Bill Clegg


Three dreamers sustained and tormented by beguiling visions.



Bill Clegg Bill Clegg's new memoir Portrait of the Artist as a Young Addict tells a story whose outlines are familiar: the successful young man -- in Clegg's case, a literary agent representing some of the most sought-after writers of the day -- undone by the magnetic pull of drug addiction.  But in this sensitive memoir, this harrowing tale is entwined with a sensitive and complex memoir of childhood, and of the young life of a mind for whom reading, among all other pleasures, stands paramount.  Here, Bill Clegg recommends three of his favorite books.


Books by Bill Clegg




Jude the Obscure

By Thomas Hardy


"A book I think about all the time. Hardy’s story of a boy who imagines a better life in the haloed city just beyond the horizon of his small town and who grows up chasing that future until his end. Watching Jude reel from one crushing disappointment to the next is devastating, but Hardy’s storytelling is so spectacular and so audacious that you want to start again from the beginning the moment you finish."




A Scots Quair

By Lewis Grassic Gibbon


"A trilogy of books—Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite—about a young girl growing up on the eastern coast of Scotland. In a mesmerizing braid of Broad Scots and the Queens English, Gibbon traces how Chris Guthrie and the family and town around her struggle with love, religion, war, patriotism—'all clouds that swept through the howe of the world with men that took them for gods.'"




The Catcher In the Rye

By J. D. Salinger


"For all the same reasons as everyone else but mainly for that vivid image of stalled innocence, circling forever on that carousel, safe from the crummy corruptions of the world. And for the voice, that arch and aching voice that creeps instantly under your skin, under your consciousness, and which—if you read it when you are young, as I did, and perhaps even after—begins to shape and change the way you see and hear everything."


April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.