the pervasive intellectual dishonesty of Stalinism were a kind of normality, the world as given. [The] political condition which for the older generation marked a change, a narrowing of possibilities, seems to have been for the younger generation part of the atmosphere of childhood, so they experienced it as not so much a matter of culture, but a matter of nature. This is not a poetics of revolution, or even of revolt. The issue isn’t justice. It has no millenarian program; it is oppressed by the language of a millenarian program. And so it has the quality of inchoate rebellion, rebellion without a program. It begins in a negation that is also an act of self-liberation, and its future is open-ended . . . . It is this tradition, or this historical moment in European poetry, to which Tomaž Šalamun, with his love of the poetics of rebellion, belongs. 


Salamun TomazTomaž Šalamun (July 4, 1941 – December 27, 2014) was a Slovenian poet born in Zagreb in 1941. He published more than thirty books of poetry and frequently taught at universities in Pittsburgh, Richmond, and Texas. Early in his career, he edited the literary magazine Perspektive and was briefly jailed on political charges. He studied art history at the University of Ljubljana and published his first collection, Poker, at the age of twenty-five. He won Slovenia’s Preseren and Mladost Prizes, as well as a Pushcart Prize, and was a Fulbright Fellow at Columbia University. He was a member of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art.


Robert Hass is the author of Twentieth Century Pleasures, winner of the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. He is currently at work on his third collection of poems, and lives in Berkeley, California.






Incantations & Other Stories by Anjana Appachana. New Brunswick. 1992. Rutgers University Press. 150 pages. Cover photograph by Kasha Dalal. Cover design by the Senate. 0813518288.





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



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









Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles. New York. 1943. Knopf. 273 pages.


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   Eccentric, adventurous Christina Goering Meets the anxious but equally enterprising Mrs. Copperfield at a party. Two serious ladies who want to live outside of themselves, they go in search of salvation: Mrs. Copperfield visits Panama with her husband, where she finds solace among the women who live and work in its brothels; while Miss Goering becomes involved with various men. At the end the two women meet again, each changed by her experience. Mysterious, profound, anarchic and very funny, TWO SERIOUS LADIES is a daring, original work that defies analysis. 



Bowles JaneJane Bowles (born Jane Sydney Auer; February 22, 1917 – May 4, 1973) was an American writer and playwright. Born into a Jewish family in New York, Jane Bowles spent her childhood in Woodmere, New York, on Long Island. She developed tuberculous arthritis of the knee as a teenager and her mother took her to Switzerland for treatment, where she attended boarding school. As a teenager she returned to New York, where she gravitated to the intellectual bohemia of Greenwich Village. She married writer and composer Paul Bowles in 1938. In 1943 her novel Two Serious Ladies was published. The Bowleses lived in New York until 1947, when Paul moved to Tangier, Morocco; Jane followed him in 1948. While in Morocco, Jane had an intense and complicated relationship with a Moroccan woman named Cherifa. She also had a close relationship with torch singer Libby Holman. Jane Bowles wrote the play In The Summer House, which was performed on Broadway in 1953 to mixed reviews. Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and John Ashbery considered her to be one of the finest and most underrated writers of American fiction. Bowles, who suffered from alcoholism, had a stroke in 1957 at age 40. Her health continued to decline, despite various treatments in England and the United States, until she had to be admitted to a clinic in Málaga, Spain, where she died in 1973.





Waterland by Graham Swift. New York. 1983. Poseidon Press. 310 pages. Jacket design by Fred Marcellino. 0671498630.




   Hailed in England as ‘the best novel of the year’ and nominated for the Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award, WATERLAND is a novel of resonant depth and encyclopedic richness. It is also a book about beer, eels, the French Revolution, the end of the world, windmills, will-o’-the-wisps, murder, love, incest, education, curiosity, storytelling and - supremely - the malign and merciful element of water. One bright summer morning in 1943 Henry Crick, a lock-keeper, finds young Freddie Parr’s body floating in his lock. Although the death is termed an accident, Henry Crick’s son Tom knows otherwise, and bears the secret for life, Forty years later, Tom, now a history teacher besieged by a bizarre marital crisis and the ‘phasing out’ of history from his school’s curriculum, abandons his formal lessons to tell his students stories of his native Fenland, an ambiguous, amphibious domain where past and present intermingle, where the drama of loss and reclamation is written in the landscape. Tom Crick traces for his listening class the tragedies and changing fortunes of his forebears: how his eighteenth-century ancestor Thomas Atkinson dredged a river, built an empire, then broke his young wife Sarah’s head in a jealous rage and died of grief; how Sarah survived for fifty years, deprived of her senses, to become a local deity; how his grandfather Ernest fell in love with his own daughter and fathered a child he believed would become Saviour of the World, And he tells them of the fateful repercussions of that summer morning in 1943, which still trap the aging Crick in the consequences of events long ago. WATERLAND is a moving meditation on history, on procreation, on destruction, and on our struggles to shore up our small worlds against the onrushing forces of time and nature.


Swift GrahamGraham Colin Swift (born 4 May 1949) is a English writer. Born in London, England, he was educated at Dulwich College, London, Queens' College, Cambridge, and later the University of York. Some of Swift's books have been filmed, including Last Orders, starring Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins and Waterland, starring Jeremy Irons. Last Orders was joint-winner of the 1996 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and a mildly controversial winner of the 1996 Booker Prize, owing to the superficial similarities in plot to William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Waterland is set in The Fens; a novel of landscape, history and family, it is often cited as one of the outstanding post-war British novels and has been a set text on the English literature syllabus in British schools. Writer Patrick McGrath asked Swift about the ‘feeling for magic’ in Waterland during an interview. Swift responds that ‘The phrase everybody comes up with is magic realism, which I think has now become a little tired. But on the other hand there’s no doubt that English writers of my generation have been very much influenced by writers from outside who in one way or another have got this magical, surreal quality, such as Borges, Márquez, Grass, and that that has been stimulating. I think in general it’s been a good thing. Because we are, as ever, terribly parochial, self-absorbed and isolated, culturally, in this country. It’s about time we began to absorb things from outside.’ Swift was acquainted with Ted Hughes and has himself published poetry of note, some of which is included in Making an Elephant: Writing from Within (2009).





Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love by Kara Walker. Minneapolis. 2007. Walker Art Center. 432 pages. 9780935640861. March 2007.


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   Kara Walker is among the most complex and prolific American artists of her generation. Over the past decade, she has gained international recognition for her room-size tableaux, which depict historical narratives haunted by sexuality, violence and subjugation and are made using the paradoxically genteel eighteenth-century art of cut-paper silhouettes. Set in the antebellum American South, Walker's compositions play off of stereotypes to portray, often grotesquely, life on the plantation, where masters, mistresses and slave men, women and children enact a subverted version of the past in an attempt to reconfigure their status and representation. Over the years, the artist has used drawing, painting, colored-light projections, writing, shadow puppetry, and, most recently, film animation to narrate her tales of romance, sadism, oppression and liberation. Her scenarios thwart conventional readings of a cohesive national history and expose the collective, and ongoing, psychological injury caused by the tragic legacy of slavery. Deploying an acidic sense of humor, Walker examines the dialectics of pleasure and danger, guilt and fulfillment, desire and fear, race and class. This landmark publication, which is sure to win international design awards, accompanies Walker's first major American museum survey. It features critical essays by Philippe Vergne, Sander L. Gilman, Thomas McEvilley, Robert Storr, Michele Wallace and Kevin Young, as well as an illustrated lexicon of recurring themes and motifs in the artist's most influential installations by Yasmil Raymond; more than 200 full-color images; an extensive exhibition history and bibliography; and a 16-page insert by the artist.


Walker KaraKara Elizabeth Walker (born November 26, 1969) is an African-American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, and film-maker who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity in her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. Walker lives in New York City and has taught extensively at Columbia University. She is currently serving a five-year term as Tepper Chair in Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.







The Last Man by Mary Shelley. Oxford/New York. 1994. Oxford University Press. Edited & With An Introduction By Morton D. Paley. 479 pages. Cover illustration is a detail from 'The Old Man and Death', 1773, by Joseph Wright. 0192831526.




   'The last man! Yes. I may well describe that solitary beings feelings, feeling myself as the last relic of a beloved race, my companions extinct before me' - Mary Shelley, Journal, May 1824. Best remembered as the author of FRANKENSTEIN, Mary Shelley wrote THE LAST MAN eight years later, on returning to England from Italy after her husband Percy's death. It is the twenty-first century, and England is a republic governed by a ruling elite, one of whom, Adrian, Earl of Windsor, has introduced a Cumbrian boy to the circle. This outsider, Lionel Verney, narrates the story, a tale of complicated, tragic love, and of the gradual extermination of the human race by plague. THE LAST MAN also functions as an intriguing roman-a-clef, for the saintly Adrian is a monument to Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his friend Lord Raymond is a portrait of Byron. The novel offers a vision of the future that expresses a reaction against Romanticism, as Shelley demonstrates the failure of the imagination and of art to redeem her doomed characters.


Shelley Mary WollstonecraftMary Shelley (née Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were reared by her father. When Mary was four, Godwin married his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet. In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53. Until the 1970s, Mary Shelley was known mainly for her efforts to publish Percy Shelley's works and for her novel Frankenstein, which remains widely read and has inspired many theatrical and film adaptations. Recent scholarship has yielded a more comprehensive view of Mary Shelley’s achievements. Scholars have shown increasing interest in her literary output, particularly in her novels, which include the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), the apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826), and her final two novels, Lodore (1835) and Falkner (1837). Studies of her lesser-known works such as the travel book Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844) and the biographical articles for Dionysius Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–46) support the growing view that Mary Shelley remained a political radical throughout her life. Mary Shelley's works often argue that cooperation and sympathy, particularly as practised by women in the family, were the ways to reform civil society. This view was a direct challenge to the individualistic Romantic ethos promoted by Percy Shelley and the Enlightenment political theories articulated by her father, William Godwin.


Deep Rivers by Jose Maria Arguedas. Austin. 1978. University of Texas Press. Translated From The Spanish By Frances Horning Barraclough. Introduction by John V. Murra. Afterword by Mario Vargas Llosa. 248 pages. 0292715161.




   This powerful, poetic novel, set in the Peruvian Andes, has long resisted translation; its publication in English is truly a literary event. Jose Maria Arguedas draws upon his own Peruvian boyhood in portraying 'the sad and powerful current that buflets children who must face, all alone, a world fraught with monsters and fire, and great rivers. Ernesto, the narrator of DEEP RIVERS, is a child with origins in two worlds. The son of a wandering country lawyer, he is brought up by Indian servants until he enters a Catholic boarding school at age 14. In this urban Spanish environment he is a misfit and a loner. The conflict of the Indian and the Spanish cultures is acted out within him as it was in the life of Arguedas. For the author, the final resolution was his suicide in 1969. For the boy Ernesto, salvation is his world of dreams and memories. The games, music, insects, and flowers of his Andean childhood are more vividly alive for Emesto than the disturbing world of the present. This nostalgia helps to explain the novel's lyrical purity and its poetic, reminiscent tone. A major theme in Deep Rivers is the boy's strong link with the natural world, which is humanized to an extent that surpasses simple metaphor and becomes almost magical. Two of the novel's main episodes-the insurrection of the marketwomen and the suffering of the Indians during a typhus plague-involve conflict between the Indians and their Spanish masters. Ernesto observes these events, bewildered by the violence with which the two cultures clash. As Mario Vargas Llosa points out in the afterword, DEEP RIVERS records historical events and social problems at a personal level, 'the only way literary testimony can be living and not crystallize into dead symbols. ' Texas Pan American Series. CONTENTS: TRANSLATOR'S NOTE; INTRODUCTION by John V. Mutra; THE OLD MAN; Deep rivers; THE LEAVE-TAKING; THE HACIENDA; BRIDGE OVER THE WORLD; THE JOURNEYS; ZUMBAYLLU; THE INSURRECTION; DEEP CANYON; STONE AND LIME; YAWAR MAYU; THE COLONOS; AFTERWORD; DREAMS AND MAGIC IN JOSE MARIA ARGUEDAS by Mario Vargas Llosa; GLOSSARY.


Arguedas Jose MariaJose Maria Arguedas was an ethnologist, a poet, a folk musicologist, and the major Indianist novelist of our time. He was born in 1911 in Andahuaylas in rural Peru and, like Emesto, was raised by Indian servants whom he deeply loved. He earned his doctorate in anthropology at the University of San Marcos in Lima, where he was head of the Anthropology Department at the time of his death. While Arguedas' poetry was published in Quechua, he invented a language for his novels in which he used native syntax with Spanish vocabulary. This makes translation into other languages extremely difficult. Frances Horning Barraclough teaches Spanish at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, and has spent almost twenty years living and working in Chile and other parts of Latin America.





Hämäläinen, Pekka. Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power. New Haven. 2019. Yale University Press. 9780300215953. 530 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration: Jim Yellowhawk, Lakota artist.  


9780300215953FROM THE PUBLISHER -


The first comprehensive history of the Lakota Indians and their profound role in shaping America’s history. This first complete account of the Lakota Indians traces their rich and often surprising history from the early sixteenth to the early twenty-first century. Pekka Hämäläinen explores the Lakotas’ roots as marginal hunter-gatherers and reveals how they reinvented themselves twice: first as a river people who dominated the Missouri Valley, America’s great commercial artery, and then—in what was America’s first sweeping westward expansion—as a horse people who ruled supreme on the vast high plains. The Lakotas are imprinted in American historical memory. Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull are iconic figures in the American imagination, but in this groundbreaking book they emerge as something different: the architects of Lakota America, an expansive and enduring Indigenous regime that commanded human fates in the North American interior for generations. Hämäläinen’s deeply researched and engagingly written history places the Lakotas at the center of American history, and the results are revelatory.


Hamalainen PekkaPekka Hämäläinen is the Rhodes Professor of American History and Fellow of St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. He has served as the principal investigator of a five-year project on nomadic empires in world history, funded by the European Research Council. His previous book, The Comanche Empire, won the Bancroft Prize in 2009.







 Why This World: A Biography Of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser. New York/Oxford. 2009. Oxford University Press. 479 pages. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. Jacket photo - Clarice Lispector in Washington, ca. 1954. 9780195385564.


9780195385564FROM THE PUBLISHER -


   That rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector is one of the most popular but least understood of Latin American writers. Now, after years of research on three continents, drawing on previously unknown manuscripts and dozens of interviews, Benjamin Moser demonstrates how Lispector's art was directly connected to her turbulent life. Born amidst the horrors of post-World War I Ukraine, Clarice's beauty, genius, and eccentricity intrigued Brazil virtually from her adolescence. Why This World tells how this precocious girl, through long exile abroad and difficult personal struggles, matured into a great writer, and asserts, for the first time, the deep roots in the Jewish mystical tradition that make her both the heir to Kafka and the unlikely author of ‘perhaps the greatest spiritual autobiography of the twentieth century.’ From Ukraine to Recife, from Naples and Berne to Washington and Rio de Janeiro, Why This World shows how Clarice Lispector transformed one woman's struggles into a universally resonant art.


 Moser Benjamin Benjamin Moser (September 14, 1976) is an American writer who lives in Utrecht, Netherlands. Born in Houston, Moser attended high school in Texas and France before graduating from Brown University with a degree in History. He briefly studied Chinese and Portuguese. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Utrecht University. He is the New Books Columnist for Harper's Magazine, a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, and the author of a biography of the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector titled Why This World. He discovered the books of Clarice Lispector while studying Portuguese-language literature. He has published translations from the Dutch, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. He speaks six languages in addition to these. He lives with Arthur Japin (a Dutch writer). 







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