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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.

What Is Existentialism?

What Is Existentialism?

de Beauvoir, Simone
$13.00
The groundbreaking writings on the philosophy of the individual by iconic feminist and social thinker, Simone de Beauvoir

How should we think and act in the world? These writings on the human condition by one of the twentieth century's great philosophers explore the absurdity of our notions of good and evil, and show instead how we make our own destiny simply by being.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and upended them. Now Penguin brings you a new set of the acclaimed Great Ideas, a curated library of selections from the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.

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. 

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.

Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition)

Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition)

Green, John
$28.00
A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green.

This is a signed edition.

The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale--from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

John Green's gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

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

Empathy Exams: Essays

Jamison, Leslie
$16.00
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
"The Hard Crowd is wild, wide-ranging, and unsparingly intelligent throughout." --Taylor Antrim, Vogue

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" (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 experiences that inform 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, 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."

Funny Weather

Funny Weather

Laing, Olivia
$16.95

In this remarkable, inspiring collection of essays, acclaimed writer and critic Olivia Laing makes a brilliant case for why art matters, especially in the turbulent political weather of the twenty-first century.

Funny Weather brings together a career's worth of Laing's writing about art and culture, examining their role in our political and emotional lives. She profiles Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georgia O'Keeffe, reads Maggie Nelson and Sally Rooney, writes love letters to David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, and explores loneliness and technology, women and alcohol, sex and the body. With characteristic originality and compassion, she celebrates art as a force of resistance and repair, an antidote to a frightening political time.

We're often told that art can't change anything. Laing argues that it can. Art changes how we see the world. It makes plain inequalities and it offers fertile new ways of living.

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.

My Life as a Villainess

My Life as a Villainess

Lippman, Laura
$18.99

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman, a journalist for many years, collects here her recent essays exploring motherhood as an older mom, her life as a reader, her relationships with her parents, friendship, and other topics that will resonate with a large audience. Her voice is wry and relatable, her takes often surprising.

Meet the Woman Behind the Books...

In this collection of new and previously published essays, New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman offers her take on a woman's life across the decades. Her childhood and school years, her newspaper career, her experiences as a novelist--Lippman finds universal touchstones in an unusual life that has as many twists as her award-winning crime fiction.

Essays include:

- Men Explain The Wire to Me

- Game of Crones

- My Life as a Villainess

- My Father's Bar

- The 31st Stocking

These candid essays offer long-time readers insight into the experiences that helped Lippman become one of the most successful crime novelists of her generation.

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.

Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write

Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write

Messud, Claire
$26.95

In her fiction, Claire Messud has specialized in creating unusual female characters with ferocious, imaginative inner lives (Ruth Franklin, New York Times Magazine). Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write opens a window on Messud's own life: a peripatetic upbringing; a warm, complicated family; and, throughout it all, her devotion to art and literature.

In twenty-six intimate, brilliant, and funny essays, Messud reflects on a childhood move from her Connecticut home to Australia; the complex relationship between her modern Canadian mother and a fiercely single French Catholic aunt; and a trip to Beirut, where her pied-noir father had once lived, while he was dying. She meditates on contemporary classics from Kazuo Ishiguro, Teju Cole, Rachel Cusk, and Valeria Luiselli; examines three facets of Albert Camus and The Stranger; and tours her favorite paintings at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. In the luminous title essay, she explores her drive to write, born of the magic of sharing language and the transformative powers of "a single successful sentence."

Together, these essays show the inner workings of a dazzling literary mind. Crafting a vivid portrait of a life in celebration of the power of literature, Messud proves once again an absolute master storyteller (Rebecca Carroll, Los Angeles Times).

Allegorizings

Allegorizings

Morris, Jan
$24.95

Not so long ago, feeling intimations of mortality, Jan Morris embarked on a wholly novel literary enterprise. What began as a series of high-minded letters to her late daughter--in the style of Lord Chesterfield addressing his son--quickly transformed itself into a potpourri of mini-essays and vibrant reminiscences, organized around experiences both majestic and mundane, from traveling the world with her lifelong partner, Elizabeth, to sneezing and kissing and simply growing old.

So Allegorizings came to be, and so Morris decided that it should only be published upon her death, not because she had anything to hide but, merely, in parting. Featuring essays largely written in the early twenty-first century, Allegorizings reflects, above all, Morris's steadfast conviction that nothing is only what it seems. In fact, she observes, everything is allegory. Indeed, in Morris's telling, even life--the whole conundrum of existence--is one long, majestically impenetrable allegory.

Taking us from the separatist hippie colony of Bolinas, California, to her home country of Wales, and introducing us to Nepalese Sherpas and elderly cruise-goers alike, Morris follows the throughline of allegory throughout her works. In one essay, she lambasts the joylessness of maturity ("Maturity! Did ever a heart thrill to the sound of it, still less the meaning?") and in another, decries the nonsense of nationality. With characteristic verve, she offers odes to whistling and cursing, cats, and exclamation points. Morris's travels anchor the collection, as she revisits the iconic settings of her previous works. We join her aboard the storied Orient Express, as well as tube trains passing through the purlieus of London. So too, we hike the foothills of the Himalayas--where Morris burst onto scene with her on-the-spot reportage of the first ascent of Everest--and reflect on the picaresque allure of Tournus, a dichotomized town in France where one France, bearing all the vestiges of privilege, seems to kiss another.

Intimate and luminously wise, Allegorizings is as much a testament to the virtues of embracing life as it is a testament to its charming, indignant, and ever-surprising author. In her final work, Morris's writing is as erudite as ever, conveying a generosity of spirit "flavored by well-earned crankiness" (Vox). Though newly bereft of her company, readers will be reminded what "a good, wise, and witty companion" (Alexander McCall Smith) Morris has been to so many, for so long.

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

Gifts of Reading

Gifts of Reading

Orchard, Jennie
$24.99

With contributions by: William Boyd, Candice Carty-Williams, Imtiaz Dharker, Roddy Doyle, Pico Iyer, Robert Macfarlane, Andy Miller, Jackie Morris, Jan Morris, Sisonke Msimang, Dina Nayeri, Chigozie Obioma, Michael Ondaatje, David Pilling, Max Porter, Philip Pullman, Alice Pung, Jancis Robinson, S.F.Said, Madeleine Thien, Salley Vickers, John Wood and Markus Zusak

'This story, like so many stories, begins with a gift. The gift, like so many gifts, was a book...'
So begins the essay by Robert Macfarlane that inspired this collection.

In this cornucopia of an anthology, you will find essays by some of the world's most beloved novelists, nonfiction writers, essayists and poets.

'You will see books taking flight in flocks, migrating around the world, landing in people's hearts and changing them for a day or a year or a lifetime.

'You will see books sparking wonder or anger; throwing open windows into other languages, other cultures, other minds; causing people to fall in love or to fight for what is right.

'And more than anything, over and over again, you will see books and words being given, received and read - and in turn prompting further generosity.'

Published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of global literacy non-profit, Room to Read, The Gifts of Reading forms inspiring, unforgettable, irresistible proof of the power and necessity of books and reading.

Inspired by Robert Macfarlane

Curated by Jennie Orchard

These Precious Days: Essays

These Precious Days: Essays

Patchett, Ann
$26.99

The beloved New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays.


"Any story that starts will also end." As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be. Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart.

At the center of These Precious Days is the title essay, a surprising and moving meditation on an unexpected friendship that explores "what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self." When Patchett chose an early galley of actor and producer Tom Hanks' short story collection to read one night before bed, she had no idea that this single choice would be life changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman--Tom's brilliant assistant Sooki--with whom she would form a profound bond that held monumental consequences for them both.

A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer's eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be.

From the enchantments of Kate DiCamillo's children's books (author of the upcoming The Beatryce Prophecy) to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz's Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author's grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark--and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.


Languages of Truth

Languages of Truth

Rushdie, Salman
$28.00
Newly collected, revised, and expanded nonfiction from the first two decades of the twenty-first century--including many texts never previously in print--by the Booker Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author

Salman Rushdie is celebrated as a storyteller of the highest order, illuminating truths about our society and culture through his gorgeous, often searing prose. Now, in his latest collection of nonfiction, he brings together insightful and inspiring essays, criticism, and speeches that focus on his relationship with the written word and solidify his place as one of the most original thinkers of our time.

Gathering pieces written between 2003 and 2020, Languages of Truth chronicles Rushdie's intellectual engagement with a period of momentous cultural shifts. Immersing the reader in a wide variety of subjects, he delves into the nature of storytelling as a human need, and what emerges is, in myriad ways, a love letter to literature itself. Rushdie explores what the work of authors from Shakespeare and Cervantes to Samuel Beckett, Eudora Welty, and Toni Morrison mean to him, whether on the page or in person. He delves deep into the nature of "truth," revels in the vibrant malleability of language and the creative lines that can join art and life, and looks anew at migration, multiculturalism, and censorship.

Enlivened on every page by Rushdie's signature wit and dazzling voice, Languages of Truth offers the author's most piercingly analytical views yet on the evolution of literature and culture even as he takes us on an exhilarating tour of his own exuberant and fearless imagination.

Ain't I a Woman?

Ain't I a Woman?

Truth, Sojourner
$13.00
A collection of Sojourner Truth's iconic words, including her famous speech at the 1851 Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio

A former slave and one of the most powerful orators of her time, Sojourner Truth fought for the equal rights of black women throughout her life. This selection of her impassioned speeches is accompanied by the words of other inspiring African-American female campaigners from the nineteenth century.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and upended them. Now Penguin brings you a new set of the acclaimed Great Ideas, a curated library of selections from the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.

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.

Decay of Lying

Decay of Lying

Wilde, Oscar
$13.00
A selection of Oscar Wilde's writings that underscore his notion that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life

The Decay of Lying includes two of Wilde's most comprehensive--and witty--explorations of his aesthetic philosophy: The Decay of Lying and The Critic as Artist.

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and upended them. Now Penguin brings you a new set of the acclaimed Great Ideas, a curated library of selections from the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.