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Essays

Wonderlands

Wonderlands

Baxter, Charles
$17.00

Searching and erudite new essays on writing from the author of Burning Down the House.

Charles Baxter's new collection of essays, Wonderlands, joins his other works of nonfiction, Burning Down the House and The Art of Subtext. In the mold of those books, Baxter shares years of wisdom and reflection on what makes fiction work, including essays that were first given as craft talks at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

The essays here range from brilliant thinking on the nature of wonderlands in the fiction of Haruki Murakami and other fabulist writers, to how request moments function in a story. Baxter is equally at home tackling a thorny matter such as charisma (which intersects with political figures like the disastrous forty-fifth US president) as he is bringing new interest to subjects such as list-making in fiction.

Amid these craft essays, an interlude of two personal essays--the story of a horrifying car crash and an introspective "letter to a young poet"--add to the intimate nature of the book. The final essay reflects on a lifetime of writing, and closes with a memorable image of Baxter as a boy, waiting at the window for a parent who never arrives and filling that absence with stories. Wonderlands will stand alongside his prior work as an insightful and lasting work of criticism.

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.

Written World And The Unwritten World

Written World And The Unwritten World

Calvino, Italo
$17.99

"Wonderful... Calvino's prose is sparkling as ever, and he approaches ideas with wit and an open mind, always ready to challenge a stale point of view. This anthology will delight Calvino fans old and new." --Publishers Weekly

A rich collection of essays offering an extraordinary global view of Calvino's approach to writing, reading, and interpreting literature.

An extraordinary collection of essays, forewords, articles, and interviews, The Written World and the Unwritten World displays the remarkable intelligence and razor-sharp wit of prolific Italian writer Italo Calvino as he explores the meaning of literature in a rapidly changing world. From classics to contemporary literature, from tradition to the avant-garde, Calvino masterfully explores reading, writing, and translating through careful and illuminating discussion of the works of Bakhtin, Brecht, Cortázar, Thomas Mann, Octavio Paz, Georges Perec, Salman Rushdie, Gore Vidal, and more. Drawn from Mondo scritto e mondo non scritto (2002), Sulla fiaba (1988), and other uncollected essays, this volume of previously untranslated work--now rendered in English by acclaimed translator Ann Goldstein--is a major statement in literary criticism.

Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief

Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief

Chang, Victoria
$25.00

A Kirkus Best Book of October 2021

From poet Victoria Chang, a collection of literary letters and mementos on the art of remembering across generations.

For Victoria Chang, memory "isn't something that blooms, but something that bleeds internally." It is willed, summoned, and dragged to the surface. The remembrances in this collection of letters are founded in the fragments of stories her mother shared reluctantly, and the silences of her father, who first would not and then could not share more. They are whittled and sculpted from an archive of family relics: a marriage license, a letter, a visa petition, a photograph. And, just as often, they are built on the questions that can no longer be answered.

Dear Memory is not a transcription but a process of simultaneously shaping and being shaped, knowing that when a writer dips their pen into history, what emerges is poetry. In carefully crafted collages and missives on trauma, loss, and Americanness, Victoria Chang grasps on to a sense of self that grief threatens to dissipate.

In letters to family, past teachers, and fellow poets, as the imagination, Dear Memory offers a model for what it looks like to find ourselves in our histories.

Other Honors for Dear Memory:

An Electric Literature Favorite Nonfiction Book of 2021

A TIME Magazine Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2021

A Los Angeles Times Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2021

A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2021An NPR Most Anticipated Book of October 2021

Essays Two

Essays Two

Davis, Lydia
$22.00

A collection of essays on translation, foreign languages, Proust, and one French city, from the master short-fiction writer and acclaimed translator Lydia Davis

In Essays One, Lydia Davis, who has been called "a magician of self-consciousness" by Jonathan Franzen and "the best prose stylist in America" by Rick Moody, gathered a generous selection of her essays about best writing practices, representations of Jesus, early tourist photographs, and much more. Essays Two collects Davis's writings and talks on her second profession: the art of translation. The award-winning translator from the French reflects on her experience translating Proust ("A work of creation in its own right." --Claire Messud, Newsday), Madame Bovary ("[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves." --Kathryn Harrison, The New York Times Book Review), and Michel Leiris ("Magnificent." --Tim Watson, Public Books). She also makes an extended visit to the French city of Arles, and writes about the varied adventures of learning Norwegian, Dutch, and Spanish through reading and translation.

Davis, a 2003 MacArthur Fellow and the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize for her fiction, here focuses her unique intelligence and idiosyncratic ways of understanding on the endlessly complex relations between languages. Together with Essays One, this provocative and delightful volume cements her status as one of our most original and beguiling writers.

Home in Florida: Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness

Home in Florida: Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness

Delgado, Anjanette
$26.95

Independent Publisher Book Awards, Silver Medal
for Anthology

National Indie
Excellence Awards, Finalist in the Anthology Category

International Latino Book Awards, Gold Medal for Best Fiction (Multi-Author)

International Latino Book Awards, Honorable Mention, Best Nonfiction (Multi-Author)


A powerful collection of contemporary voices


Showcasing a variety of voices shaped in and by a place that has been for them a crossroads and a land of contradictions, Home in Florida presents a selection of the best literature of displacement and uprootedness by some of the most talented contemporary Latinx writers who have called Florida home.



Featuring fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by Richard Blanco, Jaquira Díaz, Patricia Engel, Jennine Capó Crucet, Reinaldo Arenas, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and many others, this collection of renowned and award-winning contributors includes several who are celebrated in their countries of origin but have not yet been discovered by readers in the United States. The writers in this volume--first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants to Florida from Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Perú, Argentina, Chile, and other countries--reflect the diversity of Latinx experiences across the state.



Editor Anjanette Delgado characterizes the work in this collection as literature of uprootedness, literatura del desarraigo, a Spanish literary tradition and a term used by Reinaldo Arenas. With the heart-changing, here-and-there perspective of attempting life in environments not their own, these writers portray many different responses to displacement, each occupying their own unique place on what Delgado calls a spectrum of belonging.


Together, these writers explore what exactly makes Florida home for those struggling between memory and presence. In these works, as it is for many people seeking to make a new life in the United States, Florida is the place where the uprooted stop to catch their breath long enough to wonder, "What if I stayed? What if here could one day be my home?"

Slouching Towards Bethlehem : Essays

Didion, Joan
$17.00
White Album

White Album

Didion, Joan
$15.00

Nora says: I was prompted to re-read Didion after hearing of her passing, and am once again moved by her intellect, her observations, her style. The White Album is a great place to start if you haven't read her non-fiction yet. Critics have pointed to the pieces on the sixties and James Jones' Hawaii as prime examples of her idiosyncratic style , but for my money, Many Mansions (Ronald Reagan's failed Governor's mansion project) and Quiet Days In Malibu (orchid breeding), are right up there!


 

"Didion is an original journalistic talent who can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes." –San Francisco Chronicle

 

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live . . . We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images . . . Or at least we do for a while."

 

First published in 1979, The White Album is a mosaic—of people, places, events—from the late 1960s and 1970s. Among other artifacts and personalities from those years, it includes the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a Black Panther Party press conference, portraits of Doris Lessing and Georgia O'Keeffe, the romance of water in an arid landscape, and a visit to the disorienting city of Bogota—a varied and vibrant portrait of the times as seen through Joan Didion's clear-eyed perspective. With commanding sureness of mood and language, she exposes the realities and dreams of that age of self discovery whose spiritual center was California.

Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told?

Why Didn't You Just Do What You Were Told?

Diski, Jenny
$18.00

NBCC Finalist
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE

The best of the indomitable Jenny Diski's essays, an injection of grade-A intellectual adrenaline (Vulture), selected by the legendary editor Mary-Kay Wilmers.

Diski expanded notions about what nonfiction, as an art form, could do and could be. --New Yorker

Jenny Diski was a fearless writer, for whom no subject was too difficult, even her own cancer diagnosis. Her columns in the London Review of Books--selected here by her editor and friend Mary-Kay Wilmers, on subjects as various as death, motherhood, sexual politics and the joys of solitude--have been described as virtuoso performances, and small masterpieces.

From Highgate Cemetery to the interior of a psychiatric hospital, from Tottenham Court Road to the icebergs of Antarctica, Why Didn't You Just Do What You Were Told? is an interrogation of universal experience from a very particular psyche: original, opinionated--and mordantly funny. With an afterword by her daughter, Chloe Diski, this is a must-have for essay lovers everywhere.