• LITERATURE

My Life in Middlemarch

One pivotal book can contour a whole life, if encountered at just the right moment.  So it was for Mead and Middlemarch.  Her triumph here is to make the reader care about George Eliot's masterpiece as much as Mead does, and recognize the broader implications of all such literary polestars.

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  • LITERATURE

Roth Unbound

A fitting capstone to Philip Roth's recent retirement, Pierpont's insightful overview captures not only the journalistic details of Roth's life and literary output, but also the essential story-telling and truth-telling genius that characterized his canon.

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  • LITERATURE

The Art of Intimacy

The newest addition to Graywolf Press’s “Art of” series, this revealing study probes the delicate construction of fictional relationships – between lovers, friends, enemies, and even writer and reader, drawing examples from Toni Morrison, D.H. Lawrence, and Joan Didion.

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  • LITERATURE

Emma

Scholar and critic Bharat Tandon, who has previously written Jane Austen and the Morality of Conversation, now delivers an enriching set of footnotes to one of the most cherished novels of English literature. Praised for both his lightness of touch and depth of scholarship, Tandon provides, along with copious marginal glosses, a stimulating introduction and a fine selection of illustrations to heighten the reader's involvement and understanding.

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  • LITERATURE

Fire the Bastards!

This text -- which excoriates the book-reviewing establishment with healthy indignation -- originally appeared in an underground magazine in 1962, but receives its first book instantiation only now. Keenly dissecting the failure of mainstream critics to appreciate William Gaddis's novel The Recognitions, Jack Green widens his thesis to damn the blindness and conventionality of all arbiters of taste in a blistering, cautionary tale full of meaning for today's publishing scene.

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  • LITERATURE

On Conan Doyle

Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda has subtitled this book "The Whole Art of Storytelling," with good reason. Starting from Arthur Conan Doyle's life and work -- which included, in addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories, wonderful works of historical fiction and adventure -- Dirda weaves a memoir of boyhood, a peek into the world of the "Baker Street Irregulars," and a meditation on the power of fiction. The game's afoot!

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  • LITERATURE

Why Read Moby-Dick?

Although Hemingway said that all modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn, a case might be made for Moby-Dick as the model for everything that followed in fiction. If Nathaniel Philbrick stops just short of such an assertion, he nevertheless launches a spirited defense of Melville's notoriously unwieldy book. Having unpacked the real-life incidents behind Moby-Dick in his National Book Award-winning In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick focuses here on the transformative magic employed by Melville in his creation of Ahab's quest.

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  • LITERATURE

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce's unfortunate absence from the canon defined by the Library of America series is hereby remedied. The famed cynic and speculatively brilliant writer -- see "The Damned Thing" as an example -- displays all his glorious wit and outsider's perspective, fostered by the tender editing of scholar S. T. Joshi. Perhaps Bierce will now emerge from his fabled and unexplained vanishing to undertake a signing tour with extensive media coverage.

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  • LITERATURE

The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life

Gnostic assembler and defender of the Western literary canon, Harold Bloom at age eighty shows no sign of slowing down or banking his intellectual embers, as he here anatomizes the vast rivers of literature that have fed into and enriched his personal ocean, showing us how great works of fiction inform each other and, most tellingly, one man's life.

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  • LITERATURE

Best European Fiction 2011

Editor Aleksandar Hemon's selection for this year's edition of one of the most rewarding anthologies around includes writers as well-known as Hilary Mantel, author of the Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall, and as unfamiliarly dazzling as Lucian Dan Teodorovici (Romania), Anita Konkka (Finland), and Olga Tokarczuk (Poland). With contributions from 37 countries, and a preface by Colum McCann.

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  • LITERATURE

In Ghostly Japan

Lafcadio Hearn's folktale- like "kwaidan" (the Japanese word for ghost stories) aren't as well-known as they should be. You can rectify this lapse in your reading with this delightful volume.

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  • LITERATURE

Madame Bovary

Flaubert's nineteenth-century masterpiece, in a new translation by one of contemporary literature's most original and quietly audacious talents. How can we resist?

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  • LITERATURE

Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition

An appropriately handsome, witty, deeply smart and buoyantly informative annotated edition of Jane Austen's beloved novel, prepared with astuteness and affection by scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks.

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  • literature

Beirut 39

A legacy of Beirut's selection as the 2009 World Book Capital by UNESCO, the volume, produced in collaboration with the Hay Festival, collects stories, poems, and excerpts from novels composed by 39 of the most promising young writers in Arab literature. Read more...

  • literature

Why Translation Matters

The acclaimed translator of Don Quixote, García Márquez, and Vargas Llosa defends the importance of the apprehension and comprehension her vocation fosters. Read more...

  • literature

A Jury of Her Peers

A savvy, insightful landmark: the first comprehensive history of American women writers from 1650 to 2000. Now in paperback. Read our review. Read more...

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.

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