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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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


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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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


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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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


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

 

 

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

 

9781641292368FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

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

 

 

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

 

9781641293372FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Burrows, Jack. John Ringo: The Gunfighter Who Never Was. Tucson. 1987. University of Arizona Press. 0816509751. 242 pages. hardcover.

 

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He was the deadliest gun in the West. Or was he? Ringo: the very name has come to represent the archetypal Western gunfighter and has spawned any number of fictitious characters laying claim to authenticity. John Ringo's place in western lore is not without basis: he rode with outlaw gangs for thirteen of his thirty-two years, participated in Texas's Hoodoo War, and was part of the faction that opposed the Earp brothers in Tombstone, Arizona. Yet his life remains as mysterious as his grave, a bouldered cairn under a five-stemmed blackjack oak. Western historian Jack Burrows now challenges popular views of Ringo in this first full-length treatment of the myth and the man. Based on twenty years of research into historical archives and interviews with Ringo's family, it cuts through the misconceptions and legends to show just what kind of man Ringo really was.

 

 

Jack Burrows (May 28, 1918 - September 9, 2014) was a professor at San Jose College in the History Department. He was a true historian and author, especially passionate about the Old West and Native American history. Jack was born in Murphys, a little-known town in the low Sierras, where he spent his time listening to the Miwok Indians and enjoying the outdoors and wildlife. Jack left "home" when he was deployed in the first round of WWII Army soldiers. He spent 42 months on the frontlines in the South Pacific jungle, where few survived. Using the GI bill, he was able to complete degrees at both UCSB and Stanford – resulting in a 33 year career as a Professor at San Jose City College.

 


 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 


 

 

 

Di Benedetto, Antonio. The Silentiary. New York. 2022. New York Review of Books. 9781681375625. Translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen. Introduction by Juan Jose Saer. 166 pages. paperback. Cover image: Joaquin Torres-Garcia, ‘Composition’, 1931. Cover design: Katy Homans.  

 

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In post-WWII South America, a struggling writer embarks on a murderous thought experiment to help kickstart his career in this next tale of longing from the author of Zama. The Silentiary takes place in a nameless Latin American city during the early 1950s. A young man employed in middle management entertains an ambition to write a book of some sort. But first he must establish the necessary precondition, which the crowded and noisily industrialized city always denies him, however often he and his mother and wife move in search of it. He thinks of embarking on his writing career with something simple, a detective novel, and ponders the possibility of choos- ing a victim among the people he knows and planning a crime as if he himself were the killer. That way, he hopes, his book might finally begin to take shape. The Silentiary, along with Zama and The Suicides, is one of the three thematically linked novels by Di Benedetto that have come to be known as the Trilogy of Expectation, after the dedication "To the victims of expectation" in Zama. Together they constitute, in Juan José Saer's words, "one of the culminating moments of twentieth-century narrative fiction in Spanish."
Antonio di Benedetto (2 November 1922 in Mendoza – 10 October 1986 in Buenos Aires) was an Argentine journalist and writer.

 

Di Benedetto AntonioDi Benedetto began writing and publishing stories in his teens, inspired by the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Luigi Pirandello. Mundo Animal, appearing in 1952, was his first story collection and won prestigious awards. A revised version came out in 1971, but the Xenos Books translation uses the first edition to catch the youthful flavor. Antonio di Benedetto wrote five novels, the most famous being the existential masterpiece Zama (1956). El Silenciero (The Silencer, 1964) is noteworthy for expressing his intense abhorrence of noise. Critics have compared his works to Alain Robbe-Grillet, Julio Cortázar and Ernesto Sábato. In 1976, during the military dictatorship of General Videla, di Benedetto was imprisoned and tortured. Released a year later, he went into exile in Spain, then returned home in 1984. He travelled widely and won numerous awards, but never acquired the worldwide fame of other Latin American writers, perhaps because his work was not translated to many languages. Esther Allen has translated Javier Marías, Jorge Luis Borges, Felisberto Hernández, Flaubert, Rosario Castellanos, Blaise Cendrars, Marie Darrieussecq, and José Martí. She currently teaches at Baruch College (CUNY) and has directed the work of the PEN Translation Fund since its founding in 2003. Allen has received a Fulbright Grant and two National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships, and in 2006 was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

 


 

 

 

Di Benedetto, Antonio. Animal World [Mundo Animal]. Riverside. 1997. Xenos Books. 1879378175. A Xenos Dual-Language Edition.Translated from the Spanish by H. E. Francis. Afterword by Jorge Garcia-Gomez. 138 pages. paperback. Cover art: ‘Animal Costume” by Peter Zokosky, 1990. Cover design by Seton Kim.  

 

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Animal World is a collection of short stories written by Antonio di Benedetto, with hallucinatory animal transformations by the internationally acknowledged Argentine master. Written in conversational and even intentionally awkward language, they present a confused and troubled narrator, who, tormented by mysterious gnawings of guilt, becomes involved in some obscure way with an animal or whole group of animals. They invade his soul, drive him to rage or deliver him from his obsession. Often the story hinges on a pun, a distorted folktale, or an illogical association. While not spectacular in itself, each story adds to the preceding to create a growing sense of doom. Thus story by story the reader becomes ensnared in a horrifying, hallucinatory realm of associations. "Powerful stories by Argentine writer from Mundo animal, his first collection, influenced by Borges, Kafka, and others. Di Benedetto explains that he wants to 'intern' readers in 'the mysteries of life,' something which his complexly plotted tales of the transformation of human beings-become animals accomplish provocatively. Adequate, although at times stilted, translations. Bilingual edition"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

 


Di Benedetto AntonioAntonio di Benedetto (2 November 1922 in Mendoza – 10 October 1986 in Buenos Aires) was an Argentine journalist and writer. Di Benedetto began writing and publishing stories in his teens, inspired by the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Luigi Pirandello. Mundo Animal, appearing in 1952, was his first story collection and won prestigious awards. A revised version came out in 1971, but the Xenos Books translation uses the first edition to catch the youthful flavor. Antonio di Benedetto wrote five novels, the most famous being the existential masterpiece Zama (1956). El Silenciero (The Silencer, 1964) is noteworthy for expressing his intense abhorrence of noise. Critics have compared his works to Alain Robbe-Grillet, Julio Cortázar and Ernesto Sábato. In 1976, during the military dictatorship of General Videla, di Benedetto was imprisoned and tortured. Released a year later, he went into exile in Spain, then returned home in 1984. He travelled widely and won numerous awards, but never acquired the worldwide fame of other Latin American writers, perhaps because his work was not translated to many languages. Esther Allen has translated Javier Marías, Jorge Luis Borges, Felisberto Hernández, Flaubert, Rosario Castellanos, Blaise Cendrars, Marie Darrieussecq, and José Martí. She currently teaches at Baruch College (CUNY) and has directed the work of the PEN Translation Fund since its founding in 2003. Allen has received a Fulbright Grant and two National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships, and in 2006 was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

 


 

 

 

Di Benedetto, Antonio. Nest in the Bones: Stories. Brooklyn. 2017. Archipelago Books. 9780914671725. Translated from the Spanish by Martina Broner. 275 pages. paperback.

 

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Philosophically engaged and darkly moving, the twenty stories in Nest in the Bones span three decades from Antonio di Benedetto’s wildly various career. From his youth in Argentina to his exile in Spain after enduring imprisonment and torture under the military dictatorship during the so-called “dirty war” to his return in the 1980s, Benedetto’s kinetic stories move effortlessly between genres, examining civilization’s subtle but violent imprint on human consciousness. A late-twentieth century master of the short form and revered by his contemporaries, Nest in the Bones is the first comprehensive volume of Benedetto’s stories available in English. PRAISE: “This collection from renowned Argentinean author Di Benedetto (Zama) showcases his short stories’ development from sparse and experimental into melancholic, deeply affecting fables… These stories bolster Di Benedetto’s reputation as a visionary talent, and serve as a worthy introduction to one of Latin America’s most influential writers.” — Publishers Weekly. “[B]lends the fantastic sensibilities of Borges and Kafka with the profound pessimism of Dostoyevsky… Di Benedetto’s view of the world is gloomy, his writing precise and poetic. It’s a winning combination.” — Kirkus Reviews. “an impressive swath of subjects, emotions and perspectives. . . Readers with a love of Latin American authors will find Di Benedetto a welcome addition to the canon that’s available in English.” — Noah Cruickshank, the Field Museum, in Shelf Awareness. “In every story, the Argentine journalist confronts bare suffering with a linguistic precision and a talent for imagery that his translator, Martina Broner, captures effortlessly… Nest in the Bones offers a whirlwind introduction to a writer whose enormous weight in Latin America is finally becoming palpable outside its borders.” — Harvard Review. “Very well translated… displays to perfection…the range of [Di Benedetto’s] experiments with strangeness…Di Benedetto’s characters, with their ‘secret wounds, their isolation and their irony, and above all their lightly masochistic self-irony,’ are companions of those of Svevo, Pessoa and Kafka.” — London Review of Books. “[NEST IN THE BONES is] a sampling of the Argentine’s short fiction… demonstrating an extraordinary experimental and emotional range that Zama—largely confined as it is to the perspective of a single self-centered narrator—could only hint at.” — Public Books. “Di Benedetto has written indispensable pages that have moved and continue moving me.” — Jorge Luis Borges. “One of the greatest Argentinean writers and one of the greatest writers of Latin America.” — Roberto Bolaño.

 

Di Benedetto AntonioAntonio di Benedetto (2 November 1922 in Mendoza – 10 October 1986 in Buenos Aires) was an Argentine journalist and writer. Di Benedetto began writing and publishing stories in his teens, inspired by the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Luigi Pirandello. Mundo Animal, appearing in 1952, was his first story collection and won prestigious awards. A revised version came out in 1971, but the Xenos Books translation uses the first edition to catch the youthful flavor. Antonio di Benedetto wrote five novels, the most famous being the existential masterpiece Zama (1956). El Silenciero (The Silencer, 1964) is noteworthy for expressing his intense abhorrence of noise. Critics have compared his works to Alain Robbe-Grillet, Julio Cortázar and Ernesto Sábato. In 1976, during the military dictatorship of General Videla, di Benedetto was imprisoned and tortured. Released a year later, he went into exile in Spain, then returned home in 1984. He travelled widely and won numerous awards, but never acquired the worldwide fame of other Latin American writers, perhaps because his work was not translated to many languages.

 

Esther Allen has translated Javier Marías, Jorge Luis Borges, Felisberto Hernández, Flaubert, Rosario Castellanos, Blaise Cendrars, Marie Darrieussecq, and José Martí. She currently teaches at Baruch College (CUNY) and has directed the work of the PEN Translation Fund since its founding in 2003. Allen has received a Fulbright Grant and two National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships, and in 2006 was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

 


 

 

 

Senna, Danzy. Caucasia. New York. 1998. Riverhead Books. 1573220914. 355 pages. hardcover. Cover: Lawrence Ratzkin. 1st Novel.  

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Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals and activists in the civil rights movement in Boston in the 1970s. The sisters are so close that they have created a private language, yet to the outside world they can't be sisters: while Cole looks like her father's daughter, Birdie appears to be white. For Birdie, Cole is the mirror in which she can see her own blackness. Then their parents' marriage falls apart.

 

 

Senna DanzyDanzy Senna, (b. 1970) is an American novelist. Danzy Senna was born in Boston, Massachusetts and is the daughter of the author Carl Senna (THE BLACK PRESS AND THE STRUGGLE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS,) a black poet of Mexican heritage who came from a struggling single-parent household, and Fanny Howe, an Irish-American poet and novelist born into privilege. They met and married while both were activists during the American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968). Senna received her B.A. from Stanford University and MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, where she received several creative writing awards. Her first novel, CAUCASIA (1998), received the Book-of-the-Month Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction. It also received the Alex Award , American Library Association. Her second novel SYMPTOMATIC (2003), is a psychological thriller narrated by a biracial young woman who is often mistaken for white. Senna's latest work is a memoir entitled WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT?: A PERSONAL HISTORY (2009).

 


 

 

 

Talbot, David. The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government. New York. 2015. Harper. 9780062276162. 687 pages. hardcover. 

 

9780062276162FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

An explosive, headline-making portrait of Allen Dulles, the man who transformed the CIA into the most powerful—and secretive—colossus in Washington, from the founder of Salon.com and author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers. America’s greatest untold story: the United States’ rise to world dominance under the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA. Drawing on revelatory new materials—including newly discovered U.S. government documents, U.S. and European intelligence sources, the personal correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles’s wife and mistress, and exclusive interviews with the children of prominent CIA officials—Talbot reveals the underside of one of America’s most powerful and influential figures. Dulles’s decade as the director of the CIA—which he used to further his public and private agendas—were dark times in American politics. Calling himself “the secretary of state of unfriendly countries,” Dulles saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting American presidents in the pursuit of his personal interests and those of the wealthy elite he counted as his friends and clients—colluding with Nazi-controlled cartels, German war criminals, and Mafiosi in the process. Targeting foreign leaders for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments not in line with his political aims, Dulles employed those same tactics to further his goals at home, Talbot charges, offering shocking new evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. An exposé of American power that is as disturbing as it is timely, The Devil’s Chessboard is a provocative and gripping story of the rise of the national security state—and the battle for America’s soul.

 

Talbot DavidDavid Talbot is the author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and the acclaimed national bestseller Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love. He is the founder and former editor in chief of Salon, and was a senior editor at Mother Jones and the features editor at the San Francisco Examiner. He has written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, The Guardian, and other major publications. Talbot lives in San Francisco, California.

 

 


 

 

 

le, thi diem thuy. The Gangster We Are All Looking For. New York. 2003. Knopf. 0375400184. 161 pages. hardcover. Jacket photograph courtesy of the author. Jacket design by Steven Amsterdam. 

 

0375400184FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

A momentous literary debut: the life of a Vietnamese family in America luminously observed through the knowing eyes of a child. In 1978 six refugees a girl, her father, and four ‘uncles’ are pulled from the sea to begin a new life in San Diego. In the child’s imagination, the world of itchy dresses and run-down apartments is transmuted into an unearthly realm: she sees everything intensely, hears the distress calls of inanimate objects and waits for her mother to join her. But life loses none of its strangeness when the family is reunited. As the girl grows, her matter-of-fact innocence eddies increasingly around opaque and ghostly traumas: the cataclysm that engulfed her homeland, the memory of a brother who drowned and, most inescapable, her father’s hopeless rage for a father’s order. In THE GANGSTER WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR, lê thi diem thuy has illuminated a world of great beauty and enormous sorrows. Here is an authentically original story of finding one’s place and voice in America.

 

le thi diem thuyle thi diem thuy was born in Phan Thiet, southern Vietnam. She and her father left Vietnam in 1978, by boat, eventually settling in Southern California. lê is currently a Radcliffe Fellow and resides in western Massachusetts.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ. New York. 1971. Penguin Books. 0140442073. Translated from the German & With An Introduction and Commentary by R. J. Hollingdale. 208 pages. paperback. . The cover shows a detail from 'The Isle of the Dead' by Arnold Bocklin, in the Museum der Bildenden Kunste, Leipzig (photo Gerhard Reinhold). 

 

0140442073FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS, which was written by Nietzsche (1844-1900) in 1888, the year before he went mad, briefly summarizes his views on almost the whole range of his philosophical interests. It remarkably fulfils his ambition to ‘say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a book - what everyone else does not say in a book’. THE ANTI-CHRIST, written immediately afterwards, is his longest and least restrained polemic against Christianity and Christian morals, and is expressed in his most vivid and forceful style. The two books in this volume are linked by a special commentary with Nietzsche’s other works.

 

 

Nietzsche FriedrichFriedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism. Nietzsche's key ideas include perspectivism, the Will to Power, the 'death of God', the Übermensch and eternal recurrence. One of the key tenets of his philosophy is the concept of 'life-affirmation,' which embraces the realities of the world in which we live over the idea of a world beyond. It further champions the creative powers of the individual to strive beyond social, cultural, and moral contexts. Nietzsche's attitude towards religion and morality was marked with atheism, psychologism and historism; he considered them to be human creations loaded with the error of confusing cause and effect. His radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth has been the focus of extensive commentary, and his influence remains substantial, particularly in the continental philosophical schools of existentialism, postmodernism, and post-structuralism. His ideas of individual overcoming and transcendence beyond structure and context have had a profound impact on late-twentieth and early-twenty-first century thinkers, who have used these concepts as points of departure in the development of their philosophies. Most recently, Nietzsche's reflections have been received in various philosophical approaches that move beyond humanism, e.g., transhumanism. Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist—a scholar of Greek and Roman textual criticism—before turning to philosophy. In 1869, at age twenty-four, he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, the youngest individual to have held this position. He resigned in the summer of 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life. In 1889, at age forty-four, he suffered a collapse and a complete loss of his mental faculties. The breakdown was later ascribed to atypical general paresis due to tertiary syphilis, but this diagnosis has come into question. Re-examination of Nietzsche's medical evaluation papers show that he almost certainly died of brain cancer. Nietzsche lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897, after which he fell under the care of his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche until his death in 1900. As his caretaker, his sister assumed the roles of curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts. Förster-Nietzsche was married to a prominent German nationalist and antisemite, Bernhard Förster, and reworked Nietzsche's unpublished writings to fit her own ideology, often in ways contrary to Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were strongly and explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism (see Nietzsche's criticism of antisemitism and nationalism). Through Förster-Nietzsche's editions, Nietzsche's name became associated with German militarism and Nazism, although later twentieth-century scholars have counteracted this conception of his ideas.

 


 

 

 

Bell, Andrea L. and Molina-Gavilàn, Yolanda (editors). Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain. Middletown. 2003. Wesleyan University Press. 9780819566348. Early Classics of Science Fiction. 368 pages. paperback.

 

9780819566348FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Opening a window onto a fascinating new world for English-speaking readers, this anthology offers popular and influential stories from over ten countries, chronologically ranging from 1862 to the present. Latin American and Spanish science fiction shares many thematic and stylistic elements with anglophone science fiction, but there are important differences: many downplay scientific plausibility, and others show the influence of the region's celebrated literary fantastic. In the 27 stories included in this anthology, a 16th-century conquistador is re-envisioned as a cosmonaut, Mexican factory workers receive pleasure-giving bio-implants, and warring bands of terrorists travel through time attempting to reverse the outcome of historical events. The introduction examines the ways the genre has developed in Latin America and Spain since the 1700s and studies science fiction as a means of defamiliarizing, and then critiquing, regional culture, history and politics-especially in times of censorship and political repression. The volume also includes a brief introduction to each story and its author, and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary works. Cosmos Latinos is a critical contribution to Latin American, Spanish, popular culture and science fiction studies and will be stimulating reading for anyone who likes a good story. CONTENTS: IN THE BEGINNING - Juan Nepomuceno Adorno - ‘The Distant Future’ (Mexico, 1862); Nilo Maria Fabra - ‘On the Planet Mars’ (Spain, 1890); SPECULATING ON A NEW GENRE: SF FROM 1900 THROUGH THE - 1950s; Miguel de Unamuno - ‘Mechanopolis’ (Spain, 1013); Ernesto Silva Roman - ‘The Death Star’ (Chile, 1929); Juan Jose Arreola – ‘Baby H.P’ (Mexico, 1052); THE FIRST WAVE: THE 1960s TO THE MID-1980s; Angel Arango - ‘The Cosmonaut’ (Cuba, 1964); Jeronimo Monteiro - ‘The Crystal Goblet’ (Brazil, 1964); Alvaro Menen Desleal - ‘A Cord Made of Nylon and Gold’ (El Salvador, 1965); Pablo Capanna - ‘Scronia’ (Argentina, 1967); Magdalena Moujan Otano - ‘Gu TA Gutarrack (We and Our Own) (Argentina, 1968); Luis Britto Garcia - ‘Future’ (Venezuela, 1970); Hugo Correa - ‘When Pilate Said No’ (Chile, 1971); Jose B. Adolph - ‘The Falsifier’ (Peru, 1972); Angelica Gorodischer - ‘The Violet’s Embryo’s’ (Argentina, 1973); Andre Carneiro - ‘Brain Transplant’ (Brazil, 1978); Daina Chaviano - ‘The Annunciation’ (Cuba, 1983); Federico Schaffler - ‘A Miscalculation’ (Mexico, 1983); RIDING THE CREST: THE LATE 1980s INTO THE NEW MILLENIUM - Braulio Tavares - ‘Stuntmind’ (Brazil 1989); Guillermo Lavin ‘ - Reaching the Shore’ (Mexico, 1994); Elia Barrcelo - ‘First Time’ (Spain, 1994); Pepe Rojo - ‘Gray Noise’ (Mexico, 1996); Mauricio-Jose Schwarz - ‘Glimmerings on Blue Glass’ (Mexico, 1996); Ricard de la Casa and Pedro Jorge Romero - ‘The Day We Went through the Transition’ (Spain, 1998); Pablo Castro - ‘Exeriom’ (Chile, 2000); Michel Encinosa - ‘Like the Roses Had to Die’ (Cuba, 2001).

 

Bell Andrea L and Molina Gavilan YolandaANDREA L. BELL is Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Hamline University in Minnesota.

 

YOLANDA MOLINA-GAVILÀN is Associate Professor of Spanish at Eckerd College in Florida and the translator of Rosa Montero’s The Delta Function (1992).

 

 


 

 

 

Rottensteiner, Franz (editor). The Black Mirror and Other Stories: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Germany and Austria. Middletown. 2008. Wesleyan University Press. 9780819568311. Translated from the German by Mike Mitchell. Early Classics of Science Fiction. 424 pages. hardcover.  

 

9780819568311FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

This entertaining anthology delivers great reading and an overview of German-language science fiction, including works by the 'German father of science fiction' Kurd Lasswitz, the Austrian writer Ludwig Hevesi (author of 'Jules Verne in Hell'), the fantasist Paul Scheerbart (a scurrilous, idiosyncratic writer who was an outsider in both literature and science fiction), popular writers Otto Willi Gail and Hans Dominik, as well as the contemporary luminaries of the genre: Wolfgang Jeschke, Herbert W. Franke, Andreas Eschbach, and Carl Amery. The introduction by the editor gives a succinct history of German language science fiction, including its representation in Hugo Gernsback's popular magazines. With select bibliographies of German language science fiction and writings on German science fiction, this book will be appreciated by scholars and general readers alike.

 

Rottensteiner FranzFRANZ ROTTENSTEINER has written and edited many books in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, including The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History from Dracula to Tolkien (1978), View From Another Shore: European Science Fiction (1999), and The Best of Austrian Science Fiction (2001). He lives in Vienna, Austria. MIKE MITCHELL has translated over 50 books. He was awarded the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Herbert Rosendorfer’s Letters Back to Ancient China (1997) and lives in Argyll, on the west coast of Scotland.

 


 

 

 

Horowitz, Alexandra. Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell. New York. 2016. Scribner. 9781476795997. 353 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Jaya Miceli. Jacket photo by Roberta Tancredi. 

 

9781476795997FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Alexandra Horowitz, the author of the lively, highly informative New York Times bestselling blockbuster Inside of a Dog, explains how dogs perceive the world through their most spectacular organ—the nose—and how we humans can put our under-used sense of smell to work in surprising ways. To a dog, there is no such thing as “fresh air.” Every breath of air is loaded with information. In fact, what every dog—the tracking dog, of course, but also the dog lying next to you, snoring, on the couch—knows about the world comes mostly through his nose. In Being a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz, a research scientist in the field of dog cognition and the author of the runaway bestseller Inside of a Dog, unpacks the mystery of a dog’s worldview as has never been done before. With her family dogs, Finnegan and Upton, leading the way, Horowitz sets off on a quest to make sense of scents, combining a personal journey of smelling with a tour through the cutting edge and improbable science behind the olfactory powers of the dog. From revealing the spectacular biology of the dog snout, to speaking to other cognitive researchers and smell experts across the country, to visiting detection-dog training centers and even attempting to smell-train her own nose, Horowitz covers the topic of noses—both canine and human—from surprising, novel, and always fascinating angles. As we come to understand how complex the world around us appears to the canine nose, Horowitz changes our perspective on dogs forever. Readers will finish this book feeling that they have smelled into a fourth dimension—breaking free of human constraints and understanding smell as never before; that they have, however fleetingly, been a dog.

 

Horowitz AlexandraAlexandra Horowitz teaches psychology, canine cognition, and creative nonfiction writing at Barnard College, Columbia University. She earned her PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of California at San Diego, and has studied the cognition of humans, rhinoceros, bonobos, and dogs. For seventeen years she shared her home with an unwitting research subject, Pumpernickel, a wonderful mixed breed. Now her Dog Cognition Lab studies the behavior of owned dogs to keep discovering what they see, smell, and know. Before her scientific career, Horowitz worked as a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and served on the staff of The New Yorker. Her latest book, On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes, was published in 2013. She lives in New York City with her husband, young son, and two large, non-heeling dogs.

 

 


 

 

 

Njau, Rebeka. Ripples in the Pool. Nairobi. 1975. Transafrica Publishers. 162 pages. paperback. 

 

ripples in the pool transafrica publishers 1975FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

RIPPLES IN THE POOL is the first novel of an exceptionally gifted and articulate writer. Selina, the heroine, whose early upbringing is ominously clouded in mystery, becomes disillusioned with the artificial glitter and superficiality of the sick urban society in which she has-spent the prime of her life. She plans to resolve her alienation by reassimilating into the rural background of her childhood. But her attempt to find peace of mind in a new identity is foredoomed. She is fatally flawed and her machinations end in tragedy for herself and many of those with whom her life has become inextricably involved. But the unusual, exciting and readable plot is only part of the literary contribution of this book. The characters, who span the whole tapestry of rural life in Africa. are portrayed with a depth and spicy richness that illuminates with shocking clarity aspects of rural society heretofore largely unexplored by African writers. Brooding over the whole story is the pervasive symbolism of the pool and the strange old man who guards not only, one feels, its sombre secrets but also the integrity of the land and its people. Defiled by Selina and the amoral modernity that she had embraced, ultimately the pool apparently triumphs in her personal annihilation and the total rejection of all she stands for. Or does it?

 

 

Njau RebekaRebeka Njau (born 1932) is a Kenyan educator, writer and textile artist. She also writes under the name Marina Gashe. Alex Wanjala has said: "Like Grace Ogot, Rebeka Njau is a very important writer in Kenya.... She addresses issues that affect women directly and then demonstrates how women’s issues are symptomatic of a malaise in the larger Kenyan society." According to John Mugubi of Kenyatta University, "The uniqueness and power of Rebeka’s style cannot be understated. She has a penchant for subversion of literary conventions in order to drive points home." She was born in Kanyariri in the Kiambu district, attended high school in Nairobi and studied education at Makerere University College in Uganda. She was a founder of Nairobi Girls Secondary School and served as headmistress from 1965 to 1966. Her one-act play The Scar (1965), which condemns female genital mutilation, was first published in the journal Transition in 1963 and is considered to be the first play written by a Kenyan woman. Her play In the Round was performed in 1964 and was banned by the Ugandan government. Her debut novel Alone with the Fig Tree East African Writing Committee Prize in 1964, and was subsequently rewritten as Ripples in the Pool (1975). It tells the story of Selina, an urban woman who falls in love with her boyfriend’s sister, and is notable, according to Gay Wilentz, "as the first sustained portrait of a lesbian within the context of post-colonial African literature" Njau's second novel, The Sacred Seed, was published in 2003. In the words of The Daily Nation, the author "delves into the minds of her characters to reveal the psychological wounds they have suffered under patriarchy and dictatorship and their determination to heal the society. ... The narrator presents the destruction of the resourcefulness of women in the traditional African societies by modern regimes and points to ways women’s power can be restored through the demolition of class hierarchies." She is also the author of The Hypocrite and other Stories (1977), a reworking of traditional oral narratives, and of Kenyan Women Heroes and their Mystical Power (1984), which records the overlooked historical contribution of women. Njau is included in the anthology Daughters of Africa (ed. Margaret Busby, 1992). She married the Tanzanian artist Elimo Njau but the couple later separated. Her son, Morille Njau, is an artist and a consultant based in the UK and her daughter Hana works in Atlanta, Georgia.

 


 

 

 

The Inspector Montalbano mysteries from Andrea Camilleri

 

 

Camilleri, Andrea. The Shape of Water: The First Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2002. Viking Press. 0670030929. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 225 pages. hardcover. Cover: Andy Bridge. 

0670030929

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Andrea Camilleri's novels starring Inspector Montalbano have become an international sensation and have been translated from Italian into eight languages, ranging from Dutch to Japanese. THE SHAPE OF WATER is the first book in this sly, witty, and engaging series with its sardonic take on Sicilian life. Early one morning, Silvio Lupanello, a big shot in the village of Vigàta, is found dead in his car with his pants around his knees. The car happens to be parked in a rough part of town frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers, and as the news of his death spreads, the rumors begin. Enter Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Vigàta's most respected detective. With his characteristic mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano goes into battle against the powerful and the corrupt who are determined to block his path to the real killer. This funny and fast-paced Sicilian page-turner will be a delicious discovery for mystery aficionados and fiction lovers alike.

 

 

0670031380Camilleri, Andrea. The Terra-Cotta Dog: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2002. Viking Press. 0670031380. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 340 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano has garnered millions of fans worldwide with his sardonic take on Sicilian life. Montalbano's latest case begins with a mysterious têtê à têtê with a Mafioso, some inexplicably abandoned loot from a supermarket heist, and dying words that lead him to an illegal arms cache in a mountain cave. There, the inspector finds two young lovers, dead for fifty years and still embracing, watched over by a life-sized terra-cotta dog. Montalbano's passion to solve this old crime takes him on a journey through Sicily's past and into one family's darkest secrets. With sly wit and a keen understanding of human nature, Montalbano is a detective whose earthiness, compassion, and imagination make him totally irresistable.

 

 

 

0670032239Camilleri, Andrea. The Snack Thief: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2003. Viking Press. 0670032239. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 298 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

In the third book in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, the urbane and perceptive Sicilian detective exposes a viper's nest of government corruption and international intrigue in a compelling new case. When an elderly man is stabbed to death in an elevator and a crewman on an Italian fishing trawler is machine-gunned by a Tunisian patrol boat off Sicily's coast, only Montalbano suspects the link between the two incidents. His investigation leads to the beautiful Karima, an impoverished housecleaner and sometime prostitute, whose young son steals other schoolchildren's midmorning snacks. But Karima disappears, and the young snack thief's life-as well as Montalbano's-is on the line.

 

 

 

0670031437Camilleri, Andrea. Voice of the Violin: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2003. Viking Press. 0670031437. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 249 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge, Jacket design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Inspector Salvo Montalbano, with his compelling mix of humor, cynicism, and compassion, has been compared to Georges Simenon's, Dashiel Hammett's, and Raymond Chandler's legendary detectives. In this latest novel, Montalbano's gruesome discovery of a lovely, naked young woman suffocated in her bed immediately sets him on a search for her killer. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer, now disappeared; an antiques-dealing lover from Bologna; and the victim's friend Anna, whose charms Montalbano cannot help but appreciate. But it is a mysterious, reclusive violinist who holds the key to this murder.

 

 

014303460xCamilleri, Andrea. Excursion to Tindari: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2005. Penguin Books. 014303460x. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 295 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

A young Don Juan is found murdered in front of his apartment building early one morning, and an elderly couple is reported missing after an excursion to the ancient site of Tindari - two seemingly unrelated cases for Inspector Montalbano to solve amid the daily complications of life at Vigata police headquarters. But when Montalbano discovers that the couple and the murdered young man lived in the same building, his investigation stumbles onto Sicily’s brutal ‘New Mafia’, which leads him down a path more evil and far-reaching than any he has been on before.

 

  

 

 

0143036203Camilleri, Andrea. The Smell of the Night: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2005. Penguin Books. 0143036203. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 229 pages. paperback. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge, Jacket design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

The number of Inspector Montalbano fans will continue to grow with this ingenious new novel featuring the earthy and urbane Sicilian detective. Half the retirees in Vigata have invested their savings with a financial wizard who has disappeared, along with their money. As Montalbano investigates this labyrinthine financial scam, he finds himself at a serious disadvantage: a hostile superior has shut him out of the case, he’s on the outs with his lover Livia, and his cherished Sicily is turning so ruthless and vulgar that Montalbano wonders if any part of it is worth saving. Drenched with atmosphere, crackling with wit, THE SMELL OF THE NIGHT is Camilleri at his most addictive.

 

 

 


 

014303748xCamilleri, Andrea. Rounding the Mark: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2006. Penguin Books. 014303748x. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 304 pages. paperback. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge, Jacket design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

The earthy and urbane Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano casts his spell on more and more fans with each new mystery from Andrea Camilleri. Two seemingly unrelated deaths form the central mystery of ROUNDING THE MARK. They will take Montalbano deep into a secret world of illicit trafficking in human lives, and the investigation will test the limits of his physical, psychological, and moral endurance. Disillusioned and no longer believing in the institution he serves, will he withdraw or delve deeper into his work?

 

 

 

 

 

 

9780143112037Camilleri, Andrea. The Patience of the Spider: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2007. Penguin Books. 9780143112037. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 244 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

 ‘Can a man, approaching the end of his career, rebel a conditions that have kept him where he is?’ Still recovering from his gunshot wound, Inspector Montalbano is feeling the weight of his years, and of his solitude. He’s getting softer, more introspective, and critical of his life choices. But if withdrawing from society has become natural of late, he’ll soon be forced to interact with others, compelled to intervene as a web of hatred and secrets threatens to squeeze its victims to death. This is Montalbano’s most unusual and challenging case yet and the one that will either change him or break him.

 

 

 

 

 

0143113003Camilleri, Andrea. The Paper Moon: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2008. Penguin Books. 0143113003. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 264 pages. paperback. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge, Jacket design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

With their dark sophistication and dry humor, Andrea Camilleri's classic crime novels continue to win more and more fans in America. The latest installment of the popular mystery series finds the moody Inspector Montalbano further beset by the existential questions that have been plaguing him of late. But he doesn't have much time to wax philosophical before the gruesome murder of a man-shot at point-blank range in the face with his pants down-commands his attention. Add two evasive, beautiful women as prime suspects, some dirty cocaine, mysterious computer codes, and a series of threatening letters, and things soon get very complicated at the police headquarters in Vigàta.

 

 

 

 

0143114055Camilleri, Andrea. August Heat: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2009. Penguin Books. 0143114055. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 278 pages. paperback. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge, Jacket design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

When a colleague extends his summer vacation, Inspector Salvo Montalbano is forced to stay in Vigàta and endure the August heat. Montalbano's long-suffering girlfriend, Livia, joins him with a friend-husband and young son in tow-to keep her company during these dog days of summer. But when the boy suddenly disappears into a narrow shaft hidden under the family's beach rental, Montalbano, in pursuit of the child, uncovers something terribly sinister. As the inspector spends the summer trying to solve this perplexing case, Livia refuses to answer his calls-and Montalbano is left to take a plunge that will affect the rest of his life. Fans of the Sicilian inspector as well as readers new to this increasingly popular series will enjoy following the melancholy but unflinchingly moral Montalbano as he undertakes one of the most shocking investigations of his career.
 

 

 

0143116608Camilleri, Andrea. The Wings of the Sphinx: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2009. Penguin Books. 0143116608. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 231 pages. paperback. Jacket illustration by Andy Bridge, Jacket design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Things are not going well for Inspector Salvo Montalbano. His relationship with Livia is once again on the rocks and-acutely aware of his age-he is beginning to grow weary of the endless violence he encounters. Then a young woman is found dead, her face half shot off and only a tattoo of a sphinx moth giving any hint of her identity. The tattoo links her to three similarly marked girls-all victims of the underworld sex trade-who have been rescued from the Mafia night-club circuit by a prominent Catholic charity. The problem is, Montalbano's inquiries elicit an outcry from the Church and the three other girls are all missing.

 

 

 

 

 

9780143117933Camilleri, Andrea. The Track of Sand: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2010. Penguin Books. 9780143117933. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 264 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Inspector Salvatore Montalbano wakes from strange dreams to find a gruesomely bludgeoned horse carcass in front of his seaside home. When his men came to investigate, the carcass has disappeared, leaving only a trail in the sand. Then his home is ransacked and the inspector is certain that the crimes are linked. As he negotiates both the glittering underworld of horseracing and the Mafia's connection to it, Montalbano is aided by his illiterate housekeeper, Adelina, and a Proustian memory of linguate fritte. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be charmed by Montalbano's blend of unorthodox methods, melancholy self-reflection, and love of good food.

 

 

 

 

 

9780143120131Camilleri, Andrea. The Potter’s Field: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2011. Penguin Books. 9780143120131. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 277 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Witty and entertaining, the Montalbano novels by Andrea Camilleri-a master of the Italian detective story-have become favorites of mystery fans everywhere. In this latest installment, an unidentified corpse is found near Vigàta, a town known for its soil rich with potter's clay. Meanwhile, a woman reports the disappearance of her husband, a Colombian man with Sicilian origins who turns out to be related to a local mobster. Then Inspector Montalbano remembers the story from the Bible-Judas's betrayal, the act of remorse, and the money for the potter's field, where those of unknown or foreign origin are to be buried-and slowly, through myriad betrayals, finds his way to the solution to the crime.

 

 

 

 

9780143120926Camilleri, Andrea. The Age of Doubt: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2012. Penguin Books. 9780143120926. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 274 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

The day after a storm, Inspector Montalbano encounters a strange woman who expresses interest in a certain yacht scheduled to dock that afternoon. Not long after she's gone, the yacht's crew reports finding a disfigured corpse. Also at anchor is a luxury vessel with a somewhat shady crew. Both boats will have to stay in Vigàta until the investigation is over and, based on information from the woman, Montalbano begins to think the occupants of the yacht might know more about the man's death than they're letting on.

 

 

 

9780143122616Camilleri, Andrea. The Dance of the Seagull: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery . New York. 2013. Penguin Books. 9780143122616. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 277 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Inspector Montalbano musts search for his missing right-hand man. But is he already too late? Before leaving for vacation with Livia, Montalbano witnesses a seagull doing an odd dance on the beach outside his home, when the bird suddenly drops dead. Stopping in at his office for a quick check before heading off, he notices that Fazio is nowhere to be found and soon learns that he was last seen on the docks, secretly working on a case. Montalbano sets out to find him and discovers that the seagull's dance of death may provide the key to understanding a macabre world of sadism, extortion, and murder.

 

 

 

 

9780143122623Camilleri, Andrea. Treasure Hunt: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2013. Penguin Books. 9780143122623. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 288 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

In TREASURE HUNT, Montalbano is hailed as a hero after news cameras film him scaling a building—gun in hand—to capture a pair of unlikely snipers. Shortly after, the inspector begins to receive cryptic messages in verse from someone challenging him to go on a ‘treasure hunt.’ Intrigued, he accepts, treating the messages as amusing riddles—until they take a dangerous turn.

 

 

 

 


 

9780143123767Camilleri, Andrea. Angelica's Smile: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2014. Penguin Books. 9780143123767. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 293 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

The seventeenth installment of the beloved New York Times bestselling series that boasts more than 600,000 books in print The last four books in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series have leapfrogged their way up the New York Times bestseller list, perfectly positioning Angelica's Smile to ascend to even greater heights. A rash of burglaries has got Inspector Salvo Montalbano stumped. The criminals are so brazen that their leader, the anonymous Mr. Z, starts sending the Sicilian inspector menacing letters. Among those burgled is the young and beautiful Angelica Cosulich, who reminds the inspector of the love-interest in Ludovico Ariosto's chivalric romance, Orlando Furioso. Besotted by Angelica's charms, Montalbano imagines himself back in the medieval world of jousts and battles. But when one of the burglars turns up dead, Montalbano must snap out of his fantasy and unmask his challenger.

 


 

 

9780143123774Camilleri, Andrea. Game of Mirrors: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2015. Penguin Books. 9780143123774. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 277 pages. paperback. Art by Andy Bridge. Design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

In Game of Mirrors, Inspector Montalbano and his colleagues are stumped when two bombs explode outside empty warehouses—one of which is connected to a big-time drug dealer. Meanwhile, the alluring Liliana Lombardo is trying to seduce the Inspector over red wine and arancini. Between pesky reporters, amorous trysts, and cocaine kingpins, Montalbano feels as if he’s being manipulated on all fronts. That is, until the inspector himself becomes the prime suspect in an unspeakably brutal crime.

 

 

  

 

 

9780143126430Camilleri, Andrea. A Beam of Light: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2015. Penguin Books. 9780143126430. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 274 pages. paperback. Art by Andy Bridge. Design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

When Inspector Montalbano falls under the charms of beautiful gallery owner Marian, his longtime relationship with Livia comes under threat. Meanwhile, he is also troubled by a strange dream as three crimes demand his attention: the assault and robbery of a wealthy merchant's young wife, shady art deals, and a search for arms traffickers that leads him deep into the countryside, where the investigation takes a tragic turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9780143126447Camilleri, Andrea. A Voice in the Night: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2016. Penguin Books. 9780143126447. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 274 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Two strange deaths lead Inspector Montalbano into investigations of corruption and power in the twentieth novel in the New York Times bestselling series. Montalbano investigates a robbery at a supermarket, a standard case that takes a spin when manager Guido Borsellino is later found hanging in his office. Was it a suicide? The inspector and the coroner have their doubts, and further investigation leads to the director of a powerful local company. Meanwhile, a girl is found brutally murdered in Giovanni Strangio’s apartment—Giovanni has a flawless alibi, and it’s no coincidence that Michele Strangio, president of the province, is his father. Weaving together these two crimes, Montalbano realizes that he’s in a difficult spot where political power is enmeshed with the mafia underworld.

 

 

 

9780143126652Camilleri, Andrea. A Nest of Vipers: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2017. Penguin Books. 9780143126652. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 261 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

A Nest of Vipers is the twenty-first novel in Andrea Camilleri's irresistible Inspector Montalbano series. Quite a family, you had to admit! A nest of vipers might be a better description . . . On what should be a quiet Sunday morning, Inspector Montalbano is called to a murder scene on the Sicilian coast. A man has discovered his father dead in his Vigàtan beach house: his body slumped on the dining room floor, his morning coffee spilt across the table, and a single gunshot wound at the base of his skull. First appearances point to the son having the most to gain from his father’s untimely death, a notion his sister can’t help but reinforce. But when Montalbano delves deeper into the case, and learns of the dishonourable life the victim led, it soon becomes clear half of Vigàta has a motive for his murder and this won’t be as simple as the Inspector had once hoped...

 

 

 

9780143128083Camilleri, Andrea. The Pyramid of Mud: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2018. Penguin Books. 9780143128083. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 256 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

The latest in the New York Times bestselling series has Italy’s favorite detective uncovering corruption and mafia ties in the world of construction and contracts. On a gloomy morning in Vigàta, a call from Fazio rouses Inspector Montalbano from a nightmare. A man called Giugiù Nicotra has been found dead in the skeletal workings of a construction site, a place now entombed by a sea of mud from recent days of rain and floods. Shot in the back, he had fled into a water supply system tunnel. The investigation gets off to a slow start, but all the evidence points to the world of construction and public contracts, a world just as slimy and impenetrable as mud. As he wades through a world in which construction firms and public officials thrive, Montalbano is obsessed by one thought: that by going to die in the tunnel, Nicotra had been trying to communicate something. The novels of Andrea Camilleri breathe out the sense of place, the sense of humor, and the sense of despair that fills the air of Sicily. —Donna Leon.


 

9780143131137Camilleri, Andrea. The Overnight Kidnapper: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2019. Penguin Books. 9780143131137. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 257 pages. paperback. Art by Andy Bridge. Design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

The day gets off to a bad start for Montalbano: while trying to break up a fight on Marinella beach, he hits the wrong man and is stopped by the Carabinieri. When he finally gets to the office, the inspector learns about a strange abduction: a woman was abducted, drugged, and then released unharmed only hours later. Within a few days, the same thing happens again. Both women are thirty years old and work in a bank. Montalbano also has to deal with an arson case. A shop has burned down, and its owner, Marcello Di Carlo, seems to have vanished into thin air. At first this seems like a trivial case, but a third abduction—yet again of a girl who works in a bank—and the discovery of a body bring up new questions.



 

 

9780143133773Camilleri, Andrea. The Other End of the Line: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2019. Penguin Books. 9780143133773. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 290 pages. paperback. Art by Andy Bridge. Design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

A wave of refugees has arrived on the Sicilian coast, and Inspector Montalbano and his team have been stationed at port, alongside countless volunteers, to receive and assist the newcomers. Meanwhile, Livia has promised their presence at a friend’s wedding, and the inspector, agreeing to get a new suit tailored, meets the charming master seamstress Elena Biasini. But while on duty at the dock one late night, tragedy strikes, and Elena is found gruesomely murdered. Between managing the growing crowds at the landing, Montalbano delves into the world of garments, in the company of an orphaned cat, where he works to weave together the loose threads of the unsolved crimes and close the case. Wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction… altogether transporting.–A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author.

 

 

 

9780143134961Camilleri, Andrea. The Safety Net: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2020. Penguin Books. 9780143134961. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 261 pages. paperback. Art by Andy Bridge. Design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Vigàta is bustling as the new filming location for a Swedish television series set in 1950. In the production frenzy, the director asks the locals to track down movies and vintage photos to faithfully recreate the air of Vigata in that time. Engineer Ernesto Sabatello, while rummaging in the attic of his house, finds some films shot by his father from 1958 to 1963, always on the same day, March 27 and always the same shot; the outside wall of a country house. Montalbano hears the story, and intrigued by the mystery of it, begins to investigate its meaning. Meanwhile, a middle school is threatened by a group of armed men, and a closer look at the situation finds Montalbano looking into the students themselves and finally delving into the world of social media.

 

 

 

 

9780143134978Camilleri, Andrea. The Sicilian Method: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2020. Penguin Books. 9780143134978. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 274 pages. paperback. Art by Andy Bridge. Design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Mimi Augello is visiting his lover when the woman's husband unexpectedly returns to the apartment; he climbs out the window and into the downstairs apartment, but one danger leads to another. In the dark he sees a body lying on the bed. Shortly after, another body is found, and the victim is Carmelo Catalanotti, a director of bourgeois dramas with a harsh reputation for the acting method he developed for his actors. Are the two deaths connected? Catalanotti scrupulously kept notes and comments on all the actors he worked with, as well as strange notebooks full of figures and dates and names. Inspector Montalbano finds all of Catalanotti's dossiers and plays, the notes on the characters, and the notes on his last drama, Dangerous Turn--the theater is where he'll find the answer.

 

 

 

9780143136187Camilleri, Andrea. The Cook of the Halcyon: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2021. Penguin Books. 9780143136187. Translated from the Italian by Steve Sartarelli. 241 pages. paperback. Cover art by Andy Bridge. Cover design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Giovanni Trincanato has brought ruin to the shipyard he inherited from his father and when a worker he fires hangs himself on the construction site, Inspector Montalbano is called to the scene. In short order, the inspector loses his temper with the crass Giovanni, delivers a slap to his face, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last he sees of Trincanato. Meanwhile, a mysterious schooner called Halcyon shows up in the harbor, seemingly deserted except for just one man. With its presence comes even more mysteries, another death, and the arrival of the FBI. Alongside Sicilian-American Agent Pennisi, Montalbano and his team must attempt a suspenseful infiltration operation in this new, page-turning Inspector Montalbano mystery.

 

 

 

 

9780143136798Camilleri, Andrea. Riccardino: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery. New York. 2021. Penguin Books. 9780143136798. Translated from the Italian by Steve Sartarelli. 260 pages. paperback. Cover art by Andy Bridge. Cover design by Paul Buckley.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

The long-awaited last novel in the transporting and beloved New York Times bestselling Inspector Montalbano series. At eighty, I foresaw Montalbano’s departure from the scene, I got the idea and I didn’t let it slip away. So I found myself writing this novel which is the final chapter; the last book in the series. And I sent it to my publisher saying to keep it in a drawer and to publish it only when I am gone. –Andrea Camilleri. Montalbano receives an early-morning phone call, but this time it’s not Catarella announcing a murder, but a man called Riccardino who’s dialed a wrong number and asks him when he’ll be arriving at the meeting. Montalbano, in irritation, says: In ten minutes. Shortly after, he gets another call, this one announcing the customary murder. A man has been shot and killed outside a bar in front of his three friends. It turns out to be the same man who called him. Thus begins an intricate investigation further complicated by phone calls from the Author in tour de force of metafiction and Montalbano’s last case.

 

 

Inspector Montalbano’s early cases:

 

 

 

9780143121626Camilleri, Andrea. Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories. New York. 2016. Penguin Books. 9780143121626. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 538 pages. paperback. Cover design by Paul Buckley. Cover illustration by Andy Bridge.

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

From the author of the New York Times–bestselling Inspector Montalbano mystery series, twenty-one short stories spanning the beloved detective’s career. Inspector Montalbano has charmed readers in nineteen popular novels, and now in Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories, Andrea Camilleri has selected twenty-one short stories, written with his trademark wit and humor, that follow Italy’s famous detective through highlight cases of his career. From the title story, featuring a young deputy Montalbano newly assigned to Vigàta, to Montalbano Says No, in which the inspector makes a late-night call to Camilleri himself to refuse an outlandish case, this collection is an essential addition to any Inspector Montalbano fan’s bookshelf and a wonderful way to introduce readers to the internationally bestselling series.

 

 

 

9780143108818Camilleri, Andrea. Death at Sea: Montalbano’s Early Cases. New York. 2018. Penguin Books. 9780143108818. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. 276 pages. paperback. Cover design and illustration by Andy Bridge.

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

You either love Andrea Camilleri or you haven’t read him yet. Each novel in this wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction, blasts the brain like a shot of pure oxygen... transporting. Long live Camilleri, and long live Montalbano. —A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window. Set on the Sicilian coast, a collection of eight short stories featuring the young Inspector Montalbano. In 1980s Vigàta, a restless Inspector Montalbano brings his bold investigative style to eight enthralling cases. From jilted lovers and deadly family affairs to assassination attempts and murders in unexpected places, Death at Sea is the perfect collection to escape into Andrea Camilleri's unforgettable slice of Sicily.

 

 

 

 

 

If you have not seen it, the Italian TV series of Inspecto Montalbano mysteries with Luca Zingaretti as Salvo Montalbano is a lot of fun!

 

Zingaretti Luca

 

 

 

 

... and then there is Young Montalbano with Michele Riondino

 

Riondino Michele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camilleri AndreaAndrea Calogero Camilleri (6 September 1925 – 17 July 2019) was an Italian writer. Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began university studies in the Faculty of Literature at the University of Palermo, but did not complete his degree. meanwhile publishing poems and short stories. From 1948 to 1950 he studied stage and film direction at the Silvio D'Amico Academy of Dramatic Arts (Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica) and began to take on work as a director and screenwriter, directing especially plays by Pirandello and Beckett. His parents knew, and were, reportedly, distant friends of, Pirandello, as he tells in his essay on Pirandello, Biography of the Changed Son. His most famous works, the Montalbano series, show many Pirandellian elements: for example, the wild olive tree that helps Montalbano think is on stage in his late work The Giants of the Mountain. With RAI, Camilleri worked on several TV productions, such as Le inchieste del commissario Maigret with Gino Cervi. In 1977 he returned to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, holding the chair of Film Direction and occupying it for 20 years. In 1978 Camilleri wrote his first novel Il Corso Delle Cose (The Way Things Go). This was followed by Un Filo di Fumo (A Thread of Smoke) in 1980. Neither of these works enjoyed any significant amount of popularity. In 1992, after a long pause of 12 years, Camilleri once more took up novel writing. A new book, La Stagione della Caccia (The Hunting Season) turned out to be a best-seller. In 1994 Camilleri published the first in a long series of novels: La forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water) featured the character of Inspector Montalbano, a fractious Sicilian detective in the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town. The series is written in Italian but with a substantial sprinkling of Sicilian phrases and grammar. The name Montalbano is a homage to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán; the similarities between Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri's fictional detective are noteworthy. Both writers make use of their protagonists' gastronomic preferences. This feature provides an interesting quirk which has become something of a fad among his readership even in mainland Italy. The TV adaptation of Montalbano's adventures, starring Luca Zingaretti, further increased Camilleri's popularity to such a point that in 2003 Camilleri's home town, Porto Empedocle – on which Vigàta is modelled – took the extraordinary step of changing its official name to that of Porto Empedocle Vigàta, no doubt with an eye to capitalising on the tourism possibilities thrown up by the author's work. On his website, Camilleri refers to the engaging and multi-faceted character of Montalbano as a serial killer of characters, meaning that he has developed a life of his own and demands great attention from his author, to the demise of other potential books and different personages. Camilleri added that he writes a Montalbano novel every so often just so that the character will be appeased and allow him to work on other stories. In 2012, Camilleri's The Potter's Field (translated by Stephen Sartarelli) was announced as the winner of the 2012 Crime Writers' Association International Dagger. The announcement was made on 5 July 2012 at the awards ceremony held at One Birdcage Walk in London. In his last years Camilleri lived in Rome where he worked as a TV and theatre director. About 10 million copies of his novels have been sold to date and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK (where BBC Four broadcast the Montalbano TV series from mid-2011), Australia and North America. In addition to the degree of popularity brought him by the novels, Andrea Camilleri became even more of a media icon thanks to the parodies aired on an RAI radio show, where popular comedian, TV host and impressionist Fiorello presents him as a raspy voiced, caustic character, madly in love with cigarettes and smoking, since in Italy, Camilleri was well known for being a heavy smoker of cigarettes. He considered himself a non-militant atheist. On 17 June 2019, Camilleri suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to hospital in a critical condition. He died on 17 July 2019. He has been buried in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome.

 

Stephen Sartarelli is a poet and translator.

 


 

 

The three Commissioner Jan Argond mysteries of Julian Rathbone:

 

Rathbone, Julian. The Euro-Killers. New York. 1980. Pantheon Books. 0394509021. 256 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration by Stanislaw Zagorski. 

 

0394509021FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Julian Rathbone, whose many detective stories have been highly praised, and whose historical novel, JOSEPH, has just been nominated for Britain’s prestigious Booker prize, turns in this book to a totally new genre. He has written a genuinely intriguing political thriller that deserves the comparisons to Sjowall and Wahloo that are bound to be made. Wolfgang Herm, wealthy and brilliant creator of multinational EUREAC, disappears on the eve of the fulfillment of a project that threatens one of the last patches of wilderness in the coastal fens of northern Europe. Argand, the honest police commissioner, investigates. Not one but two ransom demands are delivered; sudden death and assassination follow; and through the widening confusion that includes demonstrations, urban terrorism, and even a football riot, we glimpse, in the final denouement, an abyss of greed and corruption. With deadly conviction Julian Rathbone exposes some of the forces and contradictions which threaten Western society, and the puny resistance of the unorganized few who care—eco-freaks, drop-outs, and ordinary men and women of good will. The result is a taut, suspense-filled novel which will add to Rathbone’s reputation as a writer who produces splendid entertainment, yet who demands to be taken seriously.

 

 

0394509110Rathbone, Julian. Base Case. New York. 1981. Pantheon Books. 0394509110. 189 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration by Amy Rowen. 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

Still convalescent from mental illness induced by his last assignment, Jan Argand, the ‘Honest Commissioner’ from Brabt, is sent to the Virtue Islands to advise on security for IBOBRAS, a Spanish-based construction firm contracted by the Americans to build a nuclear base there. A device explodes uncomfortably near him at Madrid airport, and on reaching Santa Caridad, Argand discovers that his document case has been switched for one containing six kilos of heroin. Convinced that he is to be killed, or at least framed, he sets out to track down his enemies and unwittingly stumbles into a web of intrigue and corruption, involving local government officials, wealthy industrialists, a highly successful gem dealer and even a couple of participants in a literary congress, whose events curiously overlap with Argand’s activities. In this sequel to THE EURO-KILLERS, which was acclaimed by Professor Winks of Yale as one of the most historically important thrillers ever written, Julian Rathbone excels again at combining a taut, exciting plot with serious topical issues, not the least of which are those that arise when a community is asked to support the nuclear weapons of a superpower. In the age of the cruise missile, BASE CASE may prove closer to home than the exotic Virtue Islands where it is set.

 

 

0394532813Rathbone, Julian. Watching the Detectives. New York. 1984. Pantheon Books. 0394532813. 232 pages. hardcover. Jacket illustration by Susannah Kelly. 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

Commissioner Jan Argond of Brabt, whose integrity has so often embarrassed his superiors, now heads the Bureau of Advice and Investigation, set up to handle complaints against the police themselves. His initial inquiries uncover a series of disturbing cases of police brutality, racism, and harassment of homosexuals. Mysteriously though, many of the complaints are withdrawn, and Argand gradually realizes that suspicions he had originally dismissed as products of his own paranoia point to a depth of governmental deception almost too bitter for him to accept. The plot widens to include an extreme left-wing group that may harbor terrorists; a vast antinuclear demonstration that turns into a near massacre when State Troopers move in; the murder of one of Argand’s own team; and an attempt on the life of Argand himself. WATCHING THE DETECTIVES is a highly topical and possibly prophetic novel. Interweaving the most urgent political concerns of Europe and the United States with his usual skill and convincing subtlety, Rathbone has written a gripping story of a nation’s, and an individual’s, response to a potently unexpected threat. This is a distinguished successor to Rathbone’s two previous Argand novels, the EURO-KILLERS and BASE CASE.

 

 

Rathbone JulianJulian Christopher Rathbone (10 February 1935 – 28 February 2008) was an English novelist. Various threads run through Rathbone's novels over their forty-year span. Standing firmly in the 19th Century tradition with its belief in the primacy of the writer's imagination and its consequent freedom to explore human life in all its aspects, Rathbone always refused to be tied to a single genre, time or place or character in undertaking this exploration.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Himes, Chester. Black on Black. Garden City. 1973. Doubleday. 0385025262. 287 pages. hardcover.

 

0385025262FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Seventeen short stories, five essays and a film scenario. "These writings are admittedly chauvinistic. You will conclude if you read them that black protest and black heterosexuality are my two chief obsessions. And you will be right." -- Himes.

 

 

 

 

Himes ChesterChester Bomar Himes (July 29, 1909 - November 12, 1984) was an American writer. His works include If He Hollers Let Him Go and a series of Harlem Detective novels. In 1958 he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Chester Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, on July 29, 1909. He grew up in a middle-class home in Missouri. When Himes was about 12 years old, his father took a teaching job at Branch Normal College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), and soon a tragedy took place that would profoundly shape Himes's view of race relations. He had misbehaved and his mother made him sit out a gunpowder demonstration that he and his brother, Joseph Jr., were supposed to conduct during a school assembly. Working alone, Joseph mixed the chemicals; they exploded in his face. Rushed to the nearest hospital, the blinded boy was refused treatment. ‘That one moment in my life hurt me as much as all the others put together,’ Himes wrote in The Quality of Hurt. ‘I loved my brother. I had never been separated from him and that moment was shocking, shattering, and terrifying....We pulled into the emergency entrance of a white people's hospital. White clad doctors and attendants appeared. I remember sitting in the back seat with Joe watching the pantomime being enacted in the car's bright lights. A white man was refusing; my father was pleading. Dejectedly my father turned away; he was crying like a baby. My mother was fumbling in her handbag for a handkerchief; I hoped it was for a pistol.’ Chester's parents were Joseph Sandy Himes and Estelle Bomar Himes; his father was a peripatetic black college professor of industrial trades and his mother was a teacher at Scotia Seminary prior to marriage; the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents' marriage was unhappy and eventually ended in divorce. Himes attended East High School in Cleveland, Ohio. While he was a freshman at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, he was expelled for playing a prank. In late 1928 he was arrested and sentenced to jail and hard labor for 20 to 25 years for armed robbery and sent to Ohio Penitentiary. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. Himes stated that writing in prison and being published was a way to earn respect from guards and fellow inmates, as well as to avoid violence. His first stories appeared in 1931 in The Bronzeman and, starting in 1934, in Esquire. His story ‘To What Red Hell’ (published in Esquire in 1934) as well as to his novel Cast the First Stone - only much later republished unabridged as Yesterday Will Make You Cry (1998) - dealt with the catastrophic 1930 prison fire Himes witnessed at Ohio Penitentiary in 1930. In 1934 Himes was transferred to London Prison Farm and in April 1936 he was released on parole into his mother's custody. Following his release he worked at part-time jobs and at the same time continued to write. During this period he came in touch with Langston Hughes, who facilitated Himes's contacts with the world of literature and publishing. In 1936 Himes married Jean Johnson. In the 1940s Himes spent time in Los Angeles, working as a screenwriter but also producing two novels, If He Hollers Let Him Go and The Lonely Crusade that charted the experiences of the wave of black in-migrants, drawn by the city's defense industries, and their dealings with the established black community, fellow workers, unions and management. He also provided an analysis of the Zoot Suit Riots for The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP. By the 1950s Himes had decided to settle in France permanently, a country he liked in part due to his popularity in literary circles. In Paris, Himes' was the contemporary of the political cartoonist Oliver Harrington and fellow expatriate writers Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and William Gardner Smith. It was in Paris in the late 1950s that Chester met his second wife Lesley Himes, née Packard, when she went to interview him. She was a journalist at the Herald Tribune, where she wrote her own fashion column, ‘Monica’. He described her as ‘Irish-English with blue-gray eyes and very good looking’, he also saw her courage and resilience, Chester said to Lesley, ‘You’re the only true color-blind person I’ve ever met in my life.’ After he suffered a stroke, in 1959, Lesley quit her job and nursed him back to health. She cared for him for the rest of his life, and worked with him as his informal editor, proofreader, confidante and, as the director, Van Peebles dubbed her, ‘his watchdog’. After a long engagement, they were married in 1978. Lesley and Chester faced adversities as a mixed race couple but they prevailed. Theirs was a life lived with an unparallelled passion and great humor. Their circle of political colleagues and creative friends included not only such towering figures as Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; it also included figures such as Malcolm X, Carl Van Vechten, Picasso, Jean Miotte, Ollie Harrington, Nikki Giovanni and Ishmael Reed. Bohemian life in Paris would in turn lead them to the South of France and finally on to Spain, where they lived until Chester’s death in 1984. In 1969 Himes moved to Moraira, Spain, where he died in 1984 from Parkinson's Disease. He is buried at Benissa cemetery.

 


 

 

 

Himes, Chester. My Life of Absurdity: The Autobiography of Chester Himes Volume II. Garden City. 1976. Doubleday. 0385089090. 398 pages. hardcover. Jacket photo by Claire Lachance. Jacket typography by Douglas Bergstreser.  

 

0385089090FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

CHESTER HIMES has been hailed as ‘one of the most important black writers since Richard Wright. He has written eighteen novels, and scores of short stories and essays. . . . He was an advocate of black revolution in the 1940s, who wrote angry social criticism about his rejection of and by America: IF HE HOLLERS LET HIM GO and LONELY CRUSADE. . . . But he’s probably best known as the creator of two uninhibited Harlem detectives named Coffin Ed Smith and Gravedigger Jones — recently featured in the films based on his stories Cotton Comes to Harlem and Come Back, Charleston Blue. Here, in the long-awaited second volume of his autobiography, Chester Himes deals with the time span for which he became internationally known as a writer. Moving to Paris in the early ‘50s, Himes developed from an eloquent ‘protest’ writer into an outstanding novelist, and in a broader sense, from an influential ‘black writer’ into an important figure on the international literary scene. ‘No American ever lived a life as absurd as mine,’ Chester Himes points out. And My LIFE OF ABSURDITY is the story of a life lived as only Himes could have lived it and described it: just on the outside edge of reality, about three steps short of fantasy, and three generations out of slavery. Here is a literary adventure that takes the reader to the heart of Paris expatriate cafe society in the early ‘50s and into the writing of eighteen books and novels, and offers fascinating glimpses of lovers, three continents, and others also making their way as writers: Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin. . . . ‘I am proud to have had a forerunner like Chester Himes,’ wrote Julius Lester in The New York Times Book Review. ‘I am humbled by the courage he has exemplified. Now the task is to be worthy of him.’

 

 

Himes ChesterChester Bomar Himes (July 29, 1909 - November 12, 1984) was an American writer. His works include If He Hollers Let Him Go and a series of Harlem Detective novels. In 1958 he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Chester Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, on July 29, 1909. He grew up in a middle-class home in Missouri. When Himes was about 12 years old, his father took a teaching job at Branch Normal College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), and soon a tragedy took place that would profoundly shape Himes's view of race relations. He had misbehaved and his mother made him sit out a gunpowder demonstration that he and his brother, Joseph Jr., were supposed to conduct during a school assembly. Working alone, Joseph mixed the chemicals; they exploded in his face. Rushed to the nearest hospital, the blinded boy was refused treatment. ‘That one moment in my life hurt me as much as all the others put together,’ Himes wrote in The Quality of Hurt. ‘I loved my brother. I had never been separated from him and that moment was shocking, shattering, and terrifying....We pulled into the emergency entrance of a white people's hospital. White clad doctors and attendants appeared. I remember sitting in the back seat with Joe watching the pantomime being enacted in the car's bright lights. A white man was refusing; my father was pleading. Dejectedly my father turned away; he was crying like a baby. My mother was fumbling in her handbag for a handkerchief; I hoped it was for a pistol.’ Chester's parents were Joseph Sandy Himes and Estelle Bomar Himes; his father was a peripatetic black college professor of industrial trades and his mother was a teacher at Scotia Seminary prior to marriage; the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents' marriage was unhappy and eventually ended in divorce. Himes attended East High School in Cleveland, Ohio. While he was a freshman at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, he was expelled for playing a prank. In late 1928 he was arrested and sentenced to jail and hard labor for 20 to 25 years for armed robbery and sent to Ohio Penitentiary. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. Himes stated that writing in prison and being published was a way to earn respect from guards and fellow inmates, as well as to avoid violence. His first stories appeared in 1931 in The Bronzeman and, starting in 1934, in Esquire. His story ‘To What Red Hell’ (published in Esquire in 1934) as well as to his novel Cast the First Stone - only much later republished unabridged as Yesterday Will Make You Cry (1998) - dealt with the catastrophic 1930 prison fire Himes witnessed at Ohio Penitentiary in 1930. In 1934 Himes was transferred to London Prison Farm and in April 1936 he was released on parole into his mother's custody. Following his release he worked at part-time jobs and at the same time continued to write. During this period he came in touch with Langston Hughes, who facilitated Himes's contacts with the world of literature and publishing. In 1936 Himes married Jean Johnson. In the 1940s Himes spent time in Los Angeles, working as a screenwriter but also producing two novels, If He Hollers Let Him Go and The Lonely Crusade that charted the experiences of the wave of black in-migrants, drawn by the city's defense industries, and their dealings with the established black community, fellow workers, unions and management. He also provided an analysis of the Zoot Suit Riots for The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP. By the 1950s Himes had decided to settle in France permanently, a country he liked in part due to his popularity in literary circles. In Paris, Himes' was the contemporary of the political cartoonist Oliver Harrington and fellow expatriate writers Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and William Gardner Smith. It was in Paris in the late 1950s that Chester met his second wife Lesley Himes, née Packard, when she went to interview him. She was a journalist at the Herald Tribune, where she wrote her own fashion column, ‘Monica’. He described her as ‘Irish-English with blue-gray eyes and very good looking’, he also saw her courage and resilience, Chester said to Lesley, ‘You’re the only true color-blind person I’ve ever met in my life.’ After he suffered a stroke, in 1959, Lesley quit her job and nursed him back to health. She cared for him for the rest of his life, and worked with him as his informal editor, proofreader, confidante and, as the director, Van Peebles dubbed her, ‘his watchdog’. After a long engagement, they were married in 1978. Lesley and Chester faced adversities as a mixed race couple but they prevailed. Theirs was a life lived with an unparallelled passion and great humor. Their circle of political colleagues and creative friends included not only such towering figures as Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; it also included figures such as Malcolm X, Carl Van Vechten, Picasso, Jean Miotte, Ollie Harrington, Nikki Giovanni and Ishmael Reed. Bohemian life in Paris would in turn lead them to the South of France and finally on to Spain, where they lived until Chester’s death in 1984. In 1969 Himes moved to Moraira, Spain, where he died in 1984 from Parkinson's Disease. He is buried at Benissa cemetery.

The Harlem crime novels of Chester Himes:

 

 

 

fgm for love of imabelle 717Himes, Chester. For Love of Imabelle. New York. 1957. Fawcett Gold Medal. 159 pages. paperback. Cover by M. Hooks.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

For her lovely, dusky body, murder was a cheap price to pay. “Don’t make me do it. Please don’t make me do it.” He knelt on the floor and clutched her about the knees. He’s like all the rest of them, she thought. She shook him free, pointed to the door and sent him out into the dawn and certain death. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

real cool killersHimes, Chester. The Real Cool Killers. New York. 1959. Avon Books. Paperback Original. 160 pages. paperback. T-328.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

A gun blast rocks the Harlem night. . . A big white man plows through the crowd, a drug-crazed hoodlum on his heels. . . Screams surround them and the crowds begin to follow. . . A teen-age gang wearing bright green turbans joins the chase, yelling encouragement to the fleeing man and his pursuer. . . Another shot echoes down the neon streets, and the white man pitches forward with a bullet in his head. . . His pursuer stands over him with a smoking gun, laughing fit to kill. . . Two detectives, Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones, arrive to wrap it up – and discover that the killer’s gun is loaded with blanks!. . . Thus begins another wild, lightning-fast, free-wheeling manhunt through the city that never sleeps – with the toughest pair of cops in fiction hot on the violence trail.

 

 

 

 

crazy killHimes, Chester. The Crazy Kill. New York. 1959. Avon Books. Paperback Original. 160 pages. paperback. T-357.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

This murder was a toughie to figure out. There were too many players, too many deals, too many cards missing. . . There was JOHNNY – he was king of a big Harlem gambling syndicate. He was away from home a lot and he worried about losing his queen. Her name was DULCY. She was true to Johnny, but even a queen gets lonesome, playing solitaire every night. . . CHINK CHARLIE was a fast moving knave. He figured a shuffle was due and maybe he’d land on top of the deck. . . DOLL BABY – a low little number, but well stacked. She didn’t care whose partner, she played with as long as she stayed in the game. . . ALAMENA – Johnny’s ex-wife. A discard who lay around hoping to get picked up again. . . And sitting on top of the whole deal were those two wild cards from Harlem homicide, Detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones. They weren’t playing any game. They were hot after the joker who had dealt the dead man’s hand.

 

 

 

 

all shot upHimes, Chester. All Shot Up. New York. 1960. Avon Books. Paperback Original. 160 pages. paperback. T-434.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

IT WAS HAILING BULLETS IN HARLEM. . . and cold enough to embalm a corpse. Eight-count ‘em, eight-corpses, in fact. A gold Cadillac mowed down an old lady who was neither old nor a lady. Three guys kissed concrete outside an exotic bar while heisting fifty grand from a politician. Then Detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones tore into the caper, well-oiled with bourbon and ready to roll down a crazy, brutal trail of violence, perversion and murder. Through the long, bloody weekend, skidding on ice and breathing fire, the freewheeling pair from Harlem Homicide dodged falling bodies as they closed the gap between them and sudden death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

big gold dreamHimes, Chester. The Big Gold Dream. New York. 1960. Avon Books. Paperback Original. 160 pages. paperback. Y-384.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

IT BEGAN WITH A DREAM. . . A dream about pies exploding with 100 dollar bills. The dreamer had faith . . . she believed it was a message from the Lord himself. So the dreamer went and played all she had on money row in the three biggest houses in Harlem. The number popped out like it was sent for. It was a hit for $36,000. Trouble was she tried to keep a secret. She hid the money. But nobody can keep money like that a secret. Not in Harlem. Before the loot even had time to settle in its hiding place every con artist, punk and pusher in the neighborhood was making plans to get it. When someone did find it, he was dead before he could count it. The killer had no luck either. Someone with a knife was waiting for him. But the money had disappeared. The hunt was on again, and the smell of fresh violence filled the air. Detectives Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson know they had to move fast — before murder became an epidemic.

 

 

 

heats onHimes, Chester. The Heat's On. New York. 1966. Putnam. 220 pages. hardcover.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

The uproar started that hot night in Harlem when $3,000,000 worth of heroin went astray and Pinky, the giant albino, turned in a false fire alarm. Fire engines rolled. Tempers flared. Cops blew their tops. And Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger got suspended. For brutality, it was alleged. The heat rose a beat. Then an African got his throat cut. And Grave Digger got shot. The heat really was turned on. And before the chips are down, Coffin Ed swings into action, moving from joint to joint, brothel to brothel, revealing a monstrous downtown racket that put the heat on the whole of the melting pot.

 

 

 

 

cotton comes to harlemHimes, Chester. Cotton Comes To Harlem. New York. 1965. Putnam. 223 pages. hardcover. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Commenting on the series of which this is the latest work, the noted critic Anthony Boucher said: ‘Genuine gallows humor: grotesque, outrageous, sometimes shocking, and generally pretty wonderful.’ And you will agree when you meet Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, Negro detectives in Harlem, the scarred, tough heroes of this roller coaster tale of crime and violence. They are assigned to cover the Rev. Deke O’Malley (late of Atlanta’s pen) now pastor of Ham church, and sponsor of a ‘Back-to-Africa’ movement. Having collected $87,000 from his congregation, the money is promptly hijacked by masked white gunmen, with murder as one of the fringe effects, followed by an incredible chase in which, surprising to many Harlemites — and the reader — a bale of cotton becomes a prime consideration. In the course of this adventure we meet the ever patient Lieutenant Anderson; the Southern white Colonel Calhoun of Alabama; Deke’s girlfriend Iris, who might be said to possess some of the cobra’s less attractive features; and the irrepressible exotic night club dancer, Billie. In and out of the streets, byways, bars and dives of Harlem our two detectives wend their way, with their hard-shooting .38 revolvers on the alert as they search for the hijackers and the elusive Deke. Stoolies, hoods, junkies, winos and others are encountered along the way, but none proves quite so interesting a character as the old junk man, Uncle Bud, who happened to find a bale of cotton in the street. COTTON COMES TO HARLEM is rich in lively dialogue and robust humor—and breathtaking action. It is superbly plotted, and the idiom and sense of place are accurately captured. This novel was published in France last year, under the title, Retour en Afrique, and was hailed as entertainment in the best tradition of Hammett and Chandler.

 

 

 

blind man with a pistolHimes, Chester. Blind Man With a Pistol. New York. 1969. Morrow. 240 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Lawrence Ratzkin.

  
FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

‘A friend of mine, Phil Lomax, told me this story about a blind man with a pistol shooting at a man who had slapped him on a subway train and killing an innocent bystander peacefully reading his newspaper across the aisle and I thought, damn right, sounds just like today’s news, riots in the ghettos, war in Vietnam, masochistic doings in the Middle East. And then I thought of some of our loudmouthed leaders urging our vulnerable soul brothers on to getting themselves killed, and thought further that all unorganized violence is like a blind man with a pistol.’ Chester Himes speaking. Chester Himes, perhaps the most widely read Negro novelist in the world today and certainly the most original and visionary commentator on America’s racial turbulence. BLIND MAN WITH A PISTOL, his latest novel, is considered by Chester Himes and by his publisher to be his most important work to date. In it, he tells the incredible story of a night and day (Nat Turner’s Day) in Harlem, while at the same time he fashions of the Negro plight in the United States a parable so timely as to be prophetic. His world-famous detectives, Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, find themselves looking for the elusive murderer of a white homosexual film producer, and in the process they move through a mad world of Brotherhood marches, Black Muslims, a family slaughter, Black Power riots, and terrible violence everywhere. Chester Himes has not only seen things-he has also seen into them, and he has come out not blind, as would most people, but with a vision. BLIND MAN WITH A PISTOL, written with great wit and honesty, crowns a distinguished body of work.

 

 

 

 

0878056459Himes, Chester. Plan B. Jackson. 1993. University Of Mississippi Press. 0878056459. 1st American Appearance Of Chester Himes' Unfinished Novel . 204 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by John A. Langston.  

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Tomsson Black, political visionary, business genius, and underground revolutionary, plots to avenge injustice by instigating racial turmoil. The roots of racism extend far back into his ancestry, and persecution and suffering have affected many generations of his family. Tomsson’s own misfortunes are the impetus for him to found a criminal underworld whose ultimate purpose is the overflow of white society. This novel, the history of Tomsson Black and an indictment of racism in America, ends in apocalypse. It is Chester Himes’s ultimate statement about the destructive power of racism and his own personal fantasy of how the American Negro, through calculated acts of violence and martyrdom, could destroy the unequal system pervading American life. However, after reaching an ideological impasse, Himes, one of the angriest writers in the black protest movement, left this novel unfinished. After his death in Spain in 1984, a rumor persisted that he had left a final, unfinished Harlem story, in which he literally destroys both his Harlem backdrop and his heroes in a violent racial cataclysm. The manuscript, entitled PLAN B, is that novel. It was edited and published in France, where it was widely hailed as an unfinished masterpiece by readers and critics alike. This new edition, appearing for the first time in the United States, includes an introduction by Michel Fabre (The Sorbonne) and Robert E. Skinner (Xavier University), who have prepared PLAN B for publication.

 

 

0850316189 0850316154  0850315956 

0850316685   0850315948 0850317320  

 

 

 

Himes ChesterChester Bomar Himes (July 29, 1909 - November 12, 1984) was an American writer. His works include If He Hollers Let Him Go and a series of Harlem Detective novels. In 1958 he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Chester Himes was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, on July 29, 1909. He grew up in a middle-class home in Missouri. When Himes was about 12 years old, his father took a teaching job at Branch Normal College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), and soon a tragedy took place that would profoundly shape Himes's view of race relations. He had misbehaved and his mother made him sit out a gunpowder demonstration that he and his brother, Joseph Jr., were supposed to conduct during a school assembly. Working alone, Joseph mixed the chemicals; they exploded in his face. Rushed to the nearest hospital, the blinded boy was refused treatment. ‘That one moment in my life hurt me as much as all the others put together,’ Himes wrote in The Quality of Hurt. ‘I loved my brother. I had never been separated from him and that moment was shocking, shattering, and terrifying....We pulled into the emergency entrance of a white people's hospital. White clad doctors and attendants appeared. I remember sitting in the back seat with Joe watching the pantomime being enacted in the car's bright lights. A white man was refusing; my father was pleading. Dejectedly my father turned away; he was crying like a baby. My mother was fumbling in her handbag for a handkerchief; I hoped it was for a pistol.’ Chester's parents were Joseph Sandy Himes and Estelle Bomar Himes; his father was a peripatetic black college professor of industrial trades and his mother was a teacher at Scotia Seminary prior to marriage; the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents' marriage was unhappy and eventually ended in divorce. Himes attended East High School in Cleveland, Ohio. While he was a freshman at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, he was expelled for playing a prank. In late 1928 he was arrested and sentenced to jail and hard labor for 20 to 25 years for armed robbery and sent to Ohio Penitentiary. In prison, he wrote short stories and had them published in national magazines. Himes stated that writing in prison and being published was a way to earn respect from guards and fellow inmates, as well as to avoid violence. His first stories appeared in 1931 in The Bronzeman and, starting in 1934, in Esquire. His story ‘To What Red Hell’ (published in Esquire in 1934) as well as to his novel Cast the First Stone - only much later republished unabridged as Yesterday Will Make You Cry (1998) - dealt with the catastrophic 1930 prison fire Himes witnessed at Ohio Penitentiary in 1930. In 1934 Himes was transferred to London Prison Farm and in April 1936 he was released on parole into his mother's custody. Following his release he worked at part-time jobs and at the same time continued to write. During this period he came in touch with Langston Hughes, who facilitated Himes's contacts with the world of literature and publishing. In 1936 Himes married Jean Johnson. In the 1940s Himes spent time in Los Angeles, working as a screenwriter but also producing two novels, If He Hollers Let Him Go and The Lonely Crusade that charted the experiences of the wave of black in-migrants, drawn by the city's defense industries, and their dealings with the established black community, fellow workers, unions and management. He also provided an analysis of the Zoot Suit Riots for The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP. By the 1950s Himes had decided to settle in France permanently, a country he liked in part due to his popularity in literary circles. In Paris, Himes' was the contemporary of the political cartoonist Oliver Harrington and fellow expatriate writers Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and William Gardner Smith. It was in Paris in the late 1950s that Chester met his second wife Lesley Himes, née Packard, when she went to interview him. She was a journalist at the Herald Tribune, where she wrote her own fashion column, ‘Monica’. He described her as ‘Irish-English with blue-gray eyes and very good looking’, he also saw her courage and resilience, Chester said to Lesley, ‘You’re the only true color-blind person I’ve ever met in my life.’ After he suffered a stroke, in 1959, Lesley quit her job and nursed him back to health. She cared for him for the rest of his life, and worked with him as his informal editor, proofreader, confidante and, as the director, Van Peebles dubbed her, ‘his watchdog’. After a long engagement, they were married in 1978. Lesley and Chester faced adversities as a mixed race couple but they prevailed. Theirs was a life lived with an unparallelled passion and great humor. Their circle of political colleagues and creative friends included not only such towering figures as Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; it also included figures such as Malcolm X, Carl Van Vechten, Picasso, Jean Miotte, Ollie Harrington, Nikki Giovanni and Ishmael Reed. Bohemian life in Paris would in turn lead them to the South of France and finally on to Spain, where they lived until Chester’s death in 1984. In 1969 Himes moved to Moraira, Spain, where he died in 1984 from Parkinson's Disease. He is buried at Benissa cemetery.

 


 

 

Didion, Joan. Where I Was From. New York. 2003. Knopf. 0679433325. 229 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. 

 

0679433325FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

In her moving and insightful new book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history and ours. A native Californian, Didion applies her scalpel-like intelligence to the state's ethic of ruthless self-sufficiency in order to examine that ethic's often tenuous relationship to reality. Combining history and reportage, memoir and literary criticism, Where I Was From explores California's romances with land and water; its unacknowledged debts to railroads, aerospace, and big government; the disjunction between its code of individualism and its fetish for prisons. Whether she is writing about her pioneer ancestors or privileged sexual predators, robber barons or writers (not excluding herself), Didion is an unparalleled observer, and her book is at once intellectually provocative and deeply personal.

 

 

Didion JoanJoan Didion (December 5, 1934 – December 23, 2021) was an American writer. Her career began in the 1950s after she won an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine. Her writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture of the 1960s and the Hollywood lifestyle. Her political writing often concentrated on the subtext of political and social rhetoric. In 1991, she wrote the earliest mainstream media article to suggest the Central Park Five had been wrongfully convicted. In 2005, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for The Year of Magical Thinking. She later adapted the book into a play, which premiered on Broadway in 2007. In 2013, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne, in 2017.

 


 

 

 

Sebald, W. G.. The Emigrants. New York. 1996. New Directions. 0811213382. Translated from the German by Michael Hulse. 237 pages. hardcover. Cover: Semadar Megged.  

 

0811213382FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

The four long narratives in W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants at first appear to be the straightforward biographies of four people in exile: a painter, an elderly Russian, the author’s schoolteacher as well as his eccentric great-uncle Ambrose. Following (literally) in their footsteps, the narrator retraces routes which lead from Lithuania to London, from Munich to Manchester, from the South German provinces to Switzerland, France, New York, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Along with memories of the Holocaust, he collects documents, diaries, pictures. Each story is illustrated with enigmatic photographs, making The Emigrants seem at times almost like a family album - but of families destroyed. Sebald weaves together variant forms (travelog, biography, autobiography, and historical monograph), combining precise documentary with fictional motifs. As he puts the question to ‘realism,’ the four stories merge gradually into one requiem, overwhelming and indelible.

 

Sebald W GW. G. SEBALD was born in Wertach im Allgau, Germany, in 1944. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland, and Manchester. He taught at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, for thirty years, becoming professor of European literature in 1987, and from 1989 to 1994 he was the first director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. His previously translated books - THE RINGS OF SATURN, THE EMIGRANTS, VERTIGO, and AUSTERLITZ - have won a number of international awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Berlin Literature Prize, and the Literatur Nord Prize. He died in December 2001.

 


 

 

 

Robinson, Cedric J.. Black Movements in America. New York. 1997. Routledge. 0415912237. 192 pages. hardcover.  

 

0415912237 no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

In Black Movements in America, Cedric Robinson traces the emergence of Black political cultures in the United States from slave resistances in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the civil rights movements of the present. Drawing on historical records, Robinson argues that Blacks have constructed both a culture of resistance and a culture of accommodation based on the radically different experiences of slaves and free Blacks. Robinson concludes that contemporary Black movements are inspired by either a social vision - held by the relatively privileged strata - which holds the American nation to its ideals and public representation, and another - that of the masses - which interprets the Black experience in America as proof of the country's venality and hypocrisy. 

 

 

Robinson Cedric JCedric Robinson (November 5, 1940 – June 5, 2016) was a professor in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He headed the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science and served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. Robinson's areas of interest included classical and modern political philosophy, radical social theory in the African diaspora, comparative politics, and the relationships between and among media and politics.

 


 

 

 

Robinson, Cedric J.. The Terms of Order: Political Science and the Myth of Leadership. Chapel Hill. 2016. University of North Carolina Press. 9781469628219. Foreword by Erica R. Edwards. 276 pages. paperback.  

 

9781469628219FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

Do we live in basically orderly societies that occasionally erupt into violent conflict, or do we fail to perceive the constancy of violence and disorder in our societies? In this classic book, originally published in 1980, Cedric J. Robinson contends that our perception of political order is an illusion, maintained in part by Western political and social theorists who depend on the idea of leadership as a basis for describing and prescribing social order. Using a variety of critical approaches in his analysis, Robinson synthesizes elements of psychoanalysis, structuralism, Marxism, classical and neoclassical political philosophy, and cultural anthropology in order to argue that Western thought on leadership is mythological rather than rational. He then presents examples of historically developed "stateless" societies with social organizations that suggest conceptual alternatives to the ways political order has been conceived in the West. Examining Western thought from the vantage point of a people only marginally integrated into Western institutions and intellectual traditions, Robinson's perspective radically critiques fundamental ideas of leadership and order.

 

Robinson Cedric JCedric Robinson (November 5, 1940 – June 5, 2016) was a professor in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He headed the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science and served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. Robinson's areas of interest included classical and modern political philosophy, radical social theory in the African diaspora, comparative politics, and the relationships between and among media and politics.

 


 

 

 

Maurer, David W.. The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man & the Confidence Game. Indianapolis. 1940. Bobbs-Merrill. 300 pages. hardcover.  

big con bobbs merrill 1940

big con no dwFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

CON MEN DON'T STEAL - they literally have wads of cash thrust into their hands by trusting victims. Find out how they accomplish these dizzying feats in David Maurer's The Big Con, one of the finest and most entertaining portraits of confidence men and their games ever written. First published in 1940, it later inspired the Oscar-winning movie The Sting, and is to this day considered a classic of criminology. In addition to being a treasure trove of underworld lingo and unforgettable characters, The Big Con vividly illustrates the fundamental stages of every con, including Putting up the mark - finding a well-to-do victim Playing the con for him - gaining his or her confidence Giving him the convincer - allowing the victim to make a small profit Putting him on the send - sending him home to get more money Taking off the touch - fleecing the victim Forewarned is forearmed. In today's world of ever bigger Ponzi schemes, the price of this book might be the best money you ever spent. 

 

Maurer David WarrenDavid Warren Maurer (April 12, 1906 – ca. June 11, 1981) was a professor of linguistics at the University of Louisville from 1937 to 1972, and an author of numerous studies of the language of the American underworld. Maurer received a doctorate from the Ohio State University in Comparative Literature in 1935. He spent much of his academic career studying the language of criminals, drug addicts, and other marginal subcultures. He died on his farm outside Louisville from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Big Con is Maurer's most popular and perhaps most important book. It was originally published in 1940 by Bobbs-Merrill Company. The source material for it came from Maurer's correspondence, interviews, and informal chats with hundreds of underworld denizens during the 1930s. Among the interviewed criminals were such figures as Joseph "The Yellow Kid" Weil, Charles Gondorff and Limehouse Chappie. Maurer won the trust of hundreds of grifters, who let him in on their language and their methods. The book served as a source for the film The Sting. Maurer wrote three other books, Narcotics and Narcotic Addiction, Whiz Mob: A Correlation of the Technical Argot of Pickpockets with Their Behavior Pattern, and Kentucky Moonshine. In all these books, Maurer described the language – mostly the lexicon – of the people living in these "subcultures." For example, in the last book he focused on the craft of the moonshiners, discussed their infiltration of "dry" counties and reported their terminology. Language of the Underworld is a collection of several of his previous published articles collected by two of his students. It includes an introduction that describes the methods he used to collect criminal argot. Maurer died at home at age 75, the apparent victim of a self-inflected gunshot wound.

 


 

 

 

Graeber, David. The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy. Brooklyn/London. 2015. Melville House. 9781612193748. 261 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Christopher King.  

 

9781612193748FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

From the author of the international bestseller Debt: The First 5,000 Years comes a revelatory account of the way bureaucracy rules our lives. Where does the desire for endless rules, regulations, and bureaucracy come from? How did we come to spend so much of our time filling out forms? And is it really a cipher for state violence? To answer these questions, the anthropologist David Graeber—one of our most important and provocative thinkers—traces the peculiar and unexpected ways we relate to bureaucracy today, and reveals how it shapes our lives in ways we may not even notice…though he also suggests that there may be something perversely appealing—even romantic—about bureaucracy. Leaping from the ascendance of right-wing economics to the hidden meanings behind Sherlock Holmes and Batman, The Utopia of Rules is at once a powerful work of social theory in the tradition of Foucault and Marx, and an entertaining reckoning with popular culture that calls to mind Slavoj Zizek at his most accessible. An essential book for our times, The Utopia of Rules is sure to start a million conversations about the institutions that rule over us—and the better, freer world we should, perhaps, begin to imagine for ourselves.

 

 

Graeber DavidDavid Rolfe Graeber (February 12, 1961 – September 2, 2020) was an American anthropologist, anarchist activist, and author known for his books Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011), The Utopia of Rules (2015) and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (2018). He was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. As an assistant and later associate professor of anthropology at Yale University from 1998 to 2007, Graeber specialized in theories of value and social theory. Yale's decision not to rehire him when he would otherwise have become eligible for tenure sparked an academic controversy. He went on to become, from 2007 to 2013, reader in social anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His activism included protests against the 3rd Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, and at the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York City. Graeber was a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is sometimes credited with having coined the slogan "We are the 99%". He accepted credit for the description "the 99%" but said that others had expanded it into the slogan.

 


 

 

 


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