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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 a category of verbal moods that indicate that certain events have not happened, may never happen, or should or must or are indeed desired to happen, but for which there is no indication that they will ever happen. Irrealis moods are also known as counterfactual moods and include the conditional, the subjunctive, the optative, and the imperative--all best expressed in this book as the might-be and the might-have-been.

One of the great prose stylists of his generation, André Aciman returns to the essay form in Homo Irrealis to explore what time means to artists who cannot grasp life in the present. Irrealis moods are not about the present or the past or the future; they are 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, C. P. 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 on the imagination's power to forge a zone outside of time's 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.

Coventry

Coventry

Cusk, Rachel
$17.00

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 Elena Ferrante. Named for an essay 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.

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

Didion, Joan
$23.00
*A New York Times Best Seller*

From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion's subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt.

A Most Anticipated Book of 2021 from Vogue, TIME, Bustle, The New York Times and many more.

These twelve pieces from 1968 to 2000, never before gathered together, offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary figure. They showcase Joan Didion's incisive reporting, her empathetic gaze, and her role as an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time (The New York Times Book Review).

Here, Didion touches on topics ranging from newspapers (the problem is not so much whether one trusts the news as to whether one finds it), to the fantasy of San Simeon, to not getting into Stanford. In Why I Write, Didion ponders the act of writing: I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. From her admiration for Hemingway's sentences to her acknowledgment that Martha Stewart's story is one that has historically encouraged women in this country, even as it has threatened men, these essays are acutely and brilliantly observed. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.

Both Doug and Elsie loved this book. Doug says: Classic Didion, as if the essays  were held in casks and distilled to single-malt maturity. The flavors are ginger-rich like a potion in the hands of a  shaman. Do not miss these previously  uncollected essays from 1968-2000. 

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.
Mind Spread Out on the Ground

Mind Spread Out on the Ground

Elliott, Alicia
$17.99
In her raw, unflinching memoir . . . she tells the impassioned, wrenching story of the mental health crisis within her own family and community . . . A searing cry. --New York Times Book Review

The Mohawk phrase for depression can be roughly translated to a mind spread out on the ground. In this urgent and visceral work, Alicia Elliott explores how apt a description that is for the ongoing effects of personal, intergenerational, and colonial traumas she and so many Native people have experienced.

Elliott's deeply personal writing details a life spent between Indigenous and white communities, a divide reflected in her own family, and engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, art, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrification, and representation. Throughout, she makes thrilling connections both large and small between the past and present, the personal and political.

A national bestseller in Canada, this updated and expanded American edition helps us better understand legacy, oppression, and racism throughout North America, and offers us a profound new way to decolonize our minds.

Book of Delights

Book of Delights

Gay, Ross
$23.95

In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives.

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
Pushcart Prize XLV is continuing evidence that much of today's vibrant writing appears only in small journals and book presses.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
Make It Scream, Make It Burn

Make It Scream, Make It Burn

Jamison, Leslie
$17.99
From the "astounding" (Entertainment Weekly), "spectacularly evocative" (The Atlantic), and "brilliant" (Los Angeles Times) author of the New York Times bestsellers The Recovering and The Empathy Exams comes a return to the essay form in this expansive book.

With the virtuosic synthesis of memoir, criticism, and journalism for which Leslie Jamison has been so widely acclaimed, the fourteen essays in Make It Scream, Make It Burn explore the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession.

Among Jamison's subjects are 52 Blue, deemed "the loneliest whale in the world"; the eerie past-life memories of children; the devoted citizens of an online world called Second Life; the haunted landscape of the Sri Lankan Civil War; and an entire museum dedicated to the relics of broken relationships. Jamison follows these examinations to more personal reckonings -- with elusive men and ruptured romances, with marriage and maternity -- in essays about eloping in Las Vegas, becoming a stepmother, and giving birth.

Often compared to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag, and widely considered one of the defining voices of her generation, Jamison interrogates her own life with the same nuance and rigor she brings to her subjects. The result is a provocative reminder of the joy and sustenance that can be found in the unlikeliest of circumstances.

Finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
One of the fall's most anticipated books: Time, Entertainment Weekly, O, Oprah Magazine, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Esquire, Seattle Times, Baltimore Sun, BuzzFeed, BookPage, The Millions, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Lit Hub, Women's Day, AV Club, Nylon, Bustle, Goop, Goodreads, Book Riot, Yahoo! Lifestyle, Pacific Standard, The Week, and Romper.

Do You Mind If I Cancel?

Do You Mind If I Cancel?

Janetti, Gary
$27.99

The Instant New York Times Bestseller

From "Family Guy" to his own Instagram account, Janetti has been behind some of his generation's greatest comedy. This book of essays is no exception.
-- The New York Times

Fans of David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, and Tina Fey... meet your new friend Gary Janetti.


Gary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time, and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious, and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life.

Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar. As Gary himself says, "These are essays from my childhood and young adulthood about things that still annoy me."

Original, brazen, and laugh out loud funny, Do You Mind If I Cancel? is something not to be missed.

Hard Crowd

Hard Crowd

Kushner, Rachel
$26.00
From a writer celebrated for her "chops, ambition, and killer instinct" (John Powers, Fresh Air), a career-spanning collection of spectacular essays about politics and culture.

Rachel Kushner has established herself as "the most vital and interesting American novelist working today" (Michael Lindgren, The Millions) and as a master of the essay form. In The Hard Crowd, she gathers a selection of her writing from over the course of the last twenty years that addresses the most pressing political, artistic, and cultural issues of our times--and illuminates the themes and real-life terrain that underpin her fiction.

In nineteen razor-sharp essays, The Hard Crowd spans literary journalism, memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about art and literature, including pieces on Jeff Koons, Denis Johnson, and Marguerite Duras. Kushner takes us on a journey through a Palestinian refugee camp, an illegal motorcycle race down the Baja Peninsula, 1970s wildcat strikes in Fiat factories, her love of classic cars, and her young life in the music scene of her hometown, San Francisco. The closing, eponymous essay is her manifesto on nostalgia, doom, and writing.

These pieces, new and old, are electric, phosphorescently vivid, and wry, and they provide an opportunity to witness the evolution and range of one of our most dazzling and fearless writers. "Kushner writes with startling detail, imagination, and gallows humor," said Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly, and, from Paula McLain in the Wall Street Journal: "The authority and precision of Kushner's writing is impressive, but it's the gorgeous ferocity that will stick with me."

"[Kushner] seems to work with a muse and a nail gun, so surprisingly yet forcefully do her sentences pin reality to the page." --Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine

"Kushner can really write. Her prose has a poise and wariness and moral graininess that puts you in mind of Robert Stone and Joan Didion." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times

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.
Words Are My Matter

Words Are My Matter

Le Guin, Ursula K.
$15.99
A collection of essays on life and literature, from one of the most iconic authors and astute critics in contemporary letters.

Words Are My Matter is essential reading: a collection of talks, essays, and criticism by Ursula K. Le Guin, a literary legend and unparalleled voice of our social conscience. Here she investigates the depth and breadth of contemporary fiction--and, through the lens of literature, gives us a way of exploring the world around us.

In "Freedom," Le Guin notes: "Hard times are coming, when we'll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now ... to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We'll need writers who can remember freedom--poets, visionaries--realists of a larger reality."

Le Guin was one of those authors and in Words Are My Matter she gives us just that: a vision of a better reality, fueled by the power and might and hope of language and literature.

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.

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

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Patchett, Ann
$16.99
White Magic

White Magic

Washuta, Elissa
$26.95

Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, "starter witch kits" of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning.

In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life--Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham--to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.