Zenosbooks

Book Blogs

General book blog.

(09/14/2014) Tiny Game Hunting: Environmentally Healthy Ways to Trap and Kill the Pests in Your House and Garden New Edition by Hilary Dole Klein and Adrian M. Wenner. Berkeley. 2001. University of California Press. 268 pages. paperback. 9780520221079. Line drawings by Courtlandt Johnson. keywords: Pests Ecology

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Every year Americans use a staggering five hundred million pounds of toxic pesticides in and around their homes, schools, parks, and roads-a growing health risk for people and the environment. But are these poisons really necessary? This book, appealing to the hunter in us all, shows how to triumph in combat with pests without losing the war to toxic chemicals. Tiny Game Hunting, written in a lively and entertaining style and illustrated with detailed drawings, gives more than two hundred tried-and-true ways to control or kill common household and garden pests without using toxic pesticides.

 

 

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(09/15/2014) Route 66: A Road to America's Landscape, History, and Culture (Plains Histories) by Markku Henriksson. Lubbock. 2014. Texas Tech University Press. 269 pages. paperback. 9780896728257. Cover design by Ashley Beck. Foreword by Susan A. Miller. Plains Histories. keywords: Highways America History Transportation Route 66

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   When Markku Henriksson was growing up in Finland, the song '(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66' was one of only two he could recognize--in English or Finnish. It was not until 1989 that Henriksson would catch his first glimpse of the legendary highway. It was enough to lure Henriksson four years later to the second international Route 66 festival in Flagstaff. There he realized that Route 66 was the perfect basis for a multidisciplinary American Studies course, one that he has been teaching at the University of Helsinki ever since. Forming the soul of this work--and yielding a more holistic and complex picture than any previous study--are Henriksson's 1996 (east to west) and 2002 (west to east) journeys along the full length of the Route and his mastery of the literature and film that illuminate the Route's place in Americana. Not a history of the road itself and the towns along the way, Henriksson's perspective offers insight into America and its culture as revealed in its peoples, their histories, cultures, and music as displayed along the Mother Road. Editorial Reviews Review Route 66 is a love letter to America's Main Street. For all its historical and cultural context, this is, ultimately, a Finn's celebration of that fantasy of the American Road. --Susan A. Miller, from the foreword.

McDonnell Douglass Chair of American Studies at the University of Helsinki, Markku Henriksson has lectured on Route 66 in Estonia, Sweden, and Canada, as well as Finland and the United States.

 

 

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(09/08/2014) Hermann Hesse's Fictions of the Self: Autobiography and the Confessional Imagination by Eugene L. Stelzig. Princeton. 1988. Princeton University Press. 346 pages. hardcover. 0691067503. keywords: Literary Critism Hermann Hesse Germany Literature

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This masterful synthesis of criticism and biography surveys all of Hermann Hesse's major works and many of his minor ones in relation to the intricate psychological design of his entire life history. Eugene Stelzig examines what it means to be an ‘autobiographical writer’ by considering Hesse's fictions of the self as an exemplary instance of the relationship between life and art and between biography and autobiography. In a graceful and inviting style, he frees this major confessional writer from the confines of German culture and the status of ‘cult figure’ of the 1960s, and situates him in the tradition of world literature and in a variety of literary, psychological, philosophical, and religious contexts. Three introductory chapters on autobiography and Hesse set the stage for a chronological study. Then follows a penetrating analysis of the balance between biographical fact and confessional fantasy in Hesse's long career, from the failed autobiography of his first literary success, Beneath the Wheel, through the protracted midlife crisis of the grotesque Steppenwolf period, to the visionary autobiography of his magisterial fictional finale, The Glass Bead Game.

 

 

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(09/07/2014) Even Now: Poems by Hugo Claus. Brooklyn. 2013. Archipelago Books. 245 pages. paperback. 9781935744887. Cover design by David Bullin. Selected and translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. With an afterword by Cees Nooteboom. keywords: Poetry Literature Dutch The Netherlands Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Beautifully translated from the Dutch by David Colmer, the IMPAC Award-winning translator of Gerbrand Bakker's The Twin, Hugo Claus's poems are remarkable for their dexterity, intensity of feeling, and acute intelligence. From the richly associative and referential 'Oostakker Poems' to the emotional and erotic outpouring of the 'mad dog stanzas' in 'Morning, You,' from his interpretations of Shakespeare's sonnets to a modern adaptation of a Sanskrit masterpiece, this volume reveals the breadth and depth of Claus's stunning output. Perhaps Belgium's leading figure of postwar Dutch literature, Claus has long been associated with the avant-garde: these poems challenge conventional bourgeois mores, religious bigotry, and authoritarianism with visceral passion. The prose, poetry, and paintings of Hugo Claus (1929-2008) were as influential as they were groundbreaking. His novels include Wonder (Archipelago Books), The Sorrow of Belgium, his magnum opus of postwar Europe, as well as Desire, The Swordfish, Mild Destruction, Rumors, and The Duck Hunt. In addition to his writing, he was a painter, playwright, and director. Claus was the recipient of seven state prizes in Belgium, the Prize for Dutch Literature, and the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding for his body of work.

 

 

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(09/05/2014) Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art by Jordana Moore Saggese. Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 222 pages. hardcover. 9780520276246. Cover design by Sandy Drooker. keywords: Art Basquiat America

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Before his death at the age of twenty-seven, Jean-Michel Basquiat completed nearly 2,000 works. These unique compositions-collages of text and gestural painting across a variety of media-quickly made Basquiat one of the most important and widely known artists of the 1980s. Reading Basquiat provides a new approach to understanding the range and impact of this artist's practice, as well as its complex relationship to several key artistic and ideological debates of the late twentieth century, including the instability of identity, the role of appropriation, and the boundaries of expressionism. Jordana Moore Saggese argues that Basquiat, once known as ?the black Picasso,' probes not only the boundaries of blackness but also the boundaries of American art. Weaving together the artist's interests in painting, writing, and music, this groundbreaking book expands the parameters of aesthetic discourse to consider the parallels Basquiat found among these disciplines in his exploration of the production of meaning. Most important, Reading Basquiat traces the ways in which Basquiat constructed large parts of his identity-as a black man, as a musician, as a painter, and as a writer-via the manipulation of texts in his own library. 'A brilliant book and a great read. At long last, a deeply researched text on Basquiat's project.' -Jonathan Fineberg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 'Challenging prevailing assumptions about the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Saggese argues that Basquiat's practice was as much conceptual as expressive. Reading Basquiat turns the focus from the artist's lifestyle to his work and the ways in which his approach to appropriation and improvisation addressed the artistic discourse of the 1980s. With this book, Saggese changes the conversation about Basquiat and African Americans' participation in contemporary art.' -John P. Bowles, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jordana Moore Saggese is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art in the Visual Studies Program at California College of the Arts.

 

 

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(09/04/2014) The Lizard's Tale by Jose Donoso. Evanston. 2011. Northwestern University Press. 205 pages. hardcover. 9780810127029. Jacket design by Marianne Jankowski. Translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine. Edited by Julio Ortega. keywords: Literature Chile Latin America Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Winner of 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation. José Donoso was the leading Chilean representative of the Latin American ‘Boom’ of the sixties and seventies that included Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Manuel Puig, among others. Written as a draft in 1973, set aside, and forgotten, The Lizard’s Tale was discovered among Donoso’s papers at Princeton University by his daughter after his death. Edited for publication by critic and poet Julio Ortega, it was published posthumously in Spanish under the title Lagartija sin cola in 2007. Suzanne Jill Levine, who knew Donoso and translated two of his earlier works, brings the book to an English-language audience for the first time. Defeated and hiding in his Barcelona apartment, painter Antonio Muñoz-Roa—clearly Donoso’s alter ego—relates the story of his flight with Luisa, his cousin, lover, and benefactor, after his scandalous desertion from the ‘Informalist’ movement (a witty reference to a contemporary Spanish art movement and possibly an allusion to the Boom as well), in which he had been a member of a certain standing. Frustrated, old, and alone, the artist looks back on his years in the small town of Dors, a place he unsuccessfully tried to rescue from the crushing advance of modernity, and on the decline of his own family, also threatened by the changing times. In Levine’s able hands, Donoso’s clear prose shines through, forming a compact, powerful, and still-relevant meditation on the commercialization of art and the very places we inhabit.

 

 

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(08/27/2014) Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping by Richard T. Cahill Jr.. Kent. 2014. Kent State University Press. 402 pages. paperback. 9781606351932. Cover image courtesy of the New Jersey State Police Museum. True Crime History (Kent State). keywords: Crime America Lindbergh Kidnapping

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. Almost all of America believed Hauptmann guilty; only a few magazines and tabloids published articles questioning his conviction. In the ensuing decades, many books about the Lindbergh case have been published. Some have declared Hauptmann the victim of a police conspiracy and frame-up, and one posited that Lindbergh actually killed his own son and fabricated the entire kidnapping to mask the deed. Because books about the crime have been used as a means to advance personal theories, the truth has often been sacrificed and readers misinformed. Hauptmann's Ladder is a testament to the truth that counters the revisionist histories all too common in the true crime genre. Author Richard T. Cahill Jr. puts the true back in true crime, providing credible information and undistorted evidence that enables readers to form their own opinions and reach their own conclusions. Cahill presents conclusions based upon facts and documentary evidence uncovered in his twenty years of research. Using primary sources and painstakingly presenting a chronological reconstruction of the crime and its aftermath, he debunks false claims and explodes outrageous theories, while presenting evidence that has never before been revealed. Hauptmann's Ladder is a meticulously researched examination of the Lindbergh kidnapping that restores and preserves the truth of the crime of the century.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. received a B.A. in history and political science from Mount Saint Mary College and a J.D. from Albany Law School. His professional experience includes clerking for a criminal court judge, serving as both an assistant district attorney and a criminal defense attorney, and practicing civil law.

 

 

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(09/01/2014) 2666 by Roberto Bolaño. New York. 2008. Farrar Straus Giroux. 898 pages. hardcover. 9780374100148. Jacket art - Gustave Moreau, 'Jupiter and Semele', oil on canvas. Jacket design by Charlotte Strick. Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer. Keywords: Literature Chile Latin America South America Translated.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño’s life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of Santa Teresa - a fictional Juárez - on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.

 

 

 

   Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed ‘by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time’ (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times),’ and as ‘the real thing and the rarest’ (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.

 

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(08/29/2014) Murder on the Thirty-First Floor by Per Wahlöö. London. 2012. Vintage Books. 215 pages. paperback. 9780099554769. Cover photograph: ER Productions/Corbis. Translated from the Swedish by Sara Death. keywords: Mystery Translated Sweden Scandinavia

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Chief Inspector Jensen investigates a bomb threat made to the nation's publishing conglomerate, supposedly in retaliation for a murder. 

Per Wahlöö (1926-1975) was a Swedish writer and journalist, who published with his wife Maj Sjöwall the widely translated series novels of Martin Beck and his colleagues at the Central Bureau of Investigation in Stockholm. Its style has been described as ‘reportal. spare, disciplined and full of sharply observed detail. .’ The critic and awarded mystery writer H.R.F. Keating selected Roseanna (1965) in 1987 for his list of the one hundred best crime novels. Several of the books have also been adapted into screen. Per Wahlöö was born in Göteborg, the son of Waldemar and Karin (Svensson) Wahlöö. After graduating from the University of Lund in 1946, he worked as a journalist, covering criminal and social issues for a number of newspapers and magazines. In the 1950s Wahlöö was engaged in radical political causes, activities that resulted in his deportation from Franco's Spain in 1957. Before becoming a full-time writer, he wrote a number of television and radio plays, and was managing editor of several magazines. As a novelist Wahlöö made his debut with HIMMELSGETEN (1959), which was followed by others dealing with abuses of power and the dark side of the society. Wahlöö's science fiction thrillers include MORD PÅ 31 (1965, THE THIRTY-FIRST FLOOR), which was filmed as Kamikaze in 1989, starring the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in his final screen role. The story was set in a futuristic Germany. STÄLSPRANGET (1968, STEEP SPRING) depicted a deadly plague in Sweden. The protagonist in both novels was Chief Inspector Jensen. GENERALERNA (1965), a trial novel set in a military state, reflected Wahlöö's views on dictatorship. LASTBILEN (1962) was published in the United States as A NECESSARY ACTION and in Britain as THE LORRY. UPPDRAGET (1963), set in a Latin American country, gained an international success. It was translated into English under the title The Assignment. In 1961 Wahlöö met Maj Sjöwall when they were working for magazines published by the same company. At that time Wahlöö was married, Sjöwall was a single parent of a daughter. They became lovers and married. The carefully planned crime novel series was created in the evenings, after their children had been put to bed. Starting from ROSEANNA (1965), their project ended ten years and ten books later with TERRORISTERNA (1975). According to Wahlöö, their intention was to ‘use the crime novel as a scalpel cutting open the belly of the ideological pauperized and morally debatable so-called welfare state of the bourgeois type.’ The narrative focused on realistic police routine and teamwork – rather the deductive leaps of a Hercule Poirot type individual – and was compared to Georges Simenon. The first three novels, ROSEANNA, a story of rape-murder of an American girl whose body in found in a Swedish canal, THE MAN WHO WENT UP IN SMOKE (1966) and THE MAN ON THE BALCONY (1967), were straightforward police procedural novels. They introducing the central characters – the solid, methodical detective Martin Beck with failing marriage, ex-paratrooper Lennart Kollberg, who hates violence and refuses to carry a gun, Gunvald Larsson, wildman and a drop-out from high society, Einar Rönn from the rural north of Sweden and patrolmen Kristiansson and Kvant, the necessary comic pair. Beck considers himself ‘stubborn and logical, and completely calm’. He lives in a small apartment in Stockholm with his wife, Inga, and two children. In the following books Beck's relationship with his wife deteriorates, and he begins an affair with the liberal Rhea Nilsen. THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN (1968), about the investigation of the murder of eight occupants of a Stockholm bus, was made into a film in 1973, directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, and Lou Gossett. The story was set in San Francisco. The film shared its Bay area locale with Dirty Harry (1971), but was otherwise more downbeat. At the end of THE LOCKED ROOM (1972), Sjöwall and Wahlöö show their sympathy towards a bank robber; however, they abhor sexual violence. In COP KILLER (1974) Lennart Kollberg writes his resignation, because of his socialist world view. The later novels, and especially the last, THE TERRORIST, is a bitter analysis of the welfare state, and openly sides with criminals-as-revolutionaries. At the end, Beck is deeply ambivalent about remaining a policeman, because he fears that he is contributing to the violent nature of Swedish society rather than preventing it. The novel was published after Wahlöö's death in Stockholm on June 23, 1975. Though a joint venture, the book was mostly written by Wahlöö, who was already very ill. Wahlöö's other works include translations into Swedish of some Ed McBain's 87th Precinct procedural novels and Noel Behn's political thriller THE KREMLIN LETTER, filmed by John Huston in 1970. With Sjöwall he also edited the literature magazine Peripeo, and wrote a comparative study of police methods in Sweden, the United States, Russia, and England. ‘He was an extreme Left-winger with a taste for popular sport,’ said the English mystery writer Julian Symons of Wahlöö, ‘and his interest in British football. was passionate. The books he wrote with Maj Sjöwall represents an attempt to bring his political feelings into a literary form with a wide appeal.’

 

 

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(08/28/2014) Mining Capitalism: The Relationship between Corporations and Their Critics by Stuart Kirsch. Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 314 pages. paperback. 9780520281714. keywords: Capitalism Corporations

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Corporations are among the most powerful institutions of our time, but they are also responsible for a wide range of harmful social and environmental impacts. Consequently, political movements and nongovernmental organizations increasingly contest the risks that corporations pose to people and nature. Mining Capitalism examines the strategies through which corporations manage their relationships with these critics and adversaries. By focusing on the conflict over the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea, Stuart Kirsch tells the story of a slow-moving environmental disaster and the international network of indigenous peoples, advocacy groups, and lawyers that sought to protect local rivers and rain forests. Along the way, he analyzes how corporations promote their interests by manipulating science and invoking the discourses of sustainability and social responsibility. Based on two decades of anthropological research, this book is comparative in scope, showing readers how similar dynamics operate in other industries around the world. 'Mining Capitalism is excellent. It makes a much-needed contribution to understanding our contemporary historical moment. Kirsch adeptly moves his focus between close-to-the-ground descriptions of corporate practices and persuasive claims about the ways that corporations work to control meaning and money.'-Kim Fortun, author of Advocacy After Bhopal. 'Kirsch presents a richly detailed study of global corporate attitudes towards natural resources and the politics that inform indigenous social movements facing global capitalist interests. This is a vivid account of how the globalization of nature affects societies that have vastly different understandings of what natural resources mean.'-Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication. 'Mining Capitalism takes us from the devastation of a river to the courtrooms and commissions where activists and thieves reimagine its truth and consequences. This is a thrilling story, and everyone should read it. As both participant and perceptive observer, Kirsch offers us engaged anthropology at its very best.'-Anna Tsing, coeditor of Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon.

Stuart Kirsch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous Analysis of Social and Environmental Relations in New Guinea (2006).

 

 

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(08/26/2014) Rambling On: An Apprentice's Guide to the Gift of the Gab by Bohumil Hrabal. Prague. 2014. Karolinum Press/Charles University. 352 pages. hardcover. 9788024623160. Translated from the Czech by David Short. keywords: Literature Czech Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Rambling On is a collection of stories set in Hrabal's Kersko. Several of the stories were written before the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague but had to be reworked when they were rejected by Communist censorship during the 1970s. This edition features the original, uncensored versions of those stories. 'Hrabal embodies as no other the fascinating Prague. He couples people's humor to baroque imagination.' (Milan Kundera).

Novelist Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and spent decades working at a variety of laboring jobs before turning to writing in his late forties. From that point, he quickly made his mark on the Czech literary scene; by the time of his death he was ranked with Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Capek, and Milan Kundera as among the nation's greatest twentieth-century writers. Hrabal's fiction blends tragedy with humor and explores the anguish of intellectuals and ordinary people alike from a slightly surreal perspective. His work ranges from novels and poems to film scripts and essays.

 

 

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(08/25/2014) Vanishing Lung Syndrome by Miroslav Holub. Oberlin. 1990. Oberlin College Press. 84 pages. paperback. 0932440525. Cover: Painting by Paul Klee, 'Flora on the Rocks,' 1940. Design by Stephen J. Farkas, Jr. Translated from the Czech by David Young and Dana Habova. FIELD Translation Series 16. keywords: Poetry Literature Czech Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Vanishing Lung Syndrome confirms Holub's special status as one of Europe's leading poets and as a rare mediator between scientific and literary modes of discourse. This book is darkly witty and mordantly accurate; it documents, among other things, the ignorance, folly and brutality abroad in our world. But it also brims with tenderness, humor, and occasional gleams of hope.

Miroslav Holub (13 September 1923 – 14 July 1998) was a Czech poet and immunologist. Miroslav Holub's work was heavily influenced by his experiences as an Immunologist, writing many poems using his scientific knowledge to poetic effect. His work is almost always unrhymed, so lends itself easily to translation. It has been translated into more than 30 languages and is especially popular in the English-speaking world. Although one of the most internationally well-known Czech poets, his reputation continues to languish at home. Holub was born in Plzen. His first book in Czech was Denní služba (1958), which abandoned the somewhat Stalinist bent of poems earlier in the decade (published in magazines). In English, he was first published in the Observer in 1962, and five years later a Selected Poems appeared in the Penguin Modern European Poets imprint, with an introduction by Al Alvarez and translations by Ian Milner and George Theiner. Holub's work was lauded by many, including Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, and his influence is visible in Hughes' collection Crow (1970). In addition to poetry, Holub wrote many short essays on various aspects of science, particularly biology and medicine (specifically immunology) and life. A collection of these, titled The Dimension of the Present Moment, is still in print. In the 1960s, he published two books of what he called 'semi-reportage' about extended visits to the United States. He has been described by Ted Hughes as ‘one of the half dozen most important poets writing anywhere.’

 

 

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(08/24/2014) Interludes by Miguel de Cervantes. New York. 1964. Signet/New American Library. 160 pages. January 1964. CT209. paperback.  Cover: Lambert.  Translated From The Spanish & With A Foreword By Edwin Honig. keywords: Signet Classic Paperback Spain Translated Literature 16th Century

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Published the year before the author's death, and long unavailable to American readers, these short plays represent a pure, untrammeled expression of Cervantes' literary genius. Freed from the complicated mechanics of plot, he concentrates his powers on the area of his greatest mastery - the creation 'of living, breathing, and, above all, magnificently vocal characters. Deceived husbands and straying wives, ambitious politicians and ingenious frauds, garrulous prostitutes and respectable pimps.. It crowds his stage with unforgettable characters who, combined, present a superbly barbed depiction of manners and morals in early - sixteenth - century Spain and a timeless portrayal of the never - ending human comedy. 'These eight short plays are among the most beguiling things Cervantes ever wrote,' comments Edwin Honig, who goes on to say that 'what he achieves in the interludes is something very close to the concentrative spirit of poetry and something characteristically dramatic as well..  dramatic in the way that Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are dramatic.. '. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes (‘the language of Cervantes’). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios (‘The Prince of Wits’). In 1569, Cervantes moved to Rome where he worked as chamber assistant of Giulio Acquaviva, a wealthy priest who became a cardinal during the following year. By then, Cervantes had enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Algerian corsairs. After five years of slavery he was released on ransom from his captors by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order. He subsequently returned to his family in Madrid. In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville. In 1605, he was in Valladolid, just when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signaled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels) in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus (Viaje al Parnaso) in 1614, and in 1615, the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote. Carlos Fuentes noted that, ‘Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written.’

 

 

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(08/22/2014) The Hunter: Parker Volume 1 by Richard Stark. San Diego. 2014. IDW Publishers. 206 pages. hardcover. 9781613776599. With a Foreword and Illustrations by Darwin Cooke. Edited by Scott Dunbier. keywords: Mystery Pulp Hard-boiled America

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In 1962, Donald E. Westlake, writing under the pseudonym Richard Stark, created what would become one of the most important and enduring crime fiction series ever produced — Parker. Westlake wrote more than 20 Parker novels, many considered classics of the genre, and a number of which have transitioned to the big screen. Most notable of these is Point Blank, directed by John Boorman and starring Lee Marvin, released in 1967. Westlake received many accolades during his distinguished career, including being named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writer's of America, that prestigious organization's highest honor. Darwyn Cooke has adapted four Parker books as graphic novels so far. The first three, The Hunter, The Outfit, and The Score have all won Eisner and Harvey Awards. He will be providing all-new color illustrations for The Hunter, the first in a series of hardcover prose novels released in chronological order and featuring Cooke's art. The Hunter, the first book in the Parker series, is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loves and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind — to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!.

 

 

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(08/21/2014) The End of the Poem: Oxford Lectures by Paul Muldoon. New York. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 406 pages. hardcover. 9780374148102. Jacket design by Gretchen Achilles. keywords: Poetry Literary Criticism

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon, 'the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War' (The Times Literary Supplement), presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's 'All Souls' Night' to Stevie Smith's 'I Remember' to Fernando Pessoa's 'Autopsychography.' Here Muldoon reminds us that the word 'poem' comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: 'a thing made or created.' He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography--and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that 'the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written.' And he writes of the boundaries or borders between writer and reader and the extent to which one determines the role of the other. At the end, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase 'the end of the poem': the interpretation that centers on the 'aim' or 'function' of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent, deeply learned, often funny, and always stimulating, The End of the Poem is a vigorous and accessible approach to looking at poetry anew.

 

 

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(08/20/2014) The Fall of Saints: A Novel by Wanjiku wa Ngugi. New York. Atria Books. 277 pages. February 2014. hardcover. 9781476714912. Cover design by Alan Dingman. keywords: Mystery Kenya Africa Women

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In this stunning debut novel, a Kenyan expat living the American dream with her husband and adopted son soon finds it marred by child trafficking, scandal, and a problematic past. Mugure and Zack seem to have the picture-perfect family: a young, healthy son, a beautiful home in Riverdale, New York, and a bright future. But one night, as Mugure is rummaging through an old drawer, she comes across a piece of paper with a note scrawled on it-a note that calls into question everything she's ever believed about her husband. A wandering curiosity may have gotten the best of Mugure this time as she heads down a dan­gerous road that takes her back to Kenya, where new discoveries threaten to undo her idyllic life. She wonders if she ever really knew the man she married and begins to piece together the signs that were there since the beginning. Who was that suspicious man who trailed Zack and Mugure on their first date at a New York nightclub? What about the closing of the agency that facilitated the adoption of their son? The Fall of Saints tackles real-life political and ethical issues through a striking, beautifully rendered story. This extraordinary novel will tug at your heart and keep it racing until the end.

 

 

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(08/19/2014)  The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham. New York. 2014. The Penguin Press. hardcover. 419 pages. Jacket Design By Ben Wiseman. keywords: Literary Criticism Ireland Literature ULYSSES James Joyce. 9781594203367.

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

   ‘A great story - how modernism brought down the regime of censorship - told as a great story. Kevin Birmingham’s imaginative scholarship brings Joyce and his world to life. There is a fresh detail on nearly every page.’ - Louis Menand, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Metaphysical Club. For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. All of the minutiae of Leopold Bloom’s day, including its unspeakable details, unfold with careful precision in its pages. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice immediately banned the novel as ‘obscene, lewd, and lascivious.’ Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933. Literary historian Kevin Birmingham follows Joyce’s years as a young writer, his feverish work on his literary masterpiece, and his ardent love affair with Nora Barnacle, the model for Molly Bloom. Joyce and Nora socialized with literary greats like Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot and Sylvia Beach. Their support helped Joyce fight an array of anti-vice crusaders while his book was disguised and smuggled, pirated and burned in the United States and Britain. The long struggle for publication added to the growing pressures of Joyce’s deteriorating eyesight, finances and home life. Salvation finally came from the partnership of Bennett Cerf, the cofounder of Random House, and Morris Ernst, a dogged civil liberties lawyer. With their stewardship, the case ultimately rested on the literary merit of Joyce’s master work. The sixty-year-old judicial practices governing obscenity in the United States were overturned because a federal judge could get inside Molly Bloom’s head. Birmingham’s archival work brings to light new information about both Joyce and the story surrounding Ulysses. Written for ardent Joyceans as well as novices who want to get to the heart of the greatest novel of the twentieth century, The Most Dangerous Book is a gripping examination of how the world came to say yes to Ulysses. Kevin Birmingham received his PhD in English from Harvard, where he is a Lecturer in History & Literature and an instructor in the university's writing program. His research focuses on twentieth-century fiction and culture, literary obscenity and the avant-garde. He was a bartender in a Dublin pub featured in Ulysses for one day before he was unceremoniously fired. This is his first book.

 

 

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(08/18/2014) The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis by Odysseus Elytis. Baltimore. 1997. Johns Hopkins University Press. 596 pages. hardcover. 0801849241. Jacket design by Glen Burris. Jacket Illustration: 'The Clear Truth,' collage by Odysseus Elytis. Translated from the Greek by Jeffrey Carson and Nikos Sarris. Introduction and Notes by Jeffrey Carson. keywords: Poetry Greece Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Jeffrey Carson--a poet himself with a kindred sensibility to Elytis's--has admirably succeeded in bringing across the Greek poet's lyrical voice and the richness of his diction. This first translation of Elytis's complete works is accurate and elegant, a work of diligence and love that affords the English-speaking reader a picture of the evolution of the poet's work.’--Dorothy M-T. Gregory, The Ionian University, Corfu. In awarding Odysseus Elytis the 1979 Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy declared that he had been selected ‘for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clearsightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness.’ Elytis was largely unknown outside his native Greece before winning literature's highest honor, and much of his work has not been widely available in English. The Collected Poems is the first collection in any language, including Greek, of Elytis's complete poetry, a body of work marked by a profound love of hope, freedom, beauty, and Greek tradition. Twenty years in preparation, this volume includes his early poems, influenced in equal parts by surrealism and the landscape and climate of Greece and the Aegean Sea; his long, epic poem connecting Greece's--and his own--Second World War experience to the myth of the eternal Greek hero, Song Heroic and Mourning for the Lost Second Lieutenant of the Albanian Campaign; his most ambitious work, The Axion Esti, which the Swedish Academy praised as ‘one of 20th-century literature's most concentrated and ritually faceted poems’; and his mature poetry, from Maria Nephele, a poem in two voices, to his last collection, West of Sorrow, written the summer before his death in 1996 at age 84. Throughout his long career as a poet, Elytis remained true to his vision of a poetry that addresses the power of language and links Greece's two thousand years of myth and history with the social and psychological demands of the modern age. Renowned for their astonishing lyricism and profound optimism, Elytis's poems employ surreal imagery and a remarkable variety of forms to capture the natural, sun-soaked beauty of Greece and to give voice to the contemporary Greek--and to a more universally human--consciousness. PRAISE FOR ODYSSEUS ELYTIS: ‘Perhaps the most pervasive presence throughout his work. is the physical experience of Greece: the sun's intense illumination, the seas strewn with jewel-like islands, the life of its proud people beneath the invasion of 20th-century culture and politics. From these Elytis crafts powerful and sparkling lyrics, sometimes bitter, often full of wonder and celebration.’ -- Christian Science Monitor. ‘Elytis is a paragon of enthusiasm, of protean moods, multiple forms; his purpose, in essence: the deification of the sun and the body of man.’ -- Hudson Review. ‘A poet of large achievement. His work. has a kind of passionate optimism about the possibilities of his small Aegean world.’ -- New York Review of Books.

 

 

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(08/17/2014) Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works by Larry Grimes and Bickford Sylvester (editors). Kent. 2014. Kent State University Press. 376 pages. hardcover. 9781606351819. keywords: Hemingway Cuba

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The profound impact of Cuba on Ernest Hemingway's life and work Ernest Hemingway resided in Cuba longer than he lived anywhere else in the world, yet no book has been devoted to how his life in Cuba influenced his writing. Hemingway, Cuba, and the Cuban Works corrects this omission by presenting contributions by scholars and journalists from the United States, Russia, Japan, and Cuba, who explore how Hemingway absorbed and wrote from the culture and place around him. The volume opens with an examination of Hemingway s place in Cuban history and culture, evaluations of the man and his work, and studies of Hemingway's life as an American in Cuba. These essays look directly at Hemingway s Cuban experience, and they range from the academic to the journalistic, allowing different voices to speak and different tones to be heard. The first section includes reflections from Gladys Rodriguez Ferrero, former director of the Museo Finco Vigía, who describes the deep affection Cubans hold for Hemingway; and recollections from the now-adult members of Gigi's All Stars, the boys baseball team that Hemingway organized in the 1940s. In the second part of the collection, Hemingway scholars among them, Kim Moreland, James Nagel, Ann Putnam, and H. R. Stoneback employ a variety of critical perspectives to analyze specific works set in Cuba or on its Gulf Stream and written during the years that Hemingway actually lived in Cuba. Also included are a long letter by Richard Armstrong describing the Machado revolution in Cuba and Hemingway's photographs of fishermen at Cojimar, which provide vivid visual commentary on The Old Man and the Sea. Appended to the collection are Kelli Larson's bibliography of scholarly writing on Hemingway's Cuban works and Ned Quevedo Arnaiz s sample of Cuban writing on those works. A chronology placing Hemingway s life in Cuba beside historical events is also provided. This important volume illuminates Hemingway's life and work during the Cuban years, and it will appeal to Hemingway fans and scholars alike.

Larry Grimes is emeritus professor of English in the Perry and Aleese Gresham Chair in Humanities at Bethany College. He is the author of The Religious Design of Hemingway's Early Fiction. His essays and reviews have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Hemingway Review, Modern Fiction Studies, and Studies in Short Fiction.

Bickford Sylvester, emeritus professor, University of British Columbia, has organized conferences and published widely on the work of Ernest Hemingway. He has served on the board of the Hemingway Foundation and the editorial board of the Hemingway Review.

 

 

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(08/16/2014) The Long Shadow: A Novel by Liza Marklund. New York. 2014. Washington Square Press/Emily Bestler Books. 530 pages. April 2014. paperback. 9781451607031. Cover design by Anna Dorfman. Translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith. keywords: Mystery Sweden Women Literature Translated
 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In this follow-up to Liza Marklund's 'stunningly great' (BookReporter.com) thriller Lifetime, newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon is left to pick up the pieces after a shocking and complex murder case turns her world upside down and leaves her personal life in shambles. Meanwhile, an intruder brutally murders an entire family on Spain's Costa del Sol, and Annika must fly to the glitzy locale to report on the case. Upon arrival she discovers that a fifth family member is unaccounted for. Soon, the killers are found, but they too have met their demise-in the same grisly manner they killed the Söderström family. Amid a culture weighed down by drug smuggling and money laundering, Annika must try to find the missing girl before it's too late.

 

 

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(08/14/2014) The Deadly Percheron by John Franklin Bardin. New York. 1988. Penguin Books. 191 pages. paperback. 0140107339. Cover illustration by Peter Maynard. keywords: Mystery America

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Jacob Blunt seems perfectly sane to psychiatrist George Matthews, except for the hibiscus flower in his hair. But Jacob himself is not so sure. After all, he is, in the employ of certain ‘leprechauns’ who are paying him to whistle at Carnegie Hall and to give away money. George, none the less, begins to trust Jacob. Even when the young man is suspected of committing a brutal murder. From then on, George becomes embroiled in a nightmare world that may or may not be of his own making. Truth and fiction, memory and reality blur as the psychiatrist is systematically robbed of his freedom, his identity and his past. Somewhere in the back of his mind he must know something critical, a secret that someone is doing their best to make him forget. ‘There is a visionary lucidity about Bardin’s nightmares that makes his surrealist logic both convincing and disturbing’ - Julian Symons. Between 1946 and 1948 John Franklin Bardin produced 3 quite extraordinary novels, all distinguished by a hallucinatory intensity of feeling and an absorption in morbid psychology remarkable for the period. The Deadly Percheron, The Last of Philip Banter and Devil Take The Blue-Tail Fly are unlike anything else in modern crime literature.

John Franklin Bardin (November 30, 1916 - July 9, 1981) was an American crime writer, best known for three novels he wrote between 1946 and 1948. Bardin was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where his father was a well-to-do coal merchant and his mother an office worker. Nearly all of his immediate family died of various illnesses, however, with an elder sister dying of septicaemia, and, a year later, his father succumbing to a coronary and leaving little money. Bardin, who by then had graduated from Walnut High School, was studying engineering at the University of Cincinnati, and had to leave in his first year in order to work full-time as a ticket-taker and bouncer at a roller-skating rink, and later as a night clerk at a bookstore, where he would educate himself by reading. ‘Mother had become a paranoid schizophrenic by then,’ Bardin said. ‘It was on visits to her that I first had an insight into the 'going home' hallucinations’ that would later form the core of his third novel, Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly. Other jobs, held in some combination of Cincinnati and New York City, to which he moved before turning 30, including working as a bench hand in a valve foundry; in the advertising department of a bank; in the production department of an advertising agency; and doing freelance market research for Barron Collier. In New York, he began working in 1944 for the ad agency Edwin Bird Wilson, Inc., and from 1946 to 1948 completed the three novels for which he would be best known: The Deadly Percheron, The Last of Philip Banter, and Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly, published over the course of 18 months, though that last not in the United States until the 1960s. Bardin would eventually write 10 novels over the course of his lifetime. His magazine articles include ‘The Disadvantages of Respectability’, a review of the book Father of the Man: How Your Child Gets His Personality, by W. Allison Davis and Robert J. Havighurst, in The Nation, May 3, 1947. After gradually rising to become vice president and director of Edwin Bird Wilson, Bardin left that agency in 1963. Two years earlier he had begun teaching creative writing and advertising at the New School for Social Research, which he would continue to do through 1966. That year he worked as associate publicity director for the United Negro College Fund, and from 1967 to 1968, he wrote for the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. Turning to magazines, he then served as an editor at Coronet through 1972. For the next two years at least, Bardin lived in Chicago, Illinois, where he served as managing editor of the American Medical Association magazine Today's Health through 1973; and through 1974 originated, and served as managing editor of, two American Bar Association Press magazines, Learning and the Law and Barrister. While his official site states he returned to New York in 1974, one source places him in Chicago still in 1978. He resided in New York City's East Village until his death on July 9, 1981. In 1946, Bardin entered a period of intense creativity during which he wrote three crime novels that were relatively unsuccessful at first, one of them not even being published in America until the late 1960s, but which have since become well-regarded cult novels. He went on to write four more novels under the pen names Gregory Tree or Douglas Ashe; the writer Julian Symons, in his introduction to an omnibus collection of Bardin's first three works, called those later novels ‘slick, readable, unadventurous crime stories’. Under his own name, Bardin also wrote three more novels, the first two of which Symons called, respectively, ‘an interesting but unsuccessful experiment’ and ‘disastrously sentimental’. His best-regarded works, The Deadly Percheron, The Last of Philip Banter and Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly experienced renewed interest in the 1970s when they were discovered by British readers. Symons, who compiled the omnibus, had difficulty tracking down information on Bardin. He was unable to find any American critic who had heard of him and even his original publishers and agents did not know how to contact him or even whether he was still alive. Symons wrote that Third Degree, the journal of Mystery Writers of America, found Bardin in Chicago, editing an American Bar Association magazine, and willing and eager to see his work republished. The Deadly Percheron tells the story of a psychiatrist who encounters a patient with apparent delusions and a strange story to tell, but who does not otherwise exhibit signs of mental instability. His story turns out to have at least some connection to reality, drawing the psychiatrist into a complicated alternate identity that changes his life. The Last of Philip Banter sees a man receiving (or apparently writing) disturbing predictions about his life. The predictions partly become true, the effect of the predictions themselves being destructive and mind-altering. Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly, perhaps his most acclaimed work, is a complicated story told almost entirely in terms of the psychology of the protagonist Ellen, a mental patient who experiences mental disintegration. Bardin gave his literary influences as Graham Greene, Henry Green and Henry James. In the film Mona Lisa one of the characters is reading The Deadly Percheron and makes several conversational references to it.

 

 

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(08/09/2014) Comedy of Vanity Life-Terms by Elias Canetti. New York. PAJ Publications. 160 pages. paperback. 0933826311. Cover design by steven Hoffman. Translated from the German by Gitta Henegger. Introduction by Klaus Volker. keywords: Literature Drama translated Germany Bulgaria

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Appearing for the first time in English, two plays by Elias Canetti who was awarded the 1981 Nobel Prize for Literature. COMEDY OF VANITY, a dark satire on mass movements and narcissism, is a prophetic vision of fascism; in LIFE TERMS everybody in a new society is assigned the number of years he or she may live. Canetti’s plays provide a missing link in the European dramatic heritage. Klaus Volker has written an introduction to the plays.

Among the many books of Elias Canetti are CROWDS AND POWER, AUTO-DA-FÉ, THE CONSCIENCE OF WORDS, THE TORCH IN MY EAR, and THE HUMAN PROVINCE. ‘Canetti’s exacting presence honors literature’ - George Steiner. ‘Canetti is a writer of unusual dramatic power’ - New York Times.

 

 

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(08/10/2014) Hunting Season: A Novel by Andrea Camilleri. New York. Penguin Books. 152 pages. paperback. 9780143126539. Cover design by Kristen Haff and John Hendrix. Cover illustration by John Hendrix. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. keywords: Mystery Sicily Literature Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   From internationally bestselling author Andrea Camilleri, a brilliant, bawdy comedy that will surprise even the most die-hard Montalbano fans. In 1880s Vigàta, a stranger comes to town to open a pharmacy. Fofò turns out to be the son of a man legendary for having a magic garden stocked with plants, fruits, and vegetables that could cure any ailment-a man who was found murdered years ago. Fofò escaped, but now has reappeared looking to make his fortune and soon finds himself mixed up in the dealings of a philandering local marchese set on producing an heir. An absurd, quirky murder mystery that recalls the most hilarious and farcical scenes of Shakespeare and The Canterbury Tales, Hunting Season will introduce American readers to a refreshing new aspect of one of our best-loved writers.

Andrea Camilleri, a mega-bestseller in Italy and Germany, is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Inspector Montalbano mystery series, as well as historical novels which take place in nineteenth-century Siciliy, including Hunting Season. The Montalbano series has been translated into thirty-two languages and was adapted for Italian television. The Potter's Field, the thirteenth book in the series, was awarded the Crime Writers Association's International Dagger Award for the best crime novel translated into English, and was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Stephen Sartarelli is an award-winning translator and the author of three books of poetry.

 

 

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(08/11/2014) Historians Across Borders: Location and American History in a Global Age by Nicolas Barreyre /Michael Heale / Stephen Tuck / Cécile Vidal (editors). Berkeley. 2014. University of California Press. 343 pages. paperback. 9780520279292. 6 x 9. keywords: Historiography U S History

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In this stimulating and highly original study of the writing of American history, 24 scholars from 11 European countries explore the impact of writing history from abroad.

Nicolas Barreyre is Associate Professor at the École des hautes études en sociales (EHESS) in Paris.

Michael Heale is Emeritus Professor at Lancaster University.

Stephen Tuck is University Lecturer at the University of Oxford.

Cécile Vidal is Associate Professor of History at the École des hautes études en sociales (EHESS).

 

 

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(08/03/2014) Los Angeles Stories by Ry Cooder. San Francisco. 2011. City Lights Books. 232 pages. paperback. 9780872865198. keywords: Literature America Los Angeles

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Cooder writes with Chandler-esque pepper and an eye for character.’ — Rolling Stone. Los Angeles Stories is a collection of loosely linked, noir-ish tales that evoke a bygone era in one of America's most iconic cities. In post-World War II Los Angeles, as power was concentrating and fortunes were being made, a do-it-yourself culture of cool cats, outsiders, and oddballs populated the old downtown neighborhoods of Bunker Hill and Chavez Ravine. Ordinary working folks rubbed elbows with petty criminals, grifters, and all sorts of women at foggy end-of-the-line outposts in Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Rich with the essence and character of the times, suffused with the patois of the city's underclass, these are stories about the common people of Los Angeles, ‘a sunny place for shady people,’ and the strange things that happen to them. Musicians, gun shop owners, streetwalkers, tailors, door-to-door salesmen, drifters, housewives, dentists, pornographers, new arrivals, and hard-bitten denizens all intersect in cleverly plotted stories that center around some kind of shadowy activity. This quirky love letter to a lost way of life will appeal to fans of hard-boiled fiction and anyone interested in the city itself.

Ry Cooder is a world-famous guitarist, singer, and composer known for his slide guitar work, interest in roots music, and more recently for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries, including The Buena Vista Social Club. He has composed soundtracks for more than twenty films, including Paris, Texas. Two recent albums were accompanied by stories Cooder wrote to accompany the music. This is his first published collection of stories.

 

 

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(08/04/2014) Echo's Bones by Samuel Beckett. New York. 2014. Grove Press. 121 pages. July 2014. hardcover. 9780802120458. Jacket design by Charles Rue Woods. Edited by Mark Nixon. keywords: Literature Ireland

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In 1933, Chatto & Windus agreed to publish Samuel Beckett's More Pricks Than Kicks, a collection of ten interrelated stories—his first published work of fiction. At his editor's request, Beckett penned an additional story, ‘Echo's Bones’, to serve as the final piece. However, he’d already killed off several of the characters—including the protagonist, Belacqua—throughout the book, and had to resurrect them from the dead. The story was politely rejected by his editor, as it was considered too imaginatively playful, too allusive, and too undisciplined—qualities now recognized as quintessentially Beckett. As a result, ‘Echo's Bones’ (not to be confused with the poem and collection of poems of the same title) remained unpublished—until now, nearly eight decades later. This little-known text is introduced by the preeminent Beckett scholar, Dr. Mark Nixon, who situates the work in terms of its biographical context and textual references, examining how it is a vital link in the evolution of Beckett's early work. Beckett confessed that he included ‘all I knew’ in the story. It harnesses an immense range of subjects: science, philosophy, religion, literature; combining fairy tales, gothic dreams, and classical myth. This posthumous publication marks the unexpected and highly exciting return of a literary legend.

 

 

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(08/06/2014) The Hanging: A Thriller by Lotte Hammer and Soren Hammer. New York. 2013. Minotaur Books. 298 pages. June 2013. hardcover. 9780312656645. Cover design by David Baldeosingh Rotstein. Translated from the Danish by Ebba Segerberg. keywords: Mystery Denmark Literature Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   One morning before school, two children find the naked bodies of five men hanging from the gym ceiling. The case leads detective Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad to the school janitor, who may know more about the killings than he is telling. Soon, Simonsen realizes that each of the five murdered men had a dark and terrible secret in common. And when Simonsen's own daughter is targeted, he must race to find the culprit before his whole world is destroyed. Published in twenty countries around the world, with more than 150,000 copies sold in Denmark alone, this book introduces a brother and sister duo who have taken the thriller world by storm. Fast-paced, suspenseful, and brilliantly written, The Hanging is a stunning crime novel from Lotte and Soren Hammer, two Danish authors whose international fame is exploding. 

 

 

 

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(08/07/2014) Autoepitaph: Selected Poems by Reinaldo Arenas. Gainesville. 2014. University Press of Florida. 364 pages. hardcover. 9780813049731. Front: Portrait of Reinaldo Arenas in Caracas, Venezuela, by Vasco Szinetar. Translated from the Spanish by Kelly Washbourne. Edited by Camelly Cruz-martes. keywords: Poetry Literature Cuba Translated Caribbean Latin America

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘In Autoepitaph, Reinaldo Arenas soars above death, conquers terror, and sees himself reflected in the face of his lover, the Cuban sea.’--Flora González Mandri, coeditor and cotranslator of In the Vortex of the Cyclone: Selected Poems by Excilia Saldaña. ‘A powerful tribute to Arenas, a poet who explores the meaning of our ethical standing in the world as well as the transient nature of our souls. In this collection, we journey with Arenas into his struggles and victories, accompanied by his voice, filled with fortitude and hope. The English translation pays tribute to the original Spanish text.’--Marjorie Agosín, author of Of Earth and Sea: A Chilean Memoir.

Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990) remains one of the most famous Cuban writers in exile. His work constitutes a monument of resistance literature, but much of the focus has been on his novels and his autobiobiography, Before Night Falls, chosen as one of the ten best books of 1993 by the New York Times. Because his poetic output has not been widely translated, Autoepitaph will be the only volume currently in print of Arenas's poetry in translation in any language. This bilingual volume includes narrative poems, sonnets, excerpts from Arenas's prose poems, and previously unpublished works from his papers at Princeton University. Both the Spanish originals as well as English translations seamlessly capture the poet's sarcasm, humor, and powerful rhythms. Camelly Cruz-Martes provides an outline for Arenas's major poetic strategies, as well as context for the themes that unite his poems: resistance against colonialism, political and personal repression, existential alienation, and the desire for transcendence through art. Reinaldo Arenas was a Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright.

Camelly Cruz-Martes is associate professor of Spanish at Walsh University. Kelly Washbourne is associate professor of Spanish translation at Kent State University. He has translated six books from Spanish to English and is the author of Manual of Spanish-English Translation.

 

 

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(08/08/2014) The Temple of Iconoclasts by Juan Rodolfo Wilcock. San Francisco. 2000. Mercury House. 190 pages. paperback. 1562791192. Cover design by Kirsten Janese-Nelson. Cover art: 'The School of Athens,' (1510-1512) by Raphael (1483-1520). Translated from the Italian by Lawrence Venuti. keywords: Literature Italy Argentina Translated

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘Compellingly whimsical, alienated, pseudo-scientific, bizarre: all these adjectives describe this fiction in the form of a short reference work, the first book by admired Argentinian-Italian novelist Wilcock to be published in English. This book (his best-known in Italy) consists of short essays describing the lives of obsessive eccentrics, some real and some imaginary. Venuti renders Wilcock’s Italian into lucid, captivating English, and offers a biographical introduction. [Perfect for] lovers of postmodern mind games.’ —Publishers Weekly. ‘This collection of biographical stories, mostly imagined, a few somewhat factual, is both deliciously eccentric and wonderfully entertaining. Taken together, these false lives, at turns surreal, absurd, poignant, or campy, present a wise and timely commentary.’ —Booklist. Italian author Wilcock (1919-78) wrote many fascinating works -- including poetry, short fiction, novels, literary criticism, drama in verse and prose, and cultural journalism -- but this outstanding translation is the first to appear in English. Using short, encyclopaedic/biographical entries, Wilcock profiles people who are definitely iconoclasts. They tear down traditional beliefs and scientific notions on many different topics, from utopias to biology, offering a riveting array of ideas. Some real people with iconoclastic bents are included along with some bizarre fictional characters.

Born in Buenos Aires, JUAN RODOLFO WILCOCK (1919-78) was a member of the circle of innovative writers that included Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Silvina Ocampo. Later self-exiled in Rome, Wilcock became a leading Italian writer, publishing numerous books of poetry, drama, journalism, fiction, and translation.

LAWRENCE VENUTI is a distinguished translator of Italian literature as well as an internationally known translation theorist and historian. Recent translations include I.U. Tarchetti’s Fantastic Tales and Passion: A Novel, both for Mercury House. His translations have received awards and grants from PEN American Center, the NEA, and the NEH.

 

 

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(07/31/2014) Viga-Glums Saga with Tales of Ogmund Bash and Thorvald Chatterbox by John McKinnell (translator). Edinburgh. 1987. Canongate Books/UNESCO. 160 pages. paperback. 0862410843. Unesco collection of representative works. keywords: Literature Iceland Translated Sagas

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Set amid the power struggles of 10th-century Iceland, VIGA-GLUMS SAGA is a tale of cunning, courage, and unscrupulous ambition. Glum, a tough and self-assertive realist, vanquishes his oppressors to regain his ancestral home, and enjoys wealth and power for forty years. Yet in old age and defeat he shows a steadfast courage more admirable than the successful aggression of his youth, and his verses reveal a dignity and pathos in direct contrast to the sly cunning of his triumphant rivals. A distinguished addition to The New Saga Library (General Editor Hermann Pálsson), this translation is based on the version in the Mödruvallabók codex of the mid-14th century.

John McKinnell is a lecturer in Medieval Literature at the University of Durham. His published work includes articles on Old English poetry, Chaucer, and medieval drama, as well as Icelandic literature and manuscripts.

 

 

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The Neglected Books Page

22 March 2019

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Signpost, by E. Arnot Robertson (1943)

    Macmillan splashed this ad for E. Arnot Robertson’s novel, The Signpost across the top half of page 13 on the New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, consuming paper that British publishers struggling with wartime shortages would have coveted. A Book of the Month Club selection, The Signpost was expected to have good sales based... Read more

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  • Marriage, Widowhood and After: Three Poems by Dorothy Livesay

    Wedlock Flesh binds us, makes us one And yet in each alone I hear the battle of the bone: A thousand ancestors have won. And we, so joined in flesh Are prisoned yet As soul alone must thresh In body’s net; And our two souls so left Achieve no unity: We are each one bereft... Read more

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  • No Goodness in the Worm, by Gay Taylor (1930)

    I’ve been interested in reading No Goodness in the Worm ever since I read A Prison, A Paradise, the memoir in which Gay Taylor, writing under the pseudonym of Loran Hurnscot (compiled from what she saw as her two worst sins, sloth and rancour), recalled her obsession and affair with A. E. Coppard and the... Read more

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  • Letters Home, arranged and edited by Mina Curtiss (1944)

    I knew Mina Curtiss’s name as the collector and editor of the letters of Marcel Proust. Curtiss wrote of her experiences in tracking down Proust’s letters in her 1978 memoir, Other People’s Letters (which is, unfortunately, out of print again). But I was surprised to learn that during World War Two, she collected letters written... Read

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  • As It Was in the Beginning, by G. E. Trevelyan (1934)

    The anonymous TLS reviewer described G. E. Trevelyan’s third novel, As It Was in the Beginning (1934) as “almost unreadable in its intensity.” Thumbing through the book after getting it in the mail last month, I could see that was an apt assessment, and somewhat dreaded the level of attention I would have to devote... Read more

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  • Angry Man’s Tale, by Peter de Polnay (1939)

    At a time when many first-time novelists bemourn publishers’ reluctance to back their works with advertisement, Alfred A. Knopf’s half-page ad for Peter de Polnay’s Angry Man’s Tale (1939) stands as righteous refutation. Look at that headline (perhaps not the best choice of font, Mr. Knopf): “Not the book of the year. Not even the... Read

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  • “On the Floor” and the Mystery of Joan Jukes

    “But when I open the door I find someone has moved my chair.” Some hold that a proper short story should start midstream. Joan Jukes’ 1935 story, “On the Floor,” takes this advice to the extreme. Where are we? What was happening before he/she opened the door? Who is this narrator? The reader can only... Read more

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  • William’s Wife, by G. E. Trevelyan (1938)

    William’s Wife is the natural history of a bag lady. Starting from the day of her wedding to grocer William Chirp, a widower in his late fifties, G. E. Trevelyan takes us step by step through the metamorphosis of Jane Atkins from an ordinary young woman in service (a good position, more of a lady’s... Read more

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  • Undercurrent, by Barbara Jefferis (1953)

    When Miss Doxy, the spinster at center of Barbara Jefferis’ novel Undercurrent, sits down to breakfast in her boarding house dining room, she notices a strange man sitting at a table near the door. “They have so much,” she thinks. “So much money, so much power, so many people. They can change their man three... Read more

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  • Quiet Street, by Michael Ossorgin [Mikhail Osorgin] (1930)

    I’ve been saving Mikhail Osorgin’s novel, Quiet Street, for a quiet break. There is something about a good, thick Russian book — things like Anna Karenina, Life and Fate, or Konstantin Paustovsky’s autobiography — that demand you set aside distractions and carve out hours to let it take over your life, and I could tell... Read

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