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(11/07/2014) James Joyce: A Passionate Exile by John McCourt. London. 2000. Orion Books. hardcover. 112 pages. Front cover: James Joyce by Augustus John courtesy of the artist estate, Bridgernan Art Library. Back: James Joyce in Zurich 1938, Hulton Getty. keywords: Literature Ireland James Joyce Photography Literary Criticism. 0752818295.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   JAMES JOYCE: A PASSIONATE EXILE is a revealing new account of the life, times and writings of the twentieth century’s most distinguished novelist. Combining words with an extraordinary collection of contemporary photographs and other images, it depicts his family’s fall from riches to rags and his experience of growing up in late nineteenth century Dublin. Author and Joyce scholar John McCourt also examines Joyce’s relationship with his life-long partner, Nora Barnacle and casts new light on their 40-year voluntary exile in Europe, first in the cosmopolitan Adriatic port of Trieste, then in lively wartime Zurich, and finally in Paris, the artistic centre of the world in the 1920s and 30s. Exile from Ireland was a necessary condition for Joyce to forge in the smithy of his soul the uncreated conscience of his race in his magnificent short story collection DUBLINERS, in his intense bildungsroman A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN and in his modern epic ULYSSES.

John McCourt is from Dublin. He was educated at Belvedere College and University College, Dublin, where he obtained his PhD for a thesis on Joyce’s Trieste experiences. He has been living and working in Trieste since 1991. He is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Trieste, where he is also programme director of the university’s annual Trieste Joyce School.

 

 

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(11/08/2014) Manuel Puig and The Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions by Suzanne Jill Levine. New York. 2000. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 448 pages. Jacket design by Jonathan D. Lippincott. Jacket photograph by Mario Fenelli. Photograph of author and Manuel Puig, 1981, by Lydia Rubio. keywords: Literature Argentina Biography Latin America Translated. 0374281904.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Manuel Puig (1932-1990), Argentinian author of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and pioneer of high camp, stands alone in the pantheon of contemporary Latin American literature. Strongly influenced by Hollywood films of the thirties and forties, his many-layered novels and plays integrate serious fiction and popular culture, mixing political and sexual themes with B-movie scenarios. When his first two novels were published in the late sixties, they delighted the public but were dismissed as frivolous by the leftist intellectuals of the Boom; his third novel was banned by the Peronist government for irreverence. His influence was already felt though-even by writers who had dismissed him-and by the time the film version of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN became a worldwide hit, he was a renowned literary figure. Puig’s way of life was as unconventional as his fiction: he spoke of himself in the female form in Spanish, renamed his friends after his favorite movie stars, referred to his young male devotees as ‘daughters,’ and, as a perennial expatriate, lived (often with his mother) everywhere from Rome to Rio de Janeiro. Suzanne Jill Levine, his principal English translator, draws upon years of friendship as well as copious research and interviews in her remarkable book, the first biography of this inimitable writer.

SUZANNE JILL LEVINE is a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a noted translator of contemporary Latin American literature. She is the author of three books, including THE SUBVERSIVE SCRIBE.

 

 

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(11/09/2014) The Moon & The Bonfires by Cesare Pavese. New York. 1953. Farrar Straus & Young. hardcover. 206 pages. Translated from the Italian by Marianne Ceconi. Foreword by Paolo Milano. keywords: Literature Italy Translated.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Anguila, the narrator, is a successful businessman lured home from California to the Piedmontese village where he was fostered by peasants. But, after twenty years, much has changed. Slowly, through the power of memory, he is able to piece together the past and relates it to what he finds left in the present. He looks at the lives and sometimes violent faces of the villagers he has known from childhood, setting the poverty, ignorance or indifference that binds them to these hills and valleys against the beauty of the landscape and the rhythm of the seasons. With stark realism and muted compassion, Pavese weaves the strands together and brings them to a stark and poignant climax.

Cesare Pavese (9 September 1908 – 27 August 1950) was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator; he is widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century in his home country. Cesare Pavese was born in Santo Stefano Belbo, in the province of Cuneo. It was the village where his father was born and where the family returned for the summer holidays each year. He started infant classes in San Stefano Belbo, but the rest of his education was in schools in Turin. His most important teacher at the time was Augusto Monti, writer and educator, whose writing style was devoid of all rhetoric. As a young man of letters, Pavese had a particular interest in English-language literature, graduating from the University of Turin with a thesis on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Among his mentors at the university was Leone Ginzburg, expert on Russian literature and literary critic, husband of the writer Natalia Ginzburg and father of the future historian Carlo Ginzburg. In those years, Pavese translated both classic and recent American and British authors that were then new to the Italian public. Pavese moved in antifascist circles. In 1935 he was arrested and convicted for having letters from a political prisoner. After a few months in prison he was sent into ‘confino’, internal exile in Southern Italy, the commonly used sentence for those guilty of lesser political crimes. (Carlo Levi and Leone Ginzburg, also from Turin, were similarly sent into confino.) A year later Pavese returned to Turin, where he worked for the left-wing publisher Giulio Einaudi as editor and translator. Natalia Ginzburg also worked there. Pavese was living in Rome when he was called up into the fascist army, but because of his asthma he spent six months in a military hospital. When he returned to Turin, German troops occupied the streets and most of his friends had left to fight as partisans. Pavese fled to the hills around Serralunga di Crea, near Casale Monferrato.He took no part in the armed struggle taking place in that area. During the years in Turin, he was the mentor of the young writer and translator Fernanda Pivano, his former student at the Liceo D'Azeglio. Pavese gave her the American edition of SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY, which came out in Pivano's Italian translation in 1943.After the war Pavese joined the Italian Communist Party and worked on the party's newspaper, L'Unità. The bulk of his work was published during this time. Toward the end of his life, he would frequently visit Le Langhe, the area where he was born, where he found great solace. Depression, the failure of a brief love affair with the actress Constance Dowling, to whom his last novel was dedicated, and political disillusionment led him to his suicide by an overdose of barbiturates in 1950. That year he had won the Strega Prize for La Bella Estate, comprising three novellas: 'La tenda', written in 1940, 'Il diavolo sulle colline'(1948) and 'Tra donne sole' (1949). Leslie Fiedler wrote of Pavese's death ‘. .for the Italians, his death has come to have a weight like that of Hart Crane for us, a meaning that penetrates back into his own work and functions as a symbol in the literature of an age.’ The circumstances of his suicide, which took place in a hotel room, mimic the last scene of Tra Donne Sole (AMONG WOMEN ONLY), his penultimate book. His last book was 'La Luna e i Falò', published in Italy in 1950 and translated into English as THE MOON AND THE BONFIRES by Louise Sinclair in 1952.

 

 

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(11/10/2014) Old Tales From Spain by Felipe Alfau. Garden City. 1929. Doubleday Doran. hardcover. 207 pages. Illustrated by Rhea Wells. keywords: Spain Childrens Literature.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A collection of children's stories from the author of LOCOS: A COMEDY OF GESTURES and CHROMOS.

Felipe Alfau (1902–1999), was a Spanish American (Catalan American) novelist and poet. Like his contemporaries Luigi Pirandello and Flann O'Brien, Alfau is considered a forerunner of later postmodern writers such as Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, and Gilbert Sorrentino. Born in Barcelona, Alfau emigrated with his family at the age of fourteen to the United States, where he lived the remainder of his life. Alfau earned a living as a translator; his sparse fictional and poetic output remained obscure throughout most of his life. Alfau wrote two novels in English: LOCOS: A COMEDY OF GESTURES and CHROMOS. LOCOS — a metafictive collection of related short stories set in Toledo and Madrid, involving several characters that defy the wishes of the author, write their own stories, and even assume each others' roles — was published by Farrar and Rinehart in 1936. The novel, for which Alfau was paid $250, received some critical acclaim, but little popular attention. The novel was republished in 1987 after an editor for the small publisher Dalkey Archive Press found the book at a barn sale in Massachusetts, read it, and contacted Alfau after finding his telephone number in the Manhattan phone book. The novel's second incarnation was modestly successful, but Alfau refused payment, instructing the publisher to use the earnings from LOCOS to fund some other unpublished work. When asked if he had written any other books, Alfau provided the manuscript for CHROMOS, which had been resting in a drawer since 1948. CHROMOS, a comic story of Spanish immigrants to the United States contending with their two cultures, went on to be nominated for the National Book Award in 1990. Alfau also wrote a book of poetry in Spanish, SENTIMENTAL SONGS (La poesia cursi), written between 1923 and 1987 and published in 1992, and a book of children's stories, OLD TALES FROM SPAIN, written in 1929.

 

 

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(11/11/2014) Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter. New York. 1985. Viking Press. hardcover. 295 pages. February 1985. Jacket illustration & design by Vincent X. Kirsch. Winner James Tait Black Memorial Prize. keywords: Literature England Women. 0670803758.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Sophi Fevvers—the toast of Europe’s capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec—is an aerialiste extraordinaire, star of Colonel Kearney’s circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers’s true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled by his love for Fevvers, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser joins the circus on its tour. The journey takes him - and the reader - on an intoxicating trip through turn-of-the-century London, St. Petersburg, and Siberia - a tour so magical that only Angela Carter could have created it.

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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(11/12/2014) The Watcher And Other Stories by Italo Calvino. New York. 1971. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. hardcover. 181 pages. Jacket design by Anita Walker Scott. Translated from the Italian by William Weaver & Others. keywords: Literature Translated Italy. 0151948801.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Italo Calvino, the scintillating author of COSMICOMICS and T ZERO, shows his astonishing range in these three long stories. In ‘The Watcher,’ fact predominates over fantasy. The setting is Cottolengo, a city within the city of Turin, where, hidden from sight, the rejects of the human race — cripples, idiots, monsters — are cared for by the Church in a self-contained world of their own. Here, on Election Day, Amerigo Ormeo, member of a left-wing party, penetrates into the enemy stronghold to see that no election fraud is committed. Two concepts of man confront each other, movingly, revealingly, and not without a subtle ambiguity. In the other stories fantasy rockets off from its base in fact. ‘Smog,’ written in 1958, marvelously anticipates a preoccupation with pollution that is raised to lunatic proportions. ‘The Argentine Ant’ is a masterpiece of sustained horror with farcical undertones, illustrating man’s defeat before an enemy too small and ubiquitous to be overcome. A bold intelligence, a true originality, a brilliant inventiveness raise these stories to an exhilarating pitch and make them irresistible reading.

Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923 - September 19, 1985) was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979). Italo Calvino was born in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba, to botanists Mario Calvino and Evelina Mameli. (His brother was Floriano Calvino, a famous geologist.) The family soon moved to its homeland Italy, where Italo lived most of his life. They moved to Sanremo, on the Italian Riviera, where his father had come from (his mother came from Sardinia). The young Italo became a member of the Avanguardisti (a fascist youth organization in which membership was practically compulsory) with whom he took part in the occupation of the French Riviera. He suffered some religious troubles, as his relatives were openly atheist in a largely Catholic country. He was sent to attend a Waldensian private school. Calvino met Eugenio Scalfari (later a politician and the founder of the major Italian newspaper La Repubblica), with whom he would remain a close friend. In 1941 Calvino moved to Turin, after a long hesitation over living there or in Milan. He often humorously described this choice, and used to describe Turin as ‘a city that is serious but sad.’ In 1943 he joined the Partisans in the Italian Resistance, in the Garibaldi brigade, with the battlename of Santiago. With Scalfari he created the MUL (liberal universitarian movement). Calvino then entered the (still clandestine) Italian Communist Party. Calvino graduated from the University of Turin in 1947 with a thesis on Joseph Conrad and started working with the official Communist paper L’Unità. He also had a short relationship with the Einaudi publishing house, which put him in contact with Norberto Bobbio, Natalia Ginzburg, Cesare Pavese and Elio Vittorini. With Vittorini he wrote for the weekly Il Politecnico (a cultural magazine associated with the university). Calvino then left Einaudi to work mainly with L’Unità and the newborn communist weekly political magazine Rinascita. He worked again for the Einaudi house from 1950, responsible for the literary volumes. The following year, presumably to advance in the communist party, he visited the Soviet Union. The reports and correspondence he produced from this visit were later collected and earned him literary prizes. In 1952 Calvino wrote with Giorgio Bassani for Botteghe Oscure, a magazine named after the popular name of the party’s head-offices. He also worked for Il Contemporaneo, a Marxist weekly. From 1955 to 1958 Calvino had an affair with the actress Elsa de’ Giorgi, an older and married woman. Calvino wrote hundreds of love letters to her. Excerpts were published by Corriere della Sera in 2004, causing some controversy. In 1957, disillusioned by the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, Calvino left the Italian Communist party. His letter of resignation was published in L’Unità and soon became famous. He found new outlets for his periodic writings in the magazines Passato e Presente and Italia Domani. Together with Vittorini he became a co-editor of Il Menabò di letteratura, a position which Calvino held for many years. Despite severe restrictions in the US against foreigners holding communist views, Calvino was allowed to visit the United States, where he stayed six months from 1959 to 1960 (four of which he spent in New York), after an invitation by the Ford Foundation. Calvino was particularly impressed by the ‘New World’: ‘Naturally I visited the South and also California, but I always felt a New Yorker. My city is New York.’ The letters he wrote to Einaudi describing this visit to the United States, were first published as ‘American Diary 1959-1960’ in the book Hermit in Paris in 2003. In 1962 Calvino met the Argentinian translator Esther Judith Singer (Chichita) and married her in 1964 in Havana, during a trip in which he visited his birthplace and met Ernesto Che Guevara. This encounter later led him to contribute an article on the 15th of October 1967, a few days after the death of Guevara, describing the lasting impression Guevara made on him. Back in Italy, and once again working for Einaudi, Calvino started publishing some of his cosmicomics in Il Caffè, a literary magazine. Vittorini’s death in 1966 influenced Calvino greatly. He went through what he called an ‘intellectual depression’, which the writer himself described as an important passage in his life: ‘. I ceased to be young. Perhaps it’s a metabolic process, something that comes with age, I’d been young for a long time, perhaps too long, suddenly I felt that I had to begin my old age, yes, old age, perhaps with the hope of prolonging it by beginning it early’. He then started to frequent Paris, where he was nicknamed L’ironique amusé. Here he soon joined some important circles like the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) and met Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the fermenting atmosphere that was going to evolve into 1968’s cultural revolution (the French May). During his French experience, he also became fond of Raymond Queneau’s works, which would influence his later production. Calvino had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne (with Barthes) and at Urbino’s university. His interests included classical studies: Honoré de Balzac, Ludovico Ariosto, Dante, Ignacio de Loyola, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergérac, and Giacomo Leopardi. At the same time, not without surprising Italian intellectual circles, Calvino wrote novels for Playboy’s Italian edition (1973). He became a regular contributor to the important Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. In 1975 Calvino was made Honorary Member of the American Academy, and the following year he was awarded the Austrian State Literary Prize for European literature. He visited Japan and Mexico and gave lectures in several American towns. In 1981 he was awarded the prestigious French Légion d’Honneur. During the summer of 1985, Calvino prepared some notes for a series of lectures to be delivered at Harvard University in the fall. However, on 6 September, he was admitted to the ancient hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, where he died during the night between the 18 and 19 September of a cerebral hemorrhage. His lecture notes were published posthumously as Six Memos for the Next Millennium in 1988. His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic reminiscent of fairy tales (Our Ancestors, Cosmicomics), although sometimes his writing is more ‘realistic’ and in the scenic mode of observation (Difficult Loves, for example). Some of his writing has been called ‘postmodern’, reflecting on literature and the act of reading, while some has been labeled ‘magical realist’, others fables, others simply ‘modern’. Twelve years before his death, he was invited to and joined the Oulipo group of experimental writers. He wrote: ‘My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.’.

 

 

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(11/01/2014) Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter. New York. 1969. Simon & Schuster. hardcover. 215 pages. Jacket design by Graham Percy. keywords: Literature England Women.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

  An allegorical post-Apocalyptic novel, in which three surviving social groups—the Professors, the Barbarians, and the Out People—come into conflict when a Professor’s daughter is captured and becomes the bride of a Barbarian. The novel is set in a future Dark Ages, but its opening is a clever parody of ‘Emma.’

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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(10/26/2014) Chinese Junks on the Pacific: Views from a Different Deck by Hans Konrad Van Tilburg. Gainesville. University Press of Florida. paperback. 288 pages. June 2013. A volume in the series New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology, edited by James C. Bradford and Gene A. Smith. 6 x 9. 55 b/w illus. keywords: Chinese Junks Maritime History. 9780813049212.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘It is Van Tilburg’s goal to broaden our understanding of Chinese nautical technology, to explore the evolution of Chinese vessels between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, to investigate the differences between Chinese and Western ships and, in the absence of historical documents, to read the vessels themselves as cultural artefacts [sic] or texts that contain historical information regarding their construction and functions that would otherwise be lost to history.’ —International Journal of Maritime History ‘Treats surviving ships as living records of China’s pre-modern shipbuilding and shipping practices at an archaeological and anthropological juncture. This is a welcome move in scholarship.’ - Mariner’s Mirror ‘By focusing on the voyage of ten junks that crossed the Pacific between 1905 and 1989. [Van Tilburg] reveals the multifarious history behind these vessels and the stereotypes held by an intrigued American public witnessing their arrival.’—Bulletin of the Pacific Circle.

Hans Konrad Van Tilburg, maritime heritage coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the author of A Civil War Gunboat in Pacific Waters: Life on Board USS Saginaw.

 

 

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(10/27/2014) The Return Of William Shakespeare by Hugh Kingsmill. London. 1929. Duckworth & Company. hardcover. 254 pages. keywords: Literature England Shakespeare.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This is the fantastic tale of an insignificant scientist, Albert Henry Butt, who discovers a way to bring the dead back to life. He is able to bring back anyone who has ever lived, but only if he knows exactly when and where the person was born. The character, Melmouth, a Shakespeare fan, talks Butt into bringing the elusive Shakespeare back to life. So, Butt reanimates the Shakespeare living in 1607, when Melmouth believes Shakespeare was at his most influential. However, Shakespeare cannot cope with modern life and 1607 was a time when he was in a deep depression. He has an emotional breakdown. By the time Shakespeare recovers, the unavoidable physical decay of his body begins. Will the mystery of Shakespeare be uncovered?.

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

 

 

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(10/28/2014) Every Day Drinking by Kingsley Amis. London. 1983. Hutchinson & Company. hardcover. 119 pages. Cover illustration by Merrily Harpur. Text illustrations by Merrily Harpur. keywords: Literature England Drink. 0091547105.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Apart from being one of Britain’s most distinguished living writers, Kingsley Amis is recognized as a considerable expert on the art and pleasure of drinking. His interest in the subject is not the limited one of the wine snob, devoted to the fine vintages of Burgundy and Bordeaux, but ranges over the whole field of everyday drinking, from British beer to the most exotic apentifs and liqueurs and from the distillation of single malt whisky and the mixing of the perfect martini to the effective handling of wine waiters and the nursing of a hangover. The pieces in this delightful and informative collection, in short, are concerned with the whole business of drink and drinking, from the manufacture and preparation of the alcoholic substances themselves to the pleasure - and occasional pain - of consuming them, all described with Kingsley Amis’s characteristic blend of knowledge and wit.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/29/2014) Two Murders In My Double Life by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 2001. Farrar Straus Giroux. hardcover. 175 pages. Jacket design by Lynn Buckley. His 1st Novel Written In English. keywords: Literature Translated Czech Eastern Europe. 0374280258.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In Josef Škvorecký’s first novel written in English, the narrator lives in two radically dissimilar worlds: the exile world of the post-Communist Czech Republic where old feuds, treacherous betrayals, and friendships persevere; and the comfortable, albeit bland world of middle-class Canada. Murder intrudes upon both world. One features a young female sleuth, a college beauty queen, jealousy in the world of academia, and a neat conclusion. The other is a tragedy caused by evil social forces and philosophies, in which a web of lies insidiously entangles Sidonia, the narrator’s wife. A brilliantly stylish tour de force in which the bright, sarcastic comedy of one tale sharply contrasts with the dark, elegiac bitterness of the other, TWO MURDERS IN MY DOUBLE LIFE confirms Škvorecký’s reputation as a versatile and engaging writer. Josef Škvorecký (September 27, 1924 – January 3, 2012) was a Czech-Canadian writer and publisher who spent much of his life in Canada.

JOSEF SKVORECKY was born in Bohemia, emigrated to Canada in 1968, and was for many years a professor of English at Erindale College, University of Toronto. He and his wife, the novelist Zdena Salivarova, ran a Czech-language publishing house, Sixty-Eight Publishers, in Toronto, and were long-time supporters of Czech dissident writers before the fall of communism in that country. Skvorecky’s novels include THE COWARDS, MISS SILVER’S PAST, THE BASS SAXOPHONE, THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS, and DVORAK IN LOVE. He was the winner of the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1984 Governor General’s Award for fiction in Canada. Škvorecký's fiction deals with several themes: the horrors of totalitarianism and repression, the expatriate experience, and the miracle of jazz.

 

 

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(10/30/2014) I Want It Now by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1969. Harcourt Brace & World. hardcover. 255 pages. keywords: Literature England.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Ronnie Appleyard’s stock-in-trade as a successful and ambitious TV interviewer is sincerity, a quality he’s an expert on though values little, Yet a stab at candour seems in order when confronted by the altogether unnerving strangeness of Simon Quick, the girl he discovers at a party - barefoot, boyise and heiress to uncountable millions. As he accompanies her through the Hades of lavish, under-catered parties and submits to the dispiriting global entertainments of the extremely rich and their calculated patronage, Ronnie is for once uncertain of his motives, Surely it must be Simon’s money he’s after? What is there about this wild, erratic girl but her money that could possibly puncture his resilient cynicism? I WANT IT NOW is Kingsley Amis’s funniest book since LUCKY JIM. At its centre is a relationship which, in its struggle to overcome the self-consciousness and the clichés of the so-called ‘permissive’ society, illuminates with devastating accuracy and wit the precarious role of honesty in a success-addicted age.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/31/2014) Fireworks by Angela Carter. London. 1974. Quartet Books. hardcover. 122 pages. Jacket design by The Green Bay Packers Art Co. keywords: Literature England Women. 0704320436.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Here is the ritualism of Tokyo where lovers ponder the intangible reflections of themselves, ‘reflections of nothing but appearances, in a city dedicated to seeming’, and ‘the velvet nights spaked with menace’ of a wasted London, poised on the brink of destruction. In these extraordinary tales Angela Carter pinpoints the symbolism of the city streets and weaves allegories around forests and jungles of strange and erotic landscapes of the imagination.

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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(10/18/2014) My Enemy's Enemy by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1963. Harcourt Brace & World. hardcover. 224 pages. Jacket design by Paul Bacon Studios. keywords: Literature England. 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   There are surprises in this first collection of stories by one of the most prominent members of England’s new generation of writers. Satire is here, along with characteristically apt and original turns of phrase, but the tone is more sober than that in any of Kingsley Amis’s four novels, and we discover fresh aspects of a talent that until now has seemed predominantly comic. The closing phases of the war in Europe provide a background for two short stories and a novella about a Corps of Signals company in Belgium, which dramatize with acerb irony the dismay felt by adherents of the old order as a radically different England begins to emerge from the conflict. There are other ironies in three contrasting stories set in postwar England: sad and wry in an account of strife between a sluttish young woman and a detestable social worker; gentler in a swift sketch portraying a girl of eighteen on her first date with an office superior; overtly compassionate in a substantial and beautifully modulated tale about a man in his sixties who discovers fresh truths about himself and human nature in general when he attends the funeral of the woman he has loved. The final story, in which an aficionado of science fiction successfully tries his own hand at that mode, brings to a subtly disturbing close a volume of uncommon interest and variety.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/19/2014) The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. New York. 1977. Norton. hardcover. 602 pages. Painting by Domenica di Michelino, ‘Dante and His Poem’ (detail). Jacket design by Mike McIver. Translated by John Ciardi. keywords: Literature Translated Italy Poetry. 0393044726.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This brilliant, standard translation of one of the great classics of Western literature is now made available in a single-volume hardcover edition, for the first time complete and in final form. Although Dante is one of the two who 'divide the world between them,' the world had to wait until now for a truly accessible translation of Dante into spoken English. Archibald MacLeish describes Ciardi's version as 'a text with the clarity and sobriety of a first-rate prose translation wich at the same time suggests in powerful and unmistakable ways the run and rhythm of the great original. .a spectacular achievement.'

Durante degli Alighieri (Dante 1265–1321), was a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. In Italy he is called il Sommo Poeta (‘the Supreme Poet’) and il Poeta. He, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also called ‘the three fountains’ and ‘the three crowns’. Dante is also called ‘the Father of the Italian language’.

Poet, educator, critic, John Ciardi has won countless awards, much praise, and a strong following for his own poetry. He was the poetry editor of the Saturday Review for sixteen years, director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference for seventeen years, and an essayist of both wit and powerful insight.

 

 

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(10/20/2014) Open Doors and Three Novellas by Leonardo Sciascia. New York. 1992. Knopf. hardcover. 295 pages. August 1992. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. Translated from the Italian by Marie Evans. Joseph Farrell & Sacha Rabinovitch. keywords: Literature Translated Sicily Italy. 0394589793.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   From the late Leonardo Sciascia, four brief but virtuoso novellas that confirm his preeminence as one of Italy’s greatest contemporary writers. Using past and present real-life events as the points of departure for his fiction, Sciascia’s self- styled racconti-inchiesti, or investigative tales, are as emotionally condensed as they are linguistically rich. In the title novella, Sciascia transports us to Palermo; it is 1937. It is here that the politics of fascism, with its policy of ‘closed doors,’ collide with those of socialism, whose doors are ostensibly open. As we ponder the fate of a man on trial for the triple murder of his wife, his former employer, and the successor to his job, it is not so much the verdict that keeps us in suspense as the sentence the accused may face from the presiding judge. In Death and the Knight, a police deputy wearily approaching the end of his career finds himself in confrontation with a radical student group—an encounter that leads him down a path of fear and paranoia, the repercussions of which linger long after the story’s chilling conclusion. The ironically titled A Straightforward Tale presents, in an astonishingly brief period of time, every possible perspective on the mysterious death of a diplomat who has been found slumped over his desk, pen in hand, the piece of paper in front of him containing nothing but the words ‘I have found.’ And in 1912 + 1, a wealthy and beautiful contessa is put on trial for the murder of the handsome young orderly who had forced his attentions on her. In writing that is beautifully textured, an brilliantly incorporating psychological suspense and indelible character portraits into the larger spheres of politics and history, Leonardo Sciascia reemerges, once and for all, as an enduring and eloquent voice in contemporary Italian literature.

The late novelist and essayist Leonardo Sciascia (1921-1989) was one of Italy’s greatest contemporary writers, His critically acclaimed fiction has been translated into a number of languages and has also been turned into films, the most recent of which, Open Doors, based on the novella contained in this quartet, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1990.

 

 

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(10/21/2014) We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire by Suzanna Reiss. Berkeley. University of California Press. paperback. 330 pages. August 2014. American Crossroads, 39. 6 x 9. 1 map, 12 images. keywords: History. 9780520280786.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This history of U.S.-led international drug control provides new perspective on the economic, ideological, and political foundations of a Cold War American empire. We Sell Drugs is grounded in the transnational geography and political economy of the coca leaf and coca-derived commodities market stretching to the U.S. from Peru and Bolivia. Coca was one of two seminal substances in international drug control. More than a narrow account of the biography of a famous plant and its equally famous derivative products—Coca-Cola and cocaine—Suzanna Reiss situates these commodities within a landscape of drug production and consumption. Examining efforts to control the circuits through which coca traveled, Reiss provides a geographic and legal anchor for considering the historical construction of designations of legality and illegality. The book also argues that the legal status of any given drug is premised on who grew, manufactured, distributed, and consumed it and not on the qualities of the drug itself. Drug control is part of a powerful toolbox for ordering international trade, national economies, and society’s habits and daily lives. In a historical landscape animated by struggles over political economy, national autonomy, colonialism, and racial equality, We Sell Drugs insists on the socio-historical underpinnings of designations of legality to explore how drug control became a weapon for ordering domestic and international affairs.

Suzanna Reiss is assistant professor of history at the University of Hawai’i Manoa.

 

 

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(10/22/2014) Johnson Without Boswell by Hugh Kingsmill. New York. 1941. Knopf. hardcover. 318 pages. keywords: Literature England Biography Samuel Johnson.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Boswell’s LIFE OF JOHNSON is in some respects a first draft of Boswell’s autobiography. Some say that Boswell resurrected Johnson; others that Johnson lies imprisoned in Boswell’s book. How Boswell posthumously possessed Johnson and, like a great theatrical director, produced him for an audience of readers as a tremendous John Bull character, was brilliantly indicated by an anthology called JOHNSON WITHOUT BOSWELL , put together in 1940 by Hugh Kingsmill.’ - an extract from Michael Holroyd’s Biography Lecture on the Orange Word Stage at the Hay festival, June 9, 2002.

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

 

 

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(10/23/2014) Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages by Lynn T. Ramey. Gainesville. University Press of Florida. hardcover. 192 pages. September 2014. 9 x 6. keywords: History Race. 9780813060071.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘A provocative study of western racial attitudes Ramey adds an important, likely controversial, and well-written scholarly challenge to the argument that racism in the West was the product of nineteenth-century science ‘—Hamilton Cravens, coeditor of Race and Science. ‘The significance of this book extends beyond the medieval past Black Legacies shows that behind myths of knights in shining armor and fair maidens lies a contested literary and cultural history of medievalism that troubles understandings of race Uncorrected Proof from the nineteenth century to today ‘—Russ Castronovo, author of Beautiful Democracy. Black Legacies looks at color-based prejudice in medieval and modern texts in order to reveal key similarities Bringing far-removed time periods into startling conversation, this book argues that certain attitudes and practices present in Europe’s Middle Ages were foundational in the development of the western concept of race Using historical, literary, and artistic sources, Lynn Ramey shows that twelfth- and thirteenth-century discourse was preoccupied with skin color and the coding of black as ‘evil’ and white as ‘good ‘ Ramey demonstrates that fears of miscegenation show up in all medieval European societies She pinpoints these same ideas in the rhetoric of later centuries Mapmakers and travel writers of the colonial era used medieval lore of ‘monstrous peoples’ to question the humanity of indigenous New World populations, and medieval arguments about humanness were employed to justify the slave trade Ramey even analyzes how race is explored in films set in medieval Europe, revealing an enduring fascination with the Middle Ages as a touchstone for processing and coping with racial conflict in the West today.

LYNN T. RAMEY is associate professor of French at Vanderbilt University She is the author of Christian, Saracen and Genre in Medieval French Literature: Imagination and Cultural Interaction in the French Middle Ages and coeditor of Race, Class, and Gender in ‘Medieval’ Cinema.

 

 

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(10/25/2014) One Fat Englishman by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1964. Harcourt Brace World. hardcover. 192 pages. Jacket design by Janet Halverson. keywords: Literature England.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Roger, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?’ says Helene Bang, a beautiful Danish-American to the hero of the funniest novel Kingsley Amis has yet written. ‘Why are you so awful?’ Part of the awfulness of Roger Micheldene, an English publisher at large in the United States, is snobbery. (‘Very angst-producing, being a snob,’ says Roger.) There are also the seven deadly sins, of which he considers himself qualified in gluttony, sloth, and lust, and distinguished in anger. As he spends an October week or two shuttling between New York and the environs of Budweiser College in Pennsylvania, his snobbery and gluttony and anger are too rampant to leave much room for sloth, and his lust for the dazzling Helene drives him to extremes. Turning his relentless gaze upon the American way of life, Kingsley Amis has been inspired to create other notable figures: the precocious undergraduate author of a way-out novel, who proposes to goad Roger into behaving spontaneously; an earnest young priest, who incurs Roger’s loathing by assuring him that his soul is at variance with God; an alcoholic literary agent’s nymphomaniacal wife, who occasionally succeeds in distracting Roger from Helene.

They are presented with glee and gusto and the keenest wit, but it is Roger Micheldene - at once a prototype of the insufferable Englishman and a brilliantly realized individual sufficiently human to win our sneaking sympathy – who dominates a supremely entertaining comedy of bad manners.

 

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/14/2014) New Maps Of Hell: A Survey Of Science Fiction by Kingsley Amis. New York. 1960. Harcourt Brace & Company. hardcover. 161 pages. keywords: Science Fiction Literature England.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In this hilarious, inspiring and provocative series of essays, Kingsley Amis introduces every reader to the wonders and value of science fiction writing. He surveys the magnificent panorama of this world of fact and fantasy, of Jules Verne and H G Wells, of madly ingenious inventions and cosmic disaster, of bug-eyed monsters and credible human experiments, of revolutionary inventions and awesome transformations, of exploration of the outer reaches of space, and of strange worlds within the universe. New Maps of Hell is a warm and witty exploration of a world many readers may be yet to discover.

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/15/2014) The Golden Age Of Science Fiction by Kingsley Amis (editor). London. 1981. Hutchinson & Company. hardcover. 370 pages. keywords: Science Fiction Anthology. 009145770x.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   An anthology of science fiction short stories by Anthony Boucher, Philip Latham, Frederick Pohl, Brian W. Aldiss, James Blish, Kurt Vonnegut, J. G. Ballard, Robert Sheckley, H. Beam Piper, Cordwainer Smith, Arthur C. Clarke, Harry Harrison, Damon Knight, Isaac Asimov, F. L. Wallace, Jerome Bixby, Poul Anderson. Kingsley Amis locates "the golden age of science fiction" somewhere between its flowering in the late 40s and the lapse into self-consciousness in the early 60s. The stories in this anthology, which includes most of the greatest names in science fiction, come from the years 1949-62. They offer an astonishingly varied range, but all of them illustrate Amis's summing up of the achievements of the ‘golden age’: In the words of Kingsley Amis, ‘what they wrote was far more inventive, more fictional, fictitious, fictive than any other kind of fiction.’

Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 

 

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(10/17/2014) Spectrum V: A Fifth S. F. Anthology by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest (editors). London. 1966. Gollancz. hardcover. 272 pages. keywords: Science Fiction Anthology England.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The SPECTRUM science fiction anthologies edited by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest have been hailed, one after another, as being unquestionably at the top of their class. Appealing both to the regular science fiction addict and also to the casual reader, this new collection, the fifth in the series, presents a cross-section of science-fiction ideas to tickle and stimulate every palate. The eight stories deal, amongst other things, with how humanity can graduate into Galactic society; why 28 days on the Moon can change entirely a spaceman’s fundamental concept of life; how strange plants on a distant planet reproduce; and how, scientifically, the impossible can be achieved in about two weeks! The authors are F. L. Wallace; Walter M. Miller; Raymond F. Jones; James H. Schmitz; Tom Godwin; Theodore L. Thomas; Paul Ash and Richard Ashby. As usual, Amis and Conquest have started the Anthology with a provoking commentary on science fiction as a genre and, as in previous books in the series, nearly every story is published here for the first time in volume form.

 

 

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(07/19/2014) Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe by Simon Winder. New York. Farrar Straus Giroux. 551 pages. hardcover. 9780374175290. Jacket design and illustration by Oliver Munday. keywords: History Hapsburg Europe

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A charmingly personal history of Hapsburg Europe, as lively as it is informative, by the author of Germania For centuries much of Europe was in the hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off-through luck, guile and sheer mulishness-any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere-indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without them. Danubia, Simon Winder's hilarious new book, plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Full of music, piracy, religion and fighting, it is the history of a strange dynasty, and the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna. Readers who discovered Simon Winder's storytelling genius and infectious curiosity in Germania will be delighted by the eccentric and fascinating tale of the Habsburgs and their world.

 

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(08/02/2014) A Treatise On Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz. New York. 2001. Ecco Press. 125 pages.. hardcover. 0060185244. Jacket design by Angela Voulangas.  Translated from the Polish by the Author & Robert Hass. keywords: Poetry Poland Translated Literature.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The Nobel Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz began his remarkable A TREATISE ON POETRY in the winter of 1955 and finished it in the spring of 1956. It was published originally in parts in the Polish émigré journal Kultura. Now it is available in English for the first time in this expert translation by the award-winning American poet Robert Hass. A TREATISE ON POETRY is a great poem about some of the most terrible events in the twentieth century. Divided into four sections, the poem begins at the end of the nineteenth century as a comedy of manners and moves with a devastating momentum through World War I to the horror of World War II. Then it takes on directly and plainly the philosophical abyss into which the European cultures plunged. ‘Author's Notes’ on the poem appear at the end of the volume. A stunning literary composition, these notes stand alone as brilliant miniature portraits that magically re-create the lost world of prewar Europe. A TREATISE ON POETRY evokes the European twentieth century, its comedy and terror and grief, with the force and expressiveness of a great novel. A tone poem to a lost time, a harrowing requiem for the century's dead, and a sober meditation on history, consciousness, and art: here is a masterwork that confronts the meaning of the twentieth century with a directness and vividness that are without parallel. 

Czeslaw Milosz was born in Lithuania in 1911. His books of poetry in English include The Collected Poems, 1931-1987, UNATTAINABLE EARTH, THE SEPARATE NOTEBOOKS, PROVINCES, BELLS IN WINTER, and SELECTED POEMS. He was a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.

 

 

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(08/05/2014) Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World by Catherine Barnett and Tiphanie Yanique (editors). New Adams. 2014. Tupelo Press. 368 pages. April 2014. paperback. 9781936797400. Cover design by Josef Beery. keywords: Literature Anthology Poetry World English

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Poetry Foundation's Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. POETS IN THE WORLD Series, Ilya Kaminsky, Series Editor. In this unprecedented anthology, acclaimed poets from around the world select poems from their countries of origin, poems all in English but springing from widely varied voices, histories, and geographies. Readers will find eloquence, urgency, and enchantment. These poems confirm English to be vital and evolving, deployed by revered and emerging poets in Aotearoa/New Zealand (selected by Hinemoana Baker) and Australia (by Les Murray), Canada (by Todd Swift), the Caribbean (by Ishion Hutchinson and five other Caribbean poets), Ghana (by Kwame Dawes), India (by Sudeep Sen), and South Africa (by Rustum Kozain).

Catherine Barnett is author of two books of poems: The Game of Boxes (Graywolf, 2012), winner of the James Laughlin Award, and Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James, 2004). Her honors include a Whiting Writer's Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches at Barnard College, the New School, and New York University, and is currently visiting professor in the Hunter College MFA Program.

Tiphanie Yanique is author of How to Escape from a Leper Colony (Graywolf, 2010). Her writing won the 2011 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Fiction, a Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Fulbright, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her novel Land of Drowning will be published by Riverhead/Penguin in 2014. She is from the Virgin Islands and is a professor in the MFA program at the New School.

 

 

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(08/15/2014) Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West by Rebecca Solnit. Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 408 pages. paperback. 9780520282285. Cover design by Sandy Drooker. keywords: History America West Politics

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   'A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book.'-Larry McMurtry. In 1851, a war began in what would become Yosemite National Park, a war against the indigenous inhabitants. A century later - in 1951 - and a hundred and fifty miles away, another war began when the U.S. government started setting off nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site. It was called a nuclear testing program, but functioned as a war against the land and people of the Great Basin. In this foundational book of landscape theory and environmental thinking, Rebecca Solnit explores our national Eden and Armageddon and offers a pathbreaking history of the west, focusing on the relationship between culture and its implementation as politics. In a new preface, she considers the continuities and changes of these invisible wars in the context of our current climate change crisis, and reveals how the long arm of these histories continue to inspire her writing and hope. 'A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book. Rebecca Solnit tells this story with the passion and clarity it deserves.'-Larry McMurtry. 'The product of a stunningly original and expansive imagination. Savage Dreams ties together the histories of Yosemite National Park and the Nevada Test Site. to illuminate the political stakes of how we think about, and act upon, the landscape.' -SF Weekly. 'Savage Dreams summons us to the campfires of resistance.'-Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz. 'Savage Dreams is about many things: despoliation and restoration, finding a voice between contemporary noise and silence, making friends and enemies. Most of all, though, it may be about a journey into history: about how understanding history and making it are not really very different.'-Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces. 'A wonderful and important book, weaving past and present, politics and spirituality, land and history, pleasure and outrage, esthetics and activism, into a map where we as Americans find ourselves today. Intellectually challenging but beautifully written and eminently readable, Savage Dreams has both heart and teeth.' -Lucy Lippard, author of Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory.

Rebecca Solnit is the author of many books, including Storming the Gates of Paradise, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas.

 

 

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(10/12/2014) Mary Ann Carroll: First Lady of the Highwaymen by Gary Monroe. Gainesville. University Press of Florida. hardcover. 192 pages. September 2014. 8 x 10. keywords:. 9780813049694.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Beach scenes on hotel walls, Poinciana trees in the White House. ‘Here, Monroe tells perhaps his most compelling tale of all—about the only Highwaywoman, Mary Ann Carroll ‘ —Jeff Klinkenberg, author of Alligators in B-Flat. ‘A tale of triumph, personal survival, discipline, and, finally, of faith ‘—Linda Hudson, mayor, Fort Pierce, Florida. In the years since the art world discovered them, much has been made of the Highwaymen—the loosely knit band of African American painters whose edenic Florida land scapes, created with inexpensive materials and sold out of their cars, ‘shaped the state’s popular image as much as oranges and alligators’ (New York Times) But lost in the legends surrounding the group is the mesmerizing story of Mary Ann Carroll, the only female ‘Highwayman ‘ In 1957, sixteen-year-old Carroll met Harold Newton, later dubbed the original Highwayman He had red flames on his car and was painting a landscape along the side of the road The young African American girl was shocked: here was a black man who didn’t work in the orange groves, who made a living off his paintings It wasn’t long before she was creating and selling her own landscapes, and the other Highwaymen, taking note of her startling use of color, welcomed her into the fold Carroll sold her first painting at eighteen - remarkable for any young artist, unheard of for a black woman artist in the South Like her Highwaymen brethren, she travelled across the state, selling her art at hotels, offices, and restaurants where she was not allowed to drink, eat, or even sit If the Highwaymen faced discrimination at every door they knocked on, then the challenges were magnified for Carroll She took pride in always having her pristine Buick gassed and ready to go and her small handgun cleaned and ready to use After years of virtual obscurity, Carroll was invited to the First Lady’s Luncheon in 2011, where she presented a painting of her iconic poinciana to Michelle Obama Mary Ann Carroll is the never-before-told story of a black female artist’s hard- fought journey to feed her family and make a name for herself in a man’s world.

GARY MONROE, professor of fine arts and photography at Daytona State College, is the author of numerous books, including The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters, The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams, and Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman Harold Newton The Highwaymen The Original Highwayman.

 

 

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(10/06/2014) Antipoems: New & Selected by Nicanor Parra. New York. 1985. New Directions. hardcover. 208 pages. Jacket photograph by Layle Silbert. design by Denise Breslin. Edited by David Unger Various Translators From The Spanish. keywords: Poetry Translated Latin America Chile Literature. 0811209598.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ANTIPOEMS: NEW AND SELECTED, a fresh bilingual gathering aswell as retrospective of the work of Chile’s foremost poet, reintroduces him to North American readers after thirteen years. Though he has been hardly unproductive, the politics of his homeland have channeled his inventiveness into new modes of expression, which remind us of the sometimes sly hermeticism of Italian writers, Eugenio Montale and Elio Vittorini among them, during the Fascist regime. As Frank MacShane makes clear in his introduction, Parra has not tried to escape repression, but by ‘using his wit and his humor, he has shown how the artist can still speak the truth in troubled times.’ Since much of Parra’s early work is now out of print, editor David Unger has included many of the poems which influenced North American poets such as Ferlinghetti and Merton in the ‘50s and ‘60s, some in new or revised translations. Of Parra’s more recent work, there are generous selections from Artifacts (1972), Sermons and Preachings of the Christ of Elqui (1977), New Sermons and Preachings of the Christ of Elqui (1979), Jokes to Mislead the Police (1983), Ecopoems (1983), Recent Sermons (1983), and a section of ‘Uncollected Poems’ (1984). ANTIPOEMS: NEW AND SELECTED is edited by David Unger, who contributed many of the translations to Enrique Lihn’s THE DARK ROOM AND OTHER Poems (New Directions, 1978). Professor Frank MacShane of Columbia University, in his critical introduction, gives a full evaluation of a poet who ‘is unquestionably one of the most influential and accomplished in Latin America today, heir to the position long held by his countryman, Pablo Neruda.’ CONTENTS: Introduction by Prank MacShane; Editor’s Note by David Unger; from Poemas y antipoemas/Poems and Antipoems (1954); from Nebulosa/Nebula (1950); from Versos de salon/Salon Verses (1962); from Canciones rusas/Russian Songs (1967); from Ejercicios respiratorios/Breathing Exercises (1964-66); from La camisa de fuerza/The Straitjacket (1968); Los Professores/The Teachers (1971); from Poemas de emergencia/Emergency Poems (1972); from Artefactos/Artifacts (1972); Memorias de un ataud/Memories of a Coffin (1975); from Sermones y prédicas del Cristo de Elqui/The Sermons and Preachings of the Christ of Elqui (1977); from Nuevos sermones y prédicas del Cristo de Elqui/New Sermons and Preachings of the Christ of Elqui (1979); from Chistes parRa desorientar a la policia/Jokes to Mislead the Police (1983); from Ecopoemas/Eco poems (1983); from Ultimos sermones/Recent Sermons (1983); from Poemas inéditos/Uncollected Poems (1984); Index of titles (Spanish); Index of titles (English).

Nicanor Parra Sandoval (born 5 September 1914) is a Chilean poet, mathematician, and physicist. He is considered an influential poet in Chile and throughout Latin America. Some rank him among the most important poets of Spanish language literature. Parra describes himself as an ‘anti-poet,’ due to his distaste for standard poetic pomp and function; after recitations he exclaims ‘Me retracto de todo lo dicho’ (‘I take back everything I said’). Parra, the son of a schoolteacher, was born in 1914 in San Fabián de Alico, Chile, near Chillán in southern Chile. He comes from the artistically prolific Parra family of performers, musicians, artists, and writers. His sister, Violeta Parra, was a folk singer, as was his brother Roberto Parra Sandoval. In 1933, he entered the Instituto Pedagógico of the University of Chile, and qualified as a teacher of mathematics and physics in 1938, one year after his first book, Cancionero sin Nombre, appeared. After teaching in Chilean secondary schools, in 1943 he enrolled in Brown University in the United States to study physics. In 1948, he attended Oxford University to study cosmology. He returned to Chile as a professor at the Universidad de Chile in 1946. Since 1952, Parra has been professor of theoretical physics in Santiago and has read his poetry in England, France, Russia, Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. He has published several books. Parra chooses to leave behind the conventions of poetry; his poetic language renounces the refinement of most Latin American literature and adopts a more colloquial tone. His first collection, Poemas y Antipoemas (1954) is a classic of Latin American literature, one of the most influential Spanish poetry collections of the twentieth century. It is cited as an inspiration by American Beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg. On December 1, 2011, Parra won the Spanish Ministry of Culture's Cervantes Prize, the most important literary prize in the Spanish-speaking world. On June 7, 2012, he won the Premio Iberoamericano de Poesía Pablo Neruda.

 

 

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(10/07/2014) Black Venus by Angela Carter. London. 1985. Chatto & Windus/Hogarth Press. hardcover. 121 pages. Jacket design by Don Macpherson. keywords: Literature England Women. 0701139641.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Extraordinary and diverse people inhabit this rich, ripe, occasionally raucous collection of short stories. Some are based on real people - Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire’s handsome and reluctant muse who never asked to be called the Black Venus, trapped in the terminal ennui of the poet’s passion, snatching at a little lifesaving respectability against all odds. Edgar Allen Poe, with his face of a tragic actor, demonstrating in every thought and deed how right his friends were when they said ‘No man is safe who drinks before breakfast.’ And Lizzie Borden, lying in bed one hot summer’s night in a turn-of-the-century New England mill town, dreaming about parricide. And some of these people are totally imaginary. Such as the seventeenth century whore, transported to Virginia for thieving, who turns into a good woman in spite of herself among the Indians, who have nothing worth stealing. And a girl, suckled by wolves, strange and indifferent as nature, who will not tolerate returning to humanity. To say nothing of the ‘infant prodigy of the pans’, the child chef who teaches himself French from cookery books (‘A for asperges. And one of them - ‘Call me the Golden Herm’ - takes off from a clue about the ambiguous nature of the changeling prince in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ who causes so much trouble between Oberon and Titania. Angela Carter wonderfully mingles history, fiction, invention, literary criticism, high drama and low comedy in a glorious collection of stories as full of contradictions and surprises as life itself. Angela Carter was born in 1940. She read English at Bristol University, spent two years living in Japan and from 1976-8 was a Fellow in Creative Writing at Sheffield University. She was visiting professor in the Writing Programme at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1980-81, and writer in residence at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, in 1984. Her first novel, SHADOW DANCE, was published in 1965, to be followed by THE MAGIC TOYSHOP (1967, John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), SEVERAL PERCEPTIONS (1968, Somerset Maugham Award), HEROES AND VILLAINS (1969), LOVE (1971), THE INFERNAL DESIRE MACHINES OF DR HOFFMAN (1972), THE PASSION OF NEW EVE (1977) and NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS (1984). Angela Carter has also published two collections of stories, Fireworks (1974) and THE BLOODY CHAMBER (1979, Cheltenham Festival of Literature Award); and two works of non-fiction, THE SADEIAN WOMAN: AN EXERCISE IN CULTURAL HISTORY (1979) AND NOTHING SACRED (1982), a collection of her journalism from New Society and elsewhere. She also wrote, with Neil Jordan, the script for the film The Company of Wolves (1984).

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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17 November 2018

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Unspeakable Scot, by T. H. W. Crosland (1902)

    “This book is for Englishmen,” T. H. W. Crosland writes in his introduction to The Unspeakable Scotsman. “It is also in the nature of a broad hint for Scotchmen,” he adds, and the hint is a none-too-subtle invitation to back in their place, which Crosland defines as intrinsically inferior to that of any Englishman. He... Read more

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  • Shade of Eden, by Kathleen Sully (1960)

    I wrote in my post on Kathleen Sully’s Canaille that she was an unstudied novelist — sometimes clumsy in her prose and style but also free of many of the conventions of more mainstream writers. In Shade of Eden, she amply demonstrates that one set of conventions she felt free to ignore was that of... Read more

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  • Once Around the Sun, by Brooks Atkinson (1951)

    January 5th For seventeen years, seven days a week, Joe Berman has efficiently presided over his newsstand at the corner of Eighty-sixth Street and Broadway. He opens it before five in the morning. Mrs. Berman, wearing a smart hair-do and a Persian lamb coat, relieves him for an hour at breakfast and for two hours... Read more

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  • Canaille, by Kathleen Sully (1956)

    In his Observer review of Canaille, Kathleen Sully’s second book, John Wain wrote, “one never knows what she will do from one page to the next, only that it will probably be something surprising.” After reading over a dozen of Sully’s novels, I can say that truer words have rarely been written. Canaille (French for... Read more

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  • Red Salvia!, from The Tribulations of a Baronet, by Timothy Eden (1933)

    He turns his attention to the head gardener, who has been hovering in the background. They go through the houses — orchids, gardenias — a whole house full of these — a purple lasiandra climbing against a grey wall, the cool malmaisons, where he picks himself a button-hole, cherry-pie, verbena, sweet-scented geranium, and so out... ...

  • The Tribulations of a Baronet, by Timothy Eden (1933)

    I first mentioned The Tribulations of a Baronet in a post derived from an article titled “Out of Print” from the TLS in 1961. At the time, I wrote that it “appears to be a bit like Joe Gould’s Secret, another masterful portrait of a man of great promise and much disappointment.” Having since read... Read more

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  • Complete eTexts of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage Now Available

    As faithful readers of this site (both of them) know, I devoted nearly two months’ reading and writing back in 2016 to Dorothy Richardson’s 13-volume masterpiece, Pilgrimage, and it remains perhaps the most profoundly revealing experience in by reading life. I personally think that all self-respecting adult males should be required to read Pilgrimage, as... ...

  • “To my Daughter on her Birthday,” from Yorkshire Lyrics, collected by John Hartley

    To my Daughter on her Birthday Darling child, to thee I owe, More than others here will know; Thou hast cheered my weary days, With thy coy and winsome ways. When my heart has been most sad, Smile of thine has made me glad; In return, I wish for thee, Health and sweet felicity. May... Read more

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  • Luxury Cruise, by Joseph Bennett (1962)

    Reading Luxury Cruise is a bit like thumbing through issues of Holiday magazine, the glossy travel magazine of the 1950s. The look, the ads, the content — they all spell “M,000,000,000Ney.” The passengers aboard the Olympic have paid at least $14,000 each for their berths on this round-the-world cruise. That’s over $120,000 in today’s dollars,... Read

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  • Appius and Virginia, by G. E. Trevelyan (1933)

    I’ll admit that I bought G. E. Trevelyan’s novel, Appius and Virginia, on the briefest of descriptions: “A story of a spinster who raises an ape in isolation in hopes of turning him into a man.” It seemed to promise another His Monkey Wife, John Collier’s sublime account of … well, as the title says.... Read more

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