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




   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.




Monroe Gary 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.



1859847633The Business Of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing & Changed The Way We Read by Andre Schiffrin. New York. 2000. Verso. hardcover. 181 pages. 1859847633.






   Postwar American publishing has been ruthlessly transformed since André Schiffrin joined its ranks in 1956. Gone is a plethora of small but prestigious houses that often put ideas before profit in their publishing decisions, sometimes even deliberately. Now six behemoths share 80% of the market and profit margin is all. André Schiffrin can write about these changes with authority because he witnessed them from inside a conglomerate, as head of Pantheon, co-founded by his father bought (and sold) by Random House. And he can write about them with candor because he is no longer on the inside, having quit corporate publishing in disgust to setup a flourishing independent house, the New Press. Schiffrin’s evident affection for his authors sparkles throughout a story woven around publishing the work of those such as Studs Terkel, Noam Chomsky, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Juliet Mitchell, R.D.Laing, Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson. Part-memoir, part-history, here is an account of the collapsing standards of contemporary publishing that is irascible, acute and passionate. An engaging counterpoint to recent, celebratory memoirs of the industry written by those with more stock options and fewer scruples than Schiffrin, The Business of Books warns of the danger to adventurous, intelligent publishing in the bullring of today’s marketplace.



Schiffrin Andre André Schiffrin was, for thirty years, Publisher at Pantheon. He was also the Director of the New Press, which he founded in 1993. He contributed a regular column on publishing to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

christianity at glacier helgafell 1972 Christianity at Glacier by Halldor Laxness. Reykjavik. 1972. Helgafell. Translated from the Icelandic by Magnus Magnusson. 268 pages.




   A youthful emissary of the Bishop of Iceland goes to the beautiful and mysterious district under Glacier to investigate the local state of Christianity and the puzzling affairs of the pastor. The story is the young man's report to the bishop about some extraordinary happenings at Glacier and the remarkable characters whom he encounters during his investigations. - In this strange region all accepted distinctions between past and present, the natural and the supernatural seem at times to disappear. Pastor Jon Primus, the delinquent minister, turns out to be, among other things, a kind of holy man, with a mind that is highly elusive to the young academician. Completely neglectful of the formalities of his office, he is the parish jack-of-all-trades who repairs primitive utensils and shoes horses for all corners. Pastor Jon has a profound respect for life on earth and none at all for theory and philosophy which he describes as so many fables. As to theology, he will typically ask you to consider the lilies of the field. His capacity for destroying a logical argument is unsurpassed. Yet he has a worthy antagonist in the friend of his youth. Gudmundur Sigmundsson, now Dr. Godman Syngmann, the great guru, cosmopolitan engineer. super-businessman. angler and cosmobiologist extraordinary whose appearance at Glacier adds greatly to the confusion of the young man's mission. And finally There is Ua, the lady whose mysterious presence pervades the story: Who is she? The pastor's bride who ran away a long time ago with Dr. Synqmann? A former nun? The erstwhile madam of a sporting house in Buenos Aires? An ‘old-fashioned witch'?. A ghost? The mythical Bitch Goddess herself? Dr. Syndmann's scientifically produced re-incarnation? For some time shells very much a real woman. And then, at the end, she vanishes, mockingly, with the elusiveness of life itself. CHRISTIANITY AT GLACIER is a highly complex work, and Mr. Laxness has rarely been more entertaining and brilliantly inventive. From one point of view, it is a strangely timeless fable of modern times. It is also a novel of great philosophical and theological wit, set against a magically invoked background of nature.



Laxness Halldor Halldor Laxness was born near Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1902. His first novel was published when he wsa seventeen. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction, and one of the outstanding novelists of the century, he has written more than sixty books, including novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, and memoirs. In 1955 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 1998. 


confessions of zeno knopf Confessions Of Zeno by Italo Svevo. New York. 1930. Knopf. Translated From the Italian By Beryl De Zoete. 407 pages


My favorite book of all time. I have read this book many times over the years and each time I come away with something new. The original American translation of the book done by Beryl De Zoete and published in 1930, has held up well over the years I think. William Weaver published a translation in 2001. I started it but did not get very far. A translation By Dalya M. Sachs was comissioned by Northwestern Unversity Press to be published in 2002, but was withdrawn from publication due reportedly to some sort of copyright issue. That edition featured a lot of annotations and could be very interesting should it ever actually wind up being published. For the time being I think that I will stick to my Beryl De Zoete translation. 




   This is the great modern Italian novel. It is supremely ironical and deals with a delightfully abnormal character. Zeno, happily unconscious of his absurdity, writes an account of his eccentric and entertaining life for a psychoanalyst. He proposes to three sisters in the same evening and is accepted by the least attractive. He rationalizes his relations with his mistress by saying she would not love him, if she knew how much he loved his wife. Incidentally, he never loves his wife as much as when he is with his mistress. He entirely covers the walls of a room with dates, some scribbled in pencil, some painted in glaring colors, each representing the day of his final renunciation of cigarettes. Zeno, accomplished hypochondriac and master of indecision, suffers increasingly from the narcotic effect of his continual introspection, but is so essentially human that he will capture your sympathy and make you laugh, first at him and then at yourself.



Svevo Italo ITALO SVEVO was born in Trieste in 1861 and was given a commercial education in Germany. CONFESSIONS OF ZENO was published in 1923 and was immediately hailed by European critics as the finest Italian novel. At the time of his accidental death in 1928 Svevo was one of the best known and most successful businessmen in Triesie, though he was only beginning to enjoy fame as a writer. UNA VITA, his first novel, appeared in 1892 and was followed by SENILITA in 1898. In 1912 Italo Svevo met James Joyce, and it is Joyce that we have to thank, not only for calling attention to him at that time, but for persuading him to continue writing. The war kept Svevo away from business and gave him the opportunity. The fact that writing was never his means of livelihood made it possible for him to disregard tradition and slowly develop his own introspective style. This style combined with his wholly individual humor makes CONFESSIONS OF ZENO most unusual and engaging.  




de Zoete Beryl Beryl de Zoete was an English ballet dancer, orientalist, and critic. In addition to being a translator of Italo Svevo, she was an innovator in the field of dance. She taught eurhythmics, investigated Indian dance and theatre traditions, and collaborated with Walter Speis on Dance and Drama in Bali. An early marriage to Basil de Selincourt broke down. She then cohabited for many years with Arthur Waley, the noted translator of Chinese classics.












0195160282 Thinking It Through: An Introduction To Contemporary Philosophy by Kwame Anthony Appiah. Oxford/New York. 2003. Oxford University Press. 412 pages. Jacket design by Mary Belibasakis. 0195160282.


Kwame Anthony Appiah is one of our most articulate public intellectuals. This book provides a clearly-written and jargon-free introduction to modern philosophy.




THINKING IT THROUGH is a thorough, vividly written introduction to contemporary philosophy and some of the most crucial questions of human existence, including the nature of mind and knowledge, the status of moral claims, the existence of God, the role of science, and the mysteries of language. Noted philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah shows us what it means to 'do' philosophy in our time and why it should matter to anyone who wishes to live a more thoughtful life. Opposing the common misconceptions that being a philosopher means espousing a set of philosophical beliefs--or being a follower of a particular thinker--Appiah argues that 'the result of philosophical exploration is not the end of inquiry in a settled opinion, but a mind resting more comfortably among many possibilities, or else the reframing of the question, and a new inquiry. ' Ideal for introductory philosophy courses, THINKING IT THROUGH is organized around eight central topics--mind, knowledge, language, science, morality, politics, law, and metaphysics. It traces how philosophers in the past have considered each subject and then explores some of the major questions that still engage philosophers today. More importantly, Appiah not only explains what philosophers have thought but how they think, giving students examples that they can use in their own attempts to navigate the complex issues confronting any reflective person in the twenty-first century. Filled with concrete examples of how philosophers work, THINKING IT THROUGH guides students through the process of philosophical reflection and enlarges their understanding of the central questions of human life. REVIEWS - 'The distinguishing mark of this work, which will set it clearly apart from all the best introductory books of this kind, is the way it makes deep and insightful connections among the various topics. It introduces the reader to all the main problems of contemporary philosophy, and makes philosophical concepts come alive in systematic exploration of the deep thoughts and difficult arguments to which Appiah gives lucid access. '--Neil Tennant, The Ohio State University. 'An extraordinarily successful introduction to philosophy: wise, witty and deeply engaging. '--Paul Boghossian, New York University. 'This book is excellent, one of the best of its kind that I've seen. It accomplishes what few general introductions to philosophy even attempt: to integrate contemporary discussion and argument into a treatment of our perennial problems without losing sight of their roots. '--David Sosa, University of Texas at Austin.




Appiah Kwame Anthony Kwame Anthony Akroma-Ampim Kusi Appiah was born in London but moved as an infant to Ghana, where he grew up. His father, Joseph Emmanuel Appiah, a lawyer and politician, was also, at various times, a Member of Parliament, an Ambassador and a President of the Ghana Bar Association; his mother, the novelist and children's writer, Peggy Appiah, whose family was English, was active in the social, philanthropic and cultural life of Kumasi, where they lived. His three younger sisters Isobel, Adwoa and Abena, were born in Ghana. As a child, he spent a good deal of time in England, staying with his grandmother, Dame Isobel Cripps, widow of the English statesman Sir Stafford Cripps. Kwame Appiah was educated at the University Primary School at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi; at Ullenwood Manor, in Gloucestershire, and Port Regis and Bryanston Schools, in Dorset; and, finally, at Clare College, Cambridge University, in England, where he took both B. A. and Ph. D. degrees in the philosophy department. His Cambridge dissertation explored the foundations of probabilistic semantics; once revised, these arguments were published by Cambridge University Press as Assertion and Conditionals. Out of that first monograph grew a second book, For Truth in Semantics, which dealt with Michael Dummett's defenses of semantic anti-realism. Since Cambridge, he has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard universities and lectured at many other institutions in the United States, Germany, Ghana and South Africa, as well as at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris; and he is now a member of the Princeton University faculty, where he is a member of the Philosophy Department and the University Center for Human Values. Professor Appiah has also published widely in African and African-American literary and cultural studies. In 1992, Oxford University Press published In My Father's House, which deals, in part, with the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life. His current interests range over African and African-American intellectual history and literary studies, ethics and philosophy of mind and language; and he has also taught regularly about African traditional religions; but his major current work has to do with the philosophical foundations of liberalism and with questions of method in arriving at knowledge about values. Professor Appiah joined the Princeton faculty in 2002 as Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values. In 1996, he published Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race with Amy Gutmann; in 1997 the Dictionary of Global Culture, co-edited with Henry Louis Gates Jr. Along with Professor Gates he has also edited the Encarta Africana CD-ROM encyclopedia, published by Microsoft, which became the Perseus Africana encyclopedia in book form. This is now available in a revised multi-volume edition from Oxford University Press. In 2003, he coauthored Bu Me B?: Proverbs of the Akan, an annotated edition of 7,500 proverbs in Twi, the language of Asante. He is also the author of three novels, of which the first, Avenging Angel, was largely set at Clare College, Cambridge, and he reviews regulalry for the New York Review of Books. In 2004, Oxford University Press published his introduction to contemporary philosophy entitled Thinking It Through. In January 2005, Princeton University Press published The Ethics of Identity and in February 2006 Norton published Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, which won the 2007 Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations. In January 2008, Harvard University Press will publish his Experiments in Ethics, based on his 2005 Flexner lectures at Bryn Mawr. Professor Appiah has homes in New York city and near Pennington, in New Jersey, which he shares with his partner, Henry Finder, Editorial Director of the New Yorker magazine. In 2007, he is the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and he will take on the task of Chairing the Executive Board of the American Philosophical Association in 2008. He is also currently Chair of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies.


epitaph of a small winner noonday Epitaph Of A Small Winner by Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis. New York. 1952. Noonday Press. Drawings by Shari Frisch. Translated from the Portuguese by William L. Grossman. 223 pages. Cover: Shari Frisch. (original title: Memorias postumas de Bras Cubas).


THE POSTHUMOUS MEMOIRS OF BRAS CUBAS by Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis, also translated as EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER, is a Brazilian classic. The narrator of the story is Bras Cubas, who unfortunately for him, is now dead. That does not stop him though from telling his story.




Funny and profound are these reflections and musings of a man from beyond the grave. Satirical, witty, completely human in feeling, EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER is that rarest of works, a book which is at the same time both profound and thoroughly delightful. It tells the story of Braz Cubas, a wealthy Carioca, or rather it is Braz, now dead, who tells his story. For EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER is a posthumous memoir, the memories of a ghost, a man who now beyond life can view it with dispassion - the illicit love affairs, the political ambitions, the jealousies and hatreds which comprised his sixty-four years. But though the grave has given Braz distance, it has not dampened his sense of humor. On the contrary, it has sharpened it; Braz Cubas is certainly the wittiest ghost in literature. Most ghosts take themselves far too seriously; but not Braz. If he has returned to haunt mankind, it is by means of laughter. He is the spirit of satire moving among us, pointing out our idiosyncrasies and foibles. 'Machado de Assis, son of a poor mulatto of Rio, became the most illustrious of Brazilian writers. His work brings to mind at once Anatole France and Lawrence Sterne, yet is nonetheless original. ' - Andre Maurois. 'A master of psychology and of an ironic brand of humour.' Samuel Putnam. 



Assis Joaquim Maria Machado De Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, often known as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho, (June 21, 1839, Rio de Janeiro-September 29, 1908, Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian novelist, poet and short-story writer. He is widely regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature. However, he did not gain widespread popularity outside Brazil in his own lifetime. Machado's works had a great influence on Brazilian literary schools of the late 19th century and 20th century. Jose Saramago, Carlos Fuentes, Susan Sontag and Harold Bloom are among his admirers and Bloom calls him 'the supreme black literary artist to date. ' Son of Francisco Jose de Assis (a mulatto housepainter, descendent of freed slaves) and Maria Leopoldina Machado de Assis (a Portuguese washerwoman), Machado de Assis lost both his mother and his only sister at an early age. Machado is said to have learned to write by himself, and he used to take classes for free will. He learned to speak French first and English later, both fluently. He started to work for newspapers in Rio de Janeiro, where he published his first works and met established writers such as Joaquim Manuel de Macedo. Machado de Assis married Carolina Xavier de Novais, a Portuguese descendant of a noble family. Soon the writer got a public job and this stability permitted him to write his best works. Machado de Assis began by writing popular novels which sold well, much in the late style of Jose de Alencar. His style changed in the 1880s, and it is for the sceptical, ironic, comedic but ultimately pessimistic works he wrote after this that he is remembered: the first novel in his 'new style' was Epitaph for a Small Winner, known in the new Gregory Rabassa translation as The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (a literal translation of the original title, Memorias Postumas de Bras Cubas). In their brilliant comedy and ironic playfulness, these resemble in some ways the contemporary works of George Meredith in the United Kingdom, and Eca de Queiros in Portugal, but Machado de Assis' work has a far bleaker emotional undertone. Machado's work has also been compared with Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Machado de Assis could speak English fluently and translated many works of William Shakespeare and other English writers into Portuguese. His work contains numerous allusions to Shakespearean plays, John Milton and influences from Sterne and Meredith. He is also known as a master of the short story, having written classics of the genre in the Portuguese language, such as O Alienista, Missa do Galo, 'A Cartomante' and 'A Igreja do Diabo. ' Along with other writers and intellectuals, Machado de Assis founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1896 and was its president from 1897 to 1908, when he died. The translator, Dr. William L. Grossman, is of all things an authority on transportation law and economics. Called to Brazil in 1948 as head of the economics department of a Brazilian college, he learned Portuguese, and, fascinated by the works of Machado de Assis, spent his academic holidays translating Epitaph of a Small Winner. Dr. Grossman has returned to this country as a transportation consultant and professor at New York University.








0813526051 Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death Of Edgar Allan Poe by John Evangelist Walsh. New Brunswick. 1998. Rutgers University Press. hardcover. 199 pages. 0813526051.




   With the publication of three short tales in the 1840s, Poe invented the detective story. Then his own sudden and bizarre death, still unsolved after 150 years, created a real-life mystery as tantalizing as any of his famous stories. Was it epilepsy? Lawless thugs? A diabetic coma? His heart ? Alcohol? Poe departed this life in the best mystery-novel style. While traveling alone from Richmond, Virginia, to New York City, he disappeared for nearly a week. When seen again, he was terribly drunk and nearly dead in the Baltimore. Taken to a hospital, he never said what happened to him, where he'd been all that time, or who he'd been with. A few days later, after alternating periods of silence and raving delirium, he died. The immediate cause of death given was "congestion of the brain," or "inflammation of the brain," serviceable phrases in a day that knew little of internal medicine. At first no one seriously questioned the verdict that the culprit was liquor, that Poe died as a result of complications arising from drunken debauchery. Inevitably, as the years passed and his fame grew, efforts were made to clear him of what seemed weak, wanton self-destruction. While many theories of a physical nature about precipitating causes have been suggested,-ranging from rabies to a blow on the head-no one has seriously probed the mystery of that missing week. Until now. Midnight Dreary examines the last days one of America's most admired authors, definitively untangling more than a century of speculation and finally putting to rest on its 150th anniversary what may be the greatest Poe mystery of all.




Walsh John Evangelist John Evangelist Walsh (December 27, 1927, Manhattan, New York City, NY - March 19, 2015, Monroe, WI) was an American author, biographer, editor, historian and journalist. He was best known for leading a team of 7 editors tasked with creating a condensed version of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Born in 1927, he first began working in journalism while serving in the US Army from 1946–1948, after which he worked for a variety of publishing companies, mainly condensing literature. He retired in his early 60s, while still regularly writing and publishing novels. He died on 19 March 2015 in Monroe, Wisconsin, at age 87. John Evangelist Walsh was born in Manhattan, New York on 27 December 1927 to Thomas and Ann (née Cunney) Walsh. He was of Irish descent. Walsh attended high school at the now-closed Power Memorial Academy in Manhattan, and after his senior year, enlisted in the US Army, serving in the infantry in Trieste, Italy, from 1946 to 1948. It was during that time when Walsh first became involved in journalism, reporting and taking photographs for The Spearhead and The Blue Devil, two military newspapers. Following his two years of service, he enrolled at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, but dropped out to take a job as a reporter The Oneonta Daily Star. He later worked as an editor at Prentice Hall, Simon & Schuster, and Reader's Digest, where he worked mainly on condensed-literature projects. He married his wife, Dorothy Schubis, on 17 November 1956 in Flushing, Queens, New York. Walsh's time at Reader's Digest marked an ambitious and unprecedented project: the condensation of the Bible, an enterprise that would make him and his colleagues well known on a national scale. According to John T. Beaudouin, the Reader's Digest Condensed Books editor during those years, the magazine had been eager to condense the Bible for a long time, but was not sure if it was feasible. He told The New York Times in 1982: ''We condensed a 14-volume set of 56 classics for young readers in the late 1960's, but the Bible had always been considered the ultimate challenge. We weren't sure we could do it, but after we studied the text and found it repetitive we thought we could.'' The first phases of planning began in 1975, and by 1979, a team of 7 editors was assembled, with John Walsh as the director. The whole project, however, was placed under the supervision of the Rev. Bruce M. Metzger, a Presbyterian minister and esteemed biblical scholar and author. He served as the final say in what verses and chapters were necessary for inclusion. The team decided to condense the Revised Standard Version (RSV) rather than the King James Version (KJV) because the RSV language was simpler to begin with, in contrast to the older vocabulary and abstruse language found in the KJV. The RSV is 850,000 words long, and the team set out to remove repetition and unnecessary inclusions. Walsh installed a strict system for condensation: first, editors must consult three unique scholarly analyses of any given passage before editing it. After changes were made, it would be reviewed by a second editor, and then sent to Walsh for inspection. If the condensation was deemed adequate, it would be given to the Rev. Metzger for a final appraisal. In the end, around 55% of the Old Testament and 25% of the New Testament was expunged, a total of 40% of the Bible overall. Walsh commented to the New York Times on the difficulty of project in 1982 on the date of the Bible's release: ''It was the hardest job I've ever done in my life. We were dealing with a library of ancient literature with so many different literary forms to which the condensation had to be adjusted and adapted.'' He then acknowledged he originally had qualms about the project, citing the Book of Revelation, which forbids changing "the words of the book of this prophecy." However, his early doubts were replaced by satisfaction in the end, telling the New York Times 'Our Bible is still the word of God, but it's easier to get into and stay with and appreciate.'' The project in its entirety took three years, and the Reader's Digest Bible was released on 22 September 1982. While the Reader's Digest Bible was perhaps his most famous accomplishment, Walsh was a lifelong writer. He was moderately well known in the historical nonfiction and literary biographical genres, some of his better known books being The Bones of Saint Peter: The First Full Account of the Discovery of the Apostle's Tomb, Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, Poe the Detective: The Curious Circumstances Behind "The Mystery of Marie Roget", and Unraveling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and Its Solution. His books Midnight Dreary and Moonlight: Abraham Lincoln and the Almanac Trial were nominated for Edgar Awards, and Midnight Dreary and The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend were both finalists for the Lincoln Prize. His only award-winning publication was Poe the Detective: The Curious Circumstances Behind "The Mystery of Marie Roget", which won an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime in 1969. After over 60 years in New York City, Walsh retired with his wife, Dorothy, to Monroe, Wisconsin, where he continued to publish books and write articles, mostly about Monroe and Green County history. He died on 19 March 2015 in a Monroe hospital, leaving behind nine unpublished texts, on such wide-ranging topics as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, the Shroud of Turin, Pearl Harbor, and two mystery novels. His obituary reported that he was writing just one day prior to his death.




home to harlem no dw Home To Harlem by Claude McKay. New York. 1928. Harper & Brothers. 340 pages.




   Jake is on the run. After serving overseas with the U. S. Army, he goes AWOL and makes his own way back home to Harlem. Back to the life he had before. Back to the basement joints, pool rooms and rent parties. Back to brown breasts throbbing with love and brown lips full and pouted for sweet kissing. No hero's welcome awaits him. Only the same hard-drinking, hard-living scrabble for love and a home that he left behind. In this world of gamblers, loan sharks, lonely women and rivals in love, Jake seems to have it all. But the women of Harlem aren't the only ones keen to make this fine-looking soldier their man. Uncle Sam wants him too!.








McKay Claude Claude McKay was a Jamaican writer and communist. He was part of the Harlem Renaissance and wrote three novels: Home to Harlem, a best-seller which won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature, Banjo, and Banana Bottom McKay also authored a collection of short stories, Gingertown, and two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home and Harlem: Negro Metropolis His book of poetry, Harlem Shadows was among the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance. His book of collected poems, Selected Poems, was published posthumously. Born in James Hill, Clarendon, Jamaica, McKay was the youngest in the family. His father, Thomas McKay, was a peasant, but had enough property to qualify to vote. Claude McKay came to the attention of Walter Jekyll, who helped him publish his first book of poems, Songs of Jamaica, in 1912. These were the first poems published in Patois He was educated by his elder brother. McKay's next volume, Constab Ballads, came out the same year and were based on his experience as a police officer in Jamaica. He also left for the U. S. that year, going to Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute. McKay was shocked by the intense racism he encountered in Charleston, South Carolina, where many public facilities were segregated. Disliking the 'semi-military, machinelike existence there', McKay quickly left to study at Kansas State University. His political involvement dates from these days. He also read W. E. B. Du Bois' Souls of Black Folk, which had a major impact on him. Despite doing well in exams, in 1914 McKay decided he did not want to be an agronomist and went to New York, where he married his childhood sweetheart Eulalie Lewars. However, she grew weary of life in New York and returned to Jamaica in six months. McKay had two poems published in 1917 in Seven Arts under the pseudonym Eli Edwards. However, McKay continued to work as a waiter on the railways. In 1919 he met Crystal and Max Eastman, who produced The Liberator It was here that he published one of his most famous poems, 'If We Must Die', during the 'Red Summer', a period of intense racial violence against black people in Anglo-American societies. This was among a page of his poetry which signaled the commencement of his life as a professional writer. During McKay's time with The Liberator, he had affairs with both men and women, including Waldo Frank and Edward Arlington Robinson. Details on his relationships are few. McKay became involved with a group of black radicals who were unhappy both with Marcus Garvey's nationalism and the middle class reformist NAACP. These included the African Caribbeans Cyril Briggs, Richard B. Moore and Wilfrid Domingo. They fought for black self-determination within the context of socialist revolution. Together they founded the semi-secret revolutionary organisation, the African Blood Brotherhood. McKay soon left for London, England. Hubert Harrison had asked McKay to write for Garvey's Negro World, but only a few copies of the paper have survived from this period, none of which contain any articles by McKay. He used to frequent a soldier's club in Drury Lane and the International Socialist Club in Shoreditch. It was during this period that McKay's commitment to socialism deepened and he read Marx assiduously. At the International Socialist Club, McKay met Shapurji Saklatvala, A. J. Cook, Guy Aldred, Jack Tanner, Arthur McManus, William Gallacher, Sylvia Pankhurst and George Lansbury. He was soon invited to write for the Workers' Dreadnought. In 1920 the Daily Herald, a socialist paper published by George Lansbury, included a racist article written by E. D. Morel. Entitled 'Black Scourge in Europe: Sexual Horror Let Loose by France on the Rhine', it insinuated gross hypersexuality on African people in general, but Lansbury refused to print McKay's response. This response then appeared in Workers' Dreadnought. This started his regular involvement with Workers' Dreadnought and the Workers' Socialist Federation, a Council Communist group active in the East End and which had a majority of women involved in it at all levels of the organisation. He became a paid journalist for the paper; some people claim he was the first black journalist in Britain. He attended the Communist Unity Conference which established the Communist Party of Great Britain. At this time he also had some of his poetry published in the Cambridge Magazine, edited by C. K. Ogden. When Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested under the Defence of the Realm Act for publishing articles 'calculated and likely to cause sedition amongst His Majesty's forces, in the Navy, and among the civilian population,' McKay had his rooms searched. He is likely to have been the author of 'The Yellow peril and the Dockers' attributed to Leon Lopez, which was one of the articles cited by the government in its case against the Workers' Dreadnought. In 1928 McKay published his most famous novel, Home to Harlem, which won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature. The novel, which depicted street life in Harlem, would have a major impact on black intellectuals in the Caribbean, West Africa, and Europe. Despite this, the book drew fire from one of McKay's heroes, W. E. B. Du Bois. To Du Bois, the novel's frank depictions of sexuality and the nightlife in Harlem only appealed to the 'prurient demand[s]' of white readers and publishers looking for portrayals of black 'licentiousness. ' As Du Bois said, 'Home to Harlem. for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath. ' Modern critics now dismiss this criticism from Du Bois, who was more concerned with using art as propaganda in the struggle for African American political liberation than in the value of art to showcase the truth about the lives of black people. McKay's other novels were Banjo, and Banana Bottom McKay also authored a collection of short stories, Gingertown, and two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home and Harlem: Negro Metropolis His book of collected poems, Selected Poems, was published posthumously. Becoming disillusioned with communism, McKay embraced the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and was baptized. He died from a heart attack at the age of 59.



beneath the wheel Beneath The Wheel by Hermann Hesse. New York. 1968. Farrar Straus Giroux. 187 pages. Jacket design by Charles Gottlieb.


The first Hermann Hesse novel I ever read, when I was 16 years old - a perfect time to fall under the spell of the romantic, rebellious, and ultimately tragic character of Hans Giebenrath.




   BENEATH THE WHEEL, Herman Hesse's second novel, was originally published in 1906. It belongs to the genre of 'school novels' that includes Heinrich Mann's THE BLUE ANGEL, Emil Strauss' FRIEND DEATH, and Robert Musil's YOUNG TORLESS, all of which were published around the same time. The story it tells, based in part on Hesse's own experience, constitutes an attack on educational systems that foster intellect, purposefulness and ambition to the detriment of emotion, instinct and soul. The young hero, Hans Giebenrath, is the talented son of a middle-class father who is described as having a 'heartfelt veneration of money. and blind submission to the inflexible laws of bourgeois respectability. ' At fourteen, Hans is selected by his teachers to compete against thirty-two other candidates for a scholarship, the examination is torture, and he is certain he has failed. When he learns that he has come out second, he enters on his new career full of the promise which, for a while, he is able to maintain. But something is wrong: his emotional nature has been crippled and he is on the verge of a mental breakdown. He seeks relief in friendship with a liberated and rebellious fellow-student, Hermann Heilner, but this does not work. Sick and broken, he returns home to recover his health, but the damage is irreparable. The duality of man's nature, a major theme throughout Hesse's work, is represented in BENEATH THE WHEEL by the complementary figures of Hans and Hermann, the latter escaping through art and a rejection of the system, while the former is crushed beneath the wheel. Hans' progress towards oblivion unfolds with many surprises, and the sensuous beauty of nature plays its part even at tragic moments, as in the finale when Hans is infatuated with the village girl, Emma, and when he goes off on a summer afternoon's drunken spree. The translation by Michael Roloff faithfully reflects the poetic and lyrical qualities of Hermann Hesse. The first American publication of BENEATH THE WHEEL will gratify the many readers only now discovering this writer who was so far ahead of his time.


Hesse Hermann HERMANN HESSE was born in Württemberg, Germany in 1877. His parents first met at a mission in India, and the repressive piety of his upbringing contributed towards his attempted suicide in 1892. He was determined to be ‘a writer and nothing else’. A major breakthrough came with the novel Peter Camenzind (1904), and in the same year he married his first wife, who bore him three sons. In 1912, the family moved to Switzerland, but his wife’s schizophrenia, the death of his father, and the illness of his youngest son caused Hesse to suffer a breakdown. His subsequent interest in psychiatry–he got to know Carl Jung personally–and his lifelong fascination with Indian religions had a profound influence on his novels, which he called ‘biographies of the soul’ (e.g. Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, The Glass Bead Game). He married twice more. In 1946 Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, though later he devoted much of his time to painting water-colours. He died in 1962 in Montagnola, Switzerland, where he is buried.


 Under the Glacier by Halldor Laxness. New York. 2005. Vintage Books. Translated From The Icelandic By Magnus Magnusson. Introduction By Susan Sontag. 240 pages. Cover painting by Louisa Matthiasdottir. 1400034418. February 2005.


    Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness’s Under the Glacier is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, a wryly provocative novel at once earthy and otherworldly. At its outset, the Bishop of Iceland dispatches a young emissary to investigate certain charges against the pastor at Sn?fells Glacier, who, among other things, appears to have given up burying the dead. But once he arrives, the emissary finds that this dereliction counts only as a mild eccentricity in a community that regards itself as the center of the world and where Creation itself is a work in progress. What is the emissary to make, for example, of the boarded-up church? What about the mysterious building that has sprung up alongside it? Or the fact that Pastor Primus spends most of his time shoeing horses? Or that his wife, Ua, is rumored never to have bathed, eaten, or slept? Piling improbability on top of improbability, Under the Glacier overflows with comedy both wild and deadpan as it conjures a phantasmagoria as beguiling as it is profound. 



icelandic sagas craigieThe Icelandic Sagas by W. A. Craigie. Cambridge. 1913. Cambridge University Press. 120 pages. hardcover. 





   The general title of Icelandic Sagas is used to denote a very extensive body of prose literature written in Iceland, and in the language of that country, at various dates between the middle of the twelfth century and the beginning of the fifteenth; the end of the period, however, is less clearly marked than the beginning. The common feature of the works classed under this name, which vary greatly in length, value, and interest, is that they have the outward form of historical or biographical narratives; but the matter is often purely fictitious, and in many cases fact and fiction are inseparably blended. Both in the form and in the matter there is much that is conventional, and many features of style and content are quite peculiar to the special Icelandic mode of storytelling. The word saga (of which the plural is sögur) literally means ‘something said,’ and was in use long before there was any written literature in Iceland. From an early period it had been a custom, which in course of time became an accomplishment and an art, to put together in a connected form the exploits of some notable man or the record of some memorable event, and to relate the story thus composed as a means of entertainment and instruction. It was out of these oral narratives, augmented and elaborated during the course of several centuries, that the written saga finally arose.



Craigie W A Sir William Alexander Craigie (August 13, 1867, Dundee, United Kingdom -  September 2, 1957, Watlington, United Kingdom) was a philologist and a lexicographer. A graduate of the University of St Andrews, he was the third editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and co-editor of the 1933 supplement.


bantam utopia 14 a1262 Utopia 14 by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. New York. 1954. Bantam. paperback. 312 pages. October 1954. A1262. 1st published in hardcover by Scribner in 1952 under the title CAT'S CRADLE. 




   Man's revolt against a glittering, mechanized tomorrow. Here is the gripping story of one man's rebellion against a terrifying world of tomorrow - a machine-ruled America that threatens to make man obsolete. In the great tradition of 'Brave New World' and '1984' Kurt Vonnegut uses a strange and marvelous world of the future to tell of passions and conflicts that are ageless. Man's revolt against a glittering, mechanized tomorrow... Here is the gripping story of one man's rebellion against a terrifying world of tomorrow - a machine-ruled America that threatens to make man obsolete. In the great tradition of 'Brave New World' and '1984' Kurt Vonnegut uses a strange and marvelous world of the future to tell of passions and conflicts that are ageless. Utopia 14 is, perhaps, Vonnegut’s most accessible novel and, unlike some of his other publications, does not seem to draw the ire of censors and detractors (although it does contain very brief mature language). The novel, however, still clearly shows the craft for which Vonnegut is famous and provides the literary challenges that instructors desire. Utopia 14 provides the irony and dark humor on which Vonnegut built his literary reputation but within a very straightforward literary construct — its plot is without the problems of time readers find in Slaughterhouse-Five. The text describes characters whose motivations are unique (a reporter, for instance, whose work leads him to a new religion and new job as dictator of an island nation) but whose presentation is easily comprehensible. As with any Vonnegut novel, social commentary, while steeped in irony, remains explicit. This commentary will allow Utopia 14 to become part of a social studies curriculum that analyzes elements of Cold War America or weapons of mass destruction and their role in history or current events. Vonnegut’s book also lends itself to any class’s discussions of religion, politics, and societal values.




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


meteor putnam 1935 Meteor by Karel Capek. New York. 1935. Putnam. 256 pages. hardcover. Translated from the Czech by M. & R. Weatherall. 




   In a magnificent display of technical and intellectual brilliance, Karel Capek has produced not only an original, but also a moving and tender novel. An aeroplane crashes in flames. The pilot is killed, and the passenger, shockingly burned, internally injured, unidentifiable. The identity of the aeroplane is also a mystery, and after some days of unconsciousness the passenger dies - nameless and unknown. Three people - a nurse, a clairvoyant, and a poet - are so moved by his fate that each of them reconstructs one aspect of the circumstances that led him to such a terrible end. Through their imaginations we learn the whole story. The core of the narrative is psychologically sound. It is plausible and it is compelling. But there is an illusive beauty playing through the pages of METEOR, sensitive and delicate, casting a spell over the events - and over the reader. It will add many readers to Capek’s select but devotedly appreciative audience in this country. ‘Both the subject and technique of Karel Capek’s novel are refreshingly unusual. The book is impressive in its sheer candle power, its richness of suggestion and its deep psychological understanding.’ —Time and Tide (London). ‘With what a light touch, with what agility, Mr. Capek keeps us in touch with essentials! Imaginative in the best sense, compassionate and enjoying life’s many flavors, humorous, a little melancholy, he stands all by himself.’ - The Spectator (London).



Capek Karel Karel Capek (January 9, 1890 - December 25, 1938), Czech dramatist, novelist, and essayist, was born in 1890 in a small town in northern Bohemia. He studied at the University of Prague where he graduated as doctor of philosophy and then devoted himself to authorship. His literary reputation was established by his play R.U.R. (1920), which had an international vogue. In the following year came THE WORLD WE LIVE IN (the insect play), which was written in collaboration with his brother, Josef. The fantastic elements in these two plays are found also in the two novels which immediately followed them, ABSOLUTE AT LARGE (1923) and KRAKATIT (1924). Quite a different phase of his activity is seen in his LETTERS FROM ITALY (1924), a type of travel book which was repeated very successfully in LETTERS FROM ENGLAND’ (1924), LETTERS FROM SPAIN (1931), and LETTERS FROM HOLLAND (1933). His TALES FROM TWO POCKETS (1932) show him to be as skilful in handling realistic subject-matter as he was previously in the treatment of fantastic themes, and several of these tabloid detective stories are models of their kind. In general it may be said that Capek introduced a new spirit into Czech literature by blending a whimsical humour, derived at least in part from the study of English writers, with his native capacity for taking life seriously.

brave new world Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. London. 1932. Chatto & Windus. 306 pages.


Aldous Huxley's amazingly prescient novel of a future distopia.




   In his new novel Mr. Huxley does for the world of tomorrow what he has already done so successfully in POINT COUNTER POINT for the world of today. Abandoning his mordant criticism of modern men and morals he takes a leap into the future and shows us life as he conceives it may be some thousands of years hence. It is usual for human beings to suppose that, whatever the immediate outlook may be, ultimately all will be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. The philosophers and scientists have encouraged this belief. Mr. Huxley, however, with irrepressible wit and raillery, shows us that there is another side to the coin and warns us against being too optimistic. In a world of auto-gyros, synthetic babies and 'Feelie' Palaces there is much to disquiet and amuse a citizen of our primitive twentieth century. There is also unique opportunity for a fresh display of Mr. Huxley's gaiety and commonsense.


FROM THE PENGUIN MODERN CLASSIC EDITION - This fantasy of the future is one of Aldous Huxley's best-known books. Its impact on the modern world has been considerable. Abandoning his mordant criticism of modern men and morals, the author switches to the future and shows us life as he conceives it may be some thousands of years hence. Written in the thirties when - whatever the immediate outlook may have been - people believed that ultimately all would be for the best in the bet of all possible worlds, this novel is a warning against such optimism. With irrepressible wit and raillery, Huxley satirizes the idea of progress put forward by the scientists and philosophers; and his world of test-tube babies and 'feelies' is uncomfortably closer now than it was when the book was first published.



Huxley Aldous Aldous Huxley was born on 26th July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early twenties, but it was his first novel, CROME YELLOW (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by ANTIC HAY (1923), THOSE BARREN LEAVES (1925) and POINT COUNTER POINT (1928) - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgment on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in ALONG THE ROAD (1925). The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work BRAVE NEW WORLD (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanizing aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel EYELESS IN GAZA (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as MUSIC AT NIGHT (1931) and ENDS AND MEANS (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (TIME MUST HAVE A STOP, 1944 and ISLAND, 1962) and non-fiction (THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY, 1945, GREY EMINENCE, 1941 and the famous account of his first mescalin experience, THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22nd November 1963.






0375405836 Jesse James: Last Rebel Of The Civil War by T. J. Stiles. New York. 2002. Knopf. 511 pages. Jacket photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. Jacket design by Steven Amsterdam. 0375405836.


Jesse James as a member of a death squad? This book provides a totally new look at an American legend. T. J. Stiles shows us a Jesse James who was not only a product of very intensely political times, but also the creation of a 'media-machine' by way of an ex-Confederate journalist named John Newman Edwards.




A brilliant biography of Jesse James, and a stunning reinterpretation of an American icon. Stripped of the familiar myths surrounding him, James emerges a far more significant figure: ruthless, purposeful, intensely political; a man who, in the midst of his crimes and notoriety, made himself a spokesman for the renewal of the Confederate cause during the bitter decade that followed Appomattox. Traditionally, Jesse James has been portrayed as a Wild West bandit, a Robin Hood of sorts. But in this meticulously researched, vividly written account of his life, he emerges as far more complicated. Raised in a fiercely pro-slavery atmosphere in bitterly divided Missouri, he began at sixteen to fight alongside some of the most savage Confederate guerrillas. When the Civil War ended, his violent path led him into the brutal conflicts of Reconstruction. We follow James as he places himself squarely in the forefront of the former Confederates' bid to capture political power with his reckless daring, his visibility, his partisan pronouncements, and his alliance with a rising ex-Confederate editor, John Newman Edwards, who helped shape James's image for their common purpose. In uniting violence and the news media on behalf of a political cause, James was hardly the quaint figure of legend. Rather, as his life played out across the racial divide, the rise of the Klan, and the expansion of the railroads, he was a forerunner of what we have come to call a terrorist. T. J. Stiles has written a memorable book-a revelation of both the man and his time.




Stiles T J A native of rural Minnesota, T. J. Stiles studied history at Carleton College and Columbia University. His writings about American history include articles in Smithsonian, essays in the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Post, and a five-volume series of primary-source anthologies.





037542248x Wizard Of The Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. New York. 2006. Pantheon Books. Translated from the Gikuyu by The Author. 771 pages. Jacket illustration & design by Peter Mendelsund. 037542248x. August 2006.


Ngugi's most important novel since PETALS OF BLOOD, WIZARD OF THE CROW is an extraordinary novel of twentieth-century Africa, that is by turns spiritual, funny, historical, fantastical, harrowing, and ultimately deeply human.




From the exiled Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic-a magisterial comic novel that is certain to take its place as a landmark of postcolonial African literature. In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngugi wa Thiong'o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in WIZARD OF THE CROW is, in his own words, nothing less than 'to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history. ' Commencing in 'our times' and set in the 'Free Republic of Aburlria,' the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburlrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, WIZARD OF THE CROW reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity. Informed by richly enigmatic traditional African storytelling, WIZARD OF THE CROW is a masterpiece, the crowning achievement in Ngugi wa Thiong'o's career thus far.




Ngugi wa Thiongo Ngugi wa Thiong'o has taught at Amherst College, Yale University, and New York University. He is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, and is director of the university's International Center for Writing and Translation. His books include PETALS OF BLOOD, for which he was imprisoned by the Kenyan government in 1977. He lives in Irvine, California.





delicate prey and other stories The Delicate Prey and Other Stories by Paul Bowles. New York. 1950. Random House. 307 pages. Jacket design by E. McKnight Kauffer.


I first discovered the existence of Paul Bowles in an essay by Gore Vidal. At the time I was a teenager working in a small used bookstore where a large portion of my meager earnings wound up going right back to the store for books. I asked the proprietor of the store if we had any books by Paul Bowles. She pulled a volume from the shelf behind the counter saying 'Yes, and it is a first edition.' At the time I could not understand why anyone would buy a hardcover book when a paperback edition of that same book existed, but since there was no paperback copy of the book in the store I put down the cash to purchase this first edition. This was the first first edition I even purchased knowing that it was actually a first edition, and it was a good start to my book collecting mania... These are amazing stories that reminded me in some ways of Poe, but with an even stronger sense of horror. Highly recommended !




Despite the fact that many of them have appeared in out-of-the-way places, the stories of Paul Bowles have already created a sensation among critics and low and fellow-writers. Of the seventeen stories in this volume, all but one are set in Arab North Africa, the Far East or Latin America. They share an almost Gothic preoccupation with violence - particularly that violence arising out of the clash of the Westerner with the alien world of the East.



Bowles Paul Paul Frederic Bowles (December 30, 1910 – November 18, 1999) was an American expatriate composer, author, and translator. Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making various trips to Paris in the 1930s. He studied music with Aaron Copland, and in New York wrote music for various theatrical productions, as well as other compositions. He achieved critical and popular success with the publication in 1949 of his first novel The Sheltering Sky, set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931. In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife, Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Except for winters spent in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) during the early 1950s, Tangier was his home for the remaining 52 years of his life. Paul Bowles died in 1999 at the age of 88. His ashes are buried in Lakemont Cemetery in upstate New York.




0807050067 The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and The Hidden History Of The Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh & Marcus Rediker. Boston. 2000. Beacon Press. 433 pages. Jacket design: Sara Eisenman. Jacket art, clockwise from top left: 'Many poor women imprisoned, and hanged for Witches,' 1655, Rare Books Division, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations; 'A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows. 0807050067.




 The culture of the Atlantic in an era of rapid expansion of trade, and the influence of sailors, slaves, pirates, and others in the creation of a new global economy. The notion of pirates as a free-enterprise and somewhat democratic alternative to the indentured sailors and more-or-less captive roving workforce options of the time is truly thought provoking. I'll never see pirates in quite the same way again. The intersection of aspects of the slave trade and the growing abolitionist movement with the developing Atlantic culture is a fascinating story told well by Linebaugh and Rediker. Certainly my favorite book of 2000 and one of my all-time favorites. 'For most readers the tale told here will be completely new. For those already well acquainted with the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the image of that age which they have been so carefully taught and cultivated will be profoundly challenged. ' - David Montgomery, author of Citizen Worker. Long before the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, a motley crew of sailors, slaves, pirates, laborers, market women, and indentured servants had ideas about freedom and equality that would forever change history. THE MANY HEADED-HYDRA recounts their stories in a sweeping history of the role of the dispossessed in the making of the modern world. When an unprecedented expansion of trade and colonization in the early seventeenth century launched the first global economy, a vast, diverse, and landless workforce was born. These workers crossed national, ethnic, and racial boundaries, as they circulated around the Atlantic world on trade ships and slave ships, from England to Virginia, from Africa to Barbados, and from the Americas back to Europe. Marshaling an impressive range of original research from archives in the Americas and Europe, the authors show how ordinary working people led dozens of rebellions on both sides of the North Atlantic. The rulers of the day called the multiethnic rebels a 'hydra' and brutally suppressed their risings, yet some of their ideas fueled the age of revolution. Others, hidden from history and recovered here, have much to teach us about our common humanity.



Linebaugh Peter and Rediker Marcus


Peter Linebaugh, professor of history at the University of Toledo, is a contributing editor of ALBION'S FATAL TREE and author of THE LONDON HANGED. A member of the Midnight Notes Collective, he lives in Toledo, Ohio.

Marcus Rediker, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, is author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, winner of the American Studies Association's John Hope Franklin Prize and the Organization of American Historians' Merle Curti Social History Award. He is a contributing author of WHO BUILT AMERICA? and lives in Pittsburgh.





0517545535The Royal Game & Other Stories by Stefan Zweig. New York. 1981. Harmony Books. Translated From The German By Jill Sutcliffe. Introduction By John Fowles. keywords: Literature Austria Germany Translated Vienna. 250 pages. Jacket design by Shirley Tuckley. 0517545535.


The stories of Stefan Zweig are exquisite gems. In his day he was one of most popular writers of his time, but now many of his books are out-of-print. Thankfully, a few presses like Pushkin Press are making some of Zweig's work available once again. THE ROYAL GAME & OTHER STORIES contains some of Zweig's classics.



   It is difficult to imagine, while reading the five newly translated stories here, how a writer of Stefan Zweig's awesome gifts came to suffer literary obscurity. Such formidable figures as Thomas Mann, Richard Strauss, and Sigmund Freud all praised Zweig; his books were international best-sellers. As John Fowles writes in his introduction to The Royal Game and Other Stories, Zweig is a 'remarkably fertile and gifted writer. Stefan Zweig's stories have a dark magnetism; they explore the limitless scope of every kind of single-mindedness-obsessional love, pathological revenge, and even madness in chess. Zweig wrote: 'A psychological problem is as attractive for me in a living person as in an historical person. my novels and biographies come out of the same source. , an insatiable curiosity. ' Zweig pushes his fictional characters through traps and pitfalls that divert them from their characteristic behavior and then follows them to the extremes to which their minds will eventually lead. The reader is inexorably drawn into a web of hidden secrets and unforgettable characters. THE ROYAL GAME AND OTHER STORIES brings to the modern reader a compelling kind of narrative wizardry little found today. As John Fowles, author of The French Lieutenant's Woman, concludes in his introduction, 'Now I must let Zweig's troubled, but always humane, spirit speak for itself. It has wandered much too far out of the English-speaking world's memory. It is time, on this centenary of his birth, that we read him again. ' Five stories you will always remember by a writer you will never forget. In LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, a celebrated novelist returns home early one morning. His servant hands him tea and a letter; the letter is written in an unfamiliar, shaky, feminine hand. It begins, 'To you who never knew me,' and gradually reveals a woman's obsession and impossible love. THE BURNING SECRET is a story from the land of childhood. During the days of Imperial Austria, a young baron arrives in Semmering for a mountain holiday. At an elegant dinner, he finds an object for his lust: a sensual Jewess, who is accompanied by her small boy. The baron befriends the boy, gains his confidence, and closes in on the married mother. AMOK is a tale of dark passion. As John Fowles says, 'Conrad's literal typhoons are carried over into the domain of the sexual. ' A European doctor commits a crime. Guilt-ridden and alcoholic, he is banished to the remote tropics. At first, he successfully fights death and disease - later, they seep into his very being. A wealthy married woman mysteriously appears at his isolated outpost, pregnant with her lover's child. Trapped by her own passion, she requests the doctor's services. He agrees but only if she will first surrender herself to him. Frau Wagner, in 'FEAR,' is respectable-she has a husband, children, and servants. Yet something has gone wrong; she lives and dreams the horror that her secret love will be discovered. THE ROYAL GAME is the story of a man who enters into a fateful chess match. Imprisoned years before by the Gestapo, a single chess book saves Dr. B. from the madness of solitary confinement. Now while he is aboard a ship to Buenos Aires, his fellow passengers urge him to challenge Czenotivic, the world champion, to a match. Dr. B. hesitates, then agrees. The madness of his imprisonment returns. 'Stefan Zweig has suffered, since his death in 1942, a darker eclipse than any other famous writer of this century. Even 'famous writer' understates the prodigious reputation he enjoyed in the last decade or so of his life, when he was arguably the most widely read and translated serious author in the world. ' - From the Introduction by John Fowles.



Zweig Stefan STEFAN ZWEIG was born in 1881 in Vienna to a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He was first known as a poet and translator and then as a biographer, producing studies of an assortment of people-notably, Erasmus, Joseph Fouch?, and Marie Antoinette. His well-known collection of stories, Kaleidoscope, appeared in 1934 and his one-truly remarkable-novel, Beware of Pity, appeared in 1939. Zweig traveled widely, and living in Salzburg between the wars, he made friends with the greats-Romain Rolland, Freud, Toscanini. Recognition as a writer came early, and by the time he was forty, he had already achieved literary fame. In 1934, with Nazism entrenched across the border, Zweig left Austria to settle in England-his publishing life was destroyed by the Nazis and he saw his dream of a united Europe shattered. Shortly after completing the title story in this collection in 1942, Zweig took his own life in Petropolis, Brazil.



black awakening in capitalist america Black Awakening in Capitalist America: An Analytic History by Robert L. Allen. Garden City. 1969. Doubleday. hardcover. 251 pages.  Jacket design by Al Nagy.





   Robert L. Allen has written a profound and complete account of the awakening of oppressed black people in America’s capitalist economy, and the inability of that economy to deal with proletarian dissatisfaction, agitation and revolution. In analyzing the most significant black movements, the author traces a history peopled by the most significant figures of the black awakening (LeRoi Jones, Harold Cruse, Stokely Carmichael, Rap Brown, Roy Wilkins, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and others.) And through their pronouncements and political tactics he illuminates the most significant forces in America’s revolutionary ferment. A lucid, impartial and courageous book, BLACK AWAKENING IN CAPITALIST AMERICA presents the colonial suppression of the black community in a society where racial prejudice is but one facet of an injustice largely spawned by corporate capitalism. The questions raised are not only about racial inequality, but whether our traditional capitalist morality can accommodate the needs of the underprivileged and alienated, not whether America is right or wrong, but whether or not it is a viable society for our drastically changing times.




Allen Robert L Robert L. Allen’s journalistic background has given him ample experience to assume the role of chronicler of the black awakening. As a reporter for the Guardian, a political newspaper in San Francisco, he observed firsthand many of the most significant black movements.


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


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

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

(12/08/2014) The Memoirs Of Satan by William Gerhardi and Brian Lunn. London. 1932. Cassell & Company. hardcover. 382 pages.




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


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


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



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0140103716Wayward Girls & Wicked Women: An Anthology Of Subversive Stories by Angela Carter (editor). New York. 1989. Penguin Books. paperback. 339 pages. Cover design by Melissa Jacoby. Paperback Original. keywords: Literature Women Anthology. 0140103716.




   Here are subversive tales - by Ama Ata Aidoo, Djuna Barnes, Jane Bowles, Angela Carter, Colette, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid and Katherine Mansfield among others - all with one thing in common: the wish to restore adventuresses and revolutionaries to their rightful position as role models for all women. Elizabeth Jolley celebrates that rare phenomenon, the female confidence trickster and in Leonora Carrington’s beautifully surreal tale, a hyena is persuaded by a debutante to take her place at the ball - and go dressed to kill. Reflecting the wide-ranging intelligence and deliciously anarchic taste of Angela Carter, some of these stories celebrate toughness and resilience, some of them low cunning: all of them are about not being nice.



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

0356031470Memoirs Of A Polyglot: The Autobiography of William Gerhardie by William Gerhardie. New York. 1973. St Martin's Press. hardcover. 408 pages. Preface by Michael Holroyd. 0356031470.




   Written with a rare candour, this enchanting and entertaining book describes the early life of this ‘unique, isolated and important figure in English letters.’ William Gerhardie has been quoted as saying that his hopes lie in ‘ever being discovered astonishingly anew.’ He has revised and briefly expanded his autobiography (first written in 1931) for its inclusion in Macdonald’s new definitive editions of his works, all of which are introduced by Prefaces by Michael Holroyd. Mr Gerhardie writes about his grandparents and parents, and about his childhood in St Petersburg where his father, a Br1tish cotton manufacturer settled in the 1890s. He joined the Scots Greys in the First World War, was commissioned and posted to the British Embassy at Petrograd, where he saw the Russian Revolution in various stages. MEMOIRS OF A POLYGLOT is illustrated with photographs, many of them charming examples from family albums. At Oxford, he wrote FUTILITY, the first of his novels. MEMOIRS OF A POLYGLOT wonderfully illuminates the literary personality and the enduring works of this author, of whom C. P. Snow has said: ‘He is a comic writer of genus. but his art is profoundly serious. William Gerhardie was the friend some of the most interesting people of the 1920s and 1930s - from Beaverbrook to the Sitweils - and writes brilliantly, and amusingly about the literary and political scene. ‘The narrative,’ Michael Holroyd says in his Preface, ‘which contains so many percipient little pen portraits, stops for no man, but merely seems to pick them up in its stride.’ As Michael Ivens has commented, William Gerhardie’s life has been full of ‘odd and incredible events’ and these - including many travels - are described in MEMOIRS OF A POLYGLOT with zest, humour and remarkable insight. 




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


pc old goriot l17Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac. Baltimore. 1951. Penguin Books. Translated From The French By M. A. Crawford. L17. 304 pages.


A young man's drive to succeed in 19th century Paris is tempered by his search for love.




 Le Pere Goriot was written between 1834-1835 when Balzac was 35 years old. He often worked around the clock in marathon sessions. It first appeared in serialized form in Revue de Paris in the Fall of 1834 and in completed book form in 1835. It is part of The Human Comedy, but as a stand-alone novel it represents Balzac's talents at their height in a complete form. Many of his novels were not always complete unto themselves, requiring other works to tie them together. Thus, Pere Goriot has been one of his most widely read novels, achieving such fame that the novel's protagonist, 'Rastignac', for the French, is synonymous with a bright young man determined to succeed - perhaps at any cost. Although the title character of Pere Goriot does appear in the book, the character at the center of the action is Eugene de Rastignac, a slightly idealistic and highly ambitious law student who lives in the same rundown boarding house in a seedy area of Paris as Goriot. Eugene decides to delay his studies for an attempt to enter into Parisian society, and chooses to pursue an affair with one of Goriot's married daughters.



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


boom in spanish american literature The Boom in Spanish American Literature: A Personal History by Jose Donoso. New York. 1977. Columbia University Press. 122 pages. Jacket Design by Laiying Chong. 0231041640.




   Recent years have witnessed an astonishing eruption in the literary output of writers in Latin America, a phenomenon that the Latin Americans themselves refer to as the Boom. This book is a fascinating account of this exciting period in Latin American letters by the Chilean novelist Jose Donoso. Mr. Donoso's latest novel, The Obscene Bird of Night, was published in the United States and received an extraordinary frontpage review in the New York Times Book Review; his short stories and novellas will appear in English translation this year. Himself a product of the era he describes, Mr. Donoso provides a personal history and critique of the Boom that has brought a number of outstanding writers to the forefront. Among the writers Mr. Donoso discusses in his account are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, and Jorge Luis Borges. Originally published in Spain, this book recounts Mr. Donoso's own psychic and literary liberation from intellectual provinciality and tells how the so-called Boom actually came to be. Placing this 'fortunate explosion' in perspective, the author links significant changes in the contemporary Spanish American novel to a process of internationalization and to a growing sophistication and cosmopolitanism on the part of young Latin American writers. He deflates the myths surrounding this new crop of writers-particularly their 'literary cocktail circuit' reputation-and provides glimpses into the literary lives of many of Latin America's most celebrated authors. Written by a charming, keen, and self-aware observer, The Boom is a valuable as well as an entertaining commentary on the riches of contemporary Spanish American literature. The book will find an audience among students, specialists, and general readers interested in a literature that is now taking its place in the consciousness of Americans both North and South. Foreword by Ronald Christ. A Center for Inter-American Relations Book.



Donoso Jose José Donoso Yáñez (October 5, 1924–December 7, 1996) was a Chilean writer. He lived most of his life in Chile, although he spent many years in self-imposed exile in Mexico, the United States (Iowa) and mainly Spain. Although he had left his country in the sixties for personal reasons, after 1973 he said his exile was also a form of protest against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. He returned to Chile in 1981 and lived there until his death. Donoso is the author of a number of remarkable stories and novels, which contributed greatly to the Latin American literary boom. The term 'Boom' was coined in his 1972 essay Historia personal del ‘boom’. His best known works include the novels Coronación, El lugar sin límites (The Place Without Limits) and El obsceno pájaro de la noche (The Obscene Bird of Night). His works deal with a number of themes, including sexuality, the duplicity of identity, psychology, and a sense of dark humor. After his death, his personal papers at the University of Iowa revealed his homosexuality; a revelation that caused a certain controversy in Chile.



mules and men no dwMules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston. Philadelphia. 1935. Lippincott. Illustrations By Miguel Covarrubias & Introduction By Franz Boas. 343 pages.


A rich collection of folklore and oral history from Zora Neale Hurston.




   MULES AND MEN is the first great collection of black America's folk world. In the 1930's, Zora Neale Hurston returned to her 'native village' of Eatonville, Florida to record the oral histories, sermons and songs, dating back to the time of slavery, which she remembered hearing as a child. In her quest, she found herself and her history throughout these highly metaphorical folk-tales, 'big old lies,' and the lyrical language of song. With this collection, Zora Neale Hurston has come to reveal and preserve a beautiful and important part of American culture.



Hurston Zora NealeZora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage remain unparalleled. Her many books include DUST TRACKS ON A ROAD; THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD; JONAH'S GOURD VINE; MOSES, MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN; MULES AND MEN; and EVERY TONGUE GOT TO CONFESS.


0253166071Oxherding Tale by Charles Johnson. Bloomington. 1982. Indiana University Press. 176 pages. Jacket drawing by Sharon Sklar. 0253166071. 


A complex novel of race, slavery, history, and philosophy.





   Andrew Hawkins' birth is the result of a huge misunderstanding. His story begins on an evening in 1837. Jonathan Polkinghorne, master of the Cripplegate plantation, and his dutiful butler, George Hawkins, drink a bit too much and decide they can't go home to their own wives--so they go home to each others'. Disaster ensues. Their wives never quite recover, George is banished to the fields, and nine months later Anna Polkinghorne gives birth to the fated narrator of OXHERDING TALE. As a youth, Andrew is caught in the perpetual battle of the sexes; as he matures, he becomes a social chameleon, who tastes life fully in both the white and the black worlds, never truly belonging to either. Charles Johnson's comic philosophical novel takes the form of a picaresque, first-person narrative. It is the story of Andrew's desperate flight from slavery, but in OXHERDING TALE bondage is spiritual as well as physical, sexual as well as racial. Andrew's adventures cover not only the landscape of the antebellum South--the horrors of the 'peculiar institution,' black suicide, and death in the mines--but also timeless questions of identity and the nature of the self. The novel's title refers to the 'Ten Oxherding Pictures' of the twelfth-century Zen artist Kuo-an Shih-yuan, which depict the progress of a young herdsman searching for his wayward ox Accordingly, the narrative skillfully interfaces Eastern philosophical traditions with the drama of black American slavery. On his way to a liberation that should surprise the reader, Andrew encounters a vivid cast of characters. There is Flo Hat-field, an aging sensualist and 'genius of love,' who satisfies her gargantuan appetites on a diet of sweets and young male slaves; Reb, the Coffinmaker, a direct pipeline to African mysteries, who reluctantly flees north with Andrew; and Horace Bannon, the ominous Soulcatcher, a bounty-hunter who does not so much catch runaways as absorb them into himself, taking on their individual quirks and idiosyncrasies. A young Karl Marx also appears, paying a funny, yet zanily plausible visit to America to meet Ezekiel Sykes-Withers, Andrew's tragic and ascetic tutor. There is Minty, a slave girl of remarkable strength, as well as the misanthropic Dr. Undercliff and his sharp-tongued daughter, Peggy, with whom Andrew achieves a rare and unexpected serenity. Brilliantly realized minor characters complete the portrait of a world that, as the narrator says, 'is ruin now, mere parable. ' Like John Fowles in The French Lieutenant's Woman, John Barth in The Sotweed Factor, and E. L. Doctorow in Ragtime, Charles Johnson has created a narrative voice that bridges present-day and past sensibilities. The form of OXHERDING TALE--at once a celebration and an exploration of a traditional genre--underscores its meaning: a fiction that fully treats slavery and liberation on every level of experience.

Johnson CharlesCHARLES JOHNSON'S first novel, FAITH AND THE GOOD THING, was called by the Washington Post a book 'of rare eloquence and originality, a fable that entertains and informs. ' Mr. Johnson is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Washington, fiction editor of the Seattle Review, author of the PBS Visions drama 'Charlie Smith and the Fritter Tree,' and recently a producer-writer for the PBS series Up and Coming. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Joan, and their two children, Malik and Elizabeth.

0060286261Little Lit: Stranger Stories for Strange Kids by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (editors). New York. 2001. Harper Collins. hardcover. 64 pages. September 2004. keywords: Comix Comics Art Children’s Books. 0060286261.






   The second groundbreaking anthology from the New York Times best-selling team of Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly is here! The everyday world is turned upside down and the ordinary becomes extraordinary in this collection of the strangest tales. From Art Spiegelman's The Several Lives of Selby Sheldrake to Maurice Sendak's Cereal Baby Keller to Jules Feiffer's Trapped in a Comic Book, these stories are sure to entice any young reader. Also included are comics and features by Ian Falconer and David Sedaris, Paul Auster and Jacques de Loustal, Crockett Johnson, Richard McGuire, and Barbara McClintock, a puzzle by Lewis Trondheim, and make-your-own comic-book endpapers from Kaz. Little Lit Strange Stories for Strange Kids continues the tradition of bringing the pleasure of books and reading into the hands and minds of kids.



Spiegelman Art and Mouly Francoise Art Spiegelman is a contributing editor and artist for The New Yorker, and a co-founder / editor of RAW, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His drawings and prints have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for MAUS include the Pulitzer Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Françoise Mouly (born 1955) is a Paris-born New York-based designer, editor, and publisher. She is best known as co-founder, co-editor, and publisher of the comics and graphics magazine Raw (1980–1991), as the publisher of Raw Books and Toon Books, and since 1993 as the art editor of The New Yorker. Mouly is married to cartoonist Art Spiegelman, and is the mother of writer Nadja Spiegelman. As editor and publisher, Mouly has had considerable influence on the rise in production values in the English-language comics world since the early 1980s. She has played a role in providing outlets to new and foreign cartoonists, and in promoting comics as a serious artform and as an educational tool. The French government decorated Mouly as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2001, and as Knight of the Legion of Honour in 2011.


pretty creaturesPretty Creatures by William Gerhardi. New York. 1927. Duffield & Company. hardcover. 194 pages.






   Written between 1924 and 1925, in a wonderfully spare prose in which not a word is wasted, Pretty Creatures consists of three short novels and two stories which show Gerhardie’s gifts of perception in their purest form. One of the stories was described by Julian Symons as ‘a little masterpiece.’









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



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15 October 2019

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Memoirs of a Ghost, by G. W. Stonier (1947)

    One of the pleasures of being back in college after almost forty years is having access to a good university library. I first developed my love of neglected books from wandering through the stacks of Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington in Seattle, not looking for anything in particular, pulling down whatever seemed interesting.... Read more

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  • On Wooden Wings, by Rosemary Tonks (1948)

    Out of a perhaps questionable quest for completeness, I have been working my way Rosemary Tonks’ oeuvre. Tonks was perhaps one of the better-known of “forgotten” writers — “The Poet Who Vanished,” as a 2009 BBC Radio 4 documentary was titled. As John Hartley Williams wrote in a 1996 piece for The Poetry Review, “She... Read

  • Life Comes to Seathorpe, by Neil Bell (1946)

    I’m not sure how I managed to consider myself an expert in neglected books and remain ignorant of Neil Bell and his massive oeuvre until recently, but it was only the sight of the striking cover of one of his posthumous story collections, The Ninth Earl of Whitby in a local bookstore that led me... Read more

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  • Not Tonight, by Kathleen Sully (1966)

    Not Tonight brings me to the end of my journey through the oeuvre of the forgotten English novelist Kathleen Sully. After 16 other Sullys, most of its ingredients are familiar: a village on the southern coast of England; a woman of uncertain middle age; a robust young mother with an assortment of children by an... Read more

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  • Gaëtan, or The Stock-Taking, by Edith de Born (1950)

    “Gaëtan consists of a 100-page discussion between the wife and the mistress of a Frenchman who has been killed in a car accident,” wrote Julian Symons in his terse review of Edith de Born’s first novel. It’s an accurate description, but also a spoiler, for through much of the book, we only know we are... Read more

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  • Chapters 1 and 2 from In Our Metropolis, by Phyllis Livingstone (1940)

    Back in March, I posted a short item about two forgotten novels I’d come across in an advertisement in the Times Literary Supplement. Neither received much attention and both quickly disappeared from sight. I was interested in knowing more about both books, so when I had the chance to visit the British Library for a... Read more


  • Businessmen as Lovers, by Rosemary Tonks (1969)

    Businessmen as Lovers was Rosemary Tonks’ fourth novel and, to be honest, the first in which she seems to relax and not be relentlessly straining to be clever. It’s her only novel not set in London: the whole story takes place on a train through France and an island off Italy, and perhaps the setting... Read more

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  • Actors and Directors: Two Anecdotes from Letters from an Actor, by William Redfield (1967)

    Ralph Richardson and Basil Dean Some thirty years ago, Richardson was rehearsing a play directed by Basil Dean. The latter was the last of the old-time directors on the British side of the Atlantic. By “old-time,” I mean abusive, cruel, sarcastic, and contemptuous of actors. His American equivalent, albeit far younger, would be Jed Harris.... ...

  • Letters from an Actor, by William Redfield (1967)

    In 1964, Sir John Gielgud convinced Richard Burton to star in a Broadway production of Hamlet. Still smoking hot from his big-screen romance with Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, Burton was looking to solidify his street cred as a serious actor after a few Hollywood duds. Gielgud’s motivation is a little less clear, as gradually becomes... Read more


  • The Long Sunday, by Peter Fletcher (1958)

    Church, prayer, going to Sunday services and weekday evening meetings remains the center of life for some families and communities. One hundred years ago, they were the frameworks of the rituals and values of many English people, particularly those of the class of shopkeepers and lesser professions. Each denomination and sect identified itself through its... Read

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