Displaying articles for: January 2014

Piano Stories

Dubbed "a writer like no other" in Italo Calvino's introduction to this newly reissued short story collection, Felisberto Hernandez here emerges as an underappreciated master of magical realism in the tradition of Cortazar and Marquez.

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Windfall

The possibility of global warming presents an ominous view of future generations.  But as McKenzie Funk's startling study reports, some of the world's biggest corporations have plans for turning impending climate change into record profits.

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Call Me Burroughs

Beat Generation historian Barry Miles issues his definitive biography of William Burroughs: fabulist, banned author, profane poet, painter, gay icon, musician, violent soul, loyal ally, and groundbreaking writer.

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Still Life with Bread Crumbs

When a once-famed photographer heads for the hills into country life, she literally finds love among the trees, with a roofer able to expand the lens of her worldview.  A shining portrait of unexpected romance from Anna Quindlen (One True Thing).

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Resurrection

Wolf Haas has forged one of modern noir's best detective series in the adventures of Inspector Simon Brenner.  Readers can now relish tracing back to Brenner's first big case: the suspicious death of two Americans atop an Alpine Village ski mountain. 

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The Double Life of Paul de Man

One of the renowned literary theorists of his time, Paul de Man's legacy was destroyed by revelations of his alligence to the Nazi Party.  Evelyn Barish deconstructs the deconstructionist, in this riveting story of a major philosopher's dark duplicity.

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Boy in the Twilight

In thirteen stories of China's closed quarters and shadowy paths, the joys and hardships of rural migrant life are captured in Yu Hua's keen eye and compassion.

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Night Watch

Like a mutant hybrid of Ian Fleming's taut spy games and the supernatural worlds of Neil Gaiman (with some Russian Futurists thrown in for good measure), Sergei Lukyaneko's faceoff between vampires and the magical task force that polices them is one thrilling bite to the neck.

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The Ballad of Barnabas Pierkiel

A neurotic's love story, set in the fictional nation of Scalvusia in 1939.  Magdalena Zyzak creates an unforgettable antihero in Barnabas, an innocent farmer lusting after the gypsy concubine who enchants his doomed village.

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The Visionist

The City of Hope is a 1840s Shaker community in search of their Visionist, a seer of mystical trances.  When fifteen-year old runaway Polly Kimball seeks shelter in the City, a volatile chain of revelations is ignited.

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Shovel Ready

A garbageman-turned-assassin roams a terrorist attacked New York of the not-so-distant future, searching for the evangelist's daughter he's been hired to kill, and the shocking motives of his employers.  Adam Sternbergh's gritty dystopic thriller hits like a ton of bricks. 

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Danubia

The Middle Ages come alive in this humorous history of the strange Habsburg dynasty, who ruled central Europe for centuries: a motley crew of sorcerers, warriors, musicians, and eccentrics who lived wildly and left immeasurable impact our modern world.

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Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Who could own the heart of Robert Louis Stevenson, the adventurous creator of Jekyll, Hyde, and Treasure Island?  Only Fanny Osbourne, a brave globetrotter deserving of her own historical novel: this gem from author Nancy Horan.

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Spying in America

Profiling thirty cases of espionage carried out on  U.S. soil between the Revolutionary War and the end of WWII, ex-CIA chief Michael J. Sullick presents an insider's look at international spying that couldn't be timelier - or more startling in its revelations of "off the grid" world history.

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An Impatient Life

Daniel Bensaid, a leader of the modern French left, issues a memoir of growing up Communist in the neighborhood of Toulouse, adventures in Latin America, and his country's youthful revolution of 1968.

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The Trip to Echo Spring

What does alcohol afford writers, and what does it cost them?  Olivia Laing profiles six late greats (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Carver, Berryman, Cheever, and Tennessee Williams) and the role booze played in their lives and books.

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Pig's Foot

Cuban-born dancer Carlos Acosta has penned his first novel: one man's quest to find the story of his family tree, and the meaning behind an inherited swine hoof amulet.

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Forgiving the Angel

"Four Stories of Franz Kafka" metamorphize into a moving whole, via Jay Cantor's factual fictions on the author's friends, lovers, lost manuscripts, and legacy in 20th century Germany.

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Black Music

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014) "wrote with ecstasy—highly informed and intricate—about ecstatically complex music", says Richard Brody of this raucous collection of essays on modern jazz giants (Coltrane, Monk, Sun Ra and more) and their sonic elucidation of the African-American experience.

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Andrew's Brain

In Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, E.L. Doctorow chronicled the reaches of American enterprise and ambition.  Now he ventures to new terrain: the internal mind, and a cognitive scientist's memories of his traumatic life.

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Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Passive oddball Rat Korga discovers an interplanetary device which delivers users to their ideal lover, and may shatter the galaxy in the process.  First published in 1984, Samuel Delany's prophetic anticipation of the Internet now appears in eBook for the first time.

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The Empty Chair

Bruce Wagner's poetic oddity shines in novellas charting two "gurus": a Buddhist looking for peace in Big Sur after the death of his son, and an aging party animal getting a second chance at her abandoned voyage to India.

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The Wisdom of the Myths

This genial look at "How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life" from La Sorbonne philosopher Luc Ferry achieves a Herculean task: articulating what the Olympian gods teach us about the limits and virtues of mortality.

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M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law

Charles R. DiSalvo, as he recounts the spiritual and marketplace odyssey of young Mohandas Gandhi, newly minted idealistic lawyer.

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Report from the Interior

Young turk Paul Auster (the New York Trilogy) is now sixty-six years old, casting a nostalgic eye back at his New Jersey youth in the evocative, keen-eyed manner of his street-level fiction.

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Phantoms of Breslau

In the latest chapter of Marek Krajewski's arrestingly inventive noir series, the murder of four naked sailors on a secluded island puts Polish detective Eberhard Mock back on the case.  Decadent detection at its finest.

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Leaving the Sea

The iconoclastic Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet) takes flight in bold short stories of cruise ship infidelity, obsessive inter-office relations, and portraits of families devoted and otherwise.

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Let Me Off at the Top!

There is certainly no disputing that a major media icon like Ron Burgundy deserves to have his stellar life enshrined in prose, and no one other than comedian Will Ferrell could convey the magnificence associated with this titan of journalism.

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Becoming Americans

This profoundly moving collection of immigrants' stories spans the centuries from the first colonists in Virginia to present-day, with a foreward by Pete Hamill.

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The Mongolian Conspiracy

Originally published in 1969, Rafael Bernal's newly translated book conjures up a thriller-cum-caper novel that reads like some sinfully delicious blend of Ross Thomas and Donald Westlake.

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Undisputed Truth

Pugilist Mike Tyson's memoir must, by law, be deemed by critics as "hard-hitting."  But after all the cliches, one finds a surprisingly beguiling and authentic exploration of a life lived at maximum intensity.

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Double Down: Game Change 2012

Co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who did so much to demystify the 2008 US presidential election, now perform the same analytical miracle for the 2012 contest, bringing it into sharp clarity.

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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