1955 -- Fable

An allegorical tale set during WWI, Faulkner’s A Fable occasioned another skirmish in a different, personal war. Faulkner’s Nobel had come six years earlier, and the publication of any new book by him was a major event, cause for another invasion of literary journalists... Read more...

1954 -- The Adventures of Augie March

"I am an American, Chicago born—Chicago, that somber city—and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent. " -- The opening sentence of The Adventures of Augie March Read more...

1953 -- Invisible Man

"In my hole in the basement there are exactly 1,369 lights. I’ve wired the entire ceiling, every inch of it. And not with fluorescent bulbs, but with the older, more-expensive-to-operate kind, the filament type. An act of sabotage, you know. I’ve already begun to wire the wall. A junk man I know, a man of vision, has supplied me with wire and sockets. Nothing, storm or flood, must get in the way of our need for light and ever more and brighter light..." Read more...

1952 -- From Here to Eternity

The spine of the first edition of From Here to Eternity has a black star -- moved from the front cover, where James Jones wanted and expected to see it. He tells the story in his October 3, 1950 letter to his brother, Jeff, the letter written after five or six weeks of working on cuts and compromises to the sex and swearing in the manuscript with Scribner’s editor Burroughs Mitchell and the firm’s nervous lawyer, Howard Manges... Read more...

1951 -- William Faulkner's Collected Stories

Eudora Welty was one of the NBA judges who selected Faulkner as the 1951 winner. If Welty thought that "I can never be better than second best in my home state of Mississippi," she was also a declared "Yoknapatawphanatic." Not counting a glancing encounter six years earlier — an apparently drunken Faulkner sending Welty a postcard from Hollywood in which he congratulates her on The Robber Bridegroom and on a book that Zora Neale Hurston wrote — the two first met in 1949 at an Oxford dinner party. Read more...

1950 -- The Man with the Golden Arm

"War's over, war's over, war's over for Frankie—drives like he deals, deals like he lives 'n he lives all the time—war's over, war's over…."

Nelson Algren's Doubleday editors talked him out of his preferred title, "Night Without Mercy." Ex-GI Francis Majcinek, known as Frankie Machine for the card magic in his titular Golden Arm, sings the above refrain on one of the novel's most unmerciful nights, after drinking too many A-Bomb Specials at the Tug &Maul with Sophie, before driving his car around a corner that isn't there, putting Sophie through a billboard and into a wheelchair for life. Read more...

VIDEO: Faulkner's Collected Stories

Jim Mustich, editor of the B&N Review, talks with Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, about one of the six books shortlisted in the Best of the NBA Fiction contest (Click "Read More" to see the video). Read more...

The Best of the National Book Awards

Vote for the Best of the National Award Fiction!

Back in July, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the National Book Awards, the National Book Foundation announced a campaign to select the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction. Writers connected to the Foundation were sent ballots with all 77 past winners listed and ask to select three. Read more...

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

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

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
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.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."