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Essays

Homo Irrealis

Homo Irrealis

Aciman, Andre
$27.00

The New York Times-bestselling author of Find Me and Call Me by Your Name returns to the essay form with his collection of thoughts on time, the creative mind, and great lives and works

Irrealis moods are the set of verbal moods that indicate that something is not actually the case or a certain situation or action is not known to have happened . . .

André Aciman returns to the essay form in Homo Irrealis to explore what the present tense means to artists who cannot grasp the here and now. Irrealis is not about the present, or the past, or the future, but about what might have been but never was--but could in theory still happen.

From meditations on subway poetry and the temporal resonances of an empty Italian street, to considerations of the lives and work of Sigmund Freud, Constantine Cavafy, W. G. Sebald, John Sloan, Éric Rohmer, Marcel Proust, and Fernando Pessoa, and portraits of cities such as Alexandria and St. Petersburg, Homo Irrealis is a deep reflection of the imagination's power to shape our memories under time's seemingly intractable hold.

How To Read and Why

How To Read and Why

Bloom, Harold
$16.00
Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?" is the crucial question with which renowned literary critic Harold Bloom begins this impassioned book on the pleasures and benefits of reading well. For more than forty years, Bloom has transformed college students into lifelong readers with his unrivaled love for literature. Now, at a time when faster and easier electronic media threatens to eclipse the practice of reading, Bloom draws on his experience as critic, teacher, and prolific reader to plumb the great books for their sustaining wisdom.
Shedding all polemic, Bloom addresses the solitary reader, who, he urges, should read for the purest of all reasons: to discover and augment the self. His ultimate faith in the restorative power of literature resonates on every page of this infinitely rewarding and important book.
Where I Come From

Where I Come From

Bragg, Rick
$26.95
From the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All Over but the Shoutin' and The Best Cook in the World, a collection of irresistible columns from Southern Living and Garden & Gun

Celebrated author and newspaper columnist Rick Bragg brings us an ode to the stories and history of the Deep South, filled with "eclectic nuggets about places and people he knows well" (USA Today) and written with honesty, wit, and deep affection.

A collection of wide-ranging and endearingly personal columns--from Bragg's love of Tupperware (his mother preferred margarine tubs and thought Tupperware was "just showing off") to the decline of country music, from the legacy of Harper Lee to the metamorphosis of the pickup truck to the best way to kill fire ants--Where I Come From is a book that will be treasured by fans old and new.

97,196 Words: Essays

97,196 Words: Essays

Carrere, Emmanuel
$28.00

A selection of the best short work by France's greatest living nonfiction writer

No one writes nonfiction like Emmanuel Carrère. Although he takes cues from such literary heroes as Truman Capote and Janet Malcolm, Carrère has, over the course of his career, reinvented the form in a search for truth in all its guises. Dispensing with the rules of genre, he takes what he needs from every available form or discipline--be it theology, historiography, fiction, reportage, or memoir--and fuses it under the pressure of an inimitable combination of passion, curiosity, intellect, and wit. With an oeuvre unique in world literature for its blend of empathy and playfulness, Carrère stands as one of our most distinctive and important literary voices.

97,196 Words introduces Carrère's shorter works to an English-language audience. Featuring more than thirty extraordinary essays written over an illustrious twenty-five-year period of Carrère's creative life, this collection shows an exceptional mind at work. Spanning continents, histories, and personal relationships, and treating everything from American heroin addicts to the writing of In Cold Blood, from the philosophy of Philip K. Dick to a single haunting sentence in a minor story by H. P. Lovecraft, from Carrère's own botched interview with Catherine Deneuve to the week he spent following the future French president Emmanuel Macron, 97,196 Words considers the divides between truth, reality, and our shared humanity as it explores remarkable events and eccentric lives, including Carrère's own.

Coventry

Coventry

Cusk, Rachel
$27.00

NPR's Favorite Books of 2019

Rachel Cusk redrew the boundaries of fiction with the Outline Trilogy, three "literary masterpieces" (The Washington Post) whose narrator, Faye, perceives the world with a glinting, unsparing intelligence while remaining opaque to the reader. Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Now, in Coventry, she gathers a selection of her nonfiction writings that both offers new insights on the themes at the heart of her fiction and forges a startling critical voice on some of our most urgent personal, social, and artistic questions.

Coventry encompasses memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about literature, with pieces on family life, gender, and politics, and on D. H. Lawrence, Françoise Sagan, and Kazuo Ishiguro. Named for an essay Cusk published in Granta ("Every so often, for offences actual or hypothetical, my mother and father stop speaking to me. There's a funny phrase for this phenomenon in England: it's called being sent to Coventry"), this collection is pure Cusk and essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, and dazzling to behold.

Roxanne says: Cusk's essay "Lions on Leashes" alone is worth the price! Resonant and profound.

Same Gate: A Collection of Writings in the Spirit of Rumi (None)

Same Gate: A Collection of Writings in the Spirit of Rumi (None)

Durovicova, Natasa
$15.00
Featuring 17 poets and writers from around the world in a setting devoted to the contemplation of Rumi's long-standing importance, this collection offers a series of dynamic essay-reflections from the US, Iran, Mexico, Afghanistan, Syria, Sweden, France, Turkey, and Pakistan.
Sunshine State: Essays

Sunshine State: Essays

Gerard, Sarah
$15.99

Longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay - Finalist for the Southern Book Prize

A New York Times Critics' Best Books of the Year - An NPR Best Book of the Year - A NYLON Best Nonfiction Book of the Year - A Buzzfeed Best Nonfiction Book of the Year - An Entrophy Magazine Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year - A Brooklyn Rail Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year - A Baltimore Beat Best Book of the Year

A Paris Review Staff Pick - A Chicago Tribune Exciting Book for 2017 - A Rolling Stone Culture Index Reccomendation - A Buzzfeed Most Exciting Book for 2017 - A The Millions Great 2017 Book Preview Pick - A Huffington Post 2017 Preview Pick - A NYLON Best 10 Books of the Month - A Lit Hub 15 Books to Read This Month A Poets & Writers New and Noteworth Selection - A PW Top 10 Spring Pick in Essays & Literary Criticism- An Emma Straub Reccomendation on PBS

"One of the themes of 'Sunshine State, ' Sarah Gerard's striking book of essays, is how Florida can unmoor you and make you reach for shoddy, off-the-shelf solutions to your psychic unease.... The first essay is a knockout, a lurid red heart wrapped in barbed wire.... This essay draws blood." -- Dwight Garner, New York Times

Unflinchingly candid memoir bolstered by thoughtfully researched history.... A nuanced and subtly intimate mosaic... her writing, lucid yet atmospheric, takes on a timeless ebb and flow." -- Jason Heller, NPR.org

Stunning. -- Rolling Stone

"These large-hearted, meticulous essays offer an uncanny x-ray of our national psyche... showing us both the grand beauty of our American dreams and the heartbreaking devastation they wreak." -- Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

Sarah Gerard follows her breakout novel, Binary Star, with the dynamic essay collection Sunshine State, which explores Florida as a microcosm of the most pressing economic and environmental perils haunting our society.

In the collection's title essay, Gerard volunteers at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a world renowned bird refuge. There she meets its founder, who once modeled with a pelican on his arm for a Dewar's Scotch campaign but has since declined into a pit of fraud and madness. He becomes our embezzling protagonist whose tales about the birds he "rescues" never quite add up. Gerard's personal stories are no less eerie or poignant: An essay that begins as a look at Gerard's first relationship becomes a heart-wrenching exploration of acquaintance rape and consent. An account of intimate female friendship pivots midway through, morphing into a meditation on jealousy and class.

With the personal insight of The Empathy Exams, the societal exposal of Nickel and Dimed, and the stylistic innovation and intensity of her own break-out debut novel Binary Star, Sarah Gerard's Sunshine State uses the intimately personal to unearth the deep reservoirs of humanity buried in the corners of our world often hardest to face.

Roxanne says: Fascinating, amazed Gerard lived to tell it. A product of dysfunction absorbed but recreated her on life. Florida history as well!

American Originality: Essays on Poetry

American Originality: Essays on Poetry

Glück, Louise
$17.00

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

A luminous collection of essays from Louise Glück, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and one of our most original and influential poets

Five decades after her debut poetry collection, Firstborn, Louise Glück is a towering figure in American letters. Written with the same probing, analytic control that has long distinguished her poetry, American Originality is Glück's second book of essays--her first, Proofs and Theories, won the 1993 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Glück's moving and disabusing lyricism is on full display in this decisive new collection.

From its opening pages, American Originality forces readers to consider contemporary poetry and its demigods in radical, unconsoling, and ultimately very productive ways. Determined to wrest ample, often contradictory meaning from our current literary discourse, Glück comprehends and destabilizes notions of "narcissism" and "genius" that are unique to the American literary climate. This includes erudite analyses of the poets who have interested her throughout her own career, such as Rilke, Pinsky, Chiasson, and Dobyns, and introductions to the first books of poets like Dana Levin, Peter Streckfus, Spencer Reece, and Richard Siken. Forceful, revealing, challenging, and instructive, American Originality is a seminal critical achievement.

Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick

Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick

Hardwick, Elizabeth; Pinckney,
$19.95
The first-ever collection of essays from across Elizabeth Hardwick's illustrious writing career, including works not seen in print for decades.

A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

Elizabeth Hardwick wrote during the golden age of the American literary essay. For Hardwick, the essay was an imaginative endeavor, a serious form, criticism worthy of the literature in question. In the essays collected here she covers civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s, describes places where she lived and locations she visited, and writes about the foundations of American literature--Melville, James, Wharton--and the changes in American fiction, though her reading is wide and international. She contemplates writers' lives--women writers, rebels, Americans abroad--and the literary afterlife of biographies, letters, and diaries. Selected and with an introduction by Darryl Pinckney, the Collected Essays gathers more than fifty essays for a fifty-year retrospective of Hardwick's work from 1953 to 2003. "For Hardwick," writes Pinckney, "the poetry and novels of America hold the nation's history." Here is an exhilarating chronicle of that history.
Pushcart Prize XLV

Pushcart Prize XLV

Henderson, Bill
$19.95
The series has been selected for Publishers Weekly Carey Thomas Award, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof citation, and the Poets and Writers/Barnes and Noble "Writers For Writers" award among others.

Here are 70 authors from more than 50 presses as selected from the nominations of 220 distinguished Contributing Editors and 800 participating presses.

Recent reviews include:
"Essential." Library Journal
"Must reading" Kirkus Reviews
"Distinguished." New York Times Book Review
Bad Side of Books

Bad Side of Books

Lawrence, D.H.
$19.95
You could describe D.H. Lawrence as the great multi-instrumentalist among the great writers of the twentieth century. He was a brilliant, endlessly controversial novelist who transformed, for better and for worse, the way we write about sex and emotions; he was a wonderful poet; he was an essayist of burning curiosity, expansive lyricism, odd humor, and radical intelligence, equaled, perhaps, only by Virginia Woolf. Here Geoff Dyer, one of the finest essayists of our day, draws on the whole range of Lawrence's published essays to reintroduce him to a new generation of readers for whom the essay has become an important genre. We get Lawrence the book reviewer, writing about Death in Venice and welcoming Ernest Hemingway; Lawrence the travel writer, in Mexico and New Mexico and Italy; Lawrence the memoirist, depicting his strange sometime-friend Maurice Magnus; Lawrence the restless inquirer into the possibilities of the novel, writing about the novel and morality and addressing the question of why the novel matters; and, finally, the Lawrence who meditates on birdsong or the death of a porcupine in the Rocky Mountains. Dyer's selection of Lawrence's essays is a wonderful introduction to a fundamental, dazzling writer.
How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

Laymon, Kiese
$16.00
A revised collection with thirteen essays, including six new to this edition and seven from the original edition, by the "star in the American literary firmament, with a voice that is courageous, honest, loving, and singularly beautiful" (NPR).

Brilliant and uncompromising, piercing and funny, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America is essential reading. This new edition of award-winning author Kiese Laymon's first work of nonfiction looks inward, drawing heavily on the author and his family's experiences, while simultaneously examining the world--Mississippi, the South, the United States--that has shaped their lives. With subjects that range from an interview with his mother to reflections on Ole Miss football, Outkast, and the labor of Black women, these thirteen insightful essays highlight Laymon's profound love of language and his artful rendering of experience, trumpeting why he is "simply one of the most talented writers in America" (New York magazine).

Words and Worlds

Words and Worlds

Lurie, Alison
$16.00
In this candid and bluntly humorous collection of essays on a wide range of topics, Lurie begins with a candid portrait of her life at Radcliffe during World War II when the smartest women in the country were treated like second-class citizens, the most scholarly among them expected to work in factories to support the war effort. She moves on to her unheralded, clumsy attempts and near failure to be a writer, and finally having reached a level of recognition, the great good fortune of forming close relationships with other writers and editors and great thinkers, including Robert Silver of the New York Review of Books, the poet James Merrill and the illustrator, Edward Gorey. On this fascinating journey, we are amused by her insightful, often delightfully funny meditations on topics like "deconstruction" and beloved children's literature series such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harry Potter, and Barbar. A crowning reminiscence from a much beloved and celebrated writer.--Boston Globe
Poetry Handbook

Poetry Handbook

Oliver, Mary
$14.99
With passion, wit, and good common sense, the celebrated poet Mary Oliver tells of the basic ways a poem is built--meter and rhyme, form and diction, sound and sense. She talks of iambs and trochees, couplets and sonnets, and how and why this should matter to anyone writing or reading poetry. Drawing on poems from Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and others, Oliver imparts an extraordinary amount of information in a remarkably short space.

"Mary Oliver would probably never admit to anything so grandiose as an effort to connect the conscious mind and the heart (that's what she says poetry can do), but that is exactly what she accomplishes in this stunning little handbook."--Los Angeles Times

Little Weirds

Little Weirds

Slate, Jenny
$27.00
One of Vanity Fair's Great Quarantine Reads: Step into Jenny Slate's wild imagination in this "magical" (Mindy Kaling), "delicious" (Amy Sedaris), and "poignant" (John Mulaney) New York Times bestseller about love, heartbreak, and being alive -- "this book is something new and wonderful" (George Saunders).

You may "know" Jenny Slate from her Netflix special, Stage Fright, as the creator of Marcel the Shell, or as the star of "Obvious Child." But you don't really know Jenny Slate until you get bonked on the head by her absolutely singular writing style. To see the world through Jenny's eyes is to see it as though for the first time, shimmering with strangeness and possibility.

As she will remind you, we live on an ancient ball that rotates around a bigger ball made up of lights and gasses that are science gasses, not farts (don't be immature). Heartbreak, confusion, and misogyny stalk this blue-green sphere, yes, but it is also a place of wild delight and unconstrained vitality, a place where we can start living as soon as we are born, and we can be born at any time. In her dazzling, impossible-to-categorize debut, Jenny channels the pain and beauty of life in writing so fresh, so new, and so burstingly alive, we catch her vision like a fever and bring it back out into the bright day with us, where everything has changed.
Intimations: Six Essays

Intimations: Six Essays

Smith, Zadie
$10.95
"Smith does more than illuminate what we're going through right now. She offers a model of how to think ourselves through a fraught historical moment without getting hysterical or sanctimonious, without losing our compassion or our appreciation for what's good in other people. She teaches us how to be better at being human." --John Powers, Fresh Air

Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time.

Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?

Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened--and what should come next.

The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.

How to Make a Slave and Other Essays

How to Make a Slave and Other Essays

Walker, Jerald
$19.95
Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction

For the black community, Jerald Walker asserts in How to Make a Slave, "anger is often a prelude to a joke, as there is broad understanding that the triumph over this destructive emotion lay in finding its punchline." It is on the knife's edge between fury and farce that the essays in this exquisite collection balance. Whether confronting the medical profession's racial biases, considering the complicated legacy of Michael Jackson, paying homage to his writing mentor James Alan McPherson, or attempting to break free of personal and societal stereotypes, Walker elegantly blends personal revelation and cultural critique. The result is a bracing and often humorous examination by one of America's most acclaimed essayists of what it is to grow, parent, write, and exist as a black American male. Walker refuses to lull his readers; instead his missives urge them to do better as they consider, through his eyes, how to be a good citizen, how to be a good father, how to live, and how to love.